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“Well located, but basic hotel with inadequate amenities”

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Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel
Sydney
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Well located, but basic hotel with inadequate amenities”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We stayed in the West Wing, because the East Wing was booked out. This hotel is well located on the slopes. Ski gear hire is available. The rooms are basic, though clean and warm.

However, the food and drink offerings are wholly inadequate and the service is lacklustre. There is an average Chinese restaurant and a canteen not unlike what you might expect at a boarding school. At the time we visited we were not permitted to use the restaurants in the South Wing or the East Wing. In some ways all of this was s good thing, because there are actually good eating places 20 minutes walk down the road (through snow). The eating places in town are much better and substantially cheaper.

For those that care: there is no bar, the staff have only very limited English and rooms are serviced only every three days. Oh, and there are no double rooms on offer.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MickSydney95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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204 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2012

Before leaving Japan after nearly 2 years living there we decided to have 1 more snow trip. This time we opted for a modern hotel rather than ryokan style. Situated right on the ski fiels with 2 lifts right outside the door we had a perfect location at Prince Hotel East. The view from our window was spectacular. The rooms were very comfortable and cosy. The hotel dining room was of very high standard and the food was delicious. Your ski lift ticket covers all 21 runs and a free shuttle bus operates between all the runs. For us it was amazing and the snow was fantastic. A visit to see the snow monkeys was another highlight of our stay. We bought a 4 day/3 night package at the Yokohama Stn and it included shinkansen tickets, bus fares from Nagano, accommodation, breakfasts, dinners and discounts on our ski gear hie and lift passes.

Room Tip: All rooms face the fields and we were on the 2nd level.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank sonowatashi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rödermark
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2012

We spent few days of skiing in the bautiful area of Shiga Kogen, where the alpine winter Olympics took place in 1998.
The Prince Hotel is divided into three parts - East, South and West wing. We stayed at the Prince Hotel East. It is located directly at the downhill ski slopes and the nearest gondola is only few meters away from the hotel. The hotel doesn't offer too many facilities, there is only one restaurant and one hotel bar. In additioin you find a small convenience store at the lobby level, where you can buy some items like drinks, sweets and souvenirs. The hotel is offering ski rental (very limited choice), ski-courses for single persons and families and some adventure tours. Compared to places in Europe everything is quite expensive. Due to the isolated location of the hotel you either need to go by your own car or by some offered shuttle bus services to nearby restaurants, which are mostly attached to other hotels. The Prince Hotel East doesn't offer any onsen (hot spring).

We had booked overnight including breakfast. The rooms are big enough for two persons, bathroom and toilet are quite small. All rooms have a nice view to the mountain side with the ski slopes and the lift. The breakfast was buffet style and offered typical Japanes dishes but also Western breakfast. Everything was well prepared and fresh. When skiing the whole day, there is no need for lunch in the hotel. You can get set liunch menues in many places all over the Shiga Kogen skiing area. The Prince Hotel East has got only one restaurant for diner, but is offering Japanes style but some Western dishes, too. The price for a set diner menu at 65 EUR is quite expensive. As an alternative you can have diner at the Chinese Restaurant of the Prince Hotel West. Transfer between the three wings is offered free of charge by the hotel. As the hotel was quite empty during our stay, I didn't understand that I had to make a reservation for diner latest at noon time. The restaurant at the Prince Hotel East is offering space for about 300 guests or more and was occupied by a maximum of 50 people at a time. The diner at the Chinese Restaurant of the West wing was very recommendable at reasonable prices.

The overall service was very friendly with the typical Japanese politeness. However, this place hosted the Olympics and many people from abroad may choose this area because of this and could expect some better English language skills from the hotel staff.

A short remark about the skliing. Beautiful slopes, different levels, everything well prepared every day, beautiful landscape, not overcrowed during our stay, no waiting times at the lifts, but: the lifts seem to be an heritage from Austria, which had been used there in the early 60s. No place for smaller children.

