In August 2023, I checked into the Deluxe Room at Conrad Osaka. The hotel is situated on the highest floors of the Festival West Tower skyscraper building in the urban island of Nakanoshima, with direct connection to Watanabebashi Station on the Keihan Nakanoshima Line (train) and Higobashi Station on the Osaka Metro Yotsubashi Line (subway). Kansai International Airport (KIX) is about 40 minutes away by car, while the bustling Umeda and Namba neighbourhoods – great for dining, shopping and entertainment – are accessible by foot.
Aside from its commercial and government offices, Nakanoshima is known for its artistic and cultural facilities such as Festival Hall (Nakanoshima Festival Tower East); National Museum of Art, Osaka; Nakanoshima Museum of Art; and Osaka City Central Public Hall. Nearby attractions include Osaka Castle, Universal Studios Japan and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.
Other notable hotels in Osaka include The Ritz-Carlton, Umeda; voco Osaka Central; Swissotel Nankai Osaka; Hilton Osaka; and InterContinental Osaka.
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Sky-high elegance with scenic views in Osaka.
The must-dos (if any): Take in the breathtaking views from the hotel lobby or your room; use the indoor pool and onsen in the evening; have evening cocktails at the Executive Lounge.
Designed by Hashimoto Yukio Design Studio (behind The Peninsula Tokyo, InterContinental Osaka and Hilton Tokyo Bay) and Nikken Space Design (who had inputs for Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono and W Osaka), the hotel sits atop levels 33 to 40 of the Festival West Tower skyscraper building, with floor-to-ceiling windows in every room showcasing stunning panoramic views of the city. The sun-drenched 40th floor lobby plays it all elegant ethereal with the infinity of sky blue expanse beyond the double-height windows wrapping around the building as well as the artworks on display lending the relevant imagery of clouds (white bubble-like sculptures by Kohei Nawa) and light (shimmering crystal curtains by Matsuo Takahiro). All of the hotel’s F&B concepts are located on the 40th floor, which means you are assured high ceilings and breathtaking views to go with your dining experience.
Architectural fans will adore the grand spiral case (one of the hotel’s most famed photo spots) which connects the lobby level to the 39th floor below where the chapel and event spaces (as well as the Executive Lounge) are located.
In terms of wellness, the hotel offers The Spa at Conrad Osaka with its selection of Japanese-inspired treatments. The fitness centre is fitted with Technogym equipment, while the 20-metre heated indoor pool on the 38th level is even more stunning at night, with an attached sauna and onsen with pampering HARNN amenities (a personal favourite of mine) available for your post-swim pleasure.
Offering calming river views amidst a sea of surrounding high-rise office buildings, the 50sqm King Deluxe Room is sleek and contemporary in its stylings with splashes of Japanese influence. The room is decked in dark colours and cool textures, with flashes of vermillion red lending visual drama. Aside from the comfortable king-sized bed, the room is fitted with a window-side chaise longue which lets you take in the scenic views comfortably; a circular work desk with swivel chair which can serve as both dining or work station; and a concealed light-up vanity next to the television set. A bedside tablet helps you control the lights, temperature and curtains, while Bose Bluetooth speakers are available for your ambient music needs. As per Conrad custom, a souvenir keychain-sized bear plushie was left on the bed, greeting me upon my arrival.
The pantry area features a minimalist metal frame stand which houses Nespresso coffee and matcha tea-making facilities, while the minibar is stocked with a variety of spirits, canned beverages and juices, including Asahi beer and white wine. A box of Japanese crackers was also available as a welcome amenity.
The bathroom featured double vanities, a rainfall shower and a spacious circular soaking tub, with bathroom amenities courtesy of European luxury brand Byredo. My souvenir rubber duckie (another Conrad tradition) was transparent with a gold beak.
Although I was a Hilton Honors Diamond member at the point of this stay, the hotel was unable to offer me a room upgrade because of the hotel’s full occupancy that day, attributable to the Yodogawa Fireworks Festival held on the first Saturday of August every year.
Breakfast is served at Atmos Dining, a brasserie-style restaurant with an open kitchen. The breakfast is a primarily buffet affair – think Kale Salad, Grilled Mackerel, Takoyaki, Braised Pork Belly and Roast Beef – with egg dishes such as Poached Eggs Ratatouille on Danish Waffle with Hollandaise Sauce available to order a la minute and served to your table. The pastries were particularly delicious, with the Fruit Danish and Pain au Chocolat being highlights.
Located next to Atmos Dining is 40 Sky Bar & Lounge, where guests can enjoy afternoon tea in the day and live/DJ music-soundtracked tipples after dark. The cocktails are on the fruitier and more refreshing side of things, with options such as La Peche (white peach, white peach juice, peach fruit mix, grenadine, Chandon), Wabi-Sabi (Olmeca Blanco Tequila, cointreau, lime juice, and wasabi) and 40 Sky (Beefeater gin, Bénédictine D.O.M., cointreau, orange juice, lime juice, Angostura bitters). The bar’s signature cocktail is Takoyaki in the Sky, a dramatic blue-coloured cocktail featuring Beefeater gin and dry vermouth which is crowned with a takoyaki ball.
The other two dining concepts at Conrad Osaka are C:Grill, a wood-grilled seafood restaurant, as well as Kura, a teppanyaki and sushi concept which is known for their premium Kuroge Wagyu beef dishes and beautiful night views.
The Executive Lounge is located on the 39th level, with access available to club/suite guests as well as Hilton Honors Diamond members. There are different seating formats to suit your dining needs, from sofa seating for bigger groups to coveted window-side tables that can take in the glorious panoramic views (most gorgeous during sunset hour). My stay coincided with the annual Yodogawa Fireworks Festival, which meant the seats closest to the window were highly sought after to enjoy the (partially obstructed) views of the spectacular fireworks in the distance.
The evening cocktail presentation is fairly elaborate, playing it more substantial dinner buffet than finger bites and canapes – think Egg Fried Rice, Stir-Fried Cabbage with Pork and Fried Chicken in addition to the usual cold cuts, pastries, salads and desserts. Casual returns to the buffet line often reaped unexpected rewards, as the kitchen may on occasion replace an empty tray with an entirely different dish altogether (in my case, the boneless fried chicken was replaced by Chicken Wings at some point during the evening). The alcohol selection is also extensive, with spirits such as Tanqueray gin, Olmeca tequila and Chivas Regal whisky alongside a variety of wines and Japanese sakes. Espace of Limari Special Edition Brut is the sparkling of choice.
This is no hyperbole – the magnificently crispy Fried Chicken is quite possibly one of the best club lounge dishes I have ever had.
Conrad Osaka stands proudly as one of the best luxury hotels in Osaka, and after my stay, I can certainly understand why. I would love to return and check out their other dining restaurants someday.
530-0005, Osaka, 3-2-4 Nakanoshima