Review: Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa

Jyaga unsure (3.5/5)

Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa

Nearest Airport : HND (11 km away)
Neighbourhood : Shinagawa, Tokyo
Website :
Address : 3-13-1 Takanawa, Minato-ku Tokyo, 108-8612 Japan
Chain : Prince Hotels

Opened in 1982, the 908-room Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa is the sister hotel of the neighbouring Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa. Along with the Grand Prince Takanawa and the Prince Sakura Tower, the hotel occupies a 10-acre site that was at one point the Takeda-no-miya Residence. The three Takanawa hotels serve as the flagships of Japan’s Prince Hotel Group, a major chain with over 50 hotels in Japan. Prince Hotels is itself owned by the Seibu Railway Group.

Booking Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa

I booked the Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa for a nightly rate of JPY 20,305 (~ USD 140, GBP 110), which was a very good price given how last-minute this booking was. This booked me into the hotel’s Superior Modern Twin Room. Along with the Superior Natural Rooms, this is one of the two kinds of entry-level rooms at the Grand Prince Shin Takanawa. As with the other hotels on this trip, I booked this stay with Agoda, which had the best prices for my stay.


The Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa is located in Minato, which had once been one of the original harbours of Tokyo (Minato means harbour). Near the hotel is Tokyo’s sprawling Shinagawa Station, which can be reached in about 10 minutes by foot. Alternatively, the hotel also provides a free shuttle service to the Shinagawa Prince Hotel located across the station. This shuttle is very helpful given the uphill walk up to the hotel. Additionally, the hotel is also connected to the Toei Asakusa Line via the Takanawadai Station, reachable roughly 7 minutes away on foot.

View towards Shinagawa Station

Arrival and Check-in

I took the Narita Express (N’EX) to Shinagawa Station after arriving at Narita Airport on my Jetstar Japan flight from Sapporo. The hotel is an 8-minute walk from the station, which seemed simple enough. Yet, while dragging my heavy bags along, I forgot to take into account the significant incline on the way to the hotel. As such, I’d very much recommend taking the shuttle bus from the Shinagawa Prince Hotel nearby the station, which drops you right at the lobby.

Entrance at Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa
Porte-cochère at Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa
Side entrance to the hotel (for Shinagawa Station)

As I entered through the hotel’s side entrance, I got confused as to the location of the reception. After wandering around for a bit, I finally found the lobby one level up from this entrance. After making my way up, I was surprised to see how packed and lively the lobby was.

Lobby at Grand Prince Shin Takanawa
Path to the side entrance

I made my way to the other end of the lobby to the reception desks. There, I was assisted by a reserved but polite agent who quickly reconfirmed the details of my stay. After taking my credit card details for the guarantee, I was issued a pair of keys as I completed the registration form.

Lobby at Grand Prince Shin Takanawa
Lobby at Grand Prince Shin Takanawa
Reception at Grand Prince Shin Takanawa

Retrieving bags from Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa

After checking in, I went to the bell desk to retrieve the bags which I stored at the next-door Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa. While I was advised in no uncertain terms that my bags would be delivered and collected at this hotel, it soon became clear that they were never moved. After going back and forth for about 20 minutes, my bags finally showed up at the lobby thanks to the staff at the bell desk.

Reception at Grand Prince Shin Takanawa
Lobby at Grand Prince Shin Takanawa

With my bags finally back in hand, I headed down the corridor to the Room Wing, just behind the reception desks. As I walked to the lift lobby, I caught a quick glimpse of the hotel’s Diamond Pool located within the expansive garden (more on that later).

View from the lobby
Room Wing lift lobby

Superior Modern Twin Room

I was assigned a Superior Modern Twin Room on the 8th floor, which is halfway up the hotel’s 16 floors. Unlike the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa or the Tokyo Prince Hotel, there are no newly renovated rooms categorised as Upper Floor Rooms. Combined with the nicer views, this gives the Upper Floor rooms a more deluxe experience than you’d often find at many standard Prince Hotel rooms.

Hotel corridor

On this occasion, I was assigned a room that faced the Takanawa Garden, the Pamir Convention Center and the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa, which I stayed in just several days prior. Admittedly, the view isn’t very scenic, although I did appreciate having a balcony from which I could get a breath of fresh air.

View from the Superior Modern Room
Balcony in the Superior Modern Room


The Superior Modern Rooms are advertised to have a size of 29.9 sqm (322 sqft), which is generous for a four-star hotel in Tokyo. Yet, I was surprised to see that my room was even larger than that; I lucked out by being assigned a room ordinarily used as a Superior Modern Triple Room, sized 37.8 sqm (407 sqft). Despite the identical layout, this room is slightly longer so that it could accommodate a third bed.

Superior Modern Room
Superior Modern Room

A small closet is placed on the side of the entryway and across the bathroom. This conveniently features a clothing iron and an ironing board, as well as a luggage rack. I’ll note that the closet has seen better days, owing to all the scratches on the wall.


The main bedroom area is right past the entryway corridor, which I found to be pleasant-looking. While the design is starting to get outdated, I liked the room’s warm tones and the clean International Style design. I also found the bed to be comfortably firm and appreciate the fact that they have full-sized pillows. Additionally, the bedside lamps have the dimmer switches, which are convenient for nighttime reading.

Superior Modern Room
Twin Beds

Across the beds is the television as well as a combined storage console and minibar. Curiously, in place of a kettle, a dispensing water boiler was provisioned in the minibar. I found this to be convenient for longer stays since I don’t need to constantly boil water whenever I make tea.

Superior Modern Room

Finally, there is also a desk and a sofa chair with a coffee table at the room’s far end. The desk doubles as a vanity desk, thanks to the mirror on the wall behind it.

Sofa chair and table


The faux wood-floored bathroom is located by the entryway corridor, across the closet. Just like the bedroom, the bathroom is quite spacious and features a small acrylic bathtub, a sink, as well as a bidet-equipped toilet seat with a wall-mounted telephone. Despite its nice size, I found the space to be rather dark and humid, which made the bathroom quite uninviting.

Bathroom in the Superior Modern Room
Bathroom in the Superior Modern Room

As you’d find at any Japanese chain hotel in Japan, the bath amenities came in large refillable dispensers. At the Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa, the bath amenities are POLA Esthe Royer-branded, which is also used at Yuzuya Ryokan Kyoto. A bunch of other amenities were also provided on the sink, including bath salts, a Prince Hotel-branded hand and face wash, and a body towel.

Bathroom sink
Esthe Royer amenities


Takanawa Garden

Built on the site of the Takeda-no-miya Palace, the Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa retains a part of the palace’s sizeable garden in its backyard. At 20,000 sqm, the garden is quite large and is shared with the other two Prince Hotels in the compound. Frankly, it is not as beautiful as the garden at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo or as grand as that of Hotel New Otani. However, the garden is a nice change to the otherwise urban backdrop of the area.

Map of the Prince Hotels of Takanawa
Takanawa Garden
Takanawa Garden

Although the garden at the Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa theoretically led to the ‘Diamond Pool’, I couldn’t seem to find the way there. Many paths along the garden were closed and cordoned off, perhaps to ensure that guests do not wander around too much. In addition, the pool appears to be only open during the summer, explaining why I can’t find my way there.

Tea House by the Takanawa Garden
Tea House by the Takanawa Garden

Fitness Room

Unlike most Japanese hotels, the Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa has a complimentary fitness room located on the ground floor. Similar to the arrangement at Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa, the small fitness room is accessible 24 hours a day to hotel guests. However, this fitness room looked quite spartan and a lot less inviting than the one at their sister hotel. Likewise, it only has a couple of treadmills and exercise bikes, alongside a couple of yoga mats and an exercise ball.

Fitness Room at Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa
Fitness Room at Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa
Cardio equipment
Yoga mats and exercise ball

Shuttle Bus

Given the uphill walk from Shinagawa Station, the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service to the Shinagawa Prince Hotel, opposite the station. This service is especially convenient for those holding a JR Pass, as Shinagawa is a major JR station. From there, you can take the Narita Express or the Shinkansen. The bus departs every hour from 08.11 to 21.11 and takes 9 minutes.

Shuttle Bus schedule
Shuttle Bus

7-11 Convenience Store

Just one story down from the lobby is the hotel’s very own 7-11 convenience store. This is the sole store that serves the entire Prince Takanawa complex and is open until 23.00. Due to the hotel’s proximity to other convenience stores, having one within the property is quite useful. However, unlike the Lawson convenience store at Prince Hotel Tokyo, this store did not sell any Prince-branded omiyage.


Mimicking my experience at many Prince Hotels, the staff here seemed rather standoff-ish compared to other hotels in Japan. Although they are professional and respectful, their attitude leaned on being reactive. Ask and you will get. Likewise, staff don’t generally greet guests proactively and feel quite distant. Again I’ll emphasise that the staff were cordial enough in that they constantly smiled but I can’t help but feel that they weren’t very helpful. For example, I asked if taxis are usually available at the hotel at 05.00, but I was not given a definitive answer.

Discarded ice cream stick

Additionally, like my experience at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa, I had a problem with housekeeping during my stay. This time, however, it was more on the actual cleanliness of the room. During my stay, I noticed that items like cups or spoons seemed to be merely rinsed rather than cleaned or replaced. Furthermore, I found leftover trash in the room’s nooks and crannies, which concerned me a bit. In particular, this included a discarded ice cream stick wedged between the bed and the console. Bleh.


Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the spacious and comfortable rooms of the hotel, despite being a bit outdated. However, I left the hotel with mixed feelings, given the hotel’s mediocre service and substandard housekeeping practices. Likewise, I also preferred the location and feel of the smaller Grand Prince Takanawa, which I felt to be the better of the two hotels. Despite that, I wouldn’t say I’m put off from staying here again; however, this hotel would not be my preferred address in the Takanawa area.

Read more from this trip here!

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