My family were due to arrive in Kumamoto a week after the earthquake – a long-ago booked family holiday that we didn’t want to cancel. But with violent aftershocks continuing, we decided to meet in Fukuoka instead and have a relaxing weekend away before venturing back to the disaster zone. But booking at such short notice (and with so many other evacuees fleeing to Fukuoka too) we found our usual hotel fully booked and little to no other options on the travel websites. With no other choice, we decided to splash out and spend about double as much as we usually do on accommodation in an attempt to get away – where we ended up was at the Hotel Clio Court Hakata.
Our usual hotel is about 2 minutes away on foot from the exit of Hakata train station, but the Clio Court beats this by far, being about 30 seconds away from the number 15 exit of the station. Located above a noisy Pachinko parlor and next to a bustling taxi rank you’d be forgiven for thinking that your sleep will be a bit disturbed, but not so – with guest rooms high up in the building and thick glass in the windows you can’t hear a peep from the world outside.
A little pricey, but worth every penny – and you can always find good deals on the booking websites, particularly if you book well in advance. Single rooms cost 10,500 yen per night (11,500 including breakfast) with a ‘female priority floor’ option available. A double room with a small double bed is priced from 10,925 yen to 13,500 yen depending on your preferences and with a large double bed or twin beds from 12,445 yen 15,100 yen. The luxury corner double room goes for 13,395 yen to 15,295 yen per night.
For Japanese-style rooms with a futon, single occupancy is from 11,210 yen and double occupancy from 13,395 yen. Other room options include deluxe double rooms, triple rooms, executive suites and early check-in rooms.
For our stay, we booked the cheapest double room available, and were pleasantly surprised to find a massage chair in our room – luxury of untold measures compared to our usual budget hotel! The room was certainly more spacious than the cheap budget hotels, but the bathroom was about the same in size and cleanliness.
There are two restaurants in the hotel – the Enza Nagaya where you can enjoy fine Japanese food, and the Hakata Akaraku which serves an a la carte menu as well as specialty course options. The cafe d’Erte serves a breakfast of both Japanese and Western dishes.
Receiving a review score of 8.5 out of 10 on Booking.com, it’s not hard to see that this is a great hotel. If you’re just passing through Fukuoka and want somewhere close to the station, treat yourself to a night at the Clio Court rather than dossing in a cruddy business hotel.