Japan's best kid-themed hotels
A place where futuristic technology collides
with an ancient culture, Japan is unabashedly
eccentric and the perfect destination for families
seeking suite dreams, Aleney De Winter writes.
As traditional as it is modern, as
conservative as it is bold, and
as mild as it is wild, Japan is a
country of dizzying extremes
that can leave visitors dazed
but delighted and nowhere is that more
evident than in its hotels.
While considerations like location and price
are what most families look for in a hotel, in
Japan, pop culture preferences can be added
to the selection process! With themed hotel
suites dedicated to everything from robots
and Godzilla to kawaii (cute) kitties popping
up all over the country, kids will adore
ditching the beige and boring for one of these
quirky and cute rooms. And, for that matter,
so will their parents!
Tokyo Disneyland Hotel has three enchanting
new character themed rooms. Leaves and
trinkets abound in the Tinker Bell room, or step
into The Beast’s castle in a Beauty and the
Beast room. The Cinderella room is a swirl of
enchanted blue fit for a princess, or you may
prefer to fall down the rabbit hole into an Alice
in Wonderland room filled with playing cards,
red roses and that cheesy Cheshire Cat. It’s
truly as though you’ve stepped into a fairytale.
How about a high-tech hotel that’s staffed by
robots? It may sound like the stuff of sci-fi
novels but at Henn-na Robot Hotel in
Nagasaki, it’s a reality. The 72-room hotel is
staffed by around 80 robots including a team of
porter robots responsible for carrying luggage
to and from rooms, and the cleaning robots
who keep the hotel spotless.
Part of the Huis
Ten Bosch theme park, which is devoted to all
things Dutch (yes, it just keeps getting
stranger), guests at Henn-na Hotel will be met
at reception by a talking dinosaur and access
their rooms via face-recognition. Rooms are
comparatively more subdued, featuring clean,
modern designs and all the features you’d
expect from a human hotel. There’s no need
for techno-fear here, with a few behind-the-scenes
humans just in case something
Keio Plaza Hotel’s Hello Kitty themed rooms prove there’s no such
thing as too much of the world’s favourite plush puss. Located in Tokyo’s
lively Shinjuku district, there are two types of room to choose from. The
Hello Kitty Town Room is a pop art explosion of cuteness; everything
from the carpet up - including the giant Hello Kitty that dominates the
room and vibrant wallpaper - is an ode to the Sanrio character.
The Princess Kitty room, on the other hand, is pretty in pink and has more of
a fairytale feel. In each room special touches like a lipstick-signed
bathroom mirror and take-home Hello Kitty water bottles, plush Hello
Kitty toy and stationary add to the feline fun. The experience doesn’t end
at the décor, however, with novelties including themed mocktails and a
new Hello Kitty Room Original Breakfast that’s almost too cute to eat.
The newest themed-hotel suites to hit Japan are in Osaka’s
Hotel Universal Port. One of the official hotels of Universal
Studios Japan, it’s amazing kid’s facilities already make it a
great place for visiting families.
Come January the hotel will be
going totally bananas with the launch of Minion-themed suites
where you’ll be able to share a room with your favourite
on-screen characters in all their yellow-hued glory. There’s even
an official Universal Studios store on-site for some fun shopping.
If you’re inspired by the Hello Kitty rooms at
Keio Plaza Hotel but are more of a dog person,
then head to the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo’s
salubrious Ginza area. Their Snoopy-themed
rooms are dotted with everything from slippers
and robes to cushions, cups and cuddlies.
Book the limited edition Grand Chef Snoopy
package and you’ll also enjoy a pup-themed
bento for breakfast complete with a take-home
Snoopy Bento bag, unique to the hotel. You
can also pick up the ever-so-cute ‘Doorman
Snoopy’ at the Imperial Hotel’s gift shop to take
home to family and friends.
Tokyo’s bayside Hotel Grand Pacific Le
Daiba is the place for anime and robot fans
with a variety of Gundam-themed rooms
complete with figures from the popular
animated TV show. Massive murals of the
giant robot mechanoids cover the walls,
and bed linen, carpet and wallpaper are
also emblazoned with Gundam imagery.
For the ultimate in Gundam geekery, there’s
even an in-room cockpit photo spot!
Thomas the Tank Engine
Toot toot! While we're on the subject of
cute why not book a stay with Thomas
and his friends at Highland Resort Hotel
& Spa, the official hotel of Fuji-Q
Highland, a theme park located at the foot
of Mt. Fuji.
The Thomas and Percy themed
rooms are family-sized and in addition to
detailed murals of Thomas and his
friends, maps of Sodor and character
sofas, boast an incredible view of Mt. Fuji
(which is literally right outside your
window). If too much Thomas is never
enough for your little trainspotters,
Thomas-themed kids meals and
children's utensils are also available.
There's no character that is as uniquely Japanese as Godzilla. Now you can have
a sleepover with him at the Hotel Gracery. The hotel, located in Tokyo's popular
Shinjuku district, has two room types themed around the not-so-jolly green giant.
You can choose to wake up to the sight of a giant reptilian eyeball peering into
your bedroom in a Godzilla view room, which looks out directly onto a replica of
the movie monster, or sleep alongside a man-sized Godzilla statue on a bed that's
shadowed by an enormous green claw in the Godzilla room. Roarsome!