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“In desperate need of an overhaul.... rooms and processes”
Review of Naeba Prince Hotel

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Naeba Prince Hotel
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“In desperate need of an overhaul.... rooms and processes”
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Ski in ski out is great... everything else is a headache.

Language: The hotel shows no interest in meeting the needs of non-Japanese speaking guests so take this into account when you consider a stay here. Little to no signage in English, few menus translated, and few staff with any more than rudimentary skills in anything other than Japanese. Not necessarily unwilling to help - just completely unable.

Ski lifts: On our 5th day the number of visitors was down so fully half the lifts were closed. Even when they are all running the linkage between lifts is not always easy, and with half out it made some runs virtually inaccessible. The lack of the highest chair from the base also closed off all but the lowest slopes by 3.30pm. Note....Food is only available at the base of the mountain.

Bureaucracy gone wild: There are arcane rules for everything. The BBQ restaurant can only be booked by going back to the hotel at 2pm... the bus back to the station can only be booked at 7pm on the night before departure... when you might just be in the BBQ restaurant if you were lucky with your booking....we knew the departure time of our train and we knew we had to be on the first bus out at 11:00.... but requests to confirm 2 seats were just met with a blank stare.

Lunch in the lobby lounge screams out for a management consultant. We decided to order something quick.. hotdog and fries. After lining up to buy tickets, then lining up to hand the tickets over at the counter... we were given a beeper to come back to collect the hot dog and a table number for the fries to be delivered.....truly. Many of the public areas and the rooms are looking very worn and shabby. A previous review says 'it is not pretty stylish or cool in any way'..... that sums it up.

We skied at Hakuba previously. A better range of hotels, superior skiing, a railway station in the town with direct links to Tokyo or Nagoya, and generally a more friendly experience. Definitely would not return to Naeba.

Room Tip: If you must.... then Wing 6 is closer to the number 1 gondola (if it is running) and closer to the h...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ianfly30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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378 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
153 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2012

My wife and I spent Christmas weekend at Naeba. The location is terrific and the ski-in/ski-out nature of the resort is terrific. Overall, the resort is fairly run-down. The restaurants we visited had chips in the walls, the resort itself is definitely ready for a re-model. The hotel itself has numerous ski clothing shops, a food court, and many restaurant options. We ate at the Whistler Restaurant (which promoted Whistler-Blackcomb and Canadian Club), the Cabana Beer Restaurant, and a Japanese restaurant. The Whistler had great food and took Visa Cards (with chip). I think next time we will head to a larger area like Shiga-Kogen, but our stay was nice. The snow was terrific and the lift lines were short.

Room Tip: Pick a room facing the slopes for a better view, rooms facing away have are bright in the morning...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mark N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
26 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2012

OK, so this hotel is a colossal monstrous humongous hotel with about 1500 rooms; it definitely needs repair on the inside and on the outside, and new carpets, a paint job, etc. It's not pretty, stylish or cool in any way. The first 12 hours we were there we thought; what is this place?? We are a family of four with two little children aged 2 and 3 and this was our 2nd ski get-away of the season. After first trying out the NASPA New Otani we thought this would be better due to the outside einvironment. And we were right!
It takes some getting used to, the size of the hotel, the layout of it, the loooong walks from one end of the hotel to the other. However it is the easiest ski-in ski-out I've ever experienced, great options for toddlers and ski school from 3 years of age! Our oldest went two mornings and loved it, part of it due to the inside ski school where you start out to get comfortable on your skis, part of it due to all the gimmicks that makes learning for a 3-year-old fun. The 2-year-old was having a blast in the snow play ground outside, tubing, sledding, building snow men and petting the snow bunnies. The parents did not get much skiing in however the area was decent enough for a weekend of family skiing (that is, when our kids get old enough to actually ski with us!)
The 22 restaurants gave us plenty of choices for food, and all of them fabulous after a day of playing in the snow. Worst was for sure the room, rather worn down and in need of new carpets and paint, but in typical Japanese style, otherwise immaculate. Service was great and the commute from Yuzawa train station about 20 minutes each way (despite hotel staff insisting it to be about 45 mins). In short, this was very convenient for us and two small kids and a weekend to play in the snow. But not pretty. Would go back because of the convenience without thinking twice!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelMom_DK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
World Wide Traveller
Level Contributor
89 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2012

The room was a bit old but everything was working and clean.
The hotel has about 1250 rooms and 20 restaurants and is right in front of the ski slope, so close that from your bed you are just 10 Mn away from a great ski day.
There are plenty of restaurants, ski rental outlets, small shops and convenient stores and the hotel provides a a free 40mn bus shuttle to the Shinkansen train station, 1.30hours from Tokyo.
The staff is of course friendly, but do not expect a lot of luxury inside.
That is not why you will probably stay there, all the fun happens outside and that is the great plus of this hotel who is fully organized towards that.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Benchmarker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2012

I stayed here for one night as part of a 1 night ski trip and enjoyed it. The resort is directly on the slopes with everything you need for skiing plus onsen. The rooms are small for western standards but perfectly acceptable for the price range during ski season given you are directly on the slopes.

