I'm really in doubt whether to give this hotel 3 or 4 stars - I guess my correct rating would be in between 3 and 4 stars. Its better than average but less than very good. Here's why: The Mominoki hotel was not the cheapest option when researching hotels in Hakuba. We chose it because we had never been to Hakuba before and because we got a recommendation from someone who had stayed there before and liked it. Just as you enter the reception area in the hotel, to the left there is a lounge area with a huge fire place and a decorated christmas tree, also in March. Hence the name of the hotel; the Christmas Tree. The decor is meant to resemble old European style and it did seem quite old, with antique and quite heavy furniture, European porcelain in the cabinets. Honestly, I thought most of the hotel was a bit moldy and in need of a big overhaul, modernisation, new paint, fresh carpets, etc. We stayed in a "suite" with both Western beds and a tatami area, of course at a premium price. As with everything else in Japan, rooms and common areas such as dining hall and onsen were spotlessly clean, however to me it was obvious to see that the hotel has been in use for many years.
We could see the slopes from our balcony, but they were not as close as we thought. We had been told this hotel was "ski-in, ski-out" and I think that term was a bit of a stretch, as you would have to walk about 5 minutes along a trafficked road in all your ski gear to reach one ski lift - not something that was feasible with two young skiiers in tow.
In general, Hakuba is quite spread out and to make up for this there are shuttles going around town and many hotels and restaurants have their own minibuses to bus guests around town. Mominoki also has their own minibus and the town shuttles also stop in front of the hotel, so it was not a problem to get around, but to think that this hotel is situated "in the middle of the action" is not true in my opinion.
The staff at the hotel was very helpful, every afternoon when we came back from the slopes we stopped to talk about dinner plans, and every night the staff called to made reservations for us, called a taxi or reserved the shuttle. A few of the staff were foreign but spoke great Japanese which made communication flawless.
We loved Hakuba and the ambiance of the mountain; great variety in skiing difficulty and accesibility to a huge skiing area, and the clientele; very international with tourists from all over the world. We would for sure return to Hakuba another time, but I am not sure we would stay at the Mominoki again, we would probably go for something more centrally located in town and rely on the shuttles to take us to the slopes.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hakuba Mominoki Hotel is the premier resort hotel in Hakuba, Nagano. A high standard of accommodation and service will make you feel at home with western comforts and amenities while being taken care of by a hotel and staff with a proud Japanese heritage. Its luxurious lobby with open fireplace makes an ideal place to relax after a day on the mountain. ... more less
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