Sky-high views and sultyy vibes: A assessment of the Conrad Osaka

Japan’s fusion of recent and the standard is nowhere higher expressed than Osaka. Recognized for its thriving meals scene, underground procuring malls, offbeat fashions and progressive, free-spirited atmosphere, this gateway metropolis to the Kansai area has turn out to be a necessary cease on any Japan itinerary.

No surprise the foremost worldwide lodge chains have expanded their footprint within the metropolis in recent times. For the reason that St. Regis debuted in 2010 (the town’s first luxurious lodge in 13 years), there’s been a slew of latest properties throughout the price range spectrum, together with Marriott’s Moxy Honmachi, which opened in 2020, swiftly adopted by Aloft and W outposts from Marriott.

IHG’s Voco Osaka opened in July 2023, and 2024 will see quite a lot of extremely anticipated openings, together with a swanky 175-key 4 Seasons; a hipster-oriented Caption by Hyatt Namba outpost; and a new-build Doubletree from Hilton.

Hilton’s Conrad model slinked onto the scene in 2017 with its signature stylish however cool model underpinned by heat hospitality and elevated design requirements. However with traditional luxurious stalwarts like The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis providing loads of glamor, glitz, jaw-dropping views and famend service, how would this Conrad outpost stack up?

This is every part it is advisable to know earlier than reserving a keep on the Conrad Osaka.

Getting there

CAROLINE LASCOM/THE POINTS GUY

Conrad Osaka occupies the thirty third to fortieth flooring of one in every of Osaka’s flashiest tower blocks, Competition Tower West, within the vibrant Nakanoshima space. It is a futuristic 2-mile city island that appears straight out of “Bladerunner,” particularly at night time with its neon-lit skyscrapers and looping elevated expressways.

Most vacationers to Osaka arrive at Shin-Osaka prepare station, both by way of the Shinkansen bullet prepare from Tokyo (round 2 hours and half-hour) or Kyoto (15-20 minutes). They could additionally arrive by way of the Haruka categorical prepare (50 minutes) from the Renzo Piano-designed Kansai Worldwide Airport (KIX), set on a man-made island in Osaka Bay.

The Conrad is a 10-minute taxi journey from the prepare station (2,200 Japanese yen, or $13). Metered taxis are plentiful outdoors the station’s essential exit, however it’s helpful to have the identify of the lodge in your telephone in Japanese. (We additionally discovered Siri on our iPhones adept at translating for our tax drivers throughout our Japan journey.) Taxis from the airport take about 40 minutes and value about 20,000 yen ($140), although you may as well take a prepare from the airport to Osaka Station for 1,000 yen ($7) and name a taxi from there.

Associated: The easiest way to get to Japan utilizing factors and miles

Every day E-newsletter

Reward your inbox with the TPG Every day e-newsletter

Be part of over 700,000 readers for breaking information, in-depth guides and unique offers from TPG’s specialists

Reserving

TPG paid $427 per night time for my customary (a Twin Deluxe or King Deluxe) room. Nightly charges at Conrad Osaka fluctuate from $365 to round $829 on peak dates throughout spring cherry blossom season, fall leaf season towards the tip of November and main Japanese holidays.

Customary Hilton Honors redemptions begin at 95,000 factors per night time. Since I’ve Diamond standing with Hilton (primarily based on the 120,000 base factors I gathered in 2023 by bonus level promotions and spending), I used to be upgraded to a Twin Premium View room. This might have value an extra $80 per night time for my journey dates in late November.

Along with the upgraded room, Diamond standing perks right here additionally embody complimentary breakfast (buffet and a la carte) in addition to early check-in and late checkout (when accessible). It provides entry to the Govt Lounge, which provides a spread of hors d’oeuvres and drinks, together with top-shelf liquors and wines, served from 11 a.m. till 11 p.m.

When reserving the Conrad Osaka, you may wish to use one of many bank cards that earn probably the most factors for Hilton stays in addition to one which probably provides computerized Hilton Honors elite standing for value-added advantages. These embody:

  • Hilton Honors American Specific Surpass® Card: Earn 12 factors per greenback on eligible purchases at Hilton resorts; computerized Gold elite standing and the power to improve to Diamond standing by spending $40,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar 12 months.
  • Hilton Honors American Specific Enterprise Card: Earn 12 factors per greenback on eligible purchases at Hilton resorts; computerized Gold elite standing and the power to improve to Diamond standing by spending $40,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar 12 months.
  • Hilton Honors American Specific Card: Earn 7 factors per greenback on eligible purchases at Hilton resorts; computerized Hilton Honors Silver standing (with an improve to Gold while you spend $20,000 in a calendar 12 months).
  • Hilton Honors American Specific Aspire Card: Earn 14 factors per greenback on eligible purchases at Hilton resorts; computerized Diamond elite standing.

