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“Great onsen hotel :)” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Senkei

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Hotel Senkei
592 Yumoto, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0311, Kanagawa Prefecture (Hakoneyumoto Onsen)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #127 of 227 Hotels / Ryokan in Hakone-machi
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great onsen hotel :)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2010

My friend and i wanted to stay at an onsen hotel very much during our trip in japan. We came across this hotel in this tripadvisor site and were very excited to book this hotel upon the many great reviews given.

The location of the hotel is pretty acessible with the directions they given to us to get to the hotel. The staff were very nice and helpful esp the maid who served our room.
The dinner was served in our room at 6pm, which was bit early but since we dont have much to do in that hotel, and wanted to go into the onsen later in the night, we decided to have a very early one. An early dinner was good, cos their dinner course had so much food and we couldnt finish it all! They have an instructions manual book which teaches tourists how to enjoy the onsen, and the dinner. But the instructins to eat the dinner in the right order, eg the appetiser, etc.. was kinda confusing, and we juz eat whatever we set our eyes on; too much choices. :)

We did not try the indoor onsen since we are only there for a night and had to leave the hotel early next morning to tour hakone, so we tried only the outdoors onsen. It was not very big, i guess sufficient for about 6 people. Lucky for us , both of us went in pretty late so there wasnt anybody and we had the whole bath to ourselves.

We did not venture out of the hotel during night, since there isnt much stuff to do outside and spent the whole night eating our awesome dinner and enjoying the onsen. Its a great place if you want to relax and recharge for the rest of your trip.

The next morning, we are greeted again with a enormous breakfast which we couldnt finish yet again. A great breakfast to start our tour in hakone was really awesome and we really felt recharged to continue our remaining trip in japan.

Overall, this hotel is really awesome and will stay again if we visit hakone again. ;)

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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78 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Hong Kong
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2010

I stayed at Hotel Senkei for one night last week. My experience was good but not great in comparison to other ryokan stays I've had in Japan.

I've previously stayed at the Hiragiya Annex in Kyoto and at a ryokan in Koya Mountain whose name I've forgotten but was run by a group of monks. Hiragiya was an upper mid-end ryokan like Hotel Senkei, while the ryokan in Koya was a mid-end establishment. When I stay at a ryokan, I look to be delighted by the experience, otherwise why bother. Both Hiragiya and the ryokan in Koya had been delightful in their own ways. They were unique, memorable experiences that I will never forget.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said of Hotel Senkei. The service here was polite and efficient, but lacked the personal touch and sincere eagerness to please that I experienced at the other ryokan. For example, when the attendant at Senkei explained the dishes of the kaiseiki meal to us, she came across as just doing her job. At the other places I’ve stayed at, they smiled more, were more enthusiastic, and were more patient when we didn't understand.

Even more disappointing was the Senkei’s kaiseki meal, which was dull and lifeless. The food tasted pretty much like any meal I could get at an average restaurant in Japan. By contrast, the meal at Hiragiya was one of the best I've ever had in my life, with every dish -- no matter how small -- perfectly prepared and distinctive. It had been a riot of exotic flavors, presenting surprises at every turn. That is what I expect from an expensive kaiseki meal.

On the positive side, the Senkei Hotel’s facilities were very comfortable and relaxing. The complex is nicely laid out and set in natural surroundings. My room at Senkei was just as well-maintained as that at the Hiragaya. Moreover, it had a spacious rest area with a glass ceiling through which the sun streamed in during the day. In addition there was a large terrace with a wonderful mountain view. The private, in-room bathing facility was a nice plus, and it was big enough for two people. The indoor public bath was not bad. I didn’t get a chance to use the outdoor public bath.

Overall, I can’t recommend the Senkei. Given the price, I’d expected much more. If I were to come back to Hakone, I would definitely look for alternatives to the Senkei.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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leeds
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2010

We stayed for two nights at the Senkei Yamagaso annexe. Having just spent 6 nights in Tokyo during Golden Week, we were looking forward to a haven of calm away from the city.

