This is my second visit to this pristine hotel, my last visit being 15th June 2013. We stayed over here while traveling from Shiretoko National Park in transit to Asahikawa (Asahikawa being a good base to visit places like Sounkyo/Daisetsuzan National Park and Furano/Biei regions). But it must be emphasized that Abashiri itself has no lack of scenic spots (you do your own research)!
On arrival to this hotel, we were told to unload our own luggage at the hotel entrance, and to park in the hotel's carpark (you can park in any of the slot you want). En route to this hotel we noticed a sports park within 5 minutes walk (with soccer fields, jogging paths etc), which could easily be a place for fitness enthusiasts to do their daily cardiovascular exercises. One thing we have noted in Japan is this - seldom do we see fitness corners as in Taiwan/Singapore/Switzerland, which are equipped with pull-up bars, dips stations, and sit-up benches. We didn't see a single one in Hokkaido either.
We chose the Western/Japanese twin option, which came with two very large comfy single beds, plenty of space, free Wifi, a nice and large bathroom - all in all a very well equipped and furnished room for the price. There is even a coffee maker where you have to grind the coffee beans manually ... interesting! Some of the Tsuruga chain hotels came with coffee makers which grind the coffee with an electric grinder, but manual grinding was a first for me. I thought it was fun actually!
I used the male onsen (obviously), which had an outdoor rocky area and a larger indoor pool. As previous reviewers had noted, the onsen really felt mainstream and common, although I enjoyed the outdoor pool that night as it was late and fairly empty!
We felt the food was more continental than other Japanese hotels. They made the effort to dish out some interesting options at dinner, like freshly made personal pizza where you select your own toppings, and the chef will bake it for you. There was also a good selection of Japanese dishes meant to be eaten with the rice, make-it-yourself miso soup where you pick out the raw ingredients and put it into the hot pot at your table, and also a complimentary serving of crab legs. Breakfast was a little less interesting, but nevertheless satisfactory, with an average continental selection of western and Japanese options. A good suggestion for improvement to the management would be to include some freshly made indian bread like naan, prata, bhatoora etc (I'm not indian by the way, but finding Indian cuisine in any Japanese hotel would be quite an unique experience). The smell would definitely attract some diners from other parts of the world!
Overall the hotel staff were polite and the rooms were very comfortable. The cleanliness in our rooms were quite impeccable actually! We enjoyed our stay in this hotel (both in 2010 and 2013), and will come back again when we visit Hokkaido maybe in the next two years. Perhaps by then we would find fresh indian bread at breakfast or dinner!
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- Also Known As:
- Hokutennooka Lake Abashiri Tsuruga Hotel