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“Simple luxury, peace and quiet”
Review of Gakuto Villas

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Gakuto Villas
Tokyo, Japan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Simple luxury, peace and quiet”
Reviewed 25 September 2012

We both very much enjoyed our two-night stay at Gakuto Villas, despite the September rain. The villas themselves are deceptively spacious, and the numerous skylights add to the sense of openness. With a well-stocked supermarket a 10-minute bike-ride away, guests can choose to cook and eat in, or walk/cycle/taxi to one of the many restaurants in the vicinity. Gakuto is situated in the Wadano-Mori area of Hakuba. As the name suggests, it is a forested area dotted with pensions and hotels that serve skiers during the snow months. In the summer, the area is delightfully deserted. Although there are cheaper places, Gakuto Villas is highly recommended if, like me, you need to escape the big city once in a while and you crave/deserve a bit of luxury.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank CliveVF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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101 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Tokyo, Japan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 July 2012

Summer weekend away from Tokyo made an absolute breeze thanks to Gakuto. Service was genuine and attentive, the villa the most clean and comfortable accommodation we have had on trips around Japan. Being a couple we felt we had more room than we could deal with, the villa would still be perfect for at least another couple with kids thrown in. For a summer stay the place was cool and a refuge from the steamy heat the Japan rainy season has to offer. Definitely recommend seeing Hakuba outside of the snow season and there would be not better place to stay when there.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank clutzoid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tokyo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2012

Winter 2011/2012 was our second season at Gakuto Villas and it really has become our home away from home during the ski months. As a family of 5 we have found that Gakuto Villas has everything we need to make both weekend breaks and longer stays comfortable and easy. We are a family of 5 with an 18month old, 5yr old and 7yr old. There is plenty of room for us all and enough space for us to not feel like we were on top of each other the whole time. Even the outdoor area provided enough enjoyment for the kids to build snowmen, pull toboggans and generally have fun.

We love the design and aesthetics of the villa, however it does require an extra eye on the toddler and/or moving furniture to block off the open plan stair case. We didn't need to open the large windows in winter as the temperature inside the villas was perfect, however in the hotter months you probably will need to, and there is nothing to stop a little person falling through. We are planning on going back this summer, so we will see how we tackle this.

Access to the lifts and slopes was easy, when the children were smaller we would drive closer to the lifts so that the afternoon run back home was hassle free, but now that they are older it is an easy ski/walk. You do not need a car here...even with little ones in tow. Everything is well catered for and Henry or Tori were always ready to help out should extra transportation be needed.

There are so many food options nearby and the kitchen was perfectly adequate for a quick meal should we need it. This year the kids also enjoyed the breakfast up at the Lodge, which was a great start to the day.

We cannot fault the management of the villas, Yokokawa-san, Henry and Tori were all extremely helpful and easy to deal with.

We are planning on going up to Hakuba for a week in the summer...and yes we will be staying at Gakuto Villas again...It really is the perfect, hassle-free get-away for our whole family.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Claire M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkshire
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2012

We stayed for 4 nights in one of the tatami rooms in the main lodge at Gakuto Villas as part of a 16 night tour Japan. The room was incredibly spacious and surprisingly comfortable considering we are westerners not used to sleeping on the floor but wanted the experience of some traditional Japanese lifestyle. The room had it's own private bathroom and separate toilet plus a small kitchen and dining area which was partitioned by sliding paper wall dividers, very authentic.

Henry and Tori (the English hosts) were super helpful, they didn't have many guests in as it was between the end of the ski season and before the main summer season, but the weather was good and scenery green and stunning. Henry and Tori recommended and booked restaurants for us, advised on walks and cycle hire, drove us into town and to the supermarket if we asked and were never to busy to spend time talking to the guests, we even had a few beers with them one evening.

