Luxury accommodation in Tokyo at budget prices.

With so many hotels in Tokyo it can be hard to choose where to stay, so whenever we come across a great find during our business trips we like to share it with our readers, and that’s what we’re doing today with a place called Hotel Bar Grantios Bettei.

To local Japanese people, the word “bettei” (“villa”) connotes luxury, as it suggests a type of hospitality that’s a level above a regular hotel stay. That’s certainly the case here, because behind the business hotel look of the urban building, the rooms inside will whisk you away to a villa in the countryside with their traditional-style rooms and services, and best of all it’ll cost you far less than you think.

Grantios Villa is located in a convenient location, just two stops from Shinagawa Station on the Keihin Tohoku Line and a two-minute walk from the east exit of JR Omori Station.

The hotel aims to make guests feel as relaxed as they would in a countryside villa, and they do a good job of it from the minute you arrive at the entrance, with its beautiful stone facade and wooden sliding doors.

Our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma first heard about this hotel through word-of-mouth, with people raving about the Japanese-style design features in the rooms, and the fact that it even has a private open-air bath for guests to use. All of these luxurious-sounding perks made him fear this stay would come with a high price tag, but when he went to make the booking on travel site Rakuten Travel, he found there was an “Early Bird Discount 28 Days in Advance Plan (No Meals)” that cost just 8,500 yen (US$56.87) per adult per night, with a late 11 a.m. checkout included. The same plan for two people cost 11,000 yen (5,500 yen per person), which is cheap for a business hotel in Tokyo, but as we said before, this is no regular business hotel.

The reception area looks like the reception in a traditional ryokan inn, with low chairs and tables and a beautiful seating area around an irori hearth.

The traditional vibe extends to the dining options, with a sushi bar called “Tsuki no Komichi” on the second floor that serves reasonably priced lunch and dinner meals. While the bar serves breakfast with some plans on weekends, there are plenty of convenience stores and restaurants nearby so you can always eat out if you choose one of the no-meal stays.

Having eaten nearby, Masanuki checked in after 7:00 p.m. so he was ready to settle in for the night. He’d booked an “F” style room, which was the cheapest option — the hotel has rooms at different price points ranked from A-F — so he wasn’t expecting too much as he made his way down the gorgeous hallway to his room.

▼ Turning the key in the door to his room, Masanuki opened it to find…

▼ …Woooooow!

This was way more than he was expecting for 8,500 yen. Usually that price would get him a Western-style carpeted room with white walls and standard furniture, but here he had a bed on slats that looked like a super-thick futon, floors and furniture that looked like they were made from wood, and a traditional-looking wall that resembled clay.

▼ Traditional design but equipped with mod cons as well.

Despite being described by the hotel as its “smallest relaxing space” in terms of room types, the F-type room didn’t feel small to Masanuki at all. Having stayed in a wide variety of business hotels in Tokyo, he would rank the spaciousness and cleanliness of this room as top class.

The regular amenities are provided, with a free bottle of mineral water and a microwave adding an extra touch of hospitality.

The spacious desk was a big plus for Masanuki, who always appreciates a good place for his laptop to work on articles while he’s away. The Wi-Fi connection was free and the desk was even equipped with a smartphone charger so you don’t have to worry about using your own and accidentally leaving it behind.

If there was one thing Masanuki didn’t love about the room, it was the way the sink, toilet, and shower booth were installed in the same space, and the toilet lid automatically opened every time the door was opened. In many Japanese homes, the toilet and bathroom are separate — and in inns you can find this setup sometimes as well — so Masanuki is used to brushing his teeth well away from the toilet. While brushing his teeth so close to the toilet was one thing, having the lid open while he did it — it’s customary in Japan for toilet lids to be closed to keep good luck from draining out of the house — was another new experience he just couldn’t get used to.

Despite Masanuki’s highfalutin standards, the bathroom looks much nicer and modern than the cramped stock-standard ones you’d find in a business hotel.

One thing Masanuki was particularly looking forward to was the chance to take a soak in the private open-air bath, which costs 1,000 yen for 45 minutes. He was so excited for it he made a reservation on the day prior to check-in, securing a slot at 10 p.m., which gave him enough time to settle in after check-in before his soak.

At 9:55pm, five minutes before his allotted time, he picked up the key and a towel for the open-air bath at the front desk, and headed up to the rooftop using the outside stairs from the 9th floor.

▼ Opening the door revealed a relaxing interior with warm hues throughout.

▼ Venturing a little further, Masanuki found a wooden walkway that led to a secret hideaway.

It was like a private oasis in the middle of the city, with greenery surrounding the outdoor bathtub, creating a sense of nature and relaxation.

Stepping into the bath was like stepping into a natural pool, and Masanuki felt all his cares float away as he sat back and enjoyed the hot waters. He couldn’t suppress his critical mind, however, noting that because the bath is outside and relatively unsheltered, it might not be so relaxing when it rains. Another thing to note is the fact that the shower in the guest room is a lot cleaner and easier to use than the one here, so you might want to use the shower in your room — it’s customary to shower prior to bathing in Japan — before heading up to the rooftop bathtub.

▼ Showering in your room beforehand gives you more time to soak in the bathtub as well.

Masanuki absolutely loved the open-air bath, which is open from 4:00 p.m. until midnight, and highly recommends making a reservation for it the day beforehand to ensure you don’t miss out on the experience.

▼ Bath before bed is one of those everyday pleasures that seems even better when you’re vacationing at a luxury villa.

Masanuki had a fantastic sleep and his one regret upon waking up the next morning was he didn’t have breakfast included with his stay. The breakfast, which is limited to weekend stays and served at the sushi bar on the second floor, has a great reputation, so if you’re staying on a weekend, you might just end up having an even greater time here than Masanuki did.

That’s saying a lot, because Masanuki left feeling fully refreshed and satisfied with his visit, and given that it’s just 30-minutes away from Haneda, it’s now on his list of top places to stay, along with the bare-bones 1 Night 1980 Hostel, whenever he’s jetting out of the city.

Hotel information
Hotel Bar Grantios Bettei / ホテルバーグランティオスベッテイ
Address: Tokyo-to, Ota-ku, Omori Kita 1-1-7

Photos ©SoraNews24
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