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“A good place to stay, but...”

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Hakuba Mominoki Hotel
Ranked #11 of 125 Hotels / Ryokan in Hakuba-mura
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 April 2013

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.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank TravelMom_DK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 April 2013

Our family just spent four nights at Mominoki Hotel in Hakuba. This was our first time in Hakuba and Mominoki came highly recommended by our friends who have been to Hakuba several times. We were overall satisfied with the stay.

The room we picked is the one with both western bed and Japanese tatami corner. It's a perfect option to get more space for all the luggages we have and our daughter loved playing at the tatami room. Staffs are generally very friendly. Jeff, in particular, at the front desk was very good. He went out of his way to help us on the first day of our arrival and gave us ride to the village when all the shuttle buses were shut down. The onsen at the hotel is also one of the best we have experienced in Japan, especially the outdoor pool, which was very impressive.

A couple of suggestions for hotel mgmt:
-Pls offer more free shuttle services to/from the village during the low season. Our friends who stayed at the Ridge across the street from us got rides every time they need to go to the village and ski gondola. We, on the other hand, spent close to 10k yen to get taxi rides to/from the village.

-Pls alternate the breakfast options more. During the four days we were there, the breakfast options are exactly the same...getting quite old. More fresh ideas pls.

Overall, we will still recommend this place.

Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
1  Thank pirateprincessx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2013

Just spent 7 fabulous days at Mominoki.
The staff are all amazing especially Jeff on reception who is extremely helpful.
We prob wont return to Hakuba as we like to try new ski villages