Choosing the perfect place to stay for your ski vacation can be a difficult task, especially with so many choices at your finger tips. Hakuba – Japan’s largest ski area – has some true gems when it comes to luxurious self contained accommodations, and here to help you navigate them in no particular order are our 7 top picks for the valley.
1. Echoland Apartments
Sleek, stylish and beautifully appointed, these apartments are located in the heart of Echoland Village and therefore offer a plethora of restaurants and bars at your doorstep. The slopes of Hakuba`s largest resort – Happo One – are just a few minutes drive and serve as the spectacular backdrop for these apartments. Thoughtfully laid out and tastefully presented, not a detail has been overlooked in blending comfort, convenience and class. The Onsen room on the top floor is a real treat, allowing you enjoy the crisp mountain air and views of the Northern Japan Alps as you soak.
2. Phoenix One Chalet
Nestled in the peaceful woods of Wadano this stunning chalet boasts nothing but the finest in it`s appointment, amenities and furnishings. Equipped with it`s own gym, infinity granite edged bath, sauna and 3 different levels for optimum space and privacy – it is hard to want for anything. The enormous windows provide a panoramic view of the picturesque snowscape, while a few minutes walk from your doorstep you can find exceptional cuisine at a handful of high end restaurants – including Mimi`s located inside The Phoenix Hotel. Rhythm rentals and the chairlift on Happo One`s Kokusai ski slope are also within walking distance. This is a great choice for large families or groups; think traditional ski lodge meets the very best of modern technology.
3. Sky Park Happo
A rare commodity in Hakuba, Skypark Happo provides ski in ski out luxury! Located a few steps from Happo One`s Sakka slopes there is something there for every age and ability level. Within a few short steps you can find restaurants, a kids snow park, restaurants, a magic carpet, 2 beginner chairlifts and a quad lift taking you up to some of the most interesting and exciting terrain on the mountain (hint – `Skyline`, and brand new this season `Onigiri`). This is a no brainer for families wanting optimum ease with getting to and from the slopes and for ski fanatics desperate for first tracks. The apartments themselves are modern, stylish and offer nothing but quality in their design and amenities.
The valley`s prize ski chalet, this architecturally impressive and beautiful property has not overlooked a single detail in luxury, convenience or comfort. Most suited for large groups or families, it offers privacy and space in a tranquil but well thought out location with Hakuba47, Iimori and Gory just a few minutes drive away. It oozes high-end homeliness with handcrafted furnishings and statement pieces, while It`s large hot tub, media room, bar and pool table are definite highlights. It is truly one of a kind.
5. Bluebird Apartments
These contemporary and chic apartments capture the very best of Western style accommodation with their luxurious design and prime location. Just a few minutes walk from Happo Village`s restaurants, bars, Onsens and even ski slopes (Happo One`s Nakiyama) – you wont be short of things to do. It`s position in the valley also makes it easy to get to just about any resort in Hakuba, as the Bus Terminal Information Centre are also within easy walking distance. The ceiling to floor windows are a real highlight as you sit back and watch the snow fall from comfort of your couch.
6. The Ridge Hotel Apartments
Originally built prior to the last Winter Olympics, this sophisticated accommodation was intended as a retreat for member of the Japanese Imperial Family. Fortunately it has maintained it`s level of excellence and attention to detail and offers lush apartments thoughtfully positioned in the peaceful woods of Wadano. Don`t be fooled by its quaint setting though, as a handful of high end restaurants, the valley`s largest rental shop and one of Happo`s main chairlifts are just a few minutes walk away. Needless to say, the views onto Happo One`s slopes are stunning, and access to an onsite restaurant, lounge and games room makes `staying in` after a busy day on the slopes easier than ever before.
7. Bears Den
Tucked up in the beautiful forested area of Goryu, this exceptional lodge is just a few minutes from the slopes, bars and restaurants. While maintaining peace and privacy it is conveniently located so that you can ski right to the door – one of the few high end properties in Hakuba where this is possible. Offering ample space, an outdoor hot tub, bar and even an open fire place, this combines ski lodge cosiness with the highest level of style and class.
Nadine Robb is Owner and Instructor at Hakuba Ski Concierge. Hakuba Ski Concierge is a boutique ski school in Hakuba, Japan.
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