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“A second home in the Japanese powder”
Review of Morino Lodge

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Morino Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 3, 2012

We (2 snowboarders, 1 non skier) stayed at Morino Lodge in December 2011 on a friend's recommendation. Other reviews have painted an accurate picture – being a small place and the ultra friendly staff Matt, Craig, Jen & chef Pat make the experience easy and satisfying. Being located next door to the free shuttle bus stop makes getting around easy. And the snow!

Room Tip: Some rooms are Japanese style - if you don't like futons, ask for a Western room.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Fell0w_Traveller49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 27, 2011

We had the most amazing ski vacation in Hakuba whilst staying at the Big Bear Chalets (run by the Morino Lodge). The chalet itself was exactly what we were looking for. 2-3 bedrooms, private onsen, fully equipped kitchen, living area with digital tv and dvd. All located in the best area of Hakuba...Wadano village.
The staff at Morino was outstanding as everyone has said. They went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed while at the chalet. The 2 Matts, Craig and Jen were all very helpful in activities in the area and helping us with directions.
What we didn't realize when we booked our vacation was the fact that we were literally in Olympic Village on the site of the 98 Nagano Olympics. We skied on the Olympic course (we could walk to the base at Happo One!), went to the top of the ski jump (I don't recommend going all the way up if you are afraid of heights like me), and got to see all the museums and memorabilia from that event! Our children received great ski lessons from Evergreen Outdoor Center which picked us up steps from our chalet. The skiing was literally the BEST skiing of our lives with fresh powder daily and many difficulty levels to chose from.
We cannot recommend Morino Lodge and all of it's accommodations highly enough!!! We are already planning a trip back as soon as we can.
***On a side note - we went the week before Christmas and it was still considered pre-season. There was tons of snow already but without tons of people. We were literally the ONLY people to tour the ski jump area as well as the ONLY people to go sledding at the Sakka lift area. We loved it!!! Very quiet as people/staff are just getting to the area so it is mostly locals and staff - so it was great. The only downfall is some restaurants were not open - but with our own kitchen - we could cook whatever we needed! I highly recommend that time of year as it gave much more personalized attention!!!!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank kellybull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2011

We`re a family of skiers (and one snowboarder) and have been all over the globe on ski holidays with some memorable ones indeed. This year we decided to see what Japan was all about and spent one week in Niseko and the next in Hakuba. It was a memorable experience indeed......in fact, we`re calling it our best ski holiday ever!

Niseko was fun (although a little bit overrun with fellow Aussies) but it was Hakuba that blew us away. So much snow, so much terrain, great restaurants & culture, and an excellent place to stay called Morino Lodge!

Morino offered exactly the kind of experience we were after. beautiful location, nice rooms, great food (you have to try the "nabe night" every Wednesday - best Japanese food we had!), a beautiful lounge room where an international collection of guests relax and socialize in the evenings, lots of games & activities for the kids, and a wonderful friendly atmosphere.

Special mention has to be made of the staff. Craig, Jen & the 2 Matts were awesome! These guys know Hakuba inside out and made sure we made all the right moves. So we got the best restaurants, best hire gear, best ski school, & of course the best snow (Hakuba`s got a lot of resorts and some are better on some days).

Wholeheartedly i recommend Morino Lodge & Hakuba.......may be the best ski vacation you`ll ever have!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank daveinsnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2011

As committed Japanophiles it has to be said we don't normally go out of our way to stay at places owned and run by 'gaijin', but Morino Lodge is the exception that proves the rule. Matt and Craig (a Scot and a Canadian) set a wonderfully helpful, laid-back and friendly atmosphere so that within hours you feel like you're staying at particularly well-organised and well-located friend's house. Anything we wanted to do, know about or visit wqs organised with the minimum of fuss.

Can't speak for the other rooms but our family tatami-mat Japanese-style ensuite was ideal and sleeping on futons was an excellent way to maximise space as well as affording rough and tumble with our 8 and 6 yr olds. Breakfast was good quality, simple and generous western fare, ensuring everyone (including sometimes fussy kids) got enough fuel in the tank for a day's skiing. Extras such as coffee and alcohol were good quality and reasonably priced - very welcome when you're a somewhat captive customer. The only downside was no regular evening meals - except for the fabulous weekly Nabe and Pizza nights (Tuesdays and Sundays respectively).

That said, there was a good choice of izakayas (informal Japanese pub-style restaurants) within easy walking distance and we tried a different one every night of our 6-day stay, except for nabe and pizza nights of course. We walked or taxied to one of the nearby onsens for a hot soak pre-dinner every day so actually going out to eat wasn't much of a hardship. Highly recommend the more 'local' onsen with the very high iron content,.....Matt or Craig can help you with the name.

Oh...and the skiing was great but you can find out about that elsehwere. Overall, if you're heading to Nagano we can't recommend Morino Lodge and the Wadano area of Hakuba enough! Many thanks to Craig, Matt, Matthew, Jen and the rest of the Morino Lodge staff for a wonderful winter holiday.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with family
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Thank ShornConnery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2011

Morino Lodge is right in the heart of Wadano in Hakuba. Matt, Craig and the team help to give you the best ski holiday in great Japanese powder. Tips on where to ski, organise dinner bookings and transport. Breakfast is fantastic - alway fresh fruit, cereal, toast and a different hot thing every morning. Just what a skier needs. The best espresso coffee on the mountain too. Free wifi. A large selection of dvds and books and a great lounge to chill in with other skiers from around the world. Nabe night every Wed is a must.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank AHPH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2016 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: January 2016, traveled as a couple
Thank SailSKIp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Morino Lodge

Address: 4692-3 Hokujo, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun 399-9301, Nagano Prefecture
Location: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Kitaazumi-gun > Hakuba-mura
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 119 Specialty lodging in Hakuba-mura
Price Range: $138 - $696 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Morino Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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