In summary fab spacious place with fab helpful staff

Room Tip: Villas beautiful, but for the traditional Japanese experience (with space) choose a tatami room
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Dafnos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
1 review
Reviewed 6 May 2012

On a round trip of Japan, this may be the best place my friends and I stayed at. Not only are the lodges modern, clean, comfortable, and complete with a well-equipped kitchen, multiple showers and heated floors (heavenly after a day on the snow!), but just the look of the place is supremely stylish.

The staff are friendly, English-speaking and incredibly helpful - their shuttle bus was prepared to drive us all around Hakuba at practically the drop of a hat, they could answer any questions we had, and even brought a sizeable Hot-Pot dinner right to our lodge!

If you're visiting Hakuba, you owe it to yourself to stay at Gakuto Villas.

Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Bogdan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2012

After postponing our ski trip a year due to the Tsunami, myself and two teenage sons booked for 4 nights at Gakuto in April 2012 during the Aussie Easter school holidays hoping for some spring skiing. Having only skied Japan once before 3 years earlier at Niseko, we headed to Hakuba on the suggestion that the area is more traditional Japanese and less busy/international/Australian than Niseko.
It was a good call and right from the start we got the VIP treatment from Gakuto's young English couple Henry and Tori. Having virtually no other Villa guests, due to the late ski season timing, gave them extra time but I got the impression (certainly supported by earlier reviewers) that these Japanese managers and English staff really go the extra mile to look after everyone. Everything from finding the best ski hire (Spicy gave us good gear and a great deal) to a grocery pick up, lifts to restaurants, etc.
Much to our delight unseasonally late snow dumped and we were lucky enough to experience Japan's legendary powder skiing in April (making up for a lack of fresh snow in Aspen in January).
Happo was closed on the second snowing day and Henry and Tori kindly offered to take us to Hakuba 47 (purchasing their own lift tickets) and showing us the runs before leaving us to it at lunch time and collecting us at the end of a fabulous full-on ski day.
In summary, I could not fault the whole set up at Gakuto - super helpful staff, perfect villa with huge windows and flick of a switch floor warmers that absolutely toast dry even the most drenched ski gear, bla, bla, bla... two words - "All Good"

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Greg E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 April 2012

I stayed at Gakuto for 5 nights for a skiing / snowboarding trip with 5 friends, taking up two villas. The villas are very modern and immaculately clean and gives you a "home away from home" feeling. The villas include i) an open kitchen and lounge, where one can eat together and hang out as a group, ii) two spacious bedrooms along with separate bathrooms (baths and showers), iii) separate entrance reception area to put all your ski and snowboard gear and iv) wifi access and heated floors (great to come back to after a day on the slopes).

The service was very warm and welcoming, letting us know everything that we need to know from renting equipment to most convenient travel arrangements in the area. We also had breakfast included, which was varied every day and a hearty start to the day. On one of the evenings, Gakuto hosted a quiz night, which was very entertaining (plus we almost won) and was attended by both visitors and the local community.

The villa is located a 5 minute walk to the nearest slopes (Happo) and other slopes are accessible by a regular bus service (around 10 minutes away with bus stop right outside villa). There are also a few restaurants and bars close by.

My friends and I had an excellent time and Gakuto was a perfect place to relax with friends after all the full day skiing and snowboarding action. Definitely check into Gakuto when visiting Hakuba!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tsangy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gakuto Villas

Property: Gakuto Villas
Address: 4720-1,4721,4722 Hokujyo, Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba-mura 399-9301, Nagano Prefecture
Phone Number:
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Kitaazumi-gun > Hakuba-mura
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 102 Speciality lodging in Hakuba-mura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gakuto Villas 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Gakuto Villas, nestled in the Hakuba Valley of Nagano, Japan. Only minutes away from world renowned slopes, with 10 ski resorts in the vicinity, we offer affordable boutique accommodations for the conscious traveler. Our twelve chic, two-story houses were specifically designed to provide a distinctly comfortable and modern level of hospitality to our guests. As your home away from home, we are dedicated to making your stay as rejuvenating as possible! ... more   less 
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