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“Excellent powder snow right outside of your onsen hotel!”

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Niseko Prince Hotel Hirafutei
Reviewed December 29, 2012

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.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank familytraveller5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 15, 2012 via mobile

The service is great and the food is fantastic serving local jap delights to western BBQ style buffet. It's what you need after a day long ski. The room onsen is great! Have a cold beer is the hot onsen and looking out the window at the ski slop with powdery snow falling. Heaven! The building is slightly old I think but it's acceptable. Great place and surely will come back again.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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1  Thank Darren Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012 via mobile

some people say that hot spa in this hotel is the best around here. skiing/snowboarding alday and hot spa heals your muscle! rooms are typical but clean. so many bars, restaurants around this area too. i remember i got drunk as always and hungover and ruined next day.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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5  Thank kazy2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2012

stayed in a Japanese western room with private onsen. loved the private onsen. there are communal onsens too. the room was clean and well equipped. lighting was not very good though. the design of the whole hotel was a bit dated but it's well kept and well maintained. i was very pleased with the buffet breakfast and dinner. although the food wasn't top notch, it was good quality. the selections were wide. staff was friendly and professional. i also got to try Japanese food that i wouldnt have been able to order if i had gone to a japanese restaurant myself ordering a la carte.

Room Tip: definitely go for the ones with onsen
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Stace y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2012

Stayed 2 nights in March 2012 and the location of the hotel is excellent - right next to the ski slope and lift. Although the front desk staff speaks limited english, they were extremely helpful in figuring out what we requested and assisted us with our ski rentals. We booked a room (japanese style)with a private onsen and the view is great (overlooking the ski slopes, while soaking in the hotspring). Nevertheless, the room is a little small, with a separated shower room (next to the onsen) and the toilet (by the entrance of the room). As the hotel is pretty old, do not expect nice and modern decor. The room is a bit worn-out and for 2 person, it's a good size. Will advise adults with children to book a bigger room. Dinner spread at the restaurant is fabulous with a wide selection of western and japanese cuisine, which we loved it. The breakfast selection, on the contrary, is not as extensive and consist mainly of japanese food. There are 2 computers by the side of the front desk (next to the elevators) and you can go online, though it is limited to 15 minutes usage if there's a queue. Wifi is available within the hotel and it costs 1,200 yen daily. If you choose not to have your rooms cleaned by housekeeping, you will get a 1,000 yen voucher which you can off-set for your ski rentals or shop at the souvenir shop. The ski storage building/area is next to the main hotel building and the stairs will lead you to the ski slopes. Storage area and lockers are well-maintained and you can set your own passcode to lock/retrieve your equipment at no cost. As part of the hotel's clientele includes students, certain timeslots for the public onsens are blocked for them. Hence, do check with front desk.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank kaiserzern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2012

Didn't stay at the hotel but frequented this Onsen whilst I was doing a season in Hirafu.

This is definitely the best onsen you will find in the village. With the Hokkaido Tracks passport you will get in at 600 yen which is a bargain. Bring your own towels and you won't even have to rent them.

The onsen is huge. The outdoor pool faces the Family Run so you can relax whilst looking at others fall on their bums. The best pool is definitely the one where you can lie down. The amount of times I've fallen asleep in there is amazing. There's also a cold pool, another hot pool indoors and a sauna.

Go to this onsen and you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank RyanYung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2012

This was my 11th year skiing at Niseko and in the past 8 years, I picked to stay at Hirafutei among others although there have been lots of new developments in the area. Excellent location as it's located right on the ski slope!

I always love their staff as they are always smiling with great services. Some of them do not speak English well but they try hard to serve the best they can. The hotel has 3 types of room - Japanese room with in-room hotspring, YES, there's a small hotspring in the room which most of them are facing the ski slope, with tatami bed! The 2nd type is Japanese standard room, also with tatami bed. The last type is western room, with beds, this might be for some people who do not used to sleep on the floor. Humidifier is provided in the room as well.

Hirafutei does not have superb deco and it's purely a traditional Japanese hotspring hotel. What I really like is their hotspring facilities. After a day of harsh exercise, muscles are tense and sore, their huge hotspring area is where i cure my pain! They have 3 indoor hot pools, one outdoor hot pool, a cold pool and a sauna room.

The other thing I enjoy most is their breakfast varieties. There is a huge hall serving breakfast everyday, with both Japanese and western styles. 5 sessions of food incl bread/soup, western style, japanese style, tofu and soba, and salad table. I feel very fulfilled every time I finish the breakfast and start my refreshing day of skiing!

Used to have free wifi at lobby area but starting from this year, they charge 1200yen per day per room which is quite expensive. Nevertheless, they have two desktop computers placed at lobby which you can still enjoy going online with limited time access.

One big TIP: if you hang the "No Cleaning" sign outside of your room, you are granted 1000yen coupon per day without providing such service. You can spend the coupon at their cafe, souvenir shop, and even on rental (ski/snowboard equipment) but not the room charge.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank staHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Niseko Prince Hotel Hirafutei

Address: 204 Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun 044-0081, Hokkaido
Location: Japan > Hokkaido > Abuta-gun > Kutchan-cho
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 19 Hotels / Ryokan in Kutchan-cho
Price Range: $85 - $359 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Niseko Prince Hotel Hirafutei 3*
Number of rooms: 165
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Also Known As:
Prince Hotel Kutchan Cho
Niseko Prince Hotel Hirafutei Japan/Hokkaido - Kutchan-Cho

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