We stayed at Skala as part of a general self guided tour of Japan, and of all the places we stayed Skala stands head and shoulders above the rest.
As westerners in Japan, we knew that high service levels are normal. Skala raised the standard, with impeccable, friendly service, great facilities and amazing food. Everyone, from the Japanese family that hosts you, to the friendly Aussie/Brit couple who help out were charming and went out of their way to make our experience a memorable one. Nothing was too much trouble,
The accommodation is a 10 minute walk from Echoland with various restaurants. The ski bus stops are much nearer. Eating in is a good choice and although we ate out the first night, after sampling the sumptuous 5 course meal for a bargain price, we stayed in after that. Yes, there is only locally produced Japanese red wine that tastes nothing like anything from France or the new world, but that's what makes it interesting. It's not bad at all, it's just different (and purposefully served cool). I drank it every night.
You can get drinks from the bar (a cosy bar in the living room/lounge) or even from a vending machine in the hall.
The accommodation is spotless, even by Japanese standards.
Boot/ski room, dry room, family bath (in addition to the ensuite facilities in our Western style room) massage chair and massive DVD collection cap off a great option in Hakuba.
And, last but not least, the local group who come in and play Jazz on a friday night are amazing! Lovely people, and great musicians!
- 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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