Our first experience of the Yamagaso was superb. The annexe is easy to find, conveniently located, and extremely pretty. The mama-san was warm and welcoming, and we were shown to our room.

The annexe room was enormous, especially after the tiny ryokan we were used to in Tokyo. The room was well appointed and the futon beds were very comfortable.

The plus points:
- the use of the private onsen - perfect for new initiates to the Japanese spa experience. The onsen was well supplied with fancy toiletries, and the bath and shower areas were impeccably clean.
- the room layout - the view of the beautiful but tiny garden area was lovely, complete with little stream (and fascinating, tiny land crabs)

The negatives:
- the room could do with a refresh - decor looked tired
- the toilet and bathroom area was a serious let-down - although clean, it looked grimy and was very spidery.
- the room had as a highlight a deep bath so that we could enjoy a truly private onsen. We didn't make use of this for two reasons - one, it was poorly ventilated and consequently a bit mouldy, rather insecty, and although the huge windows afforded a gorgeous view of the gardens, not much privacy was afforded!

Other points to note:
- Hakone seems to close up shop very early in the evening - eat early or miss out completely!
- visit the Hakone Gyoza Centre, you will not be disappointed - be sure to arrive hungry and stuff yourself with their delicious gyoza!
- be aware that the staff at the Yamagaso are very friendly, but that this can border on intrusive. And they don't speak much English, so if you don't have the rudiments of Japanese, be warned!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Saratoga, California
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2010

A family of two adults and two children, we stayed in the four person suite (approximately 899 square feet), which had a wonderful outdoor patio and open air balcony with direct views of the mountains.

Pluses:
+ Incredible multicourse meals for breakfast and dinner...easily $100 per person if purchased in a restaurant, served in our suite
+ Wonderful ambience in the tatami rooms and outdoor onsen baths, shaded by huge old growth trees on the mountainside
+ Very skilled masseuse in spa, including 30% discount for hotel guests -- an excellent value for the quality
+ Quiet rooms overlooking mountains and stream, which have their own onsen bath
+ Very spacious indoor onsen baths, segregated male and female
+ Excellent service from the people who set out the meals and the futons for sleeping
Minuses:
+ Ten minute walk from Hakone train station
+ Futons a little hard to sleep on; you may wish to double up on the futons for softness
+ Air conditioning (in the 90 degree Fahrenheit heat and humidity we encountered in August) was a little loud, but perhaps unavoidably so

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2010

First of all, keep your eyes and ears open. Your orientation begins the second you hit the door. The hostess/ geisha will inform you about everything you need to know about your stay including osen etiquitte, your meals, the sandals, the toilet, the rules, your bed all the while dressing you in a kimono type robe including some funky sox. Oh yea, this is ALL in japanese...ha ha. Seriously they speak absolutely no english!
So once you get settled in and stop looking at each other going huh? This place is a blast. You hang out in those kimono's sitting on straw floors sipping green tea in your own "cottage" with a garden outside the rice paper windows. If you dare and were paying attention to your orientation you can venture into the onsen bath. Prudes beware this is no place to be modest, its all out there?
Dinner is served in your room and set out on your own table as you eat. It is truly a feast for the eyes. The attention to detail and the presentation of the many courses, I mean many is a sight to behold and to eat. It was an experience of a lifetime. The food kept coming. There were probably 10 courses of the most unusual food items I've ever seen and I'm a foody. Andrew Zimern would be proud. To this day I am not sure what some of the items were? After dinner they set up your beds on the floor. It doesn't sound too good but believe it or not they were very comfortable.
Breakfast is served and it is the same as dinner on a lesser scale but still a gastronomic event! Don't think you're having bacon and eggs because you're not. It's soup, sushi and a heck of alot of unidentifiable food products. What a treat!
I must mention this is at the Yamagusa annex NOT at the Inn. Open your mind this is an EXPERIENCE to remember!

Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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London
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
82 hotel reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2010

Reading the other reviews I realise your impressions of this place are very much based on where you have stayed before. I must say the pictures on their web site make it look gorgeous and we were looking forward to staying here. Unfortunately it wasnt quite as lovely as we expected and we nearly walked passed it. It looks like a normal hotel from the outside. It is a 10 minute walk, which isnt far but when it rains seems longer. Like the previous reviewer we experienced a rather bossy "maid" who does rather charge into the room and tell you what to do. I supposed we are staying here for the ritual and she is trying to make sure you experience that . The staff do not speak much english, if at all. The room was large and the food quite interesting and extremely well presented. We ate everything offered, but I cant say it was the best food I have ever eaten. The room plus food cost 31,000 yen for 2 of us yet we stayed in an equally nice Japanese room in Hiroshima without food for 6.700 for two of us. You are paying for the location in Hakone. A couple of nice restaurants in town, but generally speaking expensive compared to other townsi n Japan. Probably wouldnt stay at this hotel again, it was a nice experience but there are lots of places we passed which we thought, oh wouldnt it be nice to stay there, though I dont regret staying at Senkei. Would echo other sentiments about cool water in showers, didnt particularly like sitting in the hotel onsen which is just like a big hot bath shared with others, but as the room showers were so cold there wasnt much option. Towels tiny and first hotel we have stayed in Japan where you dont get a bathroom full of goodies (not that you need them but thought I would mention it). Also no wi fi - you had to pay to use a computer in the lobby.

Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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San Francisco
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2010

We stayed here over a weekend, as one of the other reviewers, we did one night in the traditional ryokan (Hotel Senkei) and one night in the Senkei Plaza Inn. I have to laugh at one of the people that said it was "out of the way" because its a 15 minute walk! Well, its actually a 10 minute walk to the Hakone-Yumoto Train Station, and right near town, very easy, and you have to be pretty lazy to think that 10 minutes walking is out of the way unless you want to sleep at the train station like a bum :) These people must have been taxi'd all over on their vacation.

We really liked the ryokan room, nothing to compare to since it was our first experience staying in one, but very nice. The food was good, although some of the items we did not like for dinner or breakfast, but more because we are not used to them. The older woman that delivered and set up our meals was a little pushy. Very nice but pushy. She came into the room about an hour before dinner and we were totally un-prepared and caught off guard. She knocked once and just came in. Again, she was nice but if you want privacy, this may not be the place for you. But it was a great experience to do it once for us.

The onsen baths are very nice however. The outdoor one in particular, not crowded either. My wife went in quite often, and I went in a few times. I will mention too that the spa downstairs is very nice, and the women does a fantastic job. We both had massages one evening and the massuese couldn't be nicer, and definitely great at what she does...I would highly recommend getting a massage as well!

Now as far as the Senkei Plaza Inn...We stayed here our second night and it was a pretty nice room and comfortable BUT very noisy. There were people upstairs from us yelling in the hallways at 11pm, and they were up until 3:30am talking and making noise. I was upset since we needed a good night sleep for flying the next day and the staff and front desk had to have heard them and did nothing to stop them. Now, we are all into having a good time, but not like that at those hours in a hotel where people are paying for rooms and for rest. That was my downpart. The Western breakfast was very good by Japanese standards however.

So I would say overall, there were many ups and downs, the location is great, the ryokan room was nice, onsens are very nice, spa and massage very good, service could have been more relaxing, and the Senkei Plaza Inn should have been much quieter. We would recommend getting the Hakone 2-Day Pass at the Hakone-Yumoto Station and taking the entire loop (train, cable car, gondola, boat and bus) to see Mount Fuji and go into the mountains, it is simply beautiful!! We also ate at a very good Japanese steak house, a 5 minute walk from the hotel that we recommend :)

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Senkei

Address: 592 Yumoto, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0311, Kanagawa Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kanto > Kanagawa Prefecture > Ashigarashimo-gun > Hakone-machi > Hakoneyumoto Onsen
Amenities:
Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #127 of 227 Hotels / Ryokan in Hakone-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Please note: This is just one of the hotels in the Senkei group. We have three accommodations in total - Hotel Senkei, Senkei Annex Yamagaso and Senkei Plaza Inn. ... more   less 
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