Farewell Miles – A Mileage Burning Party with All Nippon Airlines, Thai Airways and Asiana Airlines in Business Class (with a BMI Leg)
Featuring the ANA International 787-8.
- Oh BMI *shakes head* (The Introduction)
- The Off, Birmingham Airport, Birmingham Airport to Frankfurt with BMI for Lufthansa
- Hotel Savigny, Around Frankfurt
- Frankfurt Airport and Meeting the 787
- Frankfurt-Tokyo Haneda with ANA’s International 787
- The Strings by Intercontinental, Tokyo – THIS SECTION
- One Time Exception: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
- Tokyo Haneda International – Hong Kong International with ANA’s 777-300
- Crown Plaza Causeway Bay (Happy Valley)
- One Time Exception: An Emergency Camera Clean…
- Hong Kong to Seoul with Thai Airways International
- Ramada Seoul Dongdamun
- One Time Exception: Jongmyo Shrine
- Seoul Incheon to London Heathrow with Asiana Airlines
- Wrapping up
Well I covered the 787 in the previous post. Time to get down to accommodation matters – and a hotel brand you wouldn’t normally associate with me….
After exiting the airplane, it was time to play follow the signs to the immigration point – not far away, but still plenty of queues.
I lined up at the non Japanese line and presented my passport, where it was checked, and as opposed to stamping it like most countries… a sticker spat out of a printer and stuck to my passport. Now that’s a bit different!
I was accepted into the country and then queued up for the luggage… which sadly took a while. Well not too sad for me, as I wasn’t in that much of a rush to get to the hotel. It was just after 6:30 in the morning after all.
The bag finally came out and I walked through Japanese customs and finally through the glass doors into Japan. I then took the opportunity to use Haneda airport’s WiFi for a bit in what was a very quiet international terminal.
The bottom line was this: I had cleared formalities by 7am, and could not move for 2 hours as I wanted to 1) avoid the Tokyo rush hour and 2) not get to the hotel before 10am to stand a chance of a room. So I spent the time catching up with mail, my friends and also double checking where I needed to go, and comparing that to the Tokyo maps I had on my phone.
After thoroughly confusing myself with were I needed to go, I had two options – take the direct train to Shinagawa with Keikyū Airport line or… do a Simpson’s and do the Monorail to Hamamatsuchō , then onto Shinagawa with the Yamanote line.
After buying my Suica card, I was humming The Simpsons Monorail song and headed to the Monorail station.
The Tokyo Monorail is allegedly one of the few in the world that makes money – and with the passenger load, I can believe that without question. It was clean and ran efficiently (if I caught a stopper service to Hamamatsuchō from the Haneda International Terminal), with i crossing through the bay area before arriving at Monorail Hamamatsuchō. It was also here I got my first glimpse of the madness that is Tokyo – the queue to board the monorail heading back to Haneda. A beep of the Sucia, and I was out in the “public” area of the station before hunting the entrance to the JR section of the station.
Another beep and I was within the JR section of the station. Again I took my time, watching a couple of trains pass (least of all I was lost as hell even though I was in the right place), but picking a train that didn’t have too many people on it was the prime objective.
And yes, Hamamatsuchō has another purpose – being the home to the Tokyo Pokemon Centre (something one of my friends took advantage of sadly…).
After surviving my first contact with the JR Yamanote line (as well as discovering how sensitive those smartcard readers are and how much change they take out of your pocket – ouch is the word I’m looking for), I made it to Shinagawa, and exited the station, headed in what seeemed to be the right direction and followed the crowd to the skyways, and to a sign that looked good – Strings by Intercontinental.
After noticing where the 7/11 was and the way into the hotel, I went to the elevator and pressed a button for up – as check in was on the 26th floor of the building.
Hotel: The Strings – Intercontinental Hotel, Shinagawa, Tokyo
Price Paid: 120,000 Priority Club Points+$240 (Cash and Points Rate)
I was welcomed and my bag taken. As I checked in a warm towel was offered and accepted. My reservation was confirmed (after a bit of faffing around thanks to Priority Club giving me… two PC numbers. I’ve moaned about that already in another entry in this blog).
As I was early (it was 10am) I was asked to wait for a room to become available. I parked up and did a load of prep work for the next Chicago trip (thankfully there’s Free WiFi through the hotel – a wonderful perk).
1 hour passed and the receptionist found me sat down, where I was issued my keys for the room on the 28th floor. After pushing the key in the slot to gain access to the rooms, the rucksack was toted upstairs by a porter, and he lead me to the room. The rucksack was placed down, and I was given a brief tour of the room. With a kind bow, he left, and I was left to my own devices, 28 floors up in a place far from home.
The room again was lovely decorated and whilst there wasn’t acres of space, it was well used with a decent work area, a decent bed. But what made the room is the view.
Anyhoo, lets look around the room
The bed.. was a delight. So much of delight I didn’t leave my room when I arrived for some time to come (that and the jetlag finally it me with a shovel).
There was a big Flat TV Screen and a reasonable work area with appropriate sockets (along with a wonderful water heater. Think a Rice Cooker style, but for water. That’s another clever idea…)
Wandering into the bathroom there is a well appointed bathroom, bath and shower (again – loving the warm water), but again – another Toilet with WAY too many buttons on it. Amenities were all by Emilies – lovely smellies and nice.
Of course, being an Ambassador, there was a Welcome Amenity too.
Being where the hotel was, it made a great base for me (and in fact for anyone heading in from Haneda). For Narita, it’s a bit more of a hike due to it being at the southern end of the Yamanote line.
The staff were excellent, with a turndown service each day and friendly. Even explaining the sleepsuit that was left on my bed. It’s the little things that matter in hotels – and this hotel has them in depth.
Lets face it, on normal Kevincm budgets, this would had been well out of reach. As a points and cash redemption, it was worth every single point (even at the new rates).
If you want a plus hotel which has great service and a great view, and is well connected to the JR Network for Tokyo and beyond – look no further than here… although whatever you want to load on your Sucia/Pasmo card… double it. It’ll make life a lot easier….
Next up, it’s a One Time Exception. You lot do not get away that easy I’m afraid 😉 I’ll be back to the flying thing soon enough…