All in all, a nice place an worth to come back.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank michael0357
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2012

We have just returned from a week's skiing in Shiga Kogen. Very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the West having read some not so great reviews. The rooms are clean, functional and with a bit of stacking away of some excess furniture roomy enough. Aussie Skibum said it all re the spectacular views, tasty food and culture. We chose the breakfast meal deal only (good decision) and were initially dismayed we hadn't done the dinner as well. The dinner is quite expensive and despite having buffet style didn't seem to change too much. Thankfully we discovered a fabulous little restaurant/bar a short walk down the road toward Ichinose. It was novel for us to walk in the snowy conditions to this authentic red lantern lit establishment. (The food there was delicious!) Lunch we had at he little noodle place below the Chinese restaurant. It was good value, delicious and quick. We found all staff extremely helpful and enjoyed being almost the only Westerners. I think they like to practise their English with us. My husband really appreciate the onsen - this was nearly always very crowded. He would take our washing down with him as the washing machine in the onsen was free for guests to use. For a large place with lots of families with kids and frequent turnover of guests, the Prince was very well run and relatively quiet! The skiing was wonderful! We really appreciated the ski in ski out (now I will always want that!) and enjoyed making our way to the other areas via the mountain. The conditions were great and the snow truly fabulous. Thumbs up for Shiga Kogen.

Room Tip: We stayed on the fourth floor. Our daughters' room was closest to the lifts and wide stair well...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jeenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2011

Beautiful views through the massive dining room window. Great food and excellent service. Gondola just outside hotel. Never had to wait in a queue for a ski lift. Some even had hair driers for your goggles. We stayed 5 nights. Went to the Prince West to do our laundry & visit the larger convenience store. The communal hot bath was at the Prince West. A free bus service runs between the two.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a non-smokinf room unless of course you are a smoker.
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  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank 40Ree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2011

A friend and I had skied Happo One/Hakuba last year and wanted somewhere different to ski, yet not waste a few days travelling up to Niseko. We decided upon Shigakogen as it has 21 linked resorts on the one ticket (as opposed to Hakuba where every resort was autonomous and you required a new pass to ski) and it’s due West of Tokyo.

Narita express from the airport to Tokyo (I hour), Shinkansen to Nagano (2 hours) and a bus from Nagano to Shigakogen (1 hour 15min – yet only 30km). Get a four day (any four days in a month) JR pass for the trains, it works out cheaper than individual tickets. You can buy them at the airport. Trains are not cheap, but the quality of service is good. Although there is not much English at the central railway in Tokyo, there is enough to work out where to go and the odd information booth does have English speaking people.

The Shigakogen skiable area, although only topping out at 2,000 metres, is amazing. We were very lucky as we stayed 8 days where it snowed cold, dry powder every night (6-8” on a 2 metre base) and cleared beautifully to cobalt blue sunny days. Although, we were there for the earthquakes, the place and people were very professional.

We stayed at the Prince East, which is very isolated. It’s part of the three Prince hotels, South and West Wing. Each hotel is a fair way apart yet joined by a free shuttle bus or you can ski to each one. I think the Prince East has better quality rooms than the others and that’s why we chose it.

We went through a Japanese ski website and got a very cheap deal (half price to the rate quoted on the Prince East website) and I strongly recommend taking the breakfast and dinner inclusive deal. It’s VERY expensive if you have to buy the meals at the hotel. Although you can get shuttles to Ichinose and other resorts for free, it’s a bit of a hassle when you’re tired and don’t feel like running around trying to find a place to eat.

Après skiing is not really a big thing here, in fact there is no night life to speak of, however if you skied as much as we were lucky to do, after a meal and few beers, you just want to have a good night’s sleep.

If you want an American resort that hands out tissues to you at the base and pampers to you, forget it. Japan is very different to the rest of the world, yet I should say I thought the hotel and their staff were fantastic, as is Japan. The staff really tried and were very helpful. Ski hire and accessories are a few years old and although I ski on longer skis normally, the longest I could get was 170cm which actually worked out fine. They have large size boots for the bigger guys (although I brought my own). Free wax and sharpen whenever you want, was just ideal and extremely convenient. As you are limited to ski hire in the hotel and the convenience store, you may pay a little more for the convenience of both, however Japan is far cheaper than most resorts I have skied at. For example, I bought some amazing goggles at the internal hotel convenience store for $50, which I thought were a bargain!

