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samtcy
Singapore, Singapore

Nice dinner buffet variety

3.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Oct 28, 2012
It was the coldest day of my life. Our stay was during Feb 2012 winter season and it was -17 degrees celcius in the day time and -20 degrees celcius at night. The winds where strong and coarse snow which makes it difficult to open your eyes if you are facing the direction of the winds.

The Ice Festival was interesting. But it was so cold that we only spent about 1hr at the Festival venue before we decided to head back to the hotel to thaw off.

Pros:
- We managed to get a room with a nice view of the fireworks at the Ice Festival venue
- Lots of variety of different food at the dinner buffet (sashimi, ramen, fried tempura, crab legs...etc)
- Large room
- Hotel shuttle from Hotel to Kamikawa train station on the day of our checkout.
- Husband enjoyed the outdoor onsen

Cons:
- somewhat long walk (about 7mins walk in the harsh winter temperature of -17 degrees celcius is no joke) from the bus terminal to the hotel.
- no convenience store nearby. The nearest one is near the bus terminal which is about 8mins walk away.
Date of stay: January 2012
Room Tip: See if you can get a room facing the Ice Festival venue. If it gets too cold at night, you can...
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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    27 - 32 of 166 reviews
    Reviewed January 17, 2012

    Although the rooms and service are pretty forgettable, the outdoor onsen more than makes up for it. Although I don't usually dine in the hotel, the buffet dinner was awesome. The hotel also has free transportation to/from Asahikawa so getting is not a problem. However, there are many tour groups while we were there so it can get a bit noisy.

    Room tip: DO NOT miss the outdoor onsen.
    Date of stay: December 2011
    • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
      • Value
      • Location
      • Sleep Quality
      • Cleanliness
      • Service
    2  Thank anuwat1303
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed December 28, 2011

    The hotel greets you with a most terrible stench which immediately turns people off. The dark marble walls, yellow carpets and lack of staff makes you feel most unwelcomed. My family and I carried our own luggages to the foyer, no one came to help. We approached the front desk lady who was quite helpful and somewhat friendly (she was able to converse in english).

    On the way to my room, it was clear that the lifts stank, the corridors smelt of cigarette smoke and the room itself stunk. We requested for a smoke-free room but were told there was none. We were given an anti-bacterial spray to rid the room's stench.

    As I type this at the hotel, drunk people are being escorted to their rooms by their friends, talking loudly and falling all over the place.

    The food was less than average. Though buffet style, there wasnt much to choose from. Most foods looked like they were left there for a long time. Fruits were over-ripe and sour. It was my family's least enjoyed meal in Japan.

    The outdoor onsen was quite enjoyable - that was before the crowds came in. I definitely enjoyed a better onsen in Japan but this one is passable. Lots of products are out on display for customers to use during their baths. This is good for us to decide if we wanted to buy certain beauty products.

    As the day draws to a close, I have yet to enjoy my stay here. Let's hope tomorrow will be a better day here at Sounkaku Grand Hotel because my family and I have unluckily booked two days here in advance. :(

    Date of stay: December 2011
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    1  Thank foldedheart
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed May 13, 2010

    Have not thought that Sounkyo would be listed in TA until someone mentioned to me recently. So this is a long overdue review.

    I went to Sounkyo for the winter festival and for that, this hotel is very well positioned. A leisurely short stroll would bring you to the site, which is very important as the temperature in Sounkyo can plunge to -30 easily. I think some hotels provide shuttles to the festival site but that means you have to keep to the schedule. I'm not sure if this hotel also had shuttle to the site but that would mean just a minute's ride.

    Besides choosing the hotel for its location, another factor was it provided us free transport from Asahikawa and later to Kitami. In fact, I remember it also provided transfers from Sapporo for the summer months.

    We booked a normal 'plan' with a basic room but upon arrival found that our room was much larger (with sofas in living area) compared to other rooms (some tour group guests from rooms opposite us were leaving much earlier than us and were packing with their doors wide open so we got a peek). However, it was not in any terms 'grand' or luxurious, just simply a traditional Japanese room but with an additional living room area.

    The buffet provided in the plan was just passable. The place was overrun with some very loud tourists (there were at least 2 tour groups) and the food was just acceptable. It's a good thing though that the staff placed us at a seperate area of the restaurant or I might find myself sitting across a lady who was sitting with her legs wide open in a yukata (as you know the yukata will open when one sits less than lady-like and the view would than be great or horrendous depending on who was looking). Alas, the lady happened to be sitting near the food station so there was no avoiding when one passed by. Not the hotel's fault though but be aware that this place had lots of tourists on package tours so these tend to be louder as a group. Yukatas were provided for guests so most wore it to the restaurant, which is a common practice.

    The restaurant furnishings looked quite oldish without much charm. This applies much to the hotel. You can imagine it should be grand a couple decades ago. Some of its rivals seems to have underwent refurbishments recently and if Sounkaku does not follow soon it will have to consider dropping the name 'grand' very soon.

    One thing I like about this hotel (besides the free transfers) is its outdoor onsen. It is relaxing and nice - after the tour groups left.

    The winter festival in Sounkyo, though small, was one of my favourite as it was more charming and 'real'. We were welcomed warmly and given free red wine upon arrival to keep warm. An extremely large snowman figure, though not as well-crafted as those in Sapporo, had a small town yet whimsical feel to it. Ice caves (small kamakuras and a huge tunnel-like cave) were made to form and its great going into the huge one. The whole place was bathed in very nice lights that were soothing and not gaudy. Standing by the river watching the fireworks going off at this small place was well worth the trip into Sounkyo.

    Date of stay: February 2008
    • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
      • Value
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      • Sleep Quality
      • Rooms
      • Cleanliness
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    3  Thank Smelltheflower
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed March 6, 2024
    Google Translation

    Date of stay: October 2023
    • Trip type: Traveled with family
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed February 27, 2024
    Google Translation

    Date of stay: November 2023
    • Trip type: Traveled with friends
      • Value
      • Location
      • Service
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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