The knowledge for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or supplied by the cardboard issuer.

The vibe

From the second you step into the foyer on the fortieth flooring, you may get an inkling of the dramatic design that awaits. A 3-story, curving wall of home windows frames metropolis views, and fashionable art work graces the partitions. Alcoves and streamlined furnishings in glistening silver and walnut tones lend the house a recent aptitude.

All eyes are drawn to the foyer’s centerpiece sculpture: a sequence of white, stacked microbead spheres by famend Kyoto-based artist Kohei Nawa. The Conrad is residence to greater than 300 artistic endeavors. With a spiraling white staircase that descends from the foyer to the occasion house (a slight trace of Guggenheim), the property feels extra like a contemporary artwork museum than a lodge — albeit one that does not take itself too critically.

The lodge’s public areas are designed to make you are feeling like you might be floating above the town with ambient lighting, hovering ceilings, partitions and flooring that shimmer with eye-catching textiles, materials, beads and gem stones. There is a noticeable sense of openness, due to the dearth of pillars.

Behind the check-in desks, the foyer’s slick 40 Sky Bar and Lounge will enchantment to followers of the New York Bar at Tokyo’s iconic Park Hyatt lodge with its dwell jazz, stellar views, craft cocktails and cinematic atmosphere.

Standout options

  • Excessive-end amenities — like distinctive eating, a vacation spot bar and a tranquil pool — lend the lodge resort-style enchantment.
  • Trendy, spacious rooms mirror the quirky, offbeat character. They provide luxe components corresponding to deep-soaking tubs in each room, nods to conventional Japanese design within the origami-inspired artworks and knockout skyline views.
  • The unfailingly heat, unpretentious workers remembered names and private preferences, and so they tried to attach with friends at each alternative.
  • The omakase sushi menu at Kura was immaculately ready with a contemporary contact.
  • The lodge’s uptown location is good for walkers, and it locations many of the metropolis’s essential sights inside a 10-minute taxi journey radius.

Associated: The 11 finest resorts in Tokyo to your subsequent Japan getaway

Caveats

  • The decor within the rooms and hallways is darkish and moody; the black and vermilion shade blocks won’t enchantment to vacationers on the lookout for an air of understated magnificence.
  • The lodge’s charges fluctuate from everyday, and it may be comparatively costly in comparison with its luxurious rivals close by.
  • There aren’t any outside areas and few pure decor components, like flowers or foliage, which might begin to really feel oppressive for longer stays.
  • The lodge’s open-plan rooms and grown-up facilities imply there are higher lodging choices for households.

The room

CAROLINE LASCOM/THE POINTS GUY

You will discover extra artistic endeavors alongside the darkish, low-lit corridors that result in Conrad’s 165 rooms and suites. Flooring-to-ceiling home windows be sure that metropolis views are the room’s essential attraction, and deep-soaking round tubs (customary in each room) will present sybarites with another excuse to remain in and luxuriate.

There are 11 room varieties to select from, starting from 568-square-foot customary rooms to the two,368-square-foot Conrad Penthouse (from $4,305 per night time). Throughout all classes, every room’s fashionable design riffs on conventional Edo interval artwork kinds with shiny black lacquer cupboards, daring purple accents, and a smattering of Japanese emblems and motifs.

Round components predominated in my room, a nod maybe to Japanese Enso (Zen) circles. Beside the mattress, white, round recessed lights gave the room an city edge, and a spherical wood desk (with plentiful, well-positioned shops and USB ports) created a extremely purposeful workspace. There was additionally a curved grey upholstered chaise, primed to soak up metropolis and mountain views over morning espresso.

Comfy beds, accented with brown leather-based headboards and frames, had been dressed with high-thread-count white sheets, down pillows (buckwheat choices can be found) and snuggly duvets.

Along with the bath, with a black tile encompass, the spacious rest room additionally featured a gray-tiled walk-in bathtub/bathe mixture (as is kind of typical in Japan). It had elegant double vanities and refillable bottles of Byredo Mojave Ghost bathtub merchandise (no taking these residence with you).

A very helpful characteristic, the 2 wood display doorways supplied flexibility to shut off the house as wanted but additionally allowed for extra space and light-weight throughout the day — in addition to views of Osaka’s trademark skyline from the bathtub.

