Selecting a hotel away from Osaka’s downtown core made our recent stay at Hotel New Otani Osaka convenient for exploring the city’s top attraction: Osaka Castle.
Visible from the moment you emerge from the JR Osakajo-koen station, the New Otani Osaka has 525 guest rooms catering to visitors on business and holiday in Japan’s third largest city.
We requested a river view room and got treated to this stunning view of the castle at night!
The room decor is best described as “80’s classic hotel” with gold-accented fixtures and tasteful art on its cream-coloured walls. Our twin room had enough space for a work desk, two chairs and a small table plus our luggage without feeling too cramped.
As mentioned in my Shiba Park Hotel 151 feature, twin beds in Japan are a bit wider than their North American counterparts. Once you get used to Japanese beds you’ll sleep like a baby – especially after full days touring the sights.
Bathrooms have a good sized tub/shower with great water pressure as well as a full amenity basket. A large safe is located near the closet and coffee/tea/fridge area.
Airco is quiet and to save energy, you place a special key on a pad near the door that when removed turns off both lights and airco.
This is an older hotel thus the soundproofing isn’t up to par compared with what we’ve experienced in other hotels in the country.
Special non-smoking floors keep those not interested in second-hand smoke in the clear. Free WiFi is speedy and reliable in the room as well as in the lobby and restaurant areas.
Whether you’re in the mood for all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu or a sushi fix, The New Otani has many dining options. Breakfast buffet is served at Satsuki, an all-day restaurant on the first floor.
Kudos to the culinary team for including the largest selection of Western and Japanese dishes we’ve yet to experience.
Pancakes with three kinds of Canadian maple syrup, pastries, made-to-order omelette station and array of Japanese spices are all part of the experience.
We counted a dozen restaurants, two bars plus room service, making it entirely possible to dine without ever leaving the hotel.
Patisserie Satsuki has a gorgeous array of sweets to eat on the spot or pack to take to your next destination.
There’s three rooftop restaurants (Four Seasons Sky Lounge, Keyaki Teppan Grill, Sakura) offering stunning city skyline views.
Right near the hotel check-in and very helpful concierge desk is Satsuki Lounge, serving both tea and cocktails in a relaxing, open space.
This large hotel is home to numerous restaurants, shops, a beauty parlour, fitness club, florist, outdoor pool, several banquet rooms and parking garage.
Hallways filled with designer boutiques and gift shops are all located on the ground floor. The fitness club, sauna, tennis courts and pools are for guest use at an additional charge.
Both train and metro lines are within a few minutes’ walking distance of The New Otani, close to the Osaka Business Park.
We arrived here by train from Kyoto’s JR station, then took the JR Osaka Loop Line to Osakajo-koen, a stop within a five-minute walking distance to the hotel.
Lots of Trip Advisor reviews mention the hotel being far away from the city center, but once you’ve experienced Dōtonbori (a foodie mecca) and Shinsaibashi-suji shopping arcade’s circus-like atmosphere on a Friday night, you’ll begin to appreciate being based in a quieter part of town.
From the hotel, it’s about a 15-minute walk to Osaka Castle Park.
We spent a half day here, fortunate to have arrived during a holiday weekend with a large citywide dance festival on, adding colourful costumes and music to the scene.
There’s an excellent onsite gift shop and a few casual street food eateries (including award-winning soft serve ice cream) near the park entrance.
During weekends and busy periods, there’s a long line for the elevator to the fifth floor (note, the elevator inside the castle doesn’t stop between floors).
Choose your season wisely. We were here in late summer with hot, humid days. Bring lots of water and comfy walking shoes.
In the heat, the mist machines gave some relief as we climbed up past the entry gate.
Our accommodation was courtesy of Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau and Hotel New Otani Osaka. Our 14-day Japan Rail (JR) passes were provided courtesy of Japan National Tourism Organization. Opinions, as always, are our own.