What We Love
- A boutique mountain retreat in Hokkaido, with breakfast and a private hot-spring bathThe picturesque town and the lovely cycling and hiking trails around it
- Spending a couple of hours in the evening in the natural onsen
- Enjoying a date night at Snow Castle for an exquisite omakase
What To Know
- There is free shuttle service between the resort and Niseko Mountain Grand Hirafu
- The NAC Niseko Adventure Center is just a few minutes away—head there to arrange activities like rafting
- Free WiFi works well
There’s a sense of otherworldly charm in the mountain town of Niseko (known as the Tuscany of Asia). It could be due to the presence of the towering Mount Yotei, a behemoth that watches silently over its surrounding Hokkaido countryside, bursting with color from flowers and greenery in the summer. Popular among adventure-seekers, honeymooners and those seeking an idyllic escape from the city, the town boasts many charms impossible to describe in totality. They have to be experienced.
On the foothills of the mountain, you’ll be able to view the Mount Yotei in all its glory from your room. It’s the perfect base for exploring Niseko’s range of activities, free from touristy buzz. Take the time to hike through Niseko’s many picturesque trails, go golfing, visit local farms, go horseback riding, take a hot-air-balloon ride or pick up some Japanese cooking skills from the locals. There’s an endless array of things to do.
In your downtime, you’ll be pampered by traditional Japanese hospitality and spoiled by luxury amenities, stylish accommodations and panoramic views from your room. The boutique hotel, elegantly appointed, is all class and understated glamour. Warm up in its spectacular natural hot spring, or “onsen”. Just for hotel guests, it has an indoor and outdoor area. For those a little shy about sharing the onsen, the hotel also has a private onsen that can be booked.
How to Get There
I've stayed at this place 3-4 times. The location is great, the rooms are fine, but small compared to most other places in Niseko (which has mainly condotels). But I've always found the staff really rude and snooty.
Last time I stayed, I asked the guy in the breakfast bar for a coffee. 'You have to get it yourself' he said, and continued to stare at his phone, standing, errr, right next to the coffee machine.
'OR' I said through gritted teeth 'you could get it FOR me, since you work here, and are clearly not very busy, hmmm?'
'It's self service' he replied without looking up from his phone.
Today, when I checked in (this is the dead season and every hotel is empty), I was first told I had to wait until 3PM (it was 1:30), since '3PM is our dedicated check-in time'.
When I politely asked if I could have a room anyway, she first said 'we have a room but we need to change a light bulb in it, so you can't check in now.' After much tutting she finally let me check in. 'It has a double bed, as I requested, right?' 'Yes.'
I go to the room. Two single beds pushed together.
Back to reception.
'Errr, excuse me, I had requested a double bed, and you just told me the room has a double bed. It doesn't. It's two single beds.'
'She looked at me as if I had just farted in her handbag.
'When you push two single beds together it becomes a double bed.'
Which is when I left.
So. If you want to be politely and professionally treated, do not, on any account stay here.
I instead got a huge 1-bedroom apartment at Hyatt House, for substantially less money. And guess what? They have polite, friendly staff, too. This is where I'll stay from now on.
The service was outstanding, we enjoyed the shuttle bus to and from the base for snowboarding and a free pick up from Kutchan JR station. The location is great, in the heart of upper Hirafu-zaka close to lifts, shopping and restaurants. The facilities are fabulous with a restaurant, bar, gym, laundry and Onsen, even a private Onsen. The breakfast provided great variety.
Family of 4 (two kids aged 8 and 6) on a ski trip as part of a Japan holiday. Niseko was the last leg of our trip and our favourite (versus Tokyo and Kyoto).
Chalet Ivy turned out to be a great choice. We were trying to choose between the Hilton and Chalet Ivy and definitely made the right choice. Location is excellent for skiing and easy access to other restaurants with the use of the hotel shuttle. Staff were outstanding, both the Japanese and foreign workers. The ski concierge worked perfectly and saved a lot of hassle.
Note there are effectively three different resorts / ski areas to choose from....Chalet Ivy is located in the best one with the quickest lift and a good English speaking kids ski instructor school (called go snow). All 3 resorts are connected but the lifts on Hilton are slower and runs not as good (although it is the middle resort which is a positive).
Finally, the room itself was perfect for a family as the kids slept in two singles (from the sofa) in the separate living area (with separate toilets) from our main bedroom. All with views of the slopes.
Only suggestion would be to have more extensive list of more reasonably priced wines at dinner. Although there is a good supermarket next door with plenty of wine.
Would not hesitate to stay again.
We are a family of 4, one teener and one preschooler.
We got the room with the Hirafu view at the 5th flr. We have two twin beds and one extra bed.
Enjoyed the free public onsen, it was always just us when we go there. My 5yr old daughter enjoyed wearing the yukata and she's giddy to have her own small bedroom slippers.
The room is always clean and everyday we're provided with fresh towels.
Enjoyed the breakfast though it's always the same every day except for the continental soup that only repeated on the 4th day.
I love that the shuttle is just always there waiting for someone to go somewhere. The driver was kind enough to pick me up somewhere near Gondola base when he saw me just walking to go back to hotel.
We stayed at Chalet Ivy for 3 nights but wish it were more. Their shuttle picked us up from the Welcome Center at Grand Hirafu even though it it only a 5 minute down hill walk, with all our luggage and ski equipment. The hotel itself is relatively small with about 75? rooms but it was very modern and clean. Hotel staff were extremely helpful and brought all our luggage to our rooms. Have small but very clean indoor and outdoor Onsens for each sex which were clean and comfortable. I went in twice a day and only saw two others during my stay. They have an excellent breakfast buffet with Japanese and Western style food and a good coffee machine and great fruit juices. One night we had dinner in the hotel because it was cold and we didn't want to fight the crowds outside and were pleasantly surprised that the food was excellent and reasonably priced. Each day the hotel shuttle took us to the ski lifts and picked us up in the afternoon. Hotel is 1 minuet walk to an excellent ramen shop and a grocery store and maybe 5 minute walk to many Isakayas and restaurants. Also close to several rental shops for ski or snowboarding equipment. After checking out of our rooms they dropped us off at the Welcome Center so we could catch our shuttle to the airport. Would definitely return!