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“Convenient ski-in/ski-out with very friendly and helpful staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Sierra Resort

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Hotel Sierra Resort
3.5 of 5 Onsen Hotel   |   731-1 Tsuchidaru | Iwappara Ski Area, Minamiuonuma-gun, Yuzawa-machi 949-6103, Niigata Prefecture (Echigoyuzawa Onsen)   |  
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Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Convenient ski-in/ski-out with very friendly and helpful staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

We stayed for three nights just before Christmas. The hotel is very well positioned on the slope and so it is a very genuine ski-in and ski-out place. The hotel look after everything for you, from a pick-up at Echigo Yuzawa station, a porter to take all you luggage from the bus, lift tickets, ski rental, boot rental if necessary and even ski jacket and ski pants rental if you or your kids don't have your own stuff.

We had a four bed room to share with the kids. The room was amply spacious and warm most of the time but the bathroom is one of those rather cramped affairs you often encounter in Japan. Also, the room in general was not quite as smart as I had expected having seen the website photos. This is offset by a smart Japanese communal bath in the basement with a great view of the slopes via a large one-way window. There is also an outdoor bath but I did not brave the subzero temperatures to try it. Evening meals are French style and in two sittings each evening. There is a breakfast buffet with a very broad selection of Western style and Japanese food.

I found the staff extremely helpful (especially Michiyo with her fluent English) in everything from ski rental and related stuff to helping out with takkyubin service.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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43 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    3
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25
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

It is a great skiing place. Great for all ages. It has wonderful staff, dinners, breakfast and it has all the ski clothing you need. It has a great view of the ski runs as it is on one of the slopes. If you have any children then at dinner time, it is the best time for them as they can pick a present at the end according to their letter on the card. Sierra Resort is great because in the winter you can go skiing, and in the summer when all the snow has melted, it is great for pictures, scenery and hiking.

Room Tip: Room 342 is excellent because it has a very good view of the ski slopes and is very quiet even thoug...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

They just painted and renovated some of the rooms.. the room smells of paint and glue...they even had three air filters in the room cos' the smell was that bad...so the question was WHY!! Would they put us up there? Very toxic rooms and we had to change rooms to a very average standard one as we could not stand the smell, and we were not compensated for our troubles...the manager of the hotel was not very accomodating or friendly...he needs to be better trained in the hospitality industry....their hospitality service was very poor. The other staff were friendly and trying to be helpful with our situation as they brought in two more filters for our room... but in the end we just had to move out of our room.This is a very Japanese hotel. Expect to get no service except for free shuttle bus but everything else you are basically on your own...outdoor onsen on the other hand was the only nice thing about this place. I also did not like that we had to walk 100 meters to get to our hotel from drop off shuttle bus point.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Yokohama, Japan
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2012

The kids had a ski break in school, and my husband wanted to coordinate some skiing with his Japanese colleagues. So we hit a compromise - we went up on a Sunday, and returned on Tuesday. This ended up being a great idea!

Upon arrival, we were in a snow storm and weren't fully prepared for the walk down the hill in the snow - but it was a short walk. The excitement of starting vacation was high, so this didn't bother us and in fact made it feel like an adventure!

Our room was the deluxe room with 4 beds. We were on the 1st floor, and had a picture window to the slopes. This was fun to watch the boarders and skiers coming down the hill. Included in our stay was dinner and breakfast. The dining area also had a beautiful view. The food was good and about 4 or 5 course meals each night. The nice thing was that at each course was about 3 different choices. So even some picky eaters would be able to enjoy the meal. They catered to the kids as well, and gave a more "basic" meal to them. And then they were still very accommodation and provided just plain noodles for our pickiest eater.

Breakfast was a buffet and had a number of choices including some cold cereals, breads, and a hot buffet. We were satisfied.

The ski in / ski out was great! We also rented sleds and could play in the snow around the property. Pricing for the slopes was also good with a discount. However, you buy at the desk but then have to switch the voucher at 1 of 2 ski hill ticket outlets for the actual lift ticket. As we were beginners, we skied down to the bottom ticket office. This as exciting for us.

I could see that if you were an advanced skier, you might not enjoy a LONG stay here - maybe a day or so to enjoy the slopes. There aren't so many runs. But it truly is scenic! The kid areas on the mountain was also fun!

The staff was also extremely helpful and worked with our limited Japanese - and in fact had some great English Speakers on staff. We were very comfortable with all aspects of the stay!

For convenience to Tokyo and the Shinkansen, it seems that it would be hard to beat! I know Hakuba is popular, but the train + about a 1 hour bus ride seemed a bit much for our family and the short trip. I could easily see this as a day trip to just ski at the mountain and get back home for bed if you're coming from Tokyo. Enjoy!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2012

Im currently writting this from the lounge in the hotel. Im waiting for the shuttle to take me back to Echigo Yuzawa before I start my journey back to Sydney via Tokyo.

As a Brit (currently living in Australia), used to skiing in the Alps I have to say I am very impressed with this property. The views alone are breath taking and the staff have been fantastic.

I stayed in a newly refurbished twin room in the annexe. The room had a floor to ceiling window with views out on to the slopes. My only niggle with the room was that it was too hot but this is often a complaint from westerners in the ski resorts here. I got used to it after a whilst. The under floor heating was a nice touch and the decor in the room was modern and stylish. The furniture was comfortable too - there were a couple of easy chairs to sit in and take in the views.

I stayed on Half Board so my breakfast and dinner was included. The service in the restaurant was excellent and the food was top notch. It was a great surprise to see some top quality western dishes being served - It was a nice change from the Japanese food on the mountain.

