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I recently had the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing weekend at a couple of different Prince Hotel locations. After a busy week of work, the vacation was well deserved, and the hotels provided the perfect opportunity to both treat myself to a bit of luxury at The Prince Gallery Hotel Kioicho, located in Tokyo. And to get out of the city and enjoy the refreshing mountain air at Karuizawa Prince Hotel East resort in Karuizawa, Nagano.
The Gallery Prince Hotel Kioicho
On my first night I had the amazing opportunity to stay in The Prince Gallery Hotel Kioicho, located in a very affluent part of Tokyo. The Prince Gallery Hotel Kioicho is one of nicest hotels I have ever had the opportunity to stay in, and I was pleasantly surprised by the friendly staff (most of whom spoke perfect English) the gorgeous views of Tokyo, and the lavish decorations and accommodations.
Located on the 30th – 36th floors of the building, the hotel overlooks the city, offering views of the Tokyo Skytree and surrounding area from every room, including the gym and swimming pool. For more information on the The Prince Gallery Hotel Kioicho, read my article here.
The Prince Villa Karuizawa
After a relaxing night at the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, I caught the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Karuizawa, located in Nagano prefecture, with plans to stay at the Karuizawa Prince Hotel East. A subset of the same company, with a completely different atmosphere.
Karuizawa located only an hour away from Tokyo by Shinkansen, and offers a reprieve from the city life. Guests can enjoy a number of activities, and various accommodations are offered to suit the needs of everyone. The surrounding forests and mountains, make the Karuizawa Prince Retreat the perfect destination for families, or groups of people looking to escape the city for a weekend getaway.
I first made a brief stop at The Prince Villa Karuizawa. Where I took a walk among the beautiful villas and cottages offered for larger groups of guests. I also took the opportunity to try the handmade sushi service offered through the Villa services. To find out more about my experience check out the article here.
Karuizawa Prince Hotel East
After gorging myself on sushi prepared directly in front of me, I found my way to the hotel I would be staying at for the evening: Karuizawa Prince Hotel East. After the luxurious Villa, I was pleasantly surprised by the more down to earth atmosphere at the hotel. Created with the surrounding forest in mind, Karuizawa Prince Hotel East offers up a whimsical and natural atmosphere for guests to relax and enjoy their stay. Designed by a renowned architect, and a well known textile designer, the hotel has some truly beautiful features worth visiting.
The hotel offers a variety of meal choices for guests to choose from, ranging from Japanese cuisine to Western cuisine, and best of all the hotel has a hot spring and a spa located on the premises. If you are interested in hearing more about my stay at Karuizawa Prince Hotel East, check out my article here.
Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
One of the highlights of the Prince Hotel Resort in Karuizawa is the large strip of outlet stores. Located less than ten minutes walk from the hotels and villas, the shopping area is always bustling with activity. You can find designer brands of clothing, as well as souvenir shops, and local produce shops. I took the opportunity to try some of the locally produced beer, wine, and cheese, which proved to be the perfect snack to enjoy in my hotel room in between activities and meals. To hear more about the shopping area, read my article here.
Karuizawa Prince Resort Outdoor Activities
The Karuizawa resort offers a lot of different outdoor activities for guests to choose from. The resort is located next to a small ski resort, and most of the hotels and cabins located on the grounds are close enough that you can ski directly to your door step without the hassle of taking off your gear. The hotel also features a zip line, forest walks, hiking trails, and bicycle rental.
While I visited I borrowed a bike from the shop and took to the streets of Karuizawa, visiting some of the local sights, and getting a feel for the city itself. To read about my adventures in Karuizawa, check out my article here.
The Prince hotels and resorts can be found all over Japan, and recently Seibu, the company who runs the hotels in Japan, launched a membership program to allow guests to get special discounts and offers at affiliated locations. The card is only available for customers who reside outside of Japan, but it is definitely worth checking out if you are planning on coming to Japan for a visit. Take a look at the Seibu website, to find out more information.
Overall I had an incredible time visiting the Prince Hotel’s and Resorts located in and around Tokyo. If you find yourself in the Tokyo area, either looking for a relaxing and atmospheric night in the city, or looking to get out of the city for the weekend, I highly recommend booking a room at one of their locations.
General Information and Online Booking
The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho: here
Karuizawa Prince Hotel East: here
The Prince Villa Karuizawa: here