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“A rather unpleasant place”
Review of Elk at Hakuba

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Elk at Hakuba
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A rather unpleasant place”
Reviewed May 8, 2014

Having been to Japan every ski season for the last 5 years - this is undeniably the worst place we have stayed.

The "Lodge" a term i use loosely, itself actually could be quite nice, but sadly it has been somewhat neglected.

The major issues with this place are:-
Breakfast is atrocious - noting like described. Please see my picture, this is what was served daily. For a region that grows apples, not even a fresh apple in the place.

Bedding was not changed once during the entire stay, neither were our towels.

The rooms are dirty. Not properly cleaned

The bathroom (you will note no images on the elk website) are minute, similar to a campervan.

The central heating is faulty, i have now seen other reviews that this seems to be a problem they have done nothing about.

The 'lodge' is a good walk to the bus stop, which in ski boots on a icy road is tough work.

I bring to your attention that the excellent reviews on tripadvisor are most probably the Owner herself. Have a look at the names of the reviewers, they are seem to follow a trend like James E, Sarah H

Other than that, the skiing at Hakabu was fantastic.

Room Tip: None of the rooms
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Jarps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    7
    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed May 7, 2014

I stayed at Elk At Hakuba in 2014 and was very impressed with the excellent value for money this friendly lodge provides. I'm usually on a bit of a budget when I travel so I'm never looking for 5 star but this place delivered everything and more for a budget holiday.
I am planning to go back with a group of 11 friends in 2015 as it's perfect for groups. Mike, one of the staff, was more than happy to drive us whenever and wherever we wanted and even took us out to show us local night spots on a couple of occaisions.
The rooms were clean, tidy and good by Japanese snowfields standards. All round I found it great value for money, the staff and owner were always helpful and lovely and I can't recommend it highly enough. And the snow is freaking AWESOME!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Annabelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2014

A group of us stayed this past winter at The Elk. This was my third trip to Hakuba and I chose the Elk due to the description of it s website. Not long after I immediately regretted my decision to staff there. I will give some short examples of what happened during our stay:
- never offered fresh towels, had to ask for fresh towels

- there is one van on site and on the reviews they said that they would give rides into town for guests. We were turned down several times by the staff to drive us into town. Only after I complained to the owner did they drive us to the bus stop upon our departure

- the "continental breakfast" consisted of 1 egg. Not two eggs but one egg. I asked the owner about this so she said I could have more eggs so I had to asked. So each morning I would ask for two eggs. Very odd

- the two couple I were with had BED BUGS although mine did not. Under closer inspection the covers on my pillows had there zippers broken so there would be no way they were able to wash them. A brief look under my bed also showed that no had bothered to sweep it neither

- front steps of the lodge were covered in slick ice for everyday until the last day which I had to ask the owner to clear so we didn t break our neck

- no staff member speaks any Japanese

- told we could not use firewood during the afternoon because they had to "save it" for the evening

- power went out one of our nights

- the lounge which is aesthetically nice, was always occupied by either the owners kids or the employees themselves making it very unwelcoming

- I told the owner about my experience at her lodge in the privacy of her office. She was actually kind to my criticism and I just offered tips

- I mentioned that I booked her lodge from reviews on TA (which, with all the 1 review reviews I believe to be fake) and from the description from their website with resembles nothing of the truth. She explained how it is not a "lodge" per se but what you call a "flash hostel". Flash hostel is so,etching between a lodge and a hostel. I asked her why did nt she put that on the website and she said she would change that. I just checked and nothing has changed

- after our conversation this is when thinks took a really weird turn. Our group left for dinner and drinks. When we finished we arrived back to the lodge and went to the lounge where the owner was there with her staff, kids and parents. She had obviously discussed my criticism with those around her and had a few drinks and launched a verbal attack on HER GUEST!!!! I then told her if she wanted to talk to me please do it in the privacy of her office. After talking to her she calmed down and ended up making my friend and I two ham and cheese sandwich's

- our group decided to leave a day early as the general atmosphere was toxic environment to be around on your big holiday of the year

- Japan is world famous for there service, respect and hospitality. The Elk Lodge is run by crass, confrontational Australian who does not mange their young Australian staff properly. If you do decide to visit Hakuba, the Elk is a place I would suggest you avoid.

Room Tip: From my experience staying at monkey rider and panic which are "hostel" they have nice pri...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank thejudge24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hakuba-mura, Japan
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 4, 2014 via mobile

First time to Hakuba. Found a perfect place to investigate the place from. Close to a fair few excellent restaurants and bars, half way between Happo and Hakuba 47, two big resorts. Friendly, helpful staff, good brekkie too. The fireplace was a good place to relax with a glass of wine. We will be back.

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank 810JuliaW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2014

We were some of the first guests at Elk under the new management. The price for the rooms was great!
However there were a few issues which don't appear to have improved over subsequent seasons.
The heating cut out regularly and was not restarted without constant pestering of management. This meant coming home from a day of skiing to cold rooms and waking up freezing some nights. The drying room was hardly warm enough to dry our belongings.
The communal lounge area was dominated by the owner's family and we felt we were intruding when using the area, or felt rude asking to watch something on TV. This meant more time spent together in our tiny room.
The manager was very approachable and helpful, picking us up from the train station & helping to make phone calls, however this did not make up for the other negative experiences.

Room Tip: The room at the end of the corridor appeared to be much larger than the others.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank ModernMinimalist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 19, 2014

Perfect place to stay if you're after a comfortable, warm, cozy (and fun!) ski lodge after a hard day on the slopes or a night out at any of the great restaurants and pubs that are just a short stroll from the front door. The breakfasts there are great too and will keep even the biggest appetites well satisfied throughout a full day's skiing/snowboarding.
The staff are FANTASTIC! - Just so friendly and extremely helpful. They were more than happy to drive us to/from the train station, ski shops and ski lift areas and to help organize any other day trips & tours that we were interested in. I will definitely stay at Elk next time I'm in Hakuba!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Matt E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2014

Elk made my holiday to Hakuba. I could see the shuttle stop outside the door and it was only a 5 minute walk to the Happo Bus Stop - I have been to a lot of ski resorts and the walk has been a lot worse. Echoland was also only 5 min away with an array of restaurants and little bars to choose from.

With my limited Japanese I found it difficult to find out information regarding the ski resorts. Luckily Joel and Mike were always helpful with insider tips of where to go, cheap pass coupons and nice enough to drop me off one day when I missed my shuttle.

The room was good value for money with western style beds and own bathroom. This is not the Hilton but a clean own room for a good price.

Good for a group of friends travelling but don't want to share rooms or the chaos of the larger Australian Chalet Accommodations.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelWineDine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elk at Hakuba

Property: Elk at Hakuba
Address: 2443-5 Oaza Hokujyo, Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba-mura 399-9301, Nagano Prefecture
Location: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Kitaazumi-gun > Hakuba-mura > Hakuba happou Onsen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 100 Specialty lodging in Hakuba-mura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elk at Hakuba is a contemporary western lodge in the heart of EcoLand, Hakuba. Inviting, relaxed and centrally located, Elk at Habuka combines modern western furnishings and conveniences with a cultural element. Each twin, double or four share room enjoys private ensuite bathrooms, comfortable beds, heated timber floors, quality linen and toiletries and free wireless internet. ... more   less 
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