In a city which is all about business and a tad short on glamour, the Conrad Osaka is an oasis, adding the dose of cosmopolitan elan one expects from establishments in Hilton’s top tier. A great location helps; this skyscraper hotel fronting the river in the city’s handsome cultural district, offers panoramic views across the city in every direction, on one side towards scenic mountains.
The lofty 40th-floor lobby, with its huge anthropomorphic sculptures and giant glass wall framing a huge skyline panorama, is simply breathtaking, but the five-star service begins as soon as a taxi drops you at the entrance to be greeted by a friendly doorman who relieves you of your baggage and alerts reception to your imminent arrival.
The welcome is extremely warm, and after check-in, guests are escorted to a private set of lifts connected to the floors below in which guest rooms are sited off richly-panelled, low-lit corridors. My room seemed to be surely the largest in Japan, and one of a few in the world boasting a panoramic view from the bath, thanks to the full-width floor to ceiling glass along one wall of the bedroom which extended into the bathroom. Standard rooms are a generous 50 square metres, but mine was one of 36 which are a third larger, and also one of just a dozen corner rooms enjoying those bathtub panoramas.
As well as ultra-modern warm wood furniture and leather-padded beds and headboards, every possible amenity is on hand, from electric curtain controls on the bedside consoles containing the lighting panel to giant TV, Bluetooth speakers, tea and coffee making facilities and a desk embedded with every kind of socket and adaptor one could need. There were even pyjamas in a bathroom to complement robes, slippers and beautiful toiletries.
Room rates include a superb breakfast served in the Atmos restaurant at lobby level, where several Japanese specials are served every day alongside everything western tastes could desire. Overlooking the city, this breakfast restaurant had a strangely more sumptuous feel than the rather minimal dinner restaurants – C:Grill, specialising in fish and seafood, and Kura, comprising both teppanyaki grilled meat and sushi served at counters. Osaka is known for the quality of its food, and the restaurants also field an excellent, if bewildering, selection of rare sake and Japanese craft beer.
The 40 Sky Bar & Lounge is a great place to start or finish the evening thanks partly to the live music and the wow factor of a translucent curtain by artist Takahiro Matsuo which screens it from the lobby. For the upgraded few, there is a private executive lounge with yet more thrilling city views fielding free drinks and excellent appetisers during happy hour. The hotel also offers a full-service spa with four treatment rooms, a Techno gym and a 20-metre indoor pool with sauna and other spa facilities.
The hotel is on the doorstep of a Metro station, and thus well connected to the nightlife restaurant and entertainment area on the other side of town and all main points of interest, but its star attribute is its spaciousness and downright showbiz glamour. Throughout my stay, the words I could not get out of my head were “dressed to impress”.
Tell me more about the Conrad Hotel, Osaka
Conrad Osaka, 3 Chome-2-4 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0005, Japan
Rooms from about £354
Getting to Osaka
British Airways runs regular direct flights to Osaka from London Heathrow,