CAPITAL OF QUIRK
JAPAN is one destination guaranteed to hand travellers a healthy dose of culture shock with many of the capital city’s hotels charismatically categorised as quirky.
So if you fancy being welcomed by a robot, sleeping in an airplane’s first-class suite but never leaving the ground, having a dinosaur check you in and eating a Hello Kitty breakfast served by room service, then these Tokyo properties are the place to visit.
LODGE IN A LIBRARY
Staying at Book and Bed is bliss for literary lovers with the hostel-like property, described by those in the know as “an accommodation bookshop’’, letting guests camp in capsule-like compartments right beside the shelves.
There are three addresses in Tokyo – Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Asakusa – as well as in Kyoto and Fukuoka and accommodation options include single and double beds, bunks, and even “private’’ rooms shielded by curtains.
STAY IN A FIRST-CLASS CAPSULE
Capsule hotels are famously Japanese and while there are ample seedy pay-by-the-hour venues scattered around the suburbs there are also designer digs with First Cabin, boasting eight locations around Tokyo, modelled on the first-class suites offered by airlines.
ROOMS WITH ROBOTS
It’s no surprise to learn tech-mad Japan has hotels staffed by robots and while the first Henn–na Hotel opened in Nagasaki a few years back there’s now an address in the capital’s Maihama Bay neighbourhood – close to Tokyo Disneyland – with six more opening before 2018 closes.
Upon arrival dinosaurs manning the reception desk invite guests to register using computerised kiosks, a robotic arm stores bags for those looking to leave luggage with the concierge, and instead of a human bellboy, it’s an automated trolley that hauls cases to the room.
CAPTURING COOL QUIRK
Moxy is Marriott’s answer to chic quirkiness – crafted for “a new generation of fun-hunting travellers’’ so think industrial design, the cool crowd camped in the bar, hipster bicycles to rent – with Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho unveiled in one of the city’s gritty eastern neighbourhoods late last year.