Review: APA Hotel Sakaisuji Kitahama Ekimae, Osaka, Japan

APA Hotels is said to be Japan's largest business budget hotel chain, and it is likely that travellers in Japan have at least heard about them. With about a dozen properties in Osaka alone, it is easy to find one that suits the location needs of travellers. One of them is the APA Hotel Sakaisuji Kitahama Ekimae (numbered 288), located just a couple of streets from the Kitahama station which provides connectivity with the Sakaisuji (brown) metro line and Keihan main line. Yodoyabashi station is also reachable on foot, providing access to the Midosuji (red) metro line and also the Keihan main line, making the hotel superbly well located.

Lobby of the APA Hotel Sakaisuji Kitahama Ekimae

Guests may use the self check-in machine at the lobby, which was a testament to the high innovation standards of the firm and of Japan as a whole. I was guided to use this machine by the staff who was courteous and spoke good English. After retrieving the booking details, the machine will automatically dispense the key card, and print a receipt containing the guests' details and room number.

The self check-in machine which dispenses guests' key card

The walkway was rather narrow, as was perhaps typical for budget hotels. Perhaps this allows the hotel to house 193 guestrooms in a relatively small building.

Walkway

The hotel was designed in what the brand terms as "new urban style", which features three main aspects - high quality, high functionality and environmentally friendly. Indeed, the room had some useful features, such as storage space beneath the bed and USB ports (which even some premium hotels are lacking). While the room was small without much walking space available, the television was comparatively large at 50-inches. Video on demand (VOD) is available, with more than 160 titles available at a price of 1,000 yen per night.

As is typical across the APA Hotel and Resorts chain, the desk had quite a few brochures and marketing materials, which I suppose provided an advertising revenue stream for the company. In fact, I had received a bottle of coffee from the front desk upon checking in, which was said to be a free sample.

Standard room (note that the mirror on the left gives the impression of a larger space)

The bathroom was small but functional, with soap, shampoo and conditioner provided in large bottles.

Bathroom

Breakfast was not included in the room rate, but was available for 1,400 yen and served at the restaurant Valulu on the first floor. Communal facilities at the hotel include ice machines, vending machines and a microwave

Hotel entrance in prominent orange/black brand colours

Overall, the hotel was modern had some very functional features and provided a good night's rest. It is a "no frills" hotel, and for anything that you might need in the middle of the night, a Family Mart convenience store is fortunately around the corner about 50 metres away, or if you prefer, a 7-Eleven and Lawson is also not far away. Only street parking is available at this hotel if you do choose to drive.

APA Hotel Sakaisuji Kitahama Ekimae is located at 2-3-10, KĊraibashi, Osaka-shi, Chuo-ku, 541-0043 Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

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