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“A piece of tranquility in the heart of Hakone” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Senkei

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Hotel Senkei
592 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0311, Japan (Hakoneyumoto Onsen)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #30 of 60 hotels in Hakone-machi
Auckland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A piece of tranquility in the heart of Hakone”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2011

The directions provided to us by the hotel were a little hard to follow, so to make things easier on ourselves, we took the Orange Shuttle Bus to our hotel and learnt the ropes from there. For those that are looking for this hotel on foot, its about a 10 minute walk from the train station, passed all the shops and on the incline there is a green sign in Kanji. The road on the left leads to a tudor style hotel over a bridge, and then after a Bull Coffee sign, there is another bridge followed by a small tunnel where the hotel is about 300m further. The hotel is located within a short walking distance to the waterfall and public onsen and convenient to a number of restaurants and small stores.

From the outside, I must admit I did feel a little disappointed by the appearance of the hotel for what we paid, but that soon wore off when we saw our room. For a traditional Ryokan, our room was rather large (12 tatami mats in the lounge area) with a sitting area for relaxing and even a mens and womens toilet. What we also didn't realise was that a traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast would also be included which was a great experience for us. The serving ladies didn't speak too much English, but this didn't matter.

My only problem with this hotel was the hot water which took an exceptionally long time to heat for showers (perhaps this is an area wide issue). With the tap running for about 20-30 minutes, it finally started warming up and by the end of my shower. In the middle of winter, cold showers are not ideal.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2011

Had its own restaurant and pub. Was not as central as i had hoped but good value compared to many other places

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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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Hong Kong
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
leeds
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 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
72 reviews 72 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
48 helpful votes 48 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
23 helpful votes 23 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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Additional Information about Hotel Senkei

Address: 592 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture 250-0311, Japan
Location: Japan > Kanto > Kanagawa Prefecture > Ashigarashimo-gun > Hakone-machi > Hakoneyumoto Onsen
Amenities:
Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 60 hotels in Hakone-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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