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And the recap begins!

The TV can be slid from the lounge area to the bed. Clever!

The TV and various set-top boxes can slide from the lounge area to the bed. Clever!

When we were hunting for accommodation for our Tokyo trip, we were quite concerned about prices. Most of our friends’ suggestions hovered at the S$200 mark and above, and we came to the conclusion that this was probably the average price for our hotel stay.

Cousin Ching, who works at The Ascott, mentioned to me that her company had just launched Citadines Tokyo Shinjuku not too long ago and suggested I check it out. The rates sounded reasonable enough and the online reviews were glowing so I decided to bite the bullet and book a studio apartment for our stay in Tokyo. I wasn’t planning on asking my cousin for discounted rates because I knew it would put her in an awkward position, and tried to book the room through the website.

Thankfully for us, the booking did not go through due to lack of availability. I emailed the cuz, told her about the situation and emphasized that we were willing to pay the full rate as long as we can get a room. Being ever so efficient, she forwarded my mail to her Japanese colleagues immediately. It turned out that the company has to divide up their rooms among the different tour operators and websites, leaving a small number of rooms for their own website, which happened to be filled. But yes, there was a room available for us and we would be offered a 25 percent discount, which was part of a 25th anniversary promotion Citadines was running worldwide.

Bingo! Including taxes and all, our stay there cost less than S$200 a night. The room was large enough for two, extremely comfortable and had free Internet connection (which made husband extremely happy). The location of the apartment is great: it’s a mere five-minute walk to the nearest subway station. Surrounding the building was an enclave of convenience stores and eateries and we could also walk to the nearest Isetan department store in Shinjuku.

The hotel staff was also wonderful. I was dying to check out Ghibli Museum but the entrance tickets were sold in advance only at the Lawsons convenience stores in Japan and the various JTB offices around the world. JTB, being a shrewd company, would only sell the tickets as a package with a hotel stay, which we did not need.

I emailed the sales coordinator and asked if there was someone who could help me purchase the tickets. She kindly offered to help me out and the tickets were placed into my hands upon our arrival. Points for efficiency!

All in all, we had a lovely stay at Citadines Tokyo Shinjuku and would definitely select the service apartment when we go back to Tokyo. Thanks cuz!

A sliding door cleverly divides the bed and the lounge area

A sliding door cleverly divides the bed and the lounge area

More photos here

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