Which hotel(mid tier) in tokyo best for making difficult reservations
I have heard about kyo aji, and heard some people getting a reservation there without recommendations.. so i might want to ask the hotel concierge to help me make a reservation.
i have short listed a couple of hotels that i might be staying, any other hotel recommendation in this price range ? or any other hotels that are less expensive to stay but equally good at making reservations?
hotel new otani
which hotel is better in making difficult/ michelin restaurants???
I am actually really glad someone asked this question - and that it caught my attention - because it gives me the opportunity to share my experience with a concierge service in Japan. I will say right off the gun that my experience was with a low-end/salary-man hotel in Aoyama-cho (which is an otherwise excellent neighbourhood for restaurants with Ryugin and Narisawa within walking distance) called Hotel Asia Center of Japan (http://www.asiacenter.or.jp/eng/).
They actually REFUSED to make reservations on my behalf until the day I checked in which, for a 10-day visit, is not far enough in advance to get a seat at the likes of Sushi Saito, Ryugin, Narisawa etc. This is not to say that I didn't try myself: I desperately tried calling Sushi Saito (Tablelog # 1 for Sushi, apparently) from Canada on October 1, the first day they accept reservations for November bookings, and after many tries I finally got through to someone, only to find out that "All of November is Booked. All of it. Even lunch."
I have a Japanese friend in Thailand who offered to help me but she had no luck since most of these places will not accept without a a valid Tokyo address or hotel name.
Within two weeks of my trip, I ended up cancelling my booking with Hotel Asia Center and booked instead with www.airbnb.com which I HIGHLY recommend. We stayed in some lovely French girls perfectly equipped and spacious apartment near Kamiyacho station (she stayed elsewhere). She would have EASILY made the reservation at any of these places (maybe not Saito: I'm still not sure who eats there and how they do so) and living in her apartment actually made us feel like we were Tokyoites for 10 days - very wonderful feeling.
All of this is to say, give www.airbnb.com a try. Since you are dealing with real people, sometimes with apartments much nicer than what you would find even at a mid-range hotel (though sometimes not, depending on the price point), who are not bound by any rules or policies.
i've had luck with the four seasons. they got me into matsukawa in a couple weeks time, which is supposed to be by invitation only.
a lot of popular places are just kinda impossible to consistently get into no matter how connected the concierge is. i haven't been able to go back to quintessence (pre-michelin guide) or sushi saito (esp after it got its 3rd star) no matter which hotel concierge i use.
in my view, the most important thing that knowing the chef or having a well connected concierge will help you with is that they may let you book earlier than the official opening of that night's tables for reservation. but when the place is already full, there's nothing to be done about it.