We spent 4 nights at the Wald Berg in February/March 2014.
The staff were all extremely accommodating and friendly, despite our lack of Japanese. They were happy to pick us up from the bus station and drop us down at the rental store. We were the only westerners staying in the hotel which was otherwise full of Japanese groups, families and couples, so obviously a popular choice.
The room was big for two people, Japanese style with 12 tatami mats and a separate carpeted area. Great views over the mountains. Western toilet (with the Japanese addition of heated seat and washing facilities!) and a Japanese bath room were both small but very clean and functional. The room has iced water and Japanese tea making facilities, which was great. While at dinner the staff clear away the table and chairs and make up your beds- you do sleep on the floor on a futon mattress, but they have the best duvets in the world!
Getting to the lifts from the hotel is easy - just 30 seconds walk across the bridge and then ski down to the lift station (Chuo ropeway). After skiing all day, one of the best things was the hotel's own onsen. Gender segregated, there are inside and outside pools, the outside overlooking snowy forest (the other side of the hotel to the ski slopes luckily!) The onsen were a great way to relax after a day on the slopes. There are also private onsen in the hotel that couples can use together but we did not do this. Although separated, the male and female areas are adjacent and we were the only people in there so we could still talk through the wooden fence.
Yukata gowns are provided for the onsen, and these are standard evening wear for dinner as well! Dinner was included in the price and was a minimum of an 8-course affair, with the main event being Shabu-Shabu, Sukiyaki or other equivalent with fish or chicken- all DIY-cook at the table style with other courses all being served at once, including sashimi, miso, ubiquitous rice and some other more strange items (to our western palette, that is- chicken and mushroom creme brûlée anyone?!) The evening food was good quality but was slightly repetitive. We would have given this place a five star review but for the breakfast. While this was again plentiful it was a bit too much to have such traditional Japanese food early in the morning- rice, fish and raw egg amongst other things. However, this hotel is a real Japanese experience and this is just down to our personal taste. We loved the Japanese-ness of the rest of the hotel so it seems a bit unfair to complain about the breakfast being too Japanese, but some tea and toast as an alternative would suffice to rectify this!
One last bonus- when we came to pay our bill we were told the one alcoholic drink we had had with our dinner each night was included- a great touch. Not sure it would have been the same result if we'd been on the whisky hard though!
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