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“Only place to stay in Hakuba”
Review of Penke Panke Lodge

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Penke Panke Lodge
Ranked #2 of 365 B&Bs / Inns in Hakuba-mura
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Only place to stay in Hakuba”
Reviewed February 10, 2012

Read the reviews on Trip Advisor, heard from others who had stayed there - decision - must stay at Penke Panke. We were a mixed group, one young couple, 3 teenagers and a mum. Stayed in the 2 bedroom apartment. Had our own space , plus could mix with others in the lodge common areas. Justin was so obliging, answering many questions by email even before we got there, and then even more once we were there. Handy to lifts, great trips to the supermarkets and a a different onsen every night. Beautiful location in the forest, free bus to other mountains stops outside lodge. Having previously stayed in another (unnamed) backpackers for similar price, you could not have asked for any more in the way of service from Justin and his staff. Already planning our next trip and will stay there again!

Room Tip: If you are female you will never have to queue for shared facilities as more guys than girls staying...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Colleen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 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 (34)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Busan, South Korea
2 reviews
Reviewed February 8, 2012

I stayed at Penke Panke during a recent trip to Hakuba. I was traveling alone, and initially had booked a different hostel, but decided to change my reservation based upon the strength of reviews I found on Trip Advisor. I'm so glad I did.

Even though I caught a late bus out of Tokyo, Justin, the owner of Penke Panke, picked me up from the bus stop just before midnight, saving me the hassle of having to find the lodge in the middle of the night. When I arrived, he gave me a complimentary upgrade from a shared room to a private room, which he extended for three nights.

Although the rooms are a bit small, the mattresses and bedding are excellent. I can honestly say that I haven't had such good sleep in quite a long time. The complimentary breakfast is plentiful and tasty - my first day there the chef prepared salmon benedict, a nice treat on Christmas morning.

For the cost, you would be hard-pressed to find a better value than Penke Panke. The accommodations and staff are excellent, and the level of service is extraordinary for a lodge that I had basically booked as a hosteler. Even better, as others have mentioned, it's only about a 3-4 minute walk to the ski lift. You can't find another lodge that offers such a good combination of service, price and convenience.

Penke Panke provided me with everything I needed on my trip, including ski and snowboard rental for a better price than any of the local shops would have offered. There's a newly upgraded bar that makes for a great place to unwind at the end of the day, and the lodge is in close proximity (i.e. walking distance) to a number of restaurants. The staff runs a series of shuttles for the guests on a nightly basis, including drop-offs and pickups to the 7-11 (the only place to get cash from an ATM), the supermarket and various local onsens.

Penke Panke was a huge factor in making my trip a thoroughly enjoyable one. Although I traveled alone, I was never wanting for company as I met others quickly and easily. We all enjoyed the relaxed and communal atmosphere, a welcome respite after an intense day on the slopes.

I don't anticipate traveling back to Hakuba anytime soon, but if I do, there's no doubt about where I'm staying.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Josh L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2012

I stayed at Penke Panke with my wife and two adult children in late January. I can't commend Justin and his team more highly. It seems aimed at the 20-35 age group but suited us perfectly. The service was five star, relaxed, friendly and the location is perfect. Wandano has a "village in a forest' atmosphere and with the snow laden trees and snow covered streets makes it a really magic place to be. And then there's the skiing! Only a 3 minute walk to the lifts of Happo One, with the most amazing powder I've experienced. I had heard about it but still found it incredible. Add to this no queues at the lifts, slopes virtually deserted (apart from the weekend when the locals arrived) and you can even get a good coffee on the slopes. The weather wasn't great with a lot of snow falling and cloud but you can't expect sun and thigh deep powder at the same time can you?.The lodge arranges daily shuttles to other resorts like Hakuba 47 and Cortina for those who aren't satisfied with the "ski in / ski out" slopes of Happo. On top of that was Justin's assistance with kitting us out with ski's, boots, snowboards, the shuttles to a different Onsen at the end of each day, the friendly feel of the Penke Bar, the miriad of cosy little restaurants with great food at reasonable prices in the street within walking distance, and the Hakubus shuttle from Narita that made it so easy to get to in the first place. The rooms are basic but comfortable and warm, and there was plenty of hot water which was very important. Justin told us he's gradually renovating them so they should improve in quality of finish over time. The common area is very well laid out with large windows looking out into the forest from the help yourself breakfast area. We had a great time. We'll be back!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Firstfleet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2012

Full English speaking lodge, good facilities and vibe.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ryley s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed February 1, 2012

Stayed at Penke Panke Lodge in January 2012. Having been to Hakuba before, we wanted to stay in the wadano area to be close to the slopes. Penke is absolutely perfect for this- end of the drive and cross the road and you have the sakka quad from which you can go up and get to the gondola easily if required. The lodge was absolutely wonderful, and included a generous breakfast every day of a hot dish,toast, cereal, juice, hot drinks.

We (a couple) stayed in the double with en-suite room, while 4 of our party stayed in the large Japanese tatami matt room. The double room was much nicer than we had been anticipating from a lodge, with a huge, comfortable bed, clean bathroom, good heating and was complimented by the additional touch of guidemaps, and Penke stickers and chopsticks.

Justin was incredibly helpful in offering lifts when we needed, to the bus station, train station and doctors, and we were never at loss for help or advice.

What really made the lodge was the additional, unexpected features that were on offer, such as the use of laptops, free wifi, good lounge with tv, free trips to onsens, laid back but incredibly helpful attitude of the staff, hairdryers in the communal bathrooms, and the Penke Bar next door - which is popular with locals and very reasonably priced.

The Lodge is within walking distance of some good restaurants and The Pub, and with the shuttle stop outside the front , it was easy to get to other resorts, ie Goryu or to the station for Cortina, and easy to get to / from Echoland.

Overall, great for a group or couple. Really relaxed, with a small but good bar next door!

Room Tip: If I were going back as a group I would definitely consider the Tatami matt room. As a couple having...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Emily A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nagoya, Japan
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2012

Great staff, facilities and service. Would recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank stephen g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
1 review
Reviewed January 17, 2012

My family has stayed for 3 years in a row at Penke Panke and have booked for a 4th. The atmosphere is is infectious, the bar the most happening place to be, the accommodation homey, and above all the young energetic team of staff, led by Justin, exactly what you need to make the perfect ski holiday. It's a place where young singles, couples, families and seniors can all feel at home.

However, be warned that when your holiday is over and you go back to your everyday life it might be a bit of a let down after staying here!

Room Tip: Just email Justin to discuss your room needs. He'll match the room to your circumstances.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andrew E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Penke Panke Lodge

Property: Penke Panke Lodge
Address: 4836 Hokujo | Happo Wadanomori, Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba-mura 399-9301, Nagano Prefecture
Location: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Kitaazumi-gun > Hakuba-mura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 365 B&Bs / Inns in Hakuba-mura
Number of rooms: 20
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