Along the way, I flew on some of the world’s best airlines and shared my thoughts on the ground and in the air. The cash cost for the airfare alone would have been well more than $17,000. Using miles and points, however, I knocked the cost down to around $500. Learn how to travel like I do with PointsAway: The Definitive Guide To Free Flights & Nights.
It was late by the time I arrived at the Sheraton in Osaka. Given how far Kansai International is from downtown, I was worried about not only taking the right limo bus from the airport, but precisely how close to the hotel it would take me. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about: the bus made its first stop at the Sheraton after a half hour or so on the highway from the airport.
The lobby of the hotel was nice, with a high ceiling and chandelier leading to an escalator to the second floor where guests could check in.
I was a little discomforted by how poor the English of the front desk attendant was during check-in. I’d stayed with the Harbour Plaza Metropolis, a local brand, in Hong Kong and had been happily surprised by how easily I could speak with their staff, so I was equally surprised when an American-branded hotel presented a wider communications gap. Nonetheless, I made it through check-in without much issue and made my way upstairs.
Unlike the lobby, which was almost brisk in temperature, the upstairs hallway was hot and humid. My room was a bit cooler, but the AC had been left off, which I fixed quickly.
Aside from the temperature, which fell quickly once the AC kicked on, the room was fine. The bed was a bit firm but comfortable enough and the bottled water was a welcomed welcome amenity.
The TV was new and large but featured only a few channels, all in Japanese. Typically, I’d expect at least BBC or CNN to be offered in English. BBC World News was indeed present, but only with a vocal dub in Japanese that couldn’t be swapped by using the TV’s sound settings.
The bathroom had a relatively small counter space and the tiles felt like they were caving in a bit, which is a unsettling feeling on a high floor. The shower was yellowed and its wallpaper was peeling a bit, though water temperature wasn’t an issue. The towels were branded after Miyako Hotels & Resorts rather than Sheraton, which was appropriate.
The view wasn’t particularly remarkable, but as my room was on a high floor, you could at least get a sense of the local area:
A number of dining options are offered at the Sheraton Miyako Osaka. On the top floor is a buffet that offers a view of the city skyline. In the basement, leading to the subway station and a few shops, there are Japanese, Chinese and European restaurant options.
I’d hoped to try out the Japanese restaurant, a teppanyaki-style place that looked fairly nice, but was blown away by the dinner prices, which were well north of $100 per person. Lunch prices were somewhat more reasonable, but still much higher than I’d anticipated.
I feel bad to turn my nose up at this hotel, because it was an exceptional value. At just 4,000 SPG points per night, and with a subway station located immediately next door, I’m glad I stayed here.
That said, it’s obvious that this hotel carries the Sheraton name only for marketing purposes and probably isn’t worthy of it. I’d recommend it as a value stay if you’re in transit as I was and only staying in Osaka for a couple days, but if you’re going to be there much longer, consider a Cash + Points stay at the beautiful St. Regis Osaka instead.