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“Needs soundproofing!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Kimamaya

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Kimamaya
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Needs soundproofing!”
Reviewed 2 April 2014

Our family of 2 adults & 2 children stayed in Kimamaya during the recent March school holidays.
We stayed in the loft room, much to the kids delight. We requested for a child safety gate at the top of the stairs and this was fixed up by the time we we were back from dinner.
The room is quite small with limited storage space which meant the room looked messy most of the time with all our jackets & clothes thrown over the sofa.
Bathroom was also small and there was no bathtub.
Housekeeping rather patchy, they didn't make the loft's bed for 2 days until I informed the reception. The 1st day I thought it was an oversight but the 2nd day? On another day, there was a scrubbing sponge left in the shower and yet another day, there was no bathroom mat.
On one the nights there was a party at the Barn and unfortunately our room was right next to the Barn & we could hear every conversation word for word! It went on till quite late and after a long day on the slopes we were all exhausted but were kept awake by the noise. We could also hear TV, conversations going on in the next room. Needless to say we didn't sleep well which was a pity as the bed was comfortable.
Despite this, the hotel staff were friendly, we had good food recommendations, we got a local mobile phone, the onsen was nice & convenient & the breakfast was nice, not a big spread but more than sufficient. The staff even made teddy bear designs on my daughter's hot chocolate & she looked forward to that every morning.
The bus stop to Hanazono was right outside the hotel and we took the bus there every morning to drop the kids off at ski school. NISS runs a very efficient ski school at Hanazono. The kids are there from 10 to 3.30, with their lunch taken care off so the parents can have peace of mind snowboarding down strawberry fields or trekking up to the peak for some of the best powder!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank gerrylow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kimamaya02, Manager at Kimamaya, responded to this review, 4 April 2014
Dear Geraldine and Benny,

Thank you for taking the time to submit your thoughts on Kimamaya. We are always encouraging of feedback in any shape or form so that we can strive to improve the experience that guests have. Please accept our apologies about the housekeeping incidents. We hope that they were a one off, but I have looked into the reasons for the occurrence of this and will address them. In relation to the noise you experienced from The Barn, as you mentioned there was indeed a local company having their end of season party. We are now looking at controlling the opening of The Barn more closely in the future. As we can appreciate the fact that not sleeping well can make for a tough experience the next day and impact your enjoyment of the mountain.

We are of course glad to hear the positive comments about our service here at Kimamaya and also that Emma enjoyed the teddy bear on her hot chocolate. I hope that we may see you and your children back at Kimamaya one day.

Warm regards,

Peter

Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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159 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 March 2014

We had never been skiing in Japan before and we had heard a lot of mixed reports about Niseko.....we were keen to see and hear for ourselves. We are a husband and wife with two small boys 6 and 8 years old. We travelled with four other families and their kids and the idea was to have a family holiday.
My wife and I do not enjoy staying in highrise hotels etc as we prefer to find smaller boutique accommodation with a bit more personality. The only problem can be having two small children which can be an issue as you never really get to relax properly as you can spend most of your time worrying they might break something............
We found the boutique hotel called Kimamaya on the net. I did the research and it looked a bit far away from the lifts etc (middle village) and our friends were booked in closer which is always easier with kids for ski school (upper village). We were willing to take the risk as I loved the look and feel of the hotel and restaurant.
On arrival we were warmly welcomed by Katja as if we were one of the family....how nice, unlike many other larger hotels. We were shown into the lounge and we were given a drink and told to relax and take it easy. We were booked in for about 10 days and everything was very new to us. We can't speak any Japanese, we just love Japanese food and the culture! Everything was explained to us and we were taken on a cooks tour which was fantastic. Take your shoes off at the door, here is the fantastic kids room (love it when a designer thinks of kids too rather than just a toy box in the corner it makes life so much easier for everyone). Here is where the skis are kept, here is the drying room here are the tubs and here is your mobile phone to call us from anywhere to help.....what legends, who ever thought of that deserves a medal. I can tell you now it was a life saver!
Peter and Katja the hosts were so fantastic, if you are the owner of a business these are the type of staff you want working for you. They treat the place like they own it and are so into what they do and what they can do for you. Nothing was a problem, their village recommendations and their restaurant bookings for us were fantastic including the out of town Onsen visits. Here are a couple of examples
1: Always make sure you have enough cash as lots of places do not take card. I had more than enough for the trip as I had planned ahead although coming to pay for our dinner at an out of town restaurant I didn't realise I hadn't taken enough....gulp....very little English spoken...gulp no worries, straight on the phone to Peter and all sorted! Legend!
2: We arrived home late one night after an Onsen visit then another great out of town restaurant. Arriving back at the main door we tried to be as quiet as we could coming in after our boys had fallen asleep in the taxi and it was quite late. Coming back in I managed to crush my sons fingers in the over sized timber main entry door....gulp gulp.....tears and screams in reception and Katja was out in a flash in her pyjamas in no time. Before we knew it she had an ice pack, a drink and then as if by magic produced two lollipops for the boys. No more tears and one happy family off to bed.
All in all we had a fantastic stay and we will return in the future. Congrats Kimamaya on a great set up, just the type of place we love to stay at. If you love the high-rise cold minimalist soulless Hotels then don't stay here. If you enjoy the more warm and cosy intimate boutique style of hotel then Kimamaya is the place for you.
One last thing if you have kids, the hotel has a fantastic van and a great Japanese driver. Don't worry you may be a little bit away from the lifts as your driver will drop you off every morning. Then when you want to come home you call on your way down on your last run with the hotel phone and the driver will be there to greet you as you are taking your skis or snowboard off. Excellent service!
I hope this has been helpful to some who haven't been skiing in Japan before like us. We had a great time and No I am not being paid to write this review.
If there was one thing I could not fault but maybe add to or change that would be the breakfast. Its great but when you are staying for 10 days it would be great to mix it up a bit and add a few surprises some mornings.
Overall awesome. A big thank you to both Peter, Katja, the driver and the breakfast staff for looking after our whole family. We will see you when we return in the future.
The boys said to say thank you for the fantastic games room!
Congrats!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank russel K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taipei, Taiwan
1 review
Reviewed 2 March 2014

