Although Super Hotels are classified as a budget hotel, they offer some pretty good services which separate them from other hotel chains. For example, they have a free breakfast buffet, well lit rooms and lobbies, wireless internet access, some buildings with all non-smoking rooms and even some hotels featuring hot springs (onsens).
One of the most unique aspects of the Super Hotel is the check-in which is done through an ATM-like machine in the lobby. You select the room you want and put in your money. You are then provided with a piece of paper which has your room number and a number code, which serves as a key which you need when you enter your room.
This keyless system means no check out is required and is part of the secret to the success of the Super Hotel system. Because the front desk is hardly manned it reduces costs by about 35%. This lack of service doesn’t deter repeat visitors though and about 70% of their customers are repeaters.
They have a “Gussuri Nemureru” (sleep well) system which allows you to pick from six types of pillows with varying degrees of firmness.
One thing you do have to be careful of is they do not allow you to check-in after midnight and there are no extensions on the checkout time of 10:00a.m.
Super hotels are extremely cheap, coming in at under 5,000 yen for a single room. Children over 6 are charged as adults.
There are approximately 30 Super Hotels in various regions, namely Kyushu, Tottori, Kansai, Central Japan, Northern Japan and Greater Tokyo. Tokyo has the highest concentration with 10, most of them located slightly out of the center of the city in locations such as Omiya, Myoden, Kameido, Akabane etc.
Richie Johns, a long term resident of Japan.