In terms of skiing I was a bit dissappointed with Iwaparra - Its OK for beginners but if you're an advanced skier like me then you'll be bored after an hour or so. So I headed to Kugara on the 2nd day. It's about 20 minutes away in a taxi and the skiing there was amazing! Well worth the journey. I tried to book one of the prince hotels but they didnt accept single travellers - so the compromise was to travel there.

I almost forgot to mention the Onsen in the hotel. It's lovely - I went at night in the middle of a snow storm. It was a bit cold on my head but the water was lovely and a really unique experience.

I've had an excellent time here and was worth every cent. Nothing was too much trouble for the team. The views are stunning, the food is excellent and ski in/ski out location is perfect for a relaxing stay.

Top Marks!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2012

So last weekend we stayed at the Sierra Resort at Yuzawa. After spending the weekend before at the Sierra Resort in Hakuba we were expecting the same thing but on the slopes, so ski in ski out. However, this hotel failed to meet the standard set by it’s sister hotel. The hotel from the outside is very New England style, white cladded, and very pretty.

They picked us up from the train station, and it is about a 10 minute trip. Cars can not drive to the hotel in winter. They dropped us off at a car park with a tunnel that takes you under the ski slope and out about 50 meters from the hotel. We were not given any guidance as to how to get to the hotel. We were just dumped at the tunnel entrance. It was snowing heavily and the walk to the hotel was snowed in and down hill. We were never informed of the hotels situation, so we went in our normal clothes and footwear. My husband had his business suit on and I had heels on. I arrived at the reception a bit annoyed, but the receptionist was very polite and apologetic.

We arrived at around 9pm, and the last sitting for dinner was at 8pm, but they had prepared us a meal. So we soon forgot about the mishap. The meal was OK, not great, and definitely not in the same class as the Sierra Resort in Hakuba. The wine selection was poor.

We opted for a deluxe room not a standard room. Our room was on the top floor in the eaves. The eaves did not bother me, right up until the point where I got up in the middle of the night to use the loo, and banged my head hard. The room bared no resemblance to the image on their site. I noticed as I walked past that the rooms on the lower floors were the same as the web site. The room was not too bad, it was not stylish, but it was quite spacious. There were two armchairs and a table from Ikea. They were actually comfy, albeit a bit naff.

The bathroom was not good. It was tiny, and although it looked quite new it was out dated in style. The room and bathroom at the Hakuba hotel was much nicer in comparison.
The hotel is situated on the Iwappara ski area of Yuzawa. Although the hotel is ski in ski out, the slopes here are not enough to keep one satisfied for a weekend. After half a day we had done the whole area, twice. To go to the other areas was more of a hassle than it would be if one was staying in a non ski in ski out hotel. It involved an up hill hike to the car park to get the shuttle bus.

Also, as the hotel is right on the slopes we were woken every morning by funk music being piped on to the slopes and chair lifts. This started around 8am, and we had no desire to get up before 8:40am. I have no idea why they are playing music on the slopes. This is very bizarre in my opinion.

Saturday we had lunch in the hotel. We had a window seat and the restaurant has floor to ceiling windows with views out to the valley. They were playing pop music really loud, I thought that was a bit odd. Most of the patrons were 30-50 years of age, with some kids. I did not appreciate the music, it was not at background volume level.

Dinner and breakfast was included in the room rate, so Saturday night we ate there again. The meal was a five course taster menu, and much better than the previous night, but it was still nothing like the food in the Hakuba hotel. However, we enjoyed the meal very much, and at least the music was much more appropriate for the clientele, and they had turned the volume down.

Out of ski season they seem to use the hotel as a music recording studio. Most of the basement of the hotel is kitted out for this. The basement is where the ski room is located, and you walk through these areas to get to the hot spring onsen. The walls are padded with black material for sound proofing. I thought it was a bit ugly and gave the hotel a bit of a grungy feel. The hotel was not as nicely decorated as the hotel in Hakuba in general. There was no open fire, and although the lobby had comfortable sofas, it was very cold.

They had an inside and outside onsen. I did not think much of the inside area, but the open air bath was a real treat, with views out to the valley.

Overall we thought the hotel was not in the same league as the Sierra Resort in Hakuba. We did not appreciate the hotels location, it was too much of a hassle getting to and from the other ski areas. The views were good being up the mountain, but the peace was disrupted by the music playing. There is no bar to have a drink, although there are some bars and restaurants within 5 minutes on foot, so you can find atmosphere easily if you want it. Although we had a good time overall, we would not return to the hotel, as there are better places to stay in my opinion. In fact we had another weekend booked there, and we cancelled it.

The review is taken from my blog theexpatwife with a com.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Sierra Resort

Address: 731-1 Tsuchidaru | Iwappara Ski Area, Minamiuonuma-gun, Yuzawa-machi 949-6103, Niigata Prefecture
Phone Number:
Location: Japan > Chubu > Niigata Prefecture > Minamiuonuma-gun > Yuzawa-machi > Echigoyuzawa Onsen
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 88 Hotels / Ryokan in Yuzawa-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Sierra Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 56
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
How would you like to relax in our hotel with fresh air and a fantastic view of the mountains surrounding. Our 100% pure onsen (hot spring) is officially approved by research institution, that the water has effects for neuralgic, muscle pain, joint pain, pain shoulder and 10 more symptoms. We are sure that soaking in our onsen should take your tiredness away in no time. Our French full course dinner is made by our own chef, using local materials. Every room in our hotel has there own private bath (excluding cottage building since it is very close to the hot spring) and shower toilet. Especially for premium deluxe type there is a private bathtub in your balcony as well. And also for your convenience we have free WI-FI, free drink service at our lounge and shuttle bus from Echigo-Yuzawa station. ... more   less 
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