Hotel W-Aramis, Shinjuku, Tokyo.
The Amazing W-Aramis
Sometimes, for whatever reason, you find yourself missing the last train in the city center and needing a shelter to recharge or catch some shuteye. Maybe your work overran, or your get together took longer than expected, or perhaps you just lost track of time. Fortunately there are options aplenty. I hadn't previously considered using a love hotel as one of them. However I recalled two female friends telling me about their comfortable stay one late night, in the early hours of morning, and how incredible the facilities were. Best of all they were located all around the city, with various different themes/facilities and most importantly, I didn't need to worry about having a reservation! With a little help from a knowing friend, I learnt about the W-Aramis Hotel.
It was located just 10 minutes from the Shinjuku JR station. No fuss and no drama, I was there before I knew it. And I certainty knew it. The building was very distinctive.
When I arrived outside the hotel the beautiful exterior impressed me. The building was stylish with decorative walls and a striking presence. I felt like I was outside a five star establishment. As I stepped inside I noticed it was entirely silent. As I suppose to be expected, the reception area was very discreet. There was no one around at all. Despite the absence of staff I was able to select and find my room just fine, I didn't require any help as everything was intuitive and straightforward. I chose a room with a sleek and comfortable looking interior. With the receipt in my hand I headed to the elevator to my floor.
As I entered my room I noticed the two room slippers placed at the entrance. A small detail, but welcoming. I also quickly noted the facilities, it was totally kit out. The night rental came packaged with a spacious bathroom, a separate sink area (filled with toiletries and hair care electronics!), high-tech toilet and a big bedroom with lounge area. I was apparently set, I had my very own luxurious apartment complete with entertainment suite and room service. I wondered if long-term rental was possible...
I sat on the lounge couch and took a minute to take in my surroundings. The room was gorgeous. There were full-length mirrors, elegant furnishings, a microwave and refrigerator filled with soft drinks. In a cabinet on the wall was a kettle with a complimentary tea set. From the decorative touches to the large, neatly made, inviting bed – the room was lovely. I didn't know where to start.
So naturally, I started with the basics, I turned on the big LCD TV and chose a feature film. I relieved that there were Western blockbusters as well as Japanese feature films. Noticing the room service menu on the screen I decided to explore and order some dinner. There was a range of available edibles. I was spoilt for choice. It featured both Japanese and Western cuisine, including everything from breakfast to dessert. Everything was described in both Japanese and English. Eventually I settled on the pork croquet set and some cheese potato bites with a vodka tonic.
They came pretty fast. The doorbell rang and I opened the door to see trays of beautifully arranged food. I tucked in and contemplated what to try out next in my private funhouse. The food was comforting and filling. I'd ordered a western choice but the display was very much Japanese. Neat and cute while also satisfying.
To the right of the TV I clocked my very own karaoke machine! While usually too shy to belt out tunes at karaoke with friends I ceased the opportunity. I decided to belt out a tune before my bath. There were two mikes, of course I only needed the one. I grabbed it and settled back on the couch to croon away.
Once satisfied, it was time to test out the bath.
Just as I thought the night couldn't be more complete, I discovered the magical functions in the bathroom. The bathroom included a western size bathtub (a rarity in Japan) with Jacuzzi, Jacuzzi lighting system, waterproof TV as well as a traditional Japanese seating area! Everything you could need was included. Shower supplies as well as traditional Japanese bath salts with various beneficial minerals. I filled up the bathtub, put on the TV, switched on the light function and enjoyed a Jacuzzi light show. It was hard to leave the tub. However the next day would be an early start for me, so I pulled myself away. I felt like a new person after just 10 minutes.
Bathed and sedated into a wonderful calm I slipped on the hotel provided PJs and headed to the king size bed. Using the multi functional bedroom clock I set myself an alarm and changed the room lighting to minimal. There were a range of lighting selections, I recommend rainbow if you fancy a colorful light show to follow your Jacuzzi rave.
Honestly, the bed was so comfortable I was out within minutes. Before I knew it I was up, musing at my western toilet with Japanese technology (adored by celebrities such as Madonna) and ordering up some eggs Benedict from the room menu. The check-out was quick and easy, as I was able to pay using an automated payment machine installed in my room.
My stay had been totally refreshing and surprisingly fun to boot. If you find yourself suddenly in need of a place to stay (or just fancy treating yourself to a bit of pamper!) definitely check out the W-Aramis Hotel in Shinjuku. It’s central and luxurious.
I moved to Japan for some fresh inspiration and to explore the culture and cities. As a freelance visual artist from London, I specialise in film-making and photography and wandering through the country for new ideas. I have worked in several cities in Japan over the past few years but I'm still finding new influences from all over the place. I like art, adventure and angry karaoke sessions.