Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay (November 2012)

Our family tries to go back to Japan once every three years or so.  Our last trip was in November of 2012 and prior to going, the girls had their heart set on going to both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea.  And, to be honest, I secretly wanted to go as well.  Since we wanted to be close to both theme parks and also be close to downtown Tokyo, we decided to make the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay in Urayasu our homebase hotel during our second week in Japan.

"... there were so many other services and amenieties that the hotel provided that it really put it over the edge of awesomeness"

We splurged and booked a Club Room, a rather spacious room located on specially designated floors of the building (in the case of the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay, it was the 11th and 12th floor (the top two floors of the hotel) that had a marvelous view of Tokyo Bay.  Hotel rooms in Japan are typically small and for a family of four, it can get cramped really quickly but our room was huge compared to rooms found in other hotels.  It accommodated four beds (two doubles and two singles) which was great since each of us got a bed to call our own. There were free bottles of water, which were replinished daily; a very nice touch since it saved us time from going to the convenience store to buy drinks. Other nice touches include having the toilet separate from the shower/bath room and nice, fluffy bathrobes, which the girls loved.

 Cloudy with a chance of Disney.  View of Tokyo Bay

Looking down into the courtyland

But the best aspect of staying in a Club Room was access to the Club Lounge.  Located on the same floor as ours and limited to guests on the Club Floors was a fairly large lounge room, with plenty of comfortable chairs to relax in, free wireless access and best of all, free snacks and drinks.  On one of the days that we were there, they had thinly sliced smoked ham, various cheeses and crackers, along with a huge bowl of Hershey Kisses.  There was also a drink bar with unlimited access to various soft drinks, including beer and wine.  My daughters had the melon soda and I had a cup of iced Calpico.  Delicious.

There are two buffet restaurants in the Sheraton:  the Grand Cafe is opened all guests so when we went there for lunch on our first day at the hotel, it was very crowded.  But wow, there was a wide variety of foods to choice from, such as rice dishes, pasta, and various meats, along with a wide range of desserts and a build your own sundae station.  It was all very tasty.  

The other buffet restaurant is the Summit, which is located on the top floor (12th floor) of the hotel.  This restaurant, like the Club Lounge, is limited to Club Floor guests so it was never crowded and we were always seated right away with a choice of looking over Tokyo Bay or the Disney theme parks.  We went during breakfast early in the morning and was surprised to see such a vast variety of food.  Yogurts, traditional western style breakfast items (like eggs, bacon, ham, cereal) as well as tasty Japanese items (miso soup, fried fish, pickles) and various vegetables.  We were there for four days and each day, the menu changed slightly but overall, it was always good and always fulfilling.

 Breakfast of champions.  So.Much.Good.Food. Corn Soup in the middle.  Yogurt drink upper right

I love pineapple.  Yogurt drink upper left; berry smoothie upper right

Both the room and the terrific buffet choices alone would have made our stay at the Sheraton a memorable experience but there were so many other services and amenieties that the hotel provided that it really put it over the edge of awesomeness.  Top on the list was location.  Since it located next to both Disney theme parks, it was easy getting from the hotel to the park.  You could walk to the monorail station but you could also wait for the shuttle to drive you there.  When the shuttle wasn't around, we just hiked it to the monorail station (less than five minutes).  When we were heading back to the hotel, there was usually a shuttle waiting for us so we just hopped on and we were back at the hotel in no time.

Along with the location, you can't beat all of the other ameneties the hotel has to offer:
  • Official Disney Store in the hotel - there is a fairly large Disney Store in the hotel, where you can go and buy gifts related to Disney.  From keychains to dolls to cookie tins with Disney characters on it, there is a wide variety to choose from.  You could spend half of your day just looking through everything they have to offer
  • Dedicated Tokyo Disney Resort Ticket Counter - you can buy your Disney theme park tickets ahead of time instead of buying them at the gate.  The person who was working at the counter was a young, bubbly Japanese girl who greeted us with so much enthusiasm, it was kind of scary.  I wondered if she worked for Disney instead of the hotel.  We bought the special 2 day passport, where you can visit one of the parks one day and then other park the following day.  It wasn't a park hopper type of passport, which was fine with us since we wanted spend as much time as possible at each park each day.
  • Dedicated packing service - if you need to have things shipped overseas, you can get packing supplies from the packing service counter and once packed, have them shipped from the same counter.  Really convenient.
  • Game Room and Convenience Store - there is an arcade that you can go to and play video game and UFO Catcher style games to win prizes.  Next to it is a convenience store to pick up snacks and drinks.  Not as complete as a Lawsons but works when you're in a pinch for snacks and stuff
  • Coffee Shop - if you need a coffee fix, the coffee shop in the lobby has you covered.  There is also a fine selection of sandwiches and snacks to choose

We had a great time at the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay.  Highly recommended!

Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel
1-9 Maihama
Urayasu, Chiba 279-0031
(81)-(47) 355-5555

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