The hotel rooms were large, the beds very comfortable and although the bathroom layout was a little different to what you would expect, it was more than acceptable. The windows to view the outside mountain vistas were amazing and we were on the 2nd floor which had direct access to the restaurant. Long hallways, but the eating area is pretty spectacular. The waiters were all dressed in tuxedos at night and the food was exemplary. You can choose Japanese (same though the whole week) or Western fare. Although we love Japanese food we chose the Western dinners and the food and presentation were picture worthy every night. Very, very impressive indeed, these guys really understand food presentation and service.

Although the staff don’t speak that much English, they all tried and if I wanted fluent English speaking people I wouldn’t travel overseas. I know people complain about this, but isn’t skiing all about the entire experience? If I wanted to pick flaws I could, but the experience overall was so good, so why waste my time?

I was a bit wary when first walking in as the lobby looks very bland, but it really was a working ski hotel foyer and the more we were there, the more impressed I was. Walking in the lobby with skis and boots, I just loved it! The lockers were very easily accessible, no stinking, hot and smelly drying rooms here, absolute comfort. Well thought out process to be honest.

Free wifi in the lobby which was great, remembering the place is so isolated. There is also a paid internet service in the foyer if you haven't got a wifi phone/computer. The resort/hotel is a true ski in/ski out premises.

Ahhh….the snow and resort runs, wow! What a ball. So much snow, so many runs, so many gondolas, detachable quads and NO crowds. This place does get a lot of snow and although the runs are not the length of Whistler or Chamonix, they are varied and a lot of fun. No lift queues, no rude grommits, just a great place for adults and or your family if you have young kids. Although not much for them to do at night, if they ski all day, they’ll just want to sleep ready for the next day of skiing/boarding.

And if you want a day trip, go and see the Snow Monkeys. It’s a bit of a bus trip (bus caught from outside the hotel, about an hour) but quite fun. The monkey onsen was a little smaller than imagined, but if you have kids (even if you don’t) it’s fun. Don’t feed the monkeys and don’t pat them. They do have a little temper, as I found out when trying to do both.

There is a strange glass pyramid place on the main road before you start walking to the monkeys (about 1.8km each way). If you want a great pizza, go into the glass pyramid and try it! I know it’s a bizarre food for the area, but they were damn good, as was the local beer they had.

The Japanese are a kind, softly spoken nation of people and wonderful to ski with. There are a lot of very good skiers and boarders and so damn polite. It’s a pleasure sharing their mountains.

Oh yeah, Japan is a cash society. The ATM machine is a LONG way away from the hotel so bring cash. The hotel takes credit cards but most places do not! Also, there are NO English channels on the TV as it’s regional. One last thing, we couldn’t find an English ski map of the area, although after a few days of exploring, using the Japanese map, you can work it out. Remember though, it’s a really large area to ski. Lastly, there is one part of the mountain (skiers left at the top of the Prince East gondola) just for skiers. So, if you’re a skier, try it, you’ll like it.

I highly recommend Shiga Kogen and the Price East Hotel. Not the most challenging skiing in the world but a truly wonderful place with unlimited skiing area and great quality snow. Bang for buck, exceptional.

I’ll definitely be back!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
28 Thank Aussie_Skibum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 308 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2011

We wanted to do a ski trip with our kids (7and 5) near Tokyo and we decided not to travel all the way to Niseko (where we went to last year). So, after researching and getting recommendations from TA and my friends, we decided to go to Shiga Kogen.

Through Snowmonkey Japan, we found a very friendly "agent" but he is a friendly volunteer who helps foreigners to plan vacations in the area, Craig Shaw. He was so helpful and we exchanged emails for 4 months to get our perfect ski vacation planned.

We booked the Prince EAST in Shiga Kogen because Craig suggested it, and we booked the hotel quite late, many hotels in the area were already booked up. So, I thought, Prince hotel can't be THAT bad. Must have some kind of guarantee.
However, after booking it, I started reading the reviews, it seemed most of the reviews in here for Prince Hotel shiga Kogen is NOT good. So, we had the lowest exxpectations going there.

