I thought I would chip in on my experience staying at this hotel in Hakone. I checked out of Citadines Shinjuku and proceeded to the Shinjuku main station and proceeded to the Odakyu Romance car counter on 2nd Floor or the west station exit. The girls there were able to speak fluent English and Mandarin. I would suggest for you to buy the 2 day Hakone Free Pass which allows you to ride on selected busses, cable cars, ship and trains to Hakone. You can get details from Odakyu' website to understand what I meant. Just search Google.
Now about the hotel. It is located about 10 min walk from the Yunnesun swimming pool & hot spring building. Why do I mention Yunnesun. This is because it is the aligting point of the Tozan bus. They stop right in front of the Yunnesun main entrance. Now you either walk to the hotel from here or wait for the shuttle bus from the hotel which comes every 20 min. There is a porter who can speak very little English but you can tell him you want to take the Shuttle bus to the hotel. He will ask you to wait and when the bus arrives, he will signal for you to get on.
The shuttle bus ride takes about 2 min and you will be glad to take it. I reached the hotel around 5:30pm and since it is Nov 2012, it is already dark. There are no street lamps on the road leading to the hotel, hence, you wouldn't want to be carrying your luggage uphill to the hotel on foot. You will regret it.
Upon reaching the hotel, you will go thru the small main entrance. The lobby is right behind the hotel where there is another tiny entrance with a small porch where the locals can pick up their luggages or drop off anyone. Opposite the reception, has around 4-5 vending machines which serve hot food and even a towel vending machine.
I expected the staff not to speak any English (I called them prior to this), but as I booked my rooms via hotels.com, I had the booking form printed out and passed it to the older man manning the reception. He passed me a map in English of the hotel and where my rooms were supposed to be (I took two rooms). It easily identified my rooms and proceeded to the rooms.
The rooms are broken down into clusters of rooms (6-15), with its own public bathrooms, toilets, and washrooms. My cluster had around 6 rooms with the public amneties. All amneties were very clean and I had no trouble using them although it is on a sharing basis with the other 5 rooms. The rooms were neat and tidy upon checking in. There is a slight stench of old building smell in each room, and what I did was opened the window and aired the room for around 15 min. The smell will be gone. There was an air conditioned in the room. I was pretty upset I could not find any Internet wifi or cable in my rooms. I thought they were included in the hotel room. Unfortunately the rooms, I stayed didnt come with any. Hence, I had to forego checking emails for that night until I get back to Citadines Shinjuku.
At around 6-7pm, you can think about going to the public Onsen or hot spring which is situated near the reception area. Yes, this is a real hotspring public bath where you go naked. Of course the males and females have seperate bathes. However, towels are not provided for you, hence make sure you have brought your own, or else you can rent a towel from the reception or the vending machine for a few hundred yens.
Breakfast is ok with assortments of buns, there is also hot coffee and tea plus apple juice. I can't really complaint about the breakfast as it is buffet style and it comes with the price of the rooms.
Overall, if you are looking for superb comfort in a stylish hotel, this is not for you. However, if you just want a clean roof over you for a night, with sharing amneties, a public Onsen (hot spring) and free breakfast, which is cheap, this is the place to spent the night.
Lastly, to get back to Gora, just take the shuttle bus from the main entrance where the bus dropped you before, and from Yunnesun, just take a short walk to on the main road to Hotel Kowakien (opposite Yunnesun), there are bus stops there which will take you to Gora and other parts of Hakone.
Your Hakone Free Pass should come useful and safe you a lot of money.
Try to get rooms with smaller cluster of rooms, as you don't have to queue to use the public amn...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.