Simply off the principle entryway, there was a big water closet with a separate vainness and conventional Japanese rest room (with a heated, computerized lifting seat and an array of controls and flush choices).

A black lacquer cupboard housed a Nespresso espresso maker and numerous native teas, and the minibar was nicely stocked with a choice of mushy drinks, wine, beer and spirits. There was a big secure that might accommodate laptops. Inside the big closet within the entryway, there was an iron and a steamer together with two plush robes and slippers for friends to make use of when sauntering all the way down to the pool and spa on the thirty seventh flooring.

The 2 lacquered bedside tables had been geared up with a Bose Bluetooth speaker in addition to a pill, which managed temperature and blackout shades, and supplied lighting choices for each temper. In the event you did not wish to fiddle with it late at night time, you possibly can additionally management the room’s options by way of the nicely labeled and intuitive lighting and shades console by the mattress. General, the room’s performance was glorious.

There was turndown service every night time of my keep, with complimentary bottles of water replenished and good treats like native cookies and recent fruit.

Meals and Drink

Breakfast (served from 6:30-10:30 a.m.) is included for Hilton Diamond members at Atmos, the lodge’s informal all-day eating restaurant. (In any other case, count on to pay 5,000 yen, or $35, for the mixed buffet and a la carte expertise.)

The buffet choices are manifold, spanning every part from noodle, curry and meat dishes to smoked fish, baked items, recent fruits, matcha granola and smoothies. The a la carte menu choices embody traditional Western-style egg dishes, in addition to signature fusion fare just like the Okonomiyaki Benedict (a twist on the standard Japanese teppan-cooked pancake).

C:Grill serves such delicacies as caviar-topped oysters and lobster, in addition to seafood-centric prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner; meals is served round a full of life L-shaped counter with distant views of Osaka Fort.

CAROLINE LASCOM/THE POINTS GUY

The lodge’s not-to-be-missed culinary spotlight, although, is Kura the place omakase sushi is artfully ready behind a minimalist cypress counter. Kura additionally provides interactive teppanyaki grills (prix-fixe dinner menus value 24,000 yen, or $169) serving seasonal Japanese meats and greens. Each C:Grill and Kura had been filled with locals at lunch and dinner throughout my keep, which speaks volumes given Osaka’s foodie-focused tradition.

After we had been launched to our sushi chef, the extremely choreographed omakase expertise (9,000 yen, or $63, for lunch) started with an amuse bouche, adopted by sashimi of the day, 12 items of nigiri sushi, a sushi roll, purple miso soup and matcha ice cream dessert. We loved excellent sushi throughout our Japan journey, and this expertise was among the many most memorable.

A pre- or post-dinner cocktail within the suave 40 Sky Bar and Lounge is a should, with plush fashionable furnishings, beautiful metropolis views, a scene-setting crystal bead sculpture, dwell music and cosmopolitan vibes. I beloved my Takoyaki within the Sky (3,500 yen, or $25) signature cocktail made with gin, dry vermouth, blue curacao, lemon juice, egg white and takoyaki. A canopy cost applies for non-hotel friends (1,600 yen, or $11, per individual).

Facilities and repair

The swimming pool on the Conrad is every part a metropolis lodge pool ought to be: It is stunning and spa-like, however it’s massive sufficient to swim laps (whereas taking within the city panoramas). It is the proper temperature, and the luxe supplies and ambient lighting are a far cry out of your customary lodge pool. There are many plush loungers for studying or napping whereas sipping on fruit-infused water, and workers are always checking in case towels want replenishing.

Health fans won’t be disenchanted with the gymnasium’s spectacular vary of weight machines, free weights and cardio gear. Despite the fact that the lodge was busy throughout my keep, the gymnasium was by no means over-subscribed.

I did not have time for a spa remedy, however the spa was an uplifting haven — all blonde wooden and stark, white, pebble-inspired finishes. It was a welcome distinction to the lodge’s overriding darkish and glittery atmosphere.

CAROLINE LASCOM/THE POINTS GUY

Signature remedies embody a 110-minute Gemstone Therapeutic massage (34,500 yen, or $242) which includes historical methods and gemstone-infused oils; an 80-minute Japanese Natural Ball therapeutic massage which makes use of Japanese herbs to advertise detoxing (27,400 yen, or $192); and a 110-minute Radiance facial (35,400 yen, or $248) that features a triple exfoliation remedy in addition to the added bonus of a foot therapeutic massage with shea butter and crystal gem stones.

