For nature lovers and skiers, these are the best hotels in the famous ski resort town of Niseko, Hokkaido.
Located just a stone’s throw from Hokkaido’s capital city of Sapporo, and known the world over for its mountain range and ski resorts, Niseko is a nature-lover’s dream. While the town itself is small, the area also includes the Mt Fuji of Hokkaido, Mt Yotei, and the quality of snow is unparalleled. Niseko gets on average 14m (46ft) of snow each winter, making it a paradise for powder skiers. Take a look at these top hotels.
With ski-to-door access and lift passes for sale inside, Hotel Resort Inn Niseko is the place to stay for convenient skiing. Bedrooms are simple, clean and functional. To get you excited for a day on the slopes, the hotel provides incredible mountain views from its rooms and, when your day of skiing is done, the hot tub is waiting to warm you up and soothe tired muscles.
Foodies and winter fanatics alike will enjoy a magical experience at Ki Niseko. This boutique hotel offers its winter guests snowmobile tours and private ski lessons, alongside ski and snowboard rental. Chic, modern rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the snow, plus there’s a steamy outdoor onsen in which to soak your aching muscles. The hotel restaurant, An Dining, dishes up super creative Japanese cuisine that is so beautifully displayed, you’ll definitely need to take a covert photo.
If you’re coming to Niseko to relax in the heart of nature, Zaborin is for you. Zaborin takes the concept of a Japanese ryokan – a traditional inn – and blends it with astonishing vistas and access to the area’s finest hot springs. Its wooden structure blends in with the surrounding trees, and the muted lighting creates a warm, cosy feel. Sunlight pours through the large windows. Here, guests have access to their own private onsen (shaped like a rock overflowing with hot water) with both indoor and outdoor hot springs available.
Unlike the traditional European chalet, Chalet Ivy looks relatively unassuming from the outside. Inside, however, you’ll be treated to a white marble lobby and comfy suites with plump pillows and modern wooden furniture. A welcome and cosy stay, regardless of the season, Chalet Ivy offers you an array of wellness options, from traditional onsen to a well-equipped gym and spa. Staff will help you arrange both winter and summer activities, from skiing and snowmobile excursions in the icy months, to kayaking and mountain biking when it gets warm.
The authentic Hokkaido experience is offered by Ikoino Yuyado Iroha in the form of seasonal local food and hot-spring access. One of Hokkaido’s signature dishes is lamb barbecue, and this meal is one of many local options provided by Ikoino Yuyado Iroha. Other dishes include locally sourced seafood platters and chirashizushi (a rice bowl that includes fresh vegetables and sashimi). Rooms here are simple and functional – after all, you’ll be spending more time outside and eating.
English country cottage vibes meet American cabin aesthetics in this unique boutique hotel. With a veranda space for eating outside with friends and hammocks for lazing out in the sun, Country Inn Milky House is the ideal Niseko hotel for couples and groups of friends looking to enjoy a summer stay in the area. With a focus on outdoor dining and relaxing, this is a must-stay hotel in the warmer months.
For the finest ski-in, ski-out experience, Aya Niseko offers glamorous, ultra-modern luxury within striking distance of the slopes. Natural light pervades these suites and apartment-style rooms, complete with underfloor heating and full kitchens. On the fifth floor, it has its own yoga studio, plus a gym and onsen downstairs. Don’t miss the luxury spa or in-house Ginger restaurant, serving everything from eggs benedict to sashimi with miso soup.
Budget travellers will enjoy snuggling up in one of the wooden capsules at the Lodge Moiwa. Each one has a lockable baggage hold, plus a personal reading light inside. Just a minute’s walk from the slopes, you can grab a coffee, a bowl of ramen or even a pizza from Restaurant Raphael before a day on the mountain. Leave your skis in the lockers outside before making use of the super clean shower room, complete with shampoo for you to use.