Just off the corner of Grand Hirafu’s main intersection sits a strikingly angled hotel designed by architectural firm Nikken Sekkei. Rising layers of balconies capture competing views of the ski hills of Mount Annupuri and the snow-capped Mount Yotei. The Vale Niseko is crammed with luxury amenities like a gorgeous pool and onsen and personalised service designed to deliver guests a complete relaxation package in Niseko’s winter wonderland.
NISEKO HOTELS WESTERN STYLE
Niseko hotels offer a good variety of choice for those wishing for Western style hospitality and service. Fitted with a full range of facilities like souvenir shops, restaurants, pools, onsens and specialized services make hotels a popular option for those visiting Niseko for the first time. The all-inclusive service packages that these hotels offer make them the safest choice for first time visitors to Niseko. These hotels and ryokans also score high marks for convenience whether it be their close proximity to tourist attractions, pampering service levels or custom transportation options. Not surprisingly, they are booked early during the peak of ski season from December to February when the Japanese and Chinese New Year Festivities are celebrated.
The Green Leaf Niseko Village was launched in 2010 with a unique design perspective guided by New-York based Champalimaud Design firm. Best described as a fusion of global design with local Artistry and stunning landscapes the Green Leaf stands out for its uniqueness as a winter destination. Facilities include 200 rooms, ski-in ski-out, spa treatments and a picturesque natural onsen. DIning options include full service bar and Japanese restaurant Goshiki featuring fresh Hokkaido produce. Future plans include a Japanese style village including luxury shops, food and souvenirs.
Featuring a distinct Ainu-inspired entrance designed by architect Kengo Kuma the One Niseko Resort Towers opened in 2012. Located in pristine Moiwa Village this hotel offers reasonable value for families or couples. Ski hills are a 10 minute shuttle ride away, a service provided by the hotel. Hotel amenities include a cigar & whiskey bar as well as an elegant full service restaurant and casual cafe. Complimentary breakfast is served to guests each morning.
Conveniently located at the foot of Mount An’nupuri the Niseko Northern Resort boasts one of the best ski-in ski-out settings. Panoramic views of the ski slopes are visible throughout the hotel. The welcome lobby has a Northern European design style affords numerous comforts to guests. Facilities include 2 modern restaurants, a lounge/bar, wilderness library and a cafe. For after-ski relaxation a sauna, open-air spa and natural hot spring bath remodelled in 2009 are available to guests. This resort is also in walking distance to several prominent Niseko restaurants. Online reviews score this resort favourably for friendly service and rank it as one of the top location hotels in Niseko.
Located just 150 meters from the main ski lifts of Grand Hirafu the Chalet Ivy is ideally situated for those whose main priority is skiing. Food facilities include Japanese Restaurant Snow Castle is overseen by former sushi chef of a top Hong Kong hotel as well as a cafe and bar/lounge. Chalet Ivy is tastefully decorated in modern furnishings including a beautiful and relaxing natural stone onsen. This hotel enjoys a high service rating among online reviews and goes beyond the usual effort to please its guests. Complimentary breakfast is served to all 33 guestrooms.
Hilton Hotel offers refined accomodations set against the backdrop of beautiful Annupuri Mountain int the village of Niseko. All the services one might expect of a global chain are present making it one of Niseko hotels top choices especially large groups. Amenities include a bar, 4 restaurants, a fitness center, spa and golf course which can be used for X-country skiing in winter. 499 guest rooms and suites are available with the addition of new Deluxe Panorama rooms unveiled in 2014. Business services and Wi-fi are also provided. This hotel also has a ski-in ski-out gondola service as well as a rental shop for ski equipment right on site.
The airy dining lounge is visible from the outside through the floor to ceiling glass windows is a wide open space with a scandinavian wood stove at one end standing in front of a rising stone tiled wall. A large, low coffee table encircled by a hemisphere of comfy leather couches signals the room’s intent to soothe and relax apres ski. Hip magazines such as Monocle encourage a lingering atmosphere. At the opposite end of the room rich, amber-stained tables, chairs and barstools in vintage English pub style add a feeling of comfort. The furniture lends an otherwise cold room a warm presence. This is the most apparent link to Jones Lange Lasalle’s London links.
Ki Niseko opened in December 2014 and is already one of the best Niseko hotels to stay in due to its standout design and proximity to the ski slopes. 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. “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.
In December as the powder snow starts to Kimamaya Boutique Hotel radiates a warm glow that spills onto the adjacent streets. Kimamaya means to “be yourself” in Japanese and best describes the hotel’s wishes for guests arriving from all over the world. Small relative to many hotels, this nine-room luxury lodge appeals to the traveller wanting attentive hospitality in a well-designed atmosphere located centrally. Upon entering the hotel a spacious living lounge signals the senses to relax and unwind as the warm glow of the modern fireplace radiates throughout the open room.
NISEKO JAPANESE RYOKAN
Niseko ryokan offer a different, more localized option for international travelers looking for a holiday experience uniquely Japanese. This does not mean one must forgo modern comforts – on the contrary this style ofvhospitality and customer service more often surpasses what one would find at a Western hotel. Staff at ryokans are dedicated to fulfilling customer’s wishes beyond the norm and are drawn from a domestic pool of professionals, some of whom are locals. What is different at a ryokan? The layout of a ryokan is usually wider with emphasis placed on viewpoint of nature, craft and space. They are often described as ZEN, the stripping back of details allows for a greater appreciation of the most important aspects. Ryokans are always made with natural materials and highlight the unique textures and contours rather than disguise them with decorations. Unlike the the towering levels of Western hotels, ryokan’s architecture stretches low and wide so as to reveal more of the site’s beautiful views. In many ways a stay in a ryokan is more relaxing and is sure to match the level of comfort sophisticated travelers expect while enriching with experiences and insights into Japanese customs.
Konbu Onsen Tsuruga Moku-no-sho is located in quiet An’nupuri Village also known as the Konbu Onsen District and offers the most authentic Japanese Ryokan experience in Niseko. Its philosophy is ‘Mori no Tenky Buro’ which allows guests to relax and become one with nature. This is manifested in several ways throughout the hotel.
Zaborin is an intimate Japanese ryokan with just 15 villas that places tranquility and privacy above all else. It sits nestled in a private forest in the Hanazono district of Niseko, surrounded by an undeveloped expanse of wild terrain marked by rising mountains covered in old growth forest. Despite being easily accessible, it feels more remote – the ideal setting for letting go of life’s stresses.