CAROLINE LASCOM/THE POINTS GUY

For Hilton’s Diamond members, in addition to friends who go for an executive-level room or suite, the fashionable art-filled Govt Lounge is a helpful perk accessible from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

A choice of espresso and afternoon tea (from 3-5 p.m.), in addition to wine, beer and cocktails (from 6-8 p.m.) and a rotating choice of hors d’oeuvres are served all through the day. It is particularly handy if you’re on the lookout for a cushty place to work or chill out earlier than check-in or after checkout (friends can even use the lounge for half-hour after they try).

Out and about

CAROLINE LASCOM/THE POINTS GUY

With glorious public transport and plentiful taxis, it is simple to profit from even a brief go to to Osaka. Located on the epicenter of the enterprise district, between the Tosabori and Dojima Rivers, the Conrad’s central location is good for exploring the town’s most touristed neighborhoods.

The Conrad’s gleaming Competition West Tower can also be residence to the Kosetsu Museum of Artwork — a repository for Japanese and East Asian antiques and artworks — and Osaka’s famed “Palace of Music” live performance corridor. The lodge additionally sits instantly on high of the Watanabebashi subway station, and it is only a 10-minute stroll from Umeda, the town’s industrial coronary heart and transportation hub.

A lot of the metropolis’s essential websites are round a 10-minute taxi journey away, together with Osaka Fort, the flashy neon-lit Namba (Osaka’s leisure and eating district), in addition to the famed avenue meals of the Dotonbori district; the district is finest recognized for the well-known Glico “Working Man” signal, one in every of Osaka’s iconic landmarks.

Options

Marriott vacationers have loads of choices in Osaka. These on the lookout for a extra traditional property with a softer shade palette, refined furnishings and impeccable service might think about the St. Regis Osaka (charges from $359 or 52,000 Marriott Bonvoy factors). It boasts an excellent location on Midosuji Avenue, an upscale procuring district, and it is handy for grazing at Dotonbori’s avenue meals stalls.

Behind its smooth, monolithic black facade, the 337-room W Osaka (charges from $345 or 46,000 Marriott Bonvoy factors) runs wild with a boisterous shade palette (together with loads of signature W purple). It has eclectic options and components like a neon-tunnel entryway, disco-style elevators and DJs taking part in within the Dwelling Room foyer house. Excellent facilities embody the Moist pool, which opens onto a patio with a leafy courtyard bar and extremely praised eating places that span teppanyaki, sushi and traditional French cuisines.

For a extra budget-friendly keep, Marriott’s Moxy Osaka ($154 or 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy factors) is near Honmachi Station and has all of the attributes that made Moxy TPG’s finest price range model for 2023. Its compact, neatly designed rooms begin at 204 sq. ft and have a light-weight, vibrant, streamlined aesthetic. There’s additionally a stylish wood-paneled bar space, a handy grab-and-go snack bar and a small health heart.

For IHG members, good redemption charges ($427 or 73,000 IHG rewards) abound on the in any other case expensive Intercontinental Osaka. It has light-filled rooms (that begin at 421 sq. ft) and classy areas that basically come to life within the night. There’s additionally a wonderful lap pool, a lavish spa with an onsen and one of many metropolis’s finest fine-dining eating places, the Michelin-starred Pierre.

Accessibility

CAROLINE LASCOM/THE POINTS GUY

As you’d count on of a Hilton property, the Conrad Osaka complies with native accessibility pointers. There are wheelchair-accessible routes to achieve all the principle areas of the lodge from the foyer, together with the swimming pool, eating places, health heart and spa. Hallways and elevators are geared up with visible alarms, audible alerts and braille.

All rooms are geared up with 32-inch-wide bed room doorways, and accessible rooms characteristic seize rails in the bathroom and a roll-in bathe.

As with all lodge, it is all the time advisable for friends with accessibility wants to achieve out to the lodge earlier than their keep to verify the provision of particular options.

Trying out

CAROLINE LASCOM/THE POINTS GUY

From the second you step out of the elevator, the Conrad Osaka exudes fashionable luxurious and concrete aptitude. The lodge’s art-filled areas, memorable Japanese delicacies, life-style facilities and real, impeccable service from the entrance desk workers make it simple to chill out and be entertained in model no matter your temper.

There are robust, arguably extra (classically) luxurious contenders within the $350-per-night worth bracket, however for Hilton loyalists trying to bookend busy days touring Osaka with upscale lodging, an outstanding breakfast, stress-free dips within the pool, a stellar cocktail bar and glorious on-site eating — the Conrad is price its price ticket (or factors redemptions as charges climb).

Associated studying:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *