I've stayed at 4 of the 6 official hotels before (Sheraton, Maihama, Tokyu, Okura) and Okura is the closest hotel to Bay Side Station.
The pathway to the main road is much more stroller and luggage friendly than that of Sheraton where small steps try to confound you every 20m or so. Except for the mad dash across the road - we didn't cross at the red light seeing that we had to double back - its a really pleasant walk.
Not that you had to walk if you didn't want to, because we found that the Resort Cruiser frequency is very high due to the short journey. Indeed the entire bus journey (from station to hotel and vice versa) takes around 3 minutes. The Resort Cruiser is also one of the least packed ones I've ever seen.
There was a small hiccup at check-in. As usual, the staff couldn't find my kanji name when I showed them my confirmation email from jalan.net. I don't know why jalan.net sends the email with my kanji name but gives the hotel my katakana one. I had to spell out my katakana name before they could locate my reservation. Using English with the staff was fine, though sometimes I had to hazard with my poorly learnt Japanese.
Breakfast wasn't included in our room plan, but we were given some vouchers to offset the cost - down to 1,800 yen per person - though we didn't use them.
The quaint thing about the hotel is that they still use old-fashioned keys to unlock the doors. However, because its a physical key, they only provided one copy of it to us.
The room we were given didn't have a good view. We were facing Sheraton, and could only see part of the ocean, and nothing of the parks. Still, the hotel seemed to have aged really well - the room we stayed at Tokyu was quite visibly run down.
At 44sqm, the room felt much smaller than Tokyu's (of the same size). This could be due to the addition of a 3rd bed, though we concluded that it was really due to the toilet taking up much of the floor space. With two bathing areas (one stand-up, one bathtub), one person could easily sleep comfortably in the space between these two areas.
Each bed comes with a deluge of pillows: one small bolster, one round pillow, and two regular pillows. We couldn't really quite figure out what to do with that many pillows when night came. I suppose they make for good back support when watching TV from the bed.
The lights in the room can be controlled by a single switch near the doorway, and the toilet lights can be toggled on and off seperately with a complex logic that befuddled us for quite a few days. It was only on the last night when I set the alarm clock for the flight next day, that I noticed it came with switches for lighting in seperate locations of the room. :sweat:
We couldn't locate a safe box in the room either, unless its been so cleverly hidden that even the occupants couldn't find it.
The hotel has a "drug store" which actually sells food, magazines along with medicine - something like a cross between a typical combini and drug store in Japan. Of course, with the limited space the store can't carry a wide range of products. With Ikspiria so near though, we didn't have much need to patronise the drug store.
Service standards were, as typical of most Japanese hotels, generally excellent.
I'd say Okura and Sheraton are amongst my favourite official hotels - the differentiating factor with other hotels mainly being the proximity of the hotel to Bayside station. However, I had a lot of trouble locating non-smoking rooms for a reasonable price.
I did miss the vending (and ice) machines, as well as coin laundry, which were available at Mitsui Garden / Maihama / Tokyu.
I'll put up some photos of the hotel on my blog once I've finished processing my photos - and of course put up a trip report while I'm at it as well.