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
Simple light meal, few places opened during their off peak season so was grateful.
Ramen was a bit spicy;
The beef bowl was delicious.
Price was a bit ex, but, it’s in the mountains, a ski village. Not many restaurants open at their off peak season.
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.