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View of Hamarikyu Gardens from the bar on the 28th floor at Conrad Tokyo. The bar has jarring 23-foot-tall windows.

I stayed at the Conrad Tokyo from May 15 to May 18. These nights were free, courtesy of the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card. The bonus two nights can be used at any Hilton property in the world, including the prestigious Conrad and Waldorf-Astoria ones. The bonus clears after $2500 spending within the first four months of account opening. As usual, there is no extra cost and the annual fee is waived for the first year, so I may as well get something for my usual spending habits.

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The ground-floor lobby. This space was fully staffed but only served to take my luggage up to the main 28th floor lobby. In addition, I could use the Executive lounge to check in or out on the 37th floor. It was confusing.

The Conrad Tokyo is arguably the best property in the Hilton portfolio, although the Conrad Koh Samui would also have a say. The room I stayed in was #3612, an Executive City View, with complimentary access to the namesake top-floor lounge on the 37th floor. The normal rate for this room was more than $900 per night! I paid a total of 0 for the three nights I spent.

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Complimentary breakfast was available in either the 37th-floor lounge or the 28th-floor restaurant. I tried both, and the restaurant was much more impressive.

Sometimes while at the hotel, I felt clearly out of place financially, as it seemed to be home only to multi-millionaires. As one can expect from a hotel of this caliber, the service was impeccable. The Japanese business traditions involving bowing were displayed to exaggerated levels. The elevators had “close” buttons that actually worked, so a couple of times, an employee would be in a deep bow that was longer than expected because he/she would not return to a normal erect standing position until the doors shut! There was at least one awkward moment when one expects the elevator doors to close automatically, with an employee in a prolonged bow in front!

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The Conrad Tokyo offers great views of the surrounding Minato ward.

I had a couple of minor complaints about the Conrad Tokyo. One, the Internet service cut out multiple times throughout the day, requiring repeated authentication attempts. Two, the Conrad is located in the Tokyo Shiodome Building in Minato, a heavy business district that is awash in unnavigable skyscraper plazas. The hotel is less than a decade old, and every edifice around it also reeks of freshly minted money. Getting in and out of the building takes many more minutes than one would like due to a path requiring multiple elevators, lobbies, escalators, and walkways.

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The room itself was a breezy 72 square meters (775 square feet), featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and every possible luxury feature, including heated flooring for the bathroom. There were at least six sets of doors in this impressive suite. The second bathroom was also nice.

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This suite had Executive Lounge privileges, which granted complimentary breakfast; an afternoon service of tea and snacks; and a night session of drinks and light food. Despite this trip being my first time in Tokyo, I had trouble leaving the hotel and its all-inclusive benefits, especially since the outside world was painfully expensive. Were it not free, this hotel would have been unconscionably unaffordable. Breakfast was $35; a Coca-Cola $9; and a beer $14. I drank and ate approximately $100 worth of goods each day (free, of course).

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Drawing room

The immediate location of the Conrad Tokyo is quite desolate, as all the suits are sequestered in their glass-and-steel boxes. However, I was able to walk to and/or from Roppongi, Tsukiji Market (where one can see fresh fish auctioned and have sushi breakfast), and the upscale Ginza shopping district. Taxis in Tokyo are too expensive to take when one has legs.

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My first time seeing a white rubber ducky



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No prices mean either very expensive or free. In this case, free

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Housekeeping would clean the room and leave this behind