KI NISEKO LUXURY HOTEL REVIEW
Ki Niseko opened in December 2014 and is designed by renowned Hokkaido architect Koichi Ishiguro. It is the newest example of contemporary Japanese architect to grace Niseko Village and one designed to integrate into the alpine landscape of Grand Hirafu.
Ishiguro is an award-winning architect who excels at combining technical depth with an aesthetic sensitive to the character of the place. If he was a shaping flavors rather than space he would be known as a chef who respecst of his terroir. Born in Nagano home to the Japanese Alps, Ishiguro graduated from Nagoya Institute of Technology in 1982 before heading off to Tokyo, then New York before finally settling in Hokkaido. Now Managing Director of Atelier BNK in Sapporo he recently completed his highest-profile project – the technically challenging Sapporo Dome.
It is the newest example of recent string of contemporary Japanese architecture to grace Niseko Village. It was also the biggest project completed in 2014 with more than 50 units available for sale as a condominium or used as a hotel room. The hotel management chose construction company Iwata Chizaki for the buildout and post-completion will be managed by Hokkaido Tourism Management (HTM). It is an intriguing model in which a small group of partners finance then outsource the design, construction and building management. In some ways the strategy mirrors the recent trend of high-end hoteliers in which condominium and hotel operations occupy the same building and share the same services such as dining and cleaning. One of the advantages of this approach is that prepaid condominium purchases help finance a significant portion of the project. It will be interesting to see whether this model catches on with other property developers in Niseko.
“Ki” which in Japanese Kanji means tree was chosen as it symbolizes the natural beauty of Hokkaido. Architect Koichi Ishiguro has designed Ki to fit in with the surrounding environment, utilizing surrounding elements of Niseko’s natural setting. An onsen bath (hot spring) draws on geothermal heating to provide relaxation. Outside, gardens stretch from a nearby forest to the doorstep of Ki Resort. Completing the synergy with nature, a walking path and flowing river merge into grounds shaded in earth tones that blend into the mountain.
Ki Niseko interiors include contemporary apartments with Japanese-inspired design elements and rooms configured as hotel rooms up to expansive three-bedroom penthouses. The condos boast light bedrooms, with large vista windows displaying jaw-dropping mountain views.All apartments come fully furnished with premium fittings, climate control, extensive use of natural light and beautiful views of either the ski slopes or Mount Yotei. The in-hotel amenities include ski valet, front reception, lounge, bar/cafe, restaurant, shop, hot springs, spa and massage. With a ski-in, ski-out location featuring immediate access to multiple lifts, ski valet, beautiful views of the ski runs and Mount Yotei, hiking, MTB and road bike trails right at the door in summer, natural on-site onsen hot spring spa, concierge, and unmatched amenities, Ki Niseko strives to set the standard for all the best that Niseko has to offer.
PRIVATE HOT SPRING BATH
Ki Niseko has two public onsens, both with inside baths as well as outdoor stone rotenburo baths. The mineral rich onsen water comes from Ki’s own exclusive source, with high mineral content to soothe and refresh the tired body. Complete with saunas and plunge pools, the Ki onsens are the perfect place to end your day. In addition to the public onsens. Ki Niseko offers two private family onsens, available for reservation after check-in.
Niseko is blessed with a rich bounty of natural hot spring water which is as almost as enticing as the snow. The pleasure of soaking muscles, fatigued from a day of skiing, in 42C onsen water is one of several refined pleasures available in Niseko.
Relax and enjoy the privacy of your own private family bath
and gaze out from the window at the forest and Niseko Annupuri Mountain while taking a dip in your very own exclusive hot spring bath.
After 3 years as Head Chef at Sake Brisbane, Australia where he picked up a coveted Chef’s Hat in the 2012 Queensland Good Food Guide, Shinichi Maeda will build upon his reputation for excellence and head Niseko’s newest gastronomic experience at Ki Niseko called “An Dining”.
Shinichi is thrilled to be returning home to Hokkaido after 11 years in Australia. Coming home to Japan to be near family, Shinichi desired a location with an international clientele where he has free reign to explore his creativity and passion for local produce. When the opportunity arose at Ki Niseko, Maeda knew it was the perfect fit.
By bringing his traditional Japanese training and passion for regional produce to his new role as Executive Chef at An Dining, Shinichi’s aim is simply to serve up fresh and vibrant cuisine in a relaxed setting, using celebrated Hokkaido produce in new and interesting ways.
The ever-smiling chef is passionate about building strong relationships with local suppliers and is excited to be returning to his Japanese roots and meeting farmers and suppliers in the area. “Our goal is to use as much local produce as possible and I can’t wait to visit suppliers and local fishmongers, vegetable farmers and markets.”
Shinichi maintains a strong sense of community having been involved in a number of charity and community events over the past 2 years in Brisbane. Through community initiatives Maeda hopes to play a part in raising the profile of Niseko as a culinary destination.
Designed to share, Ki Niseko Restaurant An Dining’s menu will encompass all five tastes – sweet, bitter, salty, spicy & umami, the savoury taste synonymous with fermented products. With the menu still to be announced, Shinichi promises diners an outstanding mix of new-style sushi & classic dishes, where the dynamic menu changes with the Niseko seasons allowing guests to gain greater insight into the age-old Japanese tradition of delicately balancing flavours. Inside the restaurant, diners can expect a contemporary Japanese menu filled with plenty of surprise & an ever-buzzy atmosphere.