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“Best accommodation spot in Japan”
Review of Grove Inn Skala

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Grove Inn Skala
Ranked #7 of 456 B&Bs / Inns in Hakuba-mura
Reviewed January 29, 2014

We only stayed at Grove in Skala two nights between Christmas and New Years, for a day trip to see Snow Monkeys, and we totally loved the place. Owners and staff were so warm and welcoming, we really felt looked after. We were soooo sad to leave because we were really feeling at home in this lovely place. :)

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank nyancat84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 27, 2014

If you would rather not read a lengthy story about my experience at Skala, and are wondering whether you should stay there, you can stop now and jump on whatever booking platform you are using and go ahead and book it.

I really can't recommend Skala enough. From the moment we set foot out of the Hakuba station when Osamu san was there to pick us up, to the moment Miwa san's husband dropped us off at the end our stay in Hakuba, we received the most incredible service from the family at Skala.

Don't worry about transport to/from the ski fields, equipment rental, lift passes, they will help you organise all of this and/or do it for you. I highly recommend having dinner at the inn, Miwa san cooked up some incredible meals for us during our time there.

I had the grand luck of coming down with a stomach bug on my second day in Hakuba, which got bad enough that we had to extend our stay there by an extra day, which was sorted out with no worries. Miwa san drove me to the local clinic and helped translate for the doctor. Osamu san took us to the pharmacy on the way back from the clinic. They replaced the standard breakfast fare with food like rice congee and apple pulp which would be easier on my stomach. All of this with not a whisper of hesitation or complaint. The family made me feel very welcome while I was grumpily spending my Hakuba days indoors.

I do not regard Grove Inn Skala as a hotel, to myself and my girlfriend it feels more like a home away from home. We were made to feel welcome from start to finish and everyone at the inn went out of their way to help us over and over again. Even though it sucked to be sick in Hakuba, there would be no other place I would rather have been sick at! Staying at Skala was one of my most memorable experiences in Japan and I would not hesitate to return if I am lucky enough to find myself in that part of the world again.

A HUGE thank you to Miwa, Miwa's husband (whose name I have sadly forgotten) Osamu, Asako, Steve and Shyo-chan for making us feel so at home, 10,000 miles away from home.

Room Tip: Stayed in the Japanese rooms, they were quite spacious, room for luggage even with the futons unfold...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank KMJay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

This was 10th stay at Skala and everything was up to par as uaual. They will arrange anything you wish from day tours to all your skiing needs. Dining service is outstanding . Owners and staff all speak good english. If you get lost just give them a call and they will come get you . Steve and Marie where excellant help and compliment the owners very well. I have had group of 17 staying there and the service is the same as a party of four.

I will be returning again

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Rembrandt_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

We stayed for 7 nights & were completely pampered. Everything that they organised was charged back to the room, from the shuttle from Narita, to Ski Hire & lessons. Our hosts, made us feel at home & nothing was too much trouble. Fully catered breakfast & dinner of 5 star quality that was very reasonably priced. Rooms were very comfortable. Highly recommend, & will stay again as once you've had the best you don't go anywhere else.

Room Tip: Choice of western style rooms or Japanese rooms
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Vera N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2014

I have now broken all of my own traveling rules... never go back to an area, least a hotel; it will never live up to your memories. Folks how wrong I am! my second stay at Skala for 8 days with a large group has not tested the staff and family here, at the best accommodation. Some changes had occurred since my last stay. Steve and Maria, you are such a wonderful assets to this extraordinary family and location. At skala the mixture of culture, friendliness, magnifucient food, friendliness and warmth bails you over. This location is picture perfect, it was ideal to shuttle to the snow fields, wander into the ornate village for afternoon coffee. Bus tours are easily organized, meaning that you can have a day or two away from the slopes to sight see. The stay is peaceful and tranquil. Nothing and i mean nothing is too much trouble for the family here. Each night we would be taking photos of the AMAZING food, which each mouthful tasted like it was made with love. The fire was a warmly welcome, the evening drinks affordable and a welcome end to an exciting day on the slopes or out seeing temples, snow monkeys, sake breweries etc. Dvds provided some entertainment away from the toasty lounge room.if you are looking for a peaceful,tranquil, friendly,great locality pension? Well this is the one, so much so i've already looked up the airfares for next year... except next year I will stay for two weeks and will sight see some more. Finally, I will add that my husband and I regularly travel and have travelled extensively throughout the world. But there has been no place that has felt like Skala, from the bottom of my heart thank you for allowing my family to share your piece of heaven.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Donna P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2014

A group of 5 of us stayed in 2 connecting rooms in Skala for our snowboarding trip for 3 nights. The stay totally exceeded our expectation. As the owners are extremely helpful and friendly.

We drove from Nagoya airport to Hakuba without snow tires. However, we were stuck just off Echoland (8-10mins walk away from Skala). 2 of us walked to the hotel to inform them as we were already late for checking in and asked for help. Miwa, the most helpful and sweetest lady who can speak perfect English, drove us to pick up our friends & luggages. We actually had to push our van (a Toyota Vellfire) in the parking lot. Even Miwa helped pushing without wearing any gloves. She asked a souvenirs store and LAWSON to let us park our car there for the next two days. However, we finally had to park in a supermarket which is 15 mins drive away. We felt so warm and the kindness of Japanese deeply!!

We were so focus on our snowboarding activities. Instead, Miwa has much concern as she thinks it's very dangerous if we had to drive back to Nagoya without snow tires. She has been spending much time to find chains or even called Toyota car rent to arrange car changing and stuff for us, while we were having much fun on the slopes. Finally, we got swapped another van, which took us back all safe to Nagoya.

I really have to say that the family-run inn gave us a very warm stay. With many little and unique decoration (27 china plates on the wall in the dining area meaning 27 years of business), a chilling shared living room (with a mini bar, piano, sofas, massage chair...), dry room to keep our equipments.... everything are just great for its valued!

Really wish that we could have stayed longer and I'm looking forward to staying there again in the future.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Candida T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

This was for a 8 nights stay. We spent more than a week then at Grove In Skala during christmas break. The location is perfect, located at Echo land area in the middle of the wood, so it's very quiet. During the ski season there is a shuttle bus stop at 100m from the hotel.
The owners are very nice and helpful. Almost any activities at Hakuba can be organized from the hotel. One night they even dropped us up at a restaurant and picked us up after dinner. It's a really good quality vs price location. See you next year !!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank franck p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grove Inn Skala

Address: 2940-19 Hokujo, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun 399-9301, Nagano Prefecture
Location: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Kitaazumi-gun > Hakuba-mura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 456 B&Bs / Inns in Hakuba-mura
Price Range: $140 - $182 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Grove Inn Skala 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grove Inn Skala is a country resort owned by family. Privacy, comfort and personal care are all yours. Located in the center of Japan's main island, in Hakuba village, Nagano prefecture. Many people know about Hakuba, as it was the sight of the 1998 Winter Olympic events: Giant Slalom, Downhill, Nordic Combined, Cross-country and Jumping. The Jumping Stadium is just about 10 min's and shopping area is also 10 min's on foot from our hotel. Hakuba is about 300km north west of Tokyo at the foot of Northern Japan Alps. It takes approximately 3 and half hours by train and 4 hours by car. Paragliding, Downhill mountain bike riding, Hiking, White water rafting, Tennis, Fishing, Canoe & Kayak are all awaiting you through at a year The main sports are of course, ski & snowboard in winter term till early spring ... more   less 
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