My family was recently in Japan for a couple of weeks. We spent our last night at the Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport so that we could easily catch a morning flight the next day.
I wasn’t planning on writing a review of the hotel, mainly because Lucky’s review of the property seemed more than comprehensive, and I couldn’t imagine that I would have any additional info to add.
Turns out that’s not the case. In fact, my experience at the hotel compelled me to send a letter to Hilton, as well as to write this unplanned post. If you are planning a trip that includes a stay at this hotel, consider yourself warned! Personally, I would never stay there again, unless they make some pretty major changes. But of course you can judge for yourself.
We booked connecting rooms for our stay, because there were four of us (due to different occupancy regulations in Asia, it is unusual for hotels to allow more than 3 people per room). I booked one room using 20,000 Hilton points, and paid for the other in cash (cost was approximately $140).
When we first checked in, everything seemed great. We had requested non-smoking rooms, and the air was indeed clean and fresh when we arrived. However, as the evening wore on, things began to change.
Our kids fell asleep in their room, with the connecting room doors closed. At around 11 pm, we started to smell drafts of cigarette smoke wafting in from the air conditioner in our room. We opened the connecting door to check the kids’ room, and the same thing was happening there, so we turned off the air conditioning in both rooms. We knew we were in for a warm night, but for us it was preferable to the (now heavy) smell of cigarette smoke. We also didn’t want to wake our kids and move rooms in the middle of the night.
We decided to get ready for bed. This was when the worst part happened: when we opened the door to the bathroom, we were assaulted by the stench of raw sewage! It was unbelievable.
A quick glance under the sink revealed the problem.
There was no p-trap installed! I wouldn’t have thought this small part would make such a huge difference, but apparently it does. The bathroom in the kids’ room suffered from exactly the same fate.
Sinks are normally installed with a u-bend (otherwise known as a p-trap) in the pipe. The reason for the u-bend is that it stops sewer gasses from leaking into the room. This is what it looks like:
Every sink should have one.
We shut the bathroom doors in both rooms and prepared ourselves for a long, hot, stinky night. And indeed it was.
The next morning at check-out, we described the issues we had to the front desk agent. He didn’t seem surprised, but offered us a 50% discount ($70) on the room we had paid for in cash. His gesture was almost procedural, so it leads me to believe that this is a common complaint at this hotel. Since the issues we had were structural, I am actually surprised that I didn’t see these problems in any of the reviews I read before booking the hotel. The only thing I can think of is that the smell changes due to a variety of factors, and that not everyone is compelled to write reviews. 🙂
At any rate, the question, “Do your sinks have p-traps?” is absolutely not something I would have ever thought to ask before booking a room. I can’t imagine asking in the future either…but maybe I should?
Have you had any nasty hotel surprises recently? What were they (and where)?