The classy and lovely hotel located in the heart of hirafu, with bunch of good restaurants, bars around.
This is our first time to ski, and choosing Kimamaya makes our trip amazing. Peter and Katia are very nice and help us to explore this area. The room is not big but very comfortable, higher than our expectation! The king size bed is so comfy that we feel wonderful after our ski lesson. Breakfast in the Barn is also our favorite time in the morning. very tastful and the restaurant is so pretty and quiet.
Overall, we are so glad to stay in kimamaya, and will definitly come back some day, for a longer stay.
Thank you kimamaya for making our trip more beautiful and special:)

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank cindyhsu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
1 review
Reviewed 28 February 2014

We visited in February for our 20th anniversary. Peter and Katia were wonderful and took great care of us not only once we got there but helped us with transfers and provided excellent advice on preparing to come with details such as dinner and rental reservations. The rooms itself were very nice/clean and modern. We also had a nice evening with the owner Nicolas over a few glasses of wine.

They take care of pickup and drop off at the ski area when and where we wanted with a cell phone provided just for this purpose. This isn't your normal 'hotel' - a cut above and there is only a few rooms so it feels both cozy, romantic and private when you want but we also had a great time getting to know the other guests over breakfast and wine in the evenings. Of course the skiing itself was amazing but the team at Kimamaya made the trip special. We will definitely be back.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Cary G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2014

Went to Niseko with my husband for the first time and Kimamaya definitely did not disappoint. The service by Peter, Catia and the driver was top notch more than anything else. Before even arriving, our restaurant bookings, lesson bookings and gear rentals were all sorted. They picked us up punctually from the welcome centre, and fetched us to and fro everyday to the slopes. They also helped us book restaurants for our subsequent destinations in Sapporo and Tokyo.
The location is pretty awesome considering the price we paid. I mean you could pay to stay at the vale and be right next to the slope, but i thought this was a good compromise between price and distance. It is about 10 min slow walk to the slope, 5 min walk to the bus stop that has buses to bring you everywhere. Food is available all around as well.
the hotel is very well maintained and feels more like a cosy house rather than a huge hotel. Did i mention the humongus collection of DVDs that you can rent to watch especially if you are not the kind to go out at night.
The only down side is that, like a house, the rooms are pretty small and you can hear everything that goes on outside.

Room Tip: Try not to stay on the ground floor as you can hear daily footsteps and people leaving and entering...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank grubjuice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Stayed there in January on the recommendation from our friends who also joined us. They had been raving about kimamaya since their last stay. From the moment we were met at the welcome centre by Peter and the Kimamaya van we felt like we were being swept into the kimamaya bubble.

Set in the centre of hirafu village, restaurants, ski hire and just about everything was at our fingertips. And if it wasn't Katia and Peter together with their staff made sure it was. They all went above and beyond to ensure our stay was more than comfortable. Even with our 4 children our stay was made to be a holiday.
A favourite of our nightly routine was a bottle of the owners own French bubbly and the company of our hosts after long day of the fluffy white stuff.
Looking forward to our next stay.
Ant and Lis

Room Tip: Loft rooms are perfect for families
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Anthony G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taipei, Taiwan
1 review
Reviewed 11 February 2014

Classic decoration and facilities with good taste! But what really amazed us is the service of Kimamaya! They overcame all the obstacles for us just to let us enjoy a comfortable ski experience!
It was our first time to ski. We overlooked on personal ski gears and also a bit late for any group lessons when we arrived Kimamaya. Peter, the manager of Kimamaya, find us a private ski lesson and took care of all the necessary personal gears for us. (trousers, goggles, and even a nice coat!) For only 1 night stay in Kimamaya, we had a wonderful first experience of ski.
The breakfast of the Barn, Kimamaya's beautiful restaurant, was really delicious and refreshing, it's a must for the tight and kinetic ski schedule for the rest of the day! Last but not least, the suite and their living room really recovered us after a cold and exhausted day of snow! I will definitely stay here again for my next ski trip.
One small inconvenience is that Kimamaya is too 'Hot' in the winter, you should book the room as early as possible!

Room Tip: Book the room as early as possible!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ferbose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kimamaya

Property: Kimamaya
Address: 170-248 Yamada, Abuta-gun, Kutchan-cho 044-0081, Hokkaido
Region: Japan > Hokkaido > Abuta-gun > Kutchan-cho
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 60 Speciality lodging in Kutchan-cho
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kimamaya 3.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Even as the snowflakes start to fall, adding powder to the slopes outside, Kimamaya Boutique Hotel remains toasty-warm; a cocoon upon the mountainside. Kimamaya is the Japanese word for ‘be yourself’ and here, you can do just that. Jazz music floats through the homely Living Lounge as your bare feet press against the timber flooring, and all that’s left to worry about is which wine you’ll sip as you laze by the fireplace. The vintages served here come from a vineyard owned by the family of Nicolas Gontard, who renovated this nine-room retreat to help guests get closer to the beauty of Niseko, one of Japan’s most popular ski resorts. But Kimamaya Boutique Hotel’s mountain location isn’t only appealing in winter. In the summer and fall, pristine trails and mountain biking tracks snake through the surrounding pine forests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kimamaya Japan/Hokkaido - Kutchan-Cho

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