Upon our arrival by Shinkansen to Nagano station, Prince hotel had a driver holding a sign and picked us up from the station. After about 1 hour drive, we arrived to the hotel. Check in was smooth, they gave us adjacent rooms, non smoking, and on the 2nd floor, the same floor as the dining restaurant. Everything I have requested in our reservation, we were given our requests.

We went to get our ski rentals done immediately, the rental shop is conveniently located next to the lockers, and ski school counter. Rental equipment is very new and had all our sizes. Kids and all 4 adults had rentals organized and done in half an hour. The guys went to ski from 2:30 to 4:30.... chairlifts and ski runs closes at 4:30, Night ski available only during weekends as we were told.

Rentals were very affordable, about 2500 yen per person per day. Kids rentals included goggles, helmets, skis, poles, boots. Very new and good condition.

Kids played in the snow as the adults went to ski half day. Got ski coupons for the first afternoon. Ski passes are available by 1 to more days. But since only 2 hours left, we bought coupons of 28 points, each chairlift or gondola you use, you get deducted the points until your coupon is finished.

Our room was very clean, and well furnished. There are water stains in carpets, but not "dirty" atmosphere. There is no safe in the room. It is at the reception if you needed.
The beds were actually more comfortable than many hotels I have stayed in. The bathroom is separated into three sections. Sink is outside. Toilet is enclosed in one small area. Bathtub is like an onsen type, very deep, and the shower is like onsen type. We liked that very much. Kids enjoyed bubble bath each night in that deep bathtub.

Our plan included buffet breakfast and dinner each day. Excellent buffet, good variety of western and japanese foods, variety of delicious juices, coffee, tea, milk, pastries, salads, fruits, cereals, eggs, sausages, pancakes, congee, japanese fish, condiments, rice, miso soup...etc.

Dinner, we had choice of Shabu Shabu (japanese hotpot) or western food dinner. We had two nights there, so we tried both. Excellent both nights.

If you participate in their go greener programme, you save 2000 yen a night per room. It means you hang the sign on the door, you will have no cleaning service by housekeeping for that day. You can however get any amenities, or towels you need in the room. they will empty your garbage too.

Upon our check out, they allowed us to have one room to late check out at a small cost. So we got to ski for a full day on our last day before the Prince Hotel car took us to the onsen hotel, where we will be staying one night next which was arranged by Craig Shaw also.

We loved our stay at Prince Hotel alot, we plan to visit again next Feb.
My kids loved the location, they played in the snow everyday after their ski lessons.
It is truly a ski in and ski out hotel. Very Very convenient. The mountains are all connected by chairlifts and gondolas, and ski runs. You can ski right back to the entrance of the hotel. That was cool.

I have no idea why all the reviews here say this hotel is bad, and food is bad. We are travellers who like nothing but the best, and luxurious hotels and vacations. This hotel property and all the available services, ski school, ski rentals, food, and transfers.... were all good enough for us. We couldn't ask for a better and more enjoyable vacation.

Highly recommended.

Our rooms were "Higher level Western rooms", full board, in case anyone wanted to know.

Each room also has a designated locker for you to keep all your ski wear to dry and to store.

Convenience store also had lots of drinks, and snacks, and ski goggles, and bread to purchase if necessary.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Katetam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel

Property: Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel
Address: Yakebitaiyama, Shiga Kogen, Shimotakai-gun, Yamanouchi-machi 381-0497, Nagano Prefecture
Phone Number:
Location: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Shimotakai-gun > Yamanouchi-machi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Yamanouchi-machi
#6 Ski-In / Ski-Out Hotel in Yamanouchi-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 690
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Taken as a whole, the Shiga Kogen region is quite possibly the largest ski and snowboard resort area in the world. The area is located to the northeast of Nagano City, about 40 minutes out. The Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel is located at the base of the excellent Yakebitaiyama resort and has a variety of different plans and packages for skiers of all levels. The most popular is the "All-in-1 Pack," which includes breakfast and a one-day lift ticket. The resort hotel has a total of 690 comfortable rooms in three separate wings (100 in the East Wing, 240 in the South Wing and 350 in the West Wing). All provide easy access to the lifts and slopes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Prince Hotel Chubu
Yamanouchi-Machi Prince Hotel
Prince Hotel Yamanouchi Machi
Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel Japan/Yamanouchi-Machi, Nagano Prefecture

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