The great thing about living and working in Hong Kong is that you’re pretty much in the center in terms of traveling, you can travel to most places within about 12 hrs and anywhere in Asia within about 3-4 hrs.
Ms Buddha and I share the same passion for traveling and also for Japan, so when deciding where to go for our CNY trip, we chose Japan again and this time to Fukuoka. Because we like to maximise our holiday time, we left mid-day from work and took a late lunch flight to Japan, which meant that although our plan was to head primarily towards Nagasaki and Beppu, we had to stay one night first in Fukuoka city because no car rentals were opened by the time we arrived into the city just before 10pm – so we decided to stay at the ANA Crowne Plaza hotel for the night and made an effort to try out the Yatai’s on offer around the city.
In terms of location, the ANA Crowne Plaza is really convenient – close to Hakata station which is the main station in the city and also about 15mins taxi ride from the airport. (works out to be about 1,400 yen via taxi). Within an hour after landing, you can be out on the streets exploring after checking in and dropping off your bags.
The building itself is really not that fancy, and frankly, I think because Fukuoka city doesn’t get as much tourists as places like Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo; it was actually quite hard to find many luxury type hotels.
None-the-less, you can’t really go wrong no matter your budget when you’re talking about Japanese hospitality and service. We got out of the cab and the driver was so helpful with getting our suitcases out – I tend to help because I know my suitcase is massive and sometimes heavy. We were checked in very efficiently by reception staff who spoke excellent English.
For this stay, we went with the club room because it offered complimentary breakfast and also gym access along with a more modern room overall. Generally the room was very comfortable and bathrooms well equipped (showers were fantastic).
The Japanese takes bathing and showering very seriously, and it shows when it comes to how they install the bathrooms, normally, the showers and bath will have its own room and what is great about it is that the heat stays and you don’t get anything else wet.
One additional thing about booking the club room was access to the Club Lounge in the building, we didn’t get to experience it the first night we arrived because it closes at about 10pm, but on the last night we were in Japan, we got to experience it and had a couple of drinks before heading out.
Lounge was very clean and tidy, but not very big and got very crowded as everyone else had the same idea of having a drink + nibbles before heading out to dinner. It got to a point where there weren’t enough snacks for everyone!
I also mentioned breakfast, with the rate, we got breakfast included in the rate – the breakfast is located in the cafe near the reception area, and stocked the core breakfast items, although it is by no means varied. One thing that Ms Buddha likes about having buffet breakfast is the fruit, while I just went for the typical eggs and sausage. I also managed to fit in a bowl of rice with Nattō which is a type of sticky bean which is delicious with rice! (Definitely one of by favourite items when coming to Japan).
Overall, in terms of hotels, the ANA Crowne Plaza would be what I’d consider comfortable, there’s nothing that will shoot the lights out, but if I were to come to Fukuoka again, it will most likely be the place I’d return to given the convenience and also the friendliness of the staff.