First impression of this hotel was pretty promising. It's a tall, impressive looking building very close to Kokura station, and there is an elevated walkway connecting directly to it. The lobby is very grand with lots of polished marble and open space. Unfortunately, it was all downhill after that.
When we went up to our room, our first thought on getting out of the elevator was that the carpeting needed to be replaced, or at least thoroughly shampooed. The room was just as bad, with lots of stains on the carpeting and worn/damaged edges on the furniture and bed base. It was also tiny, only very slightly larger than a business hotel, and hot.
We turned the a/c down to 20C (68F) and went out for dinner. When we returned, it didn't feel any cooler, but we were so tired we took a nap, only to wake up sweating. We knew that we couldn't rest in that heat, so we called the front desk to complain. A young lady, Kinoshita-san, came into our room, and we could tell by the look on her face that she was surprised at how hot it was. Fortunately, she secured the room directly across the hall and helped us move our luggage. Many thanks to Kinoshita-san for being so polite and efficient.
The new room had properly functioning a/c, meaning we could finally get some rest. The next day when we came back from lunch, the message light was on, so we called the front desk, thinking that our friends had left a message. No, the message was from the front desk staff letting us know that we could pay in advance so we could avoid the check out rush the next morning. We thought that was a rather classless move, and for the record, there was a total of one other person checking out when we turned in our keys the next morning.
The Rihga Royal charged 27,000 yen for Friday night, and a whopping 40,000 yen for Saturday night, and that did NOT include breakfast. We had just stayed four nights at the Grand Hyatt in Fukuoka for 28,800 yen per night, and while the Grand Hyatt is not perfect, it's an order of magnitude better than the Rihga. Note that the Rihga also charges 5,000 yen per person for access to the gym and pool. A lot of places in Japan charge for the gym and pool, but I've never seen anything approaching 5,000 yen anywhere else.
Good: location - easy access from Kokura station.
Bad: small, tired business hotel sized rooms at luxury prices, exorbitant gym/pool fees
Hakata is only 17 minutes away by shinkansen, so next time I visit friends in Kokura, I'll just stay in Fukuoka and commute, avoiding the Rihga.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in front of JR Kokura Station in Kita-kyushu, this high-rise urban hotel ascends majestically 30 floors or 433ft. from the ground. It welcomes guests with top-quality services and with both convention and community functions. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rihga Royal Kitakyushu