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“Family style ski resort”
Review of NASPA New Otani

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NASPA New Otani
Certificate of Excellence
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
115 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Family style ski resort”
Reviewed 25 February 2014

Think Club Med Japanese style and you have a pretty good idea about what to expect at Naspa New Otani ski garden. The hotel is mostly geared to families and to Japanese speaking families in particular. However, even though we didn't speak a word of Japanese we were able to just about negotiate our way around the resort and found our stay quite enjoyable.

The resort advertisers itself as a family ski resort which is exactly what it is. You will feel comfortable leaving the kids alone to ski on the slopes or join any of the numerous activities they have on offer including learning to ski for the first time through to mogul skiing. The classes however are only in Japanese meaning if you don't speak the local lingo you might get away with joining up for first time ski lessons but would struggle to comprehend advanced ski classes. In the evening there is night skiing and also game rooms to keep the kids entertained throughout the whole day.

The ski resort also offers grownups a reasonably good ski experience with green, blue, black, and expert slopes that offer a reasonable test to average to good skiers but may not fully challenge hardcore types. Still, there are plenty of ski resorts in Yuzawa allowing you to base your stay at Naspa and use the shuttle bus or train to access other resorts in the area.

The property and rooms are tidy and clean and we never found wanting for a ski resort. Each room comes with their own ski locker in the lobby area to store ski gear. The hotel also has a super onsen overlooking the snow covered alps that is free to use for all guests and open 24hours. Wifi is also free throughout the resort.

The resort was crowded when I stayed there and being only an hour and a half by Shinkansen from Tokyo I guess its a popular destination for families to escape the capital but I never once felt boxed-in or disturbed by noisy kids and in fact quite enjoyed hearing and seeing kids running around having a lot of fun.

The resort is not cheap but if you are a family looking for a base to let your kids go off skiing on their own while you look for more challenging slopes then Naspa can't be beat.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank BritinBangkok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Level Contributor
102 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2014 via mobile

I visited Naspa alone, on my first visit to Japan and unable to speak any Japanese. It probably wasn't the best choice for me (or anyone in a similar situation).

That said, in many ways it's a great hotel.

So, what's good and what's not?

Naspa is a big hotel on the mountainside away from the main village/town. By 'away' I mean around 1km up a windy road. There's a regular and free bus service run by the hotel during the day which is great but after 6:30 the only option is a very expensive taxi (around $10 each way) or staying in the hotel for the evening.

There are quite a few options when staying in the hotel; a number of bars and restaurants. However, despite the hotel being well filled from what I could tell during the day, at night it became a ghost town. Comparisons to The Shining were easily made. Without exaggeration, I was alone with bar tenders on the two occasions that I did try the bars. To their credit, neither time did they encourage me to kill my family.

I think Naspa is most popular with Japanese families with fairly young children. I can only assume that they all got very early nights. As far as I could tell I was the only non Japanese person staying in the hotel. Night life/apres-ski there was not.

Ok, so what about the skiing? That was at least fifty percent of the reason for being there after all.

Well, it's ok. Great for first time skiers in fact. Plenty of gentle slopes to learn and practice on. A few slightly more challenging ones for the more confident and a small park with some jumps and rails to play on and some short, semi un-pisted steep slopes for the more advanced. And, for better or for worse, no snow boarders allowed! It was also very uncrowded.

For anyone but the very nervous or the absolute beginner however, and especially for those used to the European resorts, the skiing is very limited indeed. The runs were short, mostly greens or blues, and there were very few which offered any real challenge. Overall there was very little to keep even an intermediate skier interested and challenged.

It is possible to travel to one of the other nearby ski areas if more challenging and diverse skiing is desired but it involved multiple bus journeys which is not ideal.

In summary then, if you have a young family, want to learn to ski, can speak Japanese and have no interest in any nightlife, then Naspa may well be for you. It was not for me.

Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank tfwiii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sydney
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2014

We went to Yuzawa with the kids to play in the snow and we had a great time! The hotel is easy to get to (regular shuttles from the station) and is very comfortable. We had a superior Fourth Room which is more like a two bedroom apartment, and got a package that included breakfast and dinner. The room was very quiet which is important to us! The kids enjoyed the pool too.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank sydneykaren10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2014 via mobile

Naspa is our first time out at a ski resort so we have nothing to compare to. We also didnt ski but had a whale of a time playing in the snow with the kids with the sleds. Getting to Naspa is pretty easy from Tokyo, especially if you have a JR Pass and is only 80 mins away from Tokyo Station. Unfortunately our JR Pass ran out a few days before so we had to purchase return tickets but it still only worked out to be around USD45 per way per person which was still reasonable.

There are a lot of other resorts around the area so it is worth exploring the Echigo-Yuzawa area if you're in Tokyo during ski season.

Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
72 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 249 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 December 2012

5 minute drive from Echigo Yuzawa station, which is only 80 minutes from Tokyo by Shinkansen. I stay at this hotel every year and always book a junior suite that is originally built as a residential condo - spacious & comfortable, yet the price is only a few thousand yen more than a regular room.

Public baths are large but not as good as those of traditional ryokans in the surrounding area.

Dinner buffet can be a highlight of your stay - a opportunity to try variety of Japanese dishes all together. They have tables for Japanese & Western but don't expect too much for western dishes.

Slopes are rather small and generally not very exciting, but exclusive for skiers therefore you'll see many families with small kids. There is a mogul course on a relatively gentle slope, which can be an ideal spot for those who want to try a taste of mogul skiing.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank takainlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
26 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2012

We stayed in this hotel in January 2012; two children aged 2 and 3, and two adults. Main purpose of the trip was to introduce skiing to our two sons and for that, the area was not optimal. There is ski-in ski-out but for such young children not the easiest of access to the snow. We later learned there are better options for young children and a weekend on the slopes away from the Tokyo hustle. Having said this, the hotel was not bad, considering the size (a very big hotel!) and the surroundings which also need to cater to the New Otani Ski Garden which is the ski area behind the hotel. An onsen, play room, day care for children etc., the hotel had everything. Except charm which was absolutely non-existent. Buffet dinner and breakfast had a wide variety of foods both Western and Japanese but already after about 24 hours, the buffet style food gets a little old. Best thing for sure was the easy access: from Tokyo Station to Yuzawa by Shinkansen is 1 hour and 20 minutes, and then a bus picks you up and drops you in front of the hotel. Incredible that you can be in such a different world after such a short period of time!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank TravelMom_DK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2012

Can't write much and it's my first review after years of hogging tripadvisor advice for our hols, but I had to write this. If you have kids and live in Singapore, want the Japan ski thing, worried about English and the two flight change to Hokkaido, Yuzawa is your best choice. The English hostess there, Ms. Yamada was just great, she was always there, arranged everything, I mean everything. She even helped recover my lost blackberry en route from Tokyo and had it couriered! She refused a tip in the end too and I promised I would write a referral. Remember, just call the resort and ask for Yamada if you decide to go here, she was simply magic.

  • Stayed March 2012
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kalras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about NASPA New Otani

Property: NASPA New Otani
Address: 2117-9 Yuzawa, Minamiuonuma-gun, Yuzawa-machi 949-6101, Niigata Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Niigata Prefecture > Minamiuonuma-gun > Yuzawa-machi > Echigoyuzawa Onsen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Yuzawa-machi
#2 Ski-In / Ski-Out Hotel in Yuzawa-machi
#8 Best Value Hotel in Yuzawa-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — NASPA New Otani 3.5*
Number of rooms: 230
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
NASPA New Otani Japan/Yuzawa-Machi, Niigata Prefecture

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