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Review of Zao Kokusai Hotel

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Zao Kokusai Hotel
Ranked #4 of 85 Hotels / Ryokan in Yamagata
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 July 2014

A hot spring of Zao is the hot spring which is really good in Japan.
The bath using the hot spring is kind to skin using woodenness.
The splendor of this hotel is a feeling of cleanliness.
I am going to use it once again for the winter skiing season.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank geizan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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15 - 21 of 163 reviews

Reviewed 19 February 2014

2 points attracted me to choose this hotel: 1) It provides private onsen for guests; 2) it is very near to the Zao ropeway for seeing the snow monsters. And after staying in this hotel for 1 night, I could say I had really made a good choice. Always being one of the 100 best onsen hotels in Japan, before we reached Zao Kokusai Hotel, we could feel its quality service! When we arrived at the Zao Onsen area by bus, with the help of a staff of the travel center to contact the hotel,a driver was immediately sent to drive us to the hotel. Staff of the hotel were all nice and helpful. Room of the hotel was spacious and comfortable, and it's even better that in the room we had the view of the skiing area. I think guests who came to Zao Mountain to ski would find this hotel very convenient as it was very close to the skiing area. Though not every dish of the dinner was fabulous, we were especially satisfied with the wagyu beef shabu shabu, and for the breakfast, a nice variety of food was provided. Both the private and public onsen of the hotel were nice. Personally I was impressed by the outdoor onsen of the public bath, where I could enjoy the snowy scenery and the comfortable onsen at the same time.

Room Tip: I would recommend to stay in rooms overlooking the skiing area of Zao.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank stellachi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2014

I went to zao kokusai hotel for snowboarding for 4 nights from Feb. 2th to Feb 6th. We took the bus from Sendai airport to Zao Onsen directly which thanks to Yuka the reception that help me reserve direct bus on both ways. The reception spoke english quite ok and we are able to communicate and inform what we need. The process quite easy, the room reserve can check in at 2.00pm but we arrived early around 11.30am So, I decided to go snowboarding. From hotel to Ski area is walking distance. It take less than 5 mins from locker room to ski area. So, you can hook your gears up and ski down to the lift directly..

You can buy ski lift ticket from hotel reception (cash only) and there is a small discount compare to the lift down there. As for buying 1day ski lift, you can use ropeway from 8.00-16.xx something. So,once you buy it, you can go up direct to see Juhyo (Ice Monster) all day during day time.

As for Dinner and Breakfast which is fabulous at the same dining room for all 5 days and 4 nights. On dinner they serve everything in art style. So, you will enjoy the whole experience.

The room is customise for you, there is yukata for you to wear when you walk around in the hotel. (Green Yukata for male, Red(pink) yukata for female)

Public bath is great experience, I did that everyday during my trip until the last day. It's enjoyable and refreshing!

All in all : Great Services, Great Onsen, Fabulous Dining, near the lift .. everything you need for ski or snowboard in Japan.. :)

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Natthaphat N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2014

I highly recommend this hotel. It is located very close to the slopes. The onsen is really wonderful and very relaxing. The food is very high quality and delicious. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly. The rooms were comfortable, clean and warm. Please note there is no shuttle bus around this resort although it can easily be reached on foot.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Yorkiee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2012

I stayed at Zao Kokusai for three nights from 11 to 13 Jan, 2012.

Value for money: We booked a ski pass-inclusive package for 14,700 yen per person per night, dinner and buffet breakfast also inclusive. The one-day ski pass itself is worth 5,300 yen. The dinner was luxurious with wagyu beef shabu-shabu, sashimi, radish stew, over 10 different appetizers in lesser-kaiseki fashion, plus soba, pickles, steamed rice, miso soup, dessert, fruits.... Most guests can't finish them all. I would say the dinner itself can easily ask for another 5,000 yen. To top it off, staying guests are eligible to one 45-minute session of private onsen for free every day. Most hotels charge 1,200 yen for a private bath sesstion. There are two massage chairs on the second floor of the north building that you can use for free. The breakfast has a nice variety of food. All in all, the room costs almost nothing if you take all perks into account.

Location: The hotel is located right next to a slope near the Sanroku gondola / ski lift station. If you have your own gear with you, it only takes one minute to cross a footbridge from the hotel to reach the slope, where you ski downhill for 1 minute to reach the gondola/ski lift. Extremely convenient, though not exactly ski-in ski-out.

Service: typical top-notch onsen hotel service. Discreet turn-down service when we had dinner in the the dining hall. (We had a Japanese tatami room, so that the futon and duvet had to be laid out every night and made up every morning). The room was spotless and so was all public area.

Zao skiing area: Ice monsters are must-sees. The snow was dry and powdery. There are many slopes to choose from (though mostly green trails for beginners). I won't hesitate to recommend it every to experienced skiers / snowboarders (though you might not want to stay for too many days if you're looking for black diamond trails).

Room Tip: We had a room on the top floor of East tower overlooking the slopes near Sanroku ropeway and ski lif...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank jaylowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2011

Zao Kokusai Hotel
This is a quality hotel with all the amenities you could want. We stayed for 5 nights in Jan 2011 and had a really wonderful stay. The staff is friendly and try hard to make your stay a pleasant one.
Our room was serviced daily and spotlessly cleaned. Snacks, tea and toiletries bags were refreshed daily and this was a really nice touch.
The hotel contains a beautiful onsen and rotemburo( outdoor onsen) that is apparently a famous Japanese tourist attraction in itself. It is busy all day and late at night but is a must.
We stayed in a Japanese- beds style room that was quite spacious. Hanging space was a little bit of a problem as the cupboard contained several yukatas. In fact apart from ski gear, you needed little other clothing as it is customary to wear yukatas all around the hotel including to breakfast and dinner.
As the hotel is a little away from the main village, we opted for breakfast and dinner. It was an epic feast every night with about ten courses, including sashimi. Our only complaint would have to be the wine list that consisted of only one super sweet white and one red Yamagata wine.
Getting to Zao Onsen is really easy. We caught a Shinkansen from Tokyo about 2.5 hours -3 hours and a bus from the station 40 mins. The hotel picked us up from the bus terminal within minutes.
The hotel is located close to the ski slopes and to the Sanroku Ropeway. We found it very convenient for skiing.
Zao Onsen is a beautiful ski resort and rivals Nozawa for onsens and village and scenery. It’s well worth a visit.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank HavenSydneyAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2009

a very nice onsen hotel.. 30 mins bus ride from yammgata station. onsen is one of the best we had in japan. do book the private bath early as it s a must try item (free for staying guest).

food is good with good quality yamagata beef.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SLTW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zao Kokusai Hotel

Address: 933 Zao Onsen, Yamagata 990-2301, Yamagata Prefecture
Region: Japan > Tohoku > Yamagata Prefecture > Yamagata > Zao Onsen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 85 Hotels / Ryokan in Yamagata
Price Range: £127 - £526 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Zao Kokusai Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 65
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