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“Most unwelcoming owner and staff”
Review of Elk at Hakuba

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Elk at Hakuba
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Most unwelcoming owner and staff”
Reviewed 3 May 2014

A group of us stayed this past winter at The Elk. This was my third trip to Hakuba and I chose the Elk due to the description of it s website. Not long after I immediately regretted my decision to staff there. I will give some short examples of what happened during our stay:
- never offered fresh towels, had to ask for fresh towels

- there is one van on site and on the reviews they said that they would give rides into town for guests. We were turned down several times by the staff to drive us into town. Only after I complained to the owner did they drive us to the bus stop upon our departure

- the "continental breakfast" consisted of 1 egg. Not two eggs but one egg. I asked the owner about this so she said I could have more eggs so I had to asked. So each morning I would ask for two eggs. Very odd

- the two couple I were with had BED BUGS although mine did not. Under closer inspection the covers on my pillows had there zippers broken so there would be no way they were able to wash them. A brief look under my bed also showed that no had bothered to sweep it neither

- front steps of the lodge were covered in slick ice for everyday until the last day which I had to ask the owner to clear so we didn t break our neck

- no staff member speaks any Japanese

- told we could not use firewood during the afternoon because they had to "save it" for the evening

- power went out one of our nights

- the lounge which is aesthetically nice, was always occupied by either the owners kids or the employees themselves making it very unwelcoming

- I told the owner about my experience at her lodge in the privacy of her office. She was actually kind to my criticism and I just offered tips

- I mentioned that I booked her lodge from reviews on TA (which, with all the 1 review reviews I believe to be fake) and from the description from their website with resembles nothing of the truth. She explained how it is not a "lodge" per se but what you call a "flash hostel". Flash hostel is so,etching between a lodge and a hostel. I asked her why did nt she put that on the website and she said she would change that. I just checked and nothing has changed

- after our conversation this is when thinks took a really weird turn. Our group left for dinner and drinks. When we finished we arrived back to the lodge and went to the lounge where the owner was there with her staff, kids and parents. She had obviously discussed my criticism with those around her and had a few drinks and launched a verbal attack on HER GUEST!!!! I then told her if she wanted to talk to me please do it in the privacy of her office. After talking to her she calmed down and ended up making my friend and I two ham and cheese sandwich's

- our group decided to leave a day early as the general atmosphere was toxic environment to be around on your big holiday of the year

- Japan is world famous for there service, respect and hospitality. The Elk Lodge is run by crass, confrontational Australian who does not mange their young Australian staff properly. If you do decide to visit Hakuba, the Elk is a place I would suggest you avoid.

Room Tip: From my experience staying at monkey rider and panic which are "hostel" they have nice pri...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank thejudge24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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73 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hakuba-mura, Japan
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 March 2014 via mobile

First time to Hakuba. Found a perfect place to investigate the place from. Close to a fair few excellent restaurants and bars, half way between Happo and Hakuba 47, two big resorts. Friendly, helpful staff, good brekkie too. The fireplace was a good place to relax with a glass of wine. We will be back.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank 810JuliaW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2014

We were some of the first guests at Elk under the new management. The price for the rooms was great!
However there were a few issues which don't appear to have improved over subsequent seasons.
The heating cut out regularly and was not restarted without constant pestering of management. This meant coming home from a day of skiing to cold rooms and waking up freezing some nights. The drying room was hardly warm enough to dry our belongings.
The communal lounge area was dominated by the owner's family and we felt we were intruding when using the area, or felt rude asking to watch something on TV. This meant more time spent together in our tiny room.
The manager was very approachable and helpful, picking us up from the train station & helping to make phone calls, however this did not make up for the other negative experiences.

Room Tip: The room at the end of the corridor appeared to be much larger than the others.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank ModernMinimalist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 February 2014

Perfect place to stay if you're after a comfortable, warm, cozy (and fun!) ski lodge after a hard day on the slopes or a night out at any of the great restaurants and pubs that are just a short stroll from the front door. The breakfasts there are great too and will keep even the biggest appetites well satisfied throughout a full day's skiing/snowboarding.
The staff are FANTASTIC! - Just so friendly and extremely helpful. They were more than happy to drive us to/from the train station, ski shops and ski lift areas and to help organize any other day trips & tours that we were interested in. I will definitely stay at Elk next time I'm in Hakuba!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Matt E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Elk made my holiday to Hakuba. I could see the shuttle stop outside the door and it was only a 5 minute walk to the Happo Bus Stop - I have been to a lot of ski resorts and the walk has been a lot worse. Echoland was also only 5 min away with an array of restaurants and little bars to choose from.

With my limited Japanese I found it difficult to find out information regarding the ski resorts. Luckily Joel and Mike were always helpful with insider tips of where to go, cheap pass coupons and nice enough to drop me off one day when I missed my shuttle.

The room was good value for money with western style beds and own bathroom. This is not the Hilton but a clean own room for a good price.

Good for a group of friends travelling but don't want to share rooms or the chaos of the larger Australian Chalet Accommodations.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TravelWineDine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2014

All the excellent reviews of the Elk lodge are rather misleading. The website is false advertising. We expected a lodge but walked into a student hostel equivalent.

The room was not clean, under the bed was disgusting. Our towels were not changed once in a weeks stay.

The staff consist of Australian university students who's only concern was going snowboarding. while they were friendly they were unhelpful with Can't do attitude sometimes forgetting we were paying guests.

Daily breakfast was substandard. So called delicious cooked breakfast was one greasy egg, part of a processed sausage and a hashbrown. Makes me feel ill thinking of it.


Lounge common area was mostly used by the owners family, central heating malfunctioning and the staff were not prepared to light the fire stating they needed to save wood.

I would be surprised if this "lodge" stays in business, as the owner lacks the required hospitality skills.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Snowboardjapan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2014

Stayed for a few nights in the Elk lodge, Lack of local feel as there's no Japanese speaking staff. The shuttle bus stop to the ski area is a distance away from the lodge, you'll have to walk around a 5-10 mins walk and with the ski boots and slippery ground, it can be quite a mission. Nearest convenient stores is around 15 mins away, there's basically nothing much nearby. All restaurants and shops are around 15 mins away.Rooms and toilet are pretty small, ll but I guess it's standard Japanese size. Game room is rather cold, dark and uninviting. I guess if you're a hard core skiier than it's okay to stay here to crash and rest at night.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Skattierin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elk at Hakuba

Property: Elk at Hakuba
Address: 2443-5 Oaza Hokujyo, Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba-mura 399-9301, Nagano Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Kitaazumi-gun > Hakuba-mura > Hakuba happou Onsen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 100 Speciality lodging in Hakuba-mura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elk at Hakuba is a contemporary western lodge in the heart of EcoLand, Hakuba. Inviting, relaxed and centrally located, Elk at Habuka combines modern western furnishings and conveniences with a cultural element. Each twin, double or four share room enjoys private ensuite bathrooms, comfortable beds, heated timber floors, quality linen and toiletries and free wireless internet. ... more   less 
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