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“So Glad We Did”

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Niseko Prince Hotel Hirafutei
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Family has been going on snowboarding trips to Hakuba because of its proximity to family in Tokyo. This year we listened to everyone's recommendation to go the Niseko. So glad we did!

This hotel was highly recommended by a friend on Trip Advisor. We liked the idea of a ski-in/ski-out arrangement as my husband and older son are more adept at snowboarding than my younger son and I. We didn't want to suffer waiting in the cold nor did we want to ruin my husband and older sons's fun. What a relief that we could simply go to the hotel for an hour to re-energize then head out again. Because of this convenience, we were able to enjoy the slopes from opening to closing.

The staff service was exceptional. Special commendation goes out to Masa Yamao. He helped us figure out the laundry machine. He also called the restaurants to make sure they were open and had space for us.

Great breakfast buffet spread. Everyone in the family was pleased to eat what they preferred from vegetable salads, fresh fruit and yogurt to potato croquettes and bacon.

Despite all 4 of us being cramped in a tiny room and having to sleep on the floor (tatami) with Japanese futons, we loved the view from our room and the perk of having our own private onsen. If you are willing to pay double, then I suggest getting two Western style rooms if this arrangement does not work for you. It did get us some getting used to. This was to no fault of the hotel.

We all enjoyed our trip and we look forward to coming back next time!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank lexadel671
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 14, 2013

We were back for the third time in March 2013. Nothing changed since our last visit in 2011, apart from our fellow guests, which included a large group of teen-aged boys. We were warned about a school group at the time of our booking, but we only felt their presence in the restricted breakfast timing, as they had a separate sitting 7-8 a.m., and the staff needed 20 minutes or so to rearrange things for the rest of the guests. Public onsen and dinner timings were also restricted, but that didn't affect us as one of our rooms had the balcony onsen, and we were out for dinner.

We'll be back again for the location along Hirafu-zaka Street at the front, making it very handy for the shops and restaurants, and the Family Run/Ace Family Pair Lift at the back, and the balcony onsen. The storage room, just over a little stream from the Family Run and a few steps uphill, which wasn't there when we first stayed in 2007, is a very welcome amenity, saving a clomping walk back up to the rear entrance with your gear along the sheltered gangway.

The hotel is old, and rooms are very efficient in their use of space. If you can sleep on them, opt for the tatami rooms as the futons fold out of the way. The staff are friendly and helpful, but non-Japanese speakers will find it difficult to get fully engaged, for example in getting restaurant tips.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank kuaychap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013 via mobile

Well located for ski in ski out, hotel (Hotel niseko alpen ) slightly further up is at the bottom of one of the main chairs. It's a c1960's development that has not been updated since - a make over is overdue, but you're here to ski not lounge in the hotel 

Rooms are traditional Japanese - that means hot tub (with views) if you pay for the better rooms or communal bathing. Rooms have shower and reed mat floors - no bed in day, futon laid out in evening  - shower  has a pedal and only stays on 20secs or so each press - hot tub great with view over mountain opposite 

We did b&b - they try and encourage dinner as well, but didn't look great - glad we opted to dine out 

Also, don't rent ski equip from the hotel, their own staff recommend go to the proper ski rental stores 

Check in is strict 3pm, but you can store bags and change in the bathing changing rooms so effectively can go off skiing if your early 

In room safe is well sized - with a key lock 

no wifi

  • Stayed: February 2013
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1  Thank Riddler1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

5 night stay in January 2013. the hotel is not spiffy but it is clean and comfortable. the location next to the family slope and chairlift is very convenient, and there are some decent restaurants in a 5-10 minute walking radius. front desk speak basic english, and all the staff are courteous. there are laundry facilities, and a couple of computers in the lobby with free internet. optional wifi in-room internet for 1200 yen daily means it is a little pricey. we stayed in a japanese style room with private onsen - recommended. bathroom was ok, although the shower head is timed to turn itself off every 30 seconds or so which means you have to keep pressing the lever for continuous water. there are open onsen for men and women, which we didn't use as well as free ski lockers downstairs which come in very handy. breakfast was adequate, although leans towards a japanese menu. we will stay here again when we return to niseko.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rose_nostalgia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

The best part of Hirafutei is it's location. Along that stretch of road, besides Alpine Ridge (which is way more expensive) it is the only one with ski in and out location for the family ski lifts. The rest had to either make their way up the mountain via shuttle bus to the other ski lifts at Grand Hirafu, or walk around the buildings to make their way to the family ski lifts. As we were a family of beginner skiers, the family ski lift location and the NBS ski school just down the slope was excellent. They also had free storage lockers for boots and boards, so that was also fantastic.
Having said that, the hotel is a short walk (2-5mins) away from the Welcome Centre, and there is no other way to make your way to the hotel except by walking if your shuttle service to Niseko does not do hotel lobby drop offs (ours didn't, we used the White Liner from Sapporo). In slippery snow conditions, this is a little inconvenient. Luckily we only had suitcases, and no ski gear.
As the hotel is mid way down the mountain, there are a lot of eateries close by. This is great as the hotel does not have any restaurants that do lunch. It is strictly breakfast and dinner only.
We had 2 Japanese style rooms, one with onsen, and one without. The private onsen was great, big enough for 2 adults. Soaking your aching muscles after a day of skiing is priceless. However, the bath is attached to the onsen, and there is no separate shower area anywhere else in the room. There is only a toilet area. The onsen took up space and hence it was much smaller than the room with no onsen. But it had a full bathroom with shower and toilet area. The room without the onsen also faced the family ski slope, so the non skiers could watch the skiers come down the slope. Fun if you want to keep an eye on your kids.
The breakfast and dinner buffet was not too bad. The variety does not change much, but sufficiently enough that we weren't dying to brave the subzero degrees to get a decent dinner after 3 days. There is a huge selection. Huge.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank friesbandit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

This is not a normal ski hotel. It's very Japanese and a very nice experience from the usual ski hotels in Europe. The hot spring in the room speaks for itself and even though the rooms are very small and not luxury it's perfect for a ski holiday and the family can really get close. You all sleep on the floor on futons. After a long day skiing the rather big buffet with both western and Japanese food is a positive surprise (make friends with the chef at one of the cooking stations and enjoy interesting Japanese food). The hotel is also a ski-in ski-out hotel which is great with kids. The Japanese hospitality is also very enjoyable at this hotel

Room Tip: Book a room with host spring even though all rooms have access to the big shared hot spring with vie...
Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
2  Thank Karsten G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

have stayed here 10 years consecutively in the snow season,every year a little more improvement happens.great power breakfasts to start a days skiing.onsen one of the best around.ski in and out convenient.location on main restaurant strip.has rooms with bed as well as futon for the uninitiated to sleeping japanese style,also rooms with private(small)onsen.pay for wifi though(A$25 per day,a little excessive,but free access to computer and internet in lobby).small laundry helpful also.will be back again next year

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank trevlotz
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: $81 - $349 (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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