I actually found the mark-up on goods to be reasonable. My avg lunch was JPY1,000. With this said there is a resort mark-up. Prices are listed on the web page.

You can certainly find better and more attractive accommodations. However I have a difficult time faulting the hotel given it's on site Naeba skiing and gondola access to Kagura.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TokyoDroid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
family-mmm
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Conveniently located, 70 minutes from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa with the Maxi Tanigawa Shinkansen, from where a bus will take you about 40 minutes to the facility. Step outside the door and you are in one of the better ski areas you can find close to Tokyo. Inside however, it is a different story.

Came during busy season early January and it was very crowded. Massive amounts of snow and plenty of ski lifts spreads the crowd well. To fit this big crowd all the rooms are really small, almost feels like a Capsule stay. Many different restaurants to choose from, buffet (poor), quick bites (reasonable) and a little more upscale Japanese and western style.

Best part of this place is how the cater for the young ones. The ski school which is both indoor and outdoor, the ski and snow park leaves little more to wish for. Rental equipment store has everything and you can change gear throughout the day.

This is not a cheap, nor affordable place. Your money will flow in one direction - out....

Room Tip: Even numbered rooms face the parking lot, odd numbered rooms face the hill and slopes.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Måns B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2010

I made the mistake of visiting this 'hotel' during early December so a little bit too early in the snow season. Certainly an interesting experience, as mentioned in other reviews it certainly feels a little North Korean or even possibly a little like I imagine Chernobyl would be like. Empty, deserted and stuck in the early 1990's!

During our stay we saw about 15 other guests and most of the facilities were non existent because of this. Meals were limited to a choice of 2 set meals at 1 restaurant for breakfast and dinner. Pool was closed, internet room was closed, 21 other restaurants were closed and the only shop was a convenience store which was open for as few as hours as possible.

The room was fairly spacious for Japan and you even get a choice of Smoking or Smoking. The lovely odour certainly motivates you to spend as little time in your room as possible. The beds were two singles (obviously to discourage any interaction between inmates) and were very firm. The room was dirty, the carpet stained and was just generally badly aged.

The common spaces of the hotel aren't much better, even as I sit in the (closed) lobby lounge typing this review I can see dirty grubby walls, dirty carpet, broken heater vents and some interesting stapled down fake plants.

Much like the hotel, the company website also seems a little stuck in the past. Be wary about believing this statement: " There is also a free express bus operating between Naeba Prince Hotel and Joetsu Shinkansen Echigo Yuzawa Station for guests only". This a complete and blatant lie, especially in the early season. After sitting waiting for 2 hours at the station were were finally informed by a local that no such bus existed and our only choice was to take the local bus at an expense of about 900JPY each. The hotel bluntly denied the existence of any such service. If planning to travel here by public transport try and time it around the local bus which only makes the trek about 4 times a day for most of the year!

I admit it wasn't all bad, the staff were for the most part pleasant if even a little ashamed of the place. The food was for the best part pretty good despite being incredibly limited in choice. The location was good and being able to walk straight out the back door onto the slopes is really handy. The local ski pass also gives access to Kagura which is really handy for silly early season people like myself. Unfortunately the resorrt stop operating the Dragodondola early November so your only choice is to hop on the rusty and slow local buses to make the trek.

In summary I would suggest that only visiting the hotel if you are really stuck for places to ski early season. Even then I would suggest staying elsewhere and commuting daily, it would probably be cheaper and less painful.

Its a little bit of a shame really, I imagine this would be an amazing resort in its heyday during peak season!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TTim83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Naeba Prince Hotel

Property: Naeba Prince Hotel
Address: 202 Mikuni, Minamiuonuma-gun, Yuzawa-machi 949-6292, Niigata Prefecture
Phone Number:
Location: Japan > Chubu > Niigata Prefecture > Minamiuonuma-gun > Yuzawa-machi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Yuzawa-machi
#7 Best Value Hotel in Yuzawa-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Naeba Prince Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 1298
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With its prime position next to the ski lifts in the enormously popular ski resort of Naeba, the hotel has everything a winter sports lover could want and more. In the summer, the hotel transforms into the perfect resort for warm weather activities including golf and tennis. The Naeba Prince Hotel offers a total of 1,782 rooms. It also provides a dazzling array of restaurants and bars featuring everything from French and Italian cuisine to authentic Japanese and Chinese dishes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Prince Hotel Naeba
Prince Hotel Yuzawa Machi

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