Step into the Vibrant World of Hotel Colorful P&A
Coming out of the East exit at the labyrinth that is Shinjuku station, you’ll find yourself in the gaudy, lively chaos of Kabukicho. This neighborhood has kind of a mixed reputation—at once cool, tasteless, impressive, and weird. Just like its 200-foot Godzilla statue that towers behind Toho Cinemas. About a 5-10 minute walk from Godzilla is the Hotel Colorful P&A Shinjuku. With its multi-colored pastel windows and giant entry sign in the style of old American comic book art, this place fits in perfectly with its surroundings.
This love hotel kind of looks like if a student of Andy Warhol and a well-reputed business hotel designer teamed up and did the very best they could on a limited budget. The lobby is bathed in slowly changing colored lights that bounce off of the white linoleum floors and white and red plush pod chairs. I really liked this lobby. Not just because of its weird futuristic décor but because at the back was a big vending machine of free soft drinks and shelves of free fancy toiletry samples.
Immediately to your left when you enter the lobby is a “reception desk” with the word “FRONT” in English, but the window is curtained off and the desk seems unused (at least when we visited). As is common in most love hotels, guests instead check themselves in via an automatic machine in the lobby. Colorful P&A’s machine is a giant touchscreen panel and monitor set up inside of what looks like a massive gyroscope. From the panel, guests can peruse the differently colored and different themed rooms, select the one of their choice and their intended length of stay, and a receipt will print next to the panel. You actually don’t pay here in the lobby but at a vending machine at the entry of your room, which will shout at you politely but firmly if you attempt to enter your room without paying (though you can actually enter the room, you just won’t be able to silence the harassing voice condemning you for your thievery). Even though the staff at Colorful P&A doesn’t really speak English, it actually gets a good trade of non-Japanese-speaking foreign guests since basically everything can be done on machines with English instructions.
Each floor of the Hotel Colorful P&A is in a different color. From floor 1 to 8 it goes pink, blue, yellow, red, green, purple, and ?? (the VIP floor) (spoiler: it’s black. But a cool black). There are three VIP rooms on that floor in the themes of “Aqua Fantasy,” “Designer Home,” and “Oriental World.”
We visited the “Oriental World” room, which, from what I could gather, is set up to look like a foreigner’s conception of Japan. This seemed like a strange design approach, to intentionally reduce your own culture to its commercialized stereotypes. But actually it was very tastefully done. In one corner of the room is a raised platform with tatami flooring where you might sip some green tea. And outside the windows just in front of that is a narrow balcony strip decorated with brightly colored parasols balanced over a ground of white pebbles. But the best part of these VIP rooms is easily the open-air Jacuzzi bath. Branching off from the main bedroom is a small black- and glass-tiled hallway that leads to the wooden patio. To your right you pass a vanity sink with lots of little amenities like face wash, moisturizer, contact lens cases, a hairbrush, etc. And to your left you pass a spacious interior bathroom—black marble tiles, glass walls, and a standard-sized marble bathtub. The outdoor patio at the end of this hallway is pretty big—maybe about the same size as the bedroom area. Slated wooden walls surround the area to provide some privacy. And on a raised platform of the wooden flooring is the big Jacuzzi bath.
All of the rooms at Hotel Colorful P&A come with a massive TV where you can order various services. Some of these are pretty standard hotel amenities set up in a computer control panel, like movies to order, room service, and a radio. Some go beyond the standard amenities, like Youtube and a Google browser window. And then there are things that go way beyond and suddenly remind you that you’re in a love hotel, like rental costumes and other rental items that I probably can’t mention here except to say that the manager touring us around got increasingly fidgety and awkward as my cursor started to move towards that tab. The TV does have an English option that translates the home page into English, but once you click into a category the next page is mostly in Japanese with only occasional reoccurrences of English. Every item you can order has a picture, though, so I would say the only real issue is that the big red ordering button just says “注文” (chumon, “order” in Japanese). Beneath the amenities TV is a cabinet with a sort of vending machine minibar of alcoholic drinks, a microwave, an electric kettle, and coffee and tea accouterments.
Splashes of luxury
The non-VIP rooms are obviously a bit smaller, less deliberately themed, and don’t have the outdoor bath. But they’re bright and colorful (according to their floor’s color code). And they all have some little splash of luxury that goes beyond a typical hotel room, like massage chairs, a beautiful claw foot tub encased in a glass-walled bathroom, or even a hot stone sauna in the middle of the room.
The luxury touches don’t exactly come cheap, though, with the VIP rooms starting at ¥15,120 for a “rest” (5-10 hours stay, depending on when you check in) and ¥24,840 for an overnight stay. The non-VIP rooms start at ¥5400 for a rest and ¥9720 for an overnight stay. But that being said, this is cheaper than business hotels that offer way less. I’m personally drawn to this place for its quirkiness and character, but the quality of the rooms, the artfulness of the décor, is also just objectively way beyond what you would find in even a “luxury” Tokyo business hotel. So if you’re willing to spend in this range, opt out of the business hotel for a night and check into Hotel Colorful P&A for a night of pampering, quirkiness, and an outdoor Jacuzzi bath next to the Tokyo skyline.
Hi there! I'm a freelance writer, part-time Physics tutor, and amateur musician living in Tokyo, Japan. I'm originally from New York, but have also lived in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Scotland. My interests are nearly equal parts reading, writing, travel, guitar, coffee, and Physics. When I'm not trekking around glorious Japan, I'm likely biking around Tokyo, reading in cafes, or at a live show of one of my greatly more musically talented friends.