Niseko is not the usual Japanese experience (because of the unusually low number of actual Japanese tourists) but we knew this when we booked out holidays at this hotel 6 months ago in June 2012. Of all the hotels here in Niseko, this was the closest we thought would be the Japanese experience, mainly because of the well known onsen baths here at this hotel (hot spring baths).
We are a family of 6, with your children ranging between 6 and 17, and we had to split out family into two tripple rooms (meaning sleeps three, but officially a maximum of 4 people in a triple room). My wife found this place to be the highest recommended place to stay for a family who have never skied before. We are totally happy with this recommendation and we highly recommend other families to stay here. We booked a room with a private onsen bath, but we probably would not do this next time as only two people out of 6 have used this facility over the last three days (out of total 6 days stay). After a long day of skiing it's great just to join the crowd down at the communal onsen which has a section that is an outside bath that looks over the family ski run and the hills. Absolutely SPECTACULAR views from the male onsen of the ski runs, and the female onsen looks over to the large volcano to the east. This hot spring bath experience is so good that many people from outside of this hotel come especially to enjoy the bath here. I personally cannot get enough of it and many Aussie males come in to the bath with a can of cold Sapporo beer and enjoy the relaxing views. Even if you do not stay in this hotel, this experience is a must when you come to Niseko!
(One cultural note that I must make is that don't be shocked that if a female member of the hotel cleaning staff comes in while you are cleaning your 'member' in the onsen! ;-) It shocked the day lights out of my 11 year old son, but that's quite acceptable in Japan. Female cleaning staff will also barge into the male toilets to clean while you may be standing at the urinals as well, but don't be shocked at this. This type of thing happens in Japanese hotels, including this one.)
The breakfast is so so, with the variety not so exciting, but okay. There is a selection of western and Japanes food, but the western choices are somewhat short, but still good. We 've not used the evening meal experience as the restaurants in Niseko are top notch, so we cannot comment.
The staff at the front desk are really helpful and most can speak a bit of English to get by. Wifi is 1200 yen a day, and whilst it did not connect to an iphone/ipad, the staff sorted this out, which we were really happy with.
The only thing that we didn't know about is that the bus that brought us from the airport to the Niseko welcome centre will just let us off at the centre and we did not have a lift to the hotel. We didn't know that the hotel was only about 300m down the road. We had to take two taxi rides which cost us about $12 which we could have avoided.
Alsp it's good to know that you can forgo cleaning and bed making if you want and credit that money towards spending money at the small shop in the lobby. We chose to let the ladies do their thing as we have to get Japanese beds made up.
If you want a real Japanese hotel experience, be sure to get a Japanes room. You get to sleep in the floor, which kids just love, and having a communal onsen bath just makes it that much special! I would skip the private onsen as it is really not needed.
This is a perfect hotel for the family with novice ski and snow boarding experience. The hotel is located just next to the family/beginners' run and ski rental is just down at the ski lift. Ski storage is just a walk up from the ski lifts. The climate is dry in Niseko and snow is powder all the time. The best snow combined with best onsen experience, is a true winner! I'd like to definitely come back again.
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- Also Known As:
- Prince Hotel Kutchan Cho
- Niseko Prince Hotel Hirafutei Japan/Hokkaido - Kutchan-Cho