We chose this hotel as our base for our vacation since it’s quite near proximity to Disneyland and DisneySea theme parks (only few stops from JR Kaihin-Makuhari station). Previously we were considering for hotels that are in Maihama station’s vicinity (literally the gateway to the theme parks). However their price was quite high. While bigger rooms in APA Makuhari hotel’s central tower can be above $100 per night, the smaller rooms for two people were considerably priced (if you book the rooms sooner, the price can be very cheap). The ‘smaller rooms’ are actually slightly bigger than what we used to have when staying in Kawasaki or Kyoto. However, for family with many luggages and kids, we would recommend the bigger rooms.
It took about 30 – 40 minutes by Airport Limousine bus from Narita Airport to reach this hotel which only costs us 900 yen per person and 50% discount for kids under certain age. Be mindful that bus only operates during certain hours. As they may change at any time, please check with the Airport Limousine bus info desk near the entrance of the terminal. They will take your luggages and tag them with coupons that have numbers on them. It is extremely important to keep the coupons as they are needed to retrieve your luggages upon arrival at your destination hotel.
We had opportunity to review both smaller and bigger two bedrooms. While the size of the bed is only single bed, we were able to move the two beds side-by-side, hence it turned into something wider than queen-size bed. The bigger room (aka ‘Deluxe Twin Room’) that we got has a narrow passage where a walk-in closet on the right side was located and the bathroom was located on the left side, before entering the actual bedroom. For the price that we got, this room indeed was quite big for Japan’s hotel. The room was quite spacious, with big windows facing the coast line (we only got the room on 11th floor, so the view of coast line was a bit obstructed). The next stay with smaller ‘Standard Twin’ room was on 25th floor and had gorgeous view of the coast line. The Standard Twin room barely allowed us to put our 3 luggages on the side, next to the beds (that’s after shifting the bed to put them side-by-side).
When we arrived at the hotel, we had to actually go to the receptionist area that’s located at the east wing. There was a long line of people already in the queue for check-in. They had several checkin-counter opened, so it wasn’t long until our turn. The check-in process was automated via a touch-screen kiosk. The receptionist was guiding us with his somewhat limited English but we were able to understand, despite of few things that we weren’t sure of. We actually had to ask for APA club card to him. However, when we were asking about the benefits of APA club card, he had hard time to explain it to us. Since we were already tired from our long journey and it was already late night, we went to our rooms.
We found our rooms were clean and tidy. To our surprise, we found a big walk-in closet in our room! We put our luggages inside that walk-in closet. The toilet sink and mirror were placed outside next to the bathroom. Inside the bath room, as usual, a toilet with bidet, regular size bath tub and shower. There is a laundry line that you can pull out to hang your wet laundry (which is useful since the coin laundry machines on the 3rd floor seemed to take forever to dry our clothes). There was a small refrigerator (but cold enough to turn your bottled water to ice), a medium sized flat-panel TV with plenty channels (most of them are in Japanese language), safety box, and other standard hotel amenities. As APA hotel chain signature, they put two Origami Swans and two Kimono robes (Yukata) with APA brand on it. The sandals that they gave were too small for me but it’s fine for my wife’s size.
There were 6 elevators available in Central tower for guest hotel rooms and restaurants on the top floors. The 3 elevators on the right were faster ones as they do not stop on floors lower than 25th (except the first 3 floors). There were additional elevators that were special for the restaurant on the top floor. Using those elevators, you can see the outside view from the window while moving up and down.
Since we were hungry, we looked for any nearby shopping malls. We found that there was no shuttle bus going directly from the hotel to AEON mall which was close by. According to the concierge person, it may take about 30 minutes walking. She suggested to go to the JR Kaihin-Makuhari station which only took much shorter time and there will be shuttle bus that goes from the station to the mall. She pointed out that there is a bridge that we can use to walk across the street towards the station. From there, we found several shopping malls with plenty food courts and restaurants. We were able to visit few of them and tried several foods. Among them, our favorite is PLENA Makuhari. There was a Katsu-ya that sells really good Chicken Katsu.
During our 6 days stay at APA Hotel & Resort Tokyo Bay Makuhari, I was able to enjoy their Sento (Public bath) that was on the 4th floor for few times. It was very relaxing. There were coin-operated lockers provided in the entrance but I found there was also lockers with wearable key inside the changing room. You have to use your room key to get inside. So it’s important to place your key safely inside the locker. The fun fact that I found was they kept changing the men and women areas every day. So, make sure you enter the right one! You have to follow their rules, so be sure to read the signs. As usual, coin-operated vending machine is also available inside. There were also plenty bathing stations in the Sento. To dry your hair, you can use the hairdryer provided in the room next to changing room. In one occasion, I was startled when a cleaning lady entered the men’s changing room to pick up dirty towels and cleaning up the room. I felt uneasy when she was there but others seem to ignore her. The fact that the Sento remains open until 2AM is really the ultimate deal for me since usually we arrive really late at the hotel back from our day trip until almost midnight. After hot bath, I found another paradise in this hotel: two LAWSON Konbini (Convenience stores) on the 3rd and 1st floor. I usually bought midnight snacks, Japanese beers and Oden! Yes, they have Oden! The first time I ate Oden while drinking Japanese Beers, it was like in heaven.
In the morning, we went to LA VERANDA restaurant to claim our breakfast buffet coupons. The buffet was Continental, Chinese and Japanese style. My son’s favorite was their potato fries and Yakult (yes, strangely they have Yakult!). The yakult drink is very popular and easily be gone fast. The restaurant was in the right wing side and had a swimming pool outside (which we didn’t try since when we came, it was already cold weather). If I’m not mistaken, you have to pay small fee to use the swimming pool (not free) but I could be wrong. Tourist buses can be seen parked next to the Right wing building. There is a big bull statue near the LAWSON on Right wing’s1st floor that reminds me of the one at the Wall Street, NYC.
We were able to store our luggages in the hotel and went back 5 days later to collect them and resumed our stay in the hotel before our departure. In overall, we were quite satisfied with this hotel and really recommend it if you are visiting Makuhari and nearby areas. It is so far the best APA hotel that we ever stayed.
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