My family and I booked a stay for 2 nights at this hotel so we could come to Sapporo for Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival). We live in Aomori Prefecture (north eastern tip of main Japanese island: Honshu). We took the ferry from Oma to Hakodate, then rented a car in Hakodate to drive to Sapporo. I reserved a room for 4 adults on Hotels.com for about $136 USD/night, since my wife and I have 3 young boys (5, 3, 1). We arrived at the hotel around 11PM exhausted after a 5 hour drive and a 2 hour ferry ride before that. We had called the hotel around 6PM to tell them we would be coming and not to give away our room.
At the front desk I asked about the number of beds in our room since the reason I booked this specific hotel and room was because it was the least expensive hotel in downtown Sapporo that offered rooms with 2 beds. The reservation was for a room called "semi-double" which I learned (the hard way) means that the hotel has the option of not giving you a room with two 120cm wide beds, but they can opt to give you a room with one 140cm wide bed instead.
What would have happened if I was traveling on business with a co-worker? Awkward!!!
This meant all 3 of my boys would have to sleep on the floor. I was not happy, so I called Hotels.com only to be read the riot act by one of their customer "dis-service" representatives about 10 seconds into the call, even though I had been very nice and polite and kind to her since the start of the call. She told me my reservation was for only 2 adults, even though I had the printout in my hand of the email confirmation from Hotels.com showing "4 adults" right on it. She told me I could fax it in if I really wanted to, but that she and Hotels.com still wasn't willing to do anything to help me, which apparently included not being willing to even offer me any sympathy, or a simple "I'm sorry." I promptly ended my conversation with her, and just finished sending a complaint email to Hotels.com.
Anyway, in the end the Hotel manager took pity on me (after seeing my exhausted little boys standing in the lobby looking sad) and told me that even though they didn't have a 2-bed semi-double room available for both nights of our reservation, they could give us one for the first night, if we were willing to change to a one-bed semi-double room for the second night. Too much hassle having to transfer stuff, so I politely declined, but I really appreciated the gesture and the manager's kindness. Thank you ma'am!
The room itself was very, very clean. It had a nice LCD TV in it. There was also a mini-fridge which was nice to keep some food we bought cold overnight and while we were out during the day. The boys ended up sleeping on the floor. The 5 year old in front of the door, the 3 year old under the desk, and the 1 year old between both of them. The bathroom was one of those molded one piece of plastic makes up the entire shower, floor and bathtub area type deals. If you have ever been in an inexpensive cabin on a cruise ship then you will know how small the bathrooms at this hotel are. It was very clean though, and the water pressure was high, and the toilet had a "washlet" (pressurized warm water bidet and bum wash buttons) which was also nice.
I mentioned that the rooms are cluttered. With a room this small, there was literally nowhere but the bed to open up and get into our luggage, which we then had to re-pack, and close to fit in the teeny floorspace at the foot of the bed. There was also two other very large gizmos that took up a good amount of floor space. One was an electric clothing press, and the other I don't know what it was. We shoved it under a low hanging part of the desk. These things just made the small room feel even smaller, but maybe we would have had a different perspective if we didn't have our kids with us.
Others have said the hotel is difficult to find. I don't know what crack they are smoking. It's not down an alley like some have said. It's just on a small street that doesn't have a stop light at each end of the block like many of the other streets in the area have. It was an easy and very quick walk from Sapporo JR Station, even in the ice and falling snow, and even with 3 little kids in tow. It was also very close to the Radio/TV Tower end of the Odori park which was a nice starting point for our tour of this Yuki Matsuri site.
Lastly, many hotels in Japan are starting to offer free continental breakfast. I figured for $136USD/night that this might be the case with this hotel also. It wasn't. Breakfast at the hotel costs 1400 yen per person for adults ($15-16 USD). Parking was also 1200 yen a night.
Moral of the story: make sure *NOT* to book a semi-double room if you really want a room with two beds. Also, don't book through Hotels.com if you expect any kind of customer service if you have any problems with your reservation. If you want something convenient, clean, and cheap and don't mind the cramped quarters this is your best bet!
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