On a recent trip to Japan we stayed in two locations, Hiroshima and Osaka. Our first stay on the trip was at the Hotel Granvia in Hiroshima, where we spent 3 nights.
We booked the hotel directly with Cathay Pacific as part of a flights and hotel package, so it’s pretty difficult to say what we paid for the hotel (although it was probably around £100-150 per night). The booking was easy and at check in we were allocated a room on the Premium (19th) floor. We think this was an upgrade, but it’s difficult to tell exactly what we booked.
During our trip we had purchased a rail pass for West Japan and were aiming to travel to a few places by Shinkansen during our stay. For this reason we wanted to pick a hotel located very close to the railway station, not the city centre, which is around a 10 minute tram ride away (20 mins walk). The Hotel Granvia is directly linked to the Shinkansen station, right outside the North exit to the station. Location is perfect for anyone using the railway and you can get from room to train in less than 10 minutes.
Hiroshima station also has a number of departments stores and shopping centres located either within it or close by. These contain a number of restaurants and supermarkets ensuring you have enough places to try outside the hotel. Behind the hotel is also a large ‘You Me’ supermarket. We didn’t visit this time, but if you want to get any food this would be a short 5 minute walk away.
It’s worth noting that Hiroshima station is undergoing some renovation at the current time, so finding the hotel could be a little more complex than normal. It appears that an old fashioned underground walkway is being replaced by a raised bridge. Once this is completed it will be even easier to get to the hotel. The works in no-way affected our visit though.
The hotel website offers up plenty of different choices of room. As stated earlier we were placed in a 19th floor Premium room, which appears to have been renovated recently. Premium rooms have a darker wooden desk area as opposed to the lighter wood shown in the standard rooms. Aside from this, it’s a struggle to know what the difference really is!
For those who haven’t visited Japan before let’s just get the first thing straight – Japanese hotel rooms are small! In most hotels you’ll be lucky to be even able to walk around the bed once you have a suitcase in the room. Actually, the Hotel Granvia has slightly larger rooms than we have been used to before and the space between bed and desk was spacious compared to others we have stayed in.
The room contained a double bed, one side of which is against the wall, a seating and desk area including a 32″ flat-screen TV with Video on Demand (payable at the hotel) and a number of channels (including BBC World in English). The room also contains a small fridge (actually a mini-bar, but plenty of space for your own items!), trouser press (not sure why these still exist!), small wardrobe, slippers and pyjamas (standard in all Japanese hotels!).Everything we needed for our stay! The one item each room doesn’t have is a safe – but we didn’t really need one!
The bed was pretty comfortable, although a little soft for our liking. The mattress has a topper that helps to make it extra soft. The pillows provided are feather and also Tempur, so you can take your pick which you prefer!
The hotel has the obligatory free wifi, which was a good speed and we had no issues with at all!
The bathroom is again, small but functional. The shower is located over a bath, although the bath is pretty small be western standards, although much deeper (as is common with Japanese baths). The toilet is the electronic Toto type, complete with built in bidet and heated toilet seat – this never gets boring in any hotel in Japan! Overall the bathroom is a high quality and provides everything you could need including toothbrushes, razors, toiletries, hairdryer etc.
The view from the room was pretty spectacular. From the 19th floor we looked out over Eastern Hiroshima, had a good view of the Shinkansen leaving the station and out to the hills outside the city.
The hotel has a number of restaurants located on different floors. During our time we didn’t actually visit them as most are a little more expensive than restaurants outside the hotel – but this is nothing new in any city. The hotel serves breakfast in two restaurants on the second floor, one of which is Western buffet and the other Japanese (cost around 2300 Yen per person). These restaurants also offer lunch and dinner throughout the day – guests receive a 10% discount by showing your room key. There is also a Chinese restaurant, along with a high end (5000-15000 Yen per person) steak restaurant on the 20th / 21st floor looking out over the city.
One thing that really set this hotel apart was the service we received throughout. For those who have visited Japan already know everyone always aims to be as helpful and friendly as possible. At check-in the staff spoke perfect English and were very helpful and the bellboy who delivered our bags to the room showed us around before leaving. Rooms are always cleaned spotlessly! We had little need to interact with staff outside this, but always knew a friendly face was there if needed.
Overall we had a great 3 night stay at the Hotel Granvia, Hiroshima. The hotel is definitely of a very high standard, with fully complete rooms, great location and amazingly friendly staff. We didn’t really appreciate the slightly larger rooms until our next hotel, but actually it made a lot of difference! If you’re looking for a good standard hotel, close to the station I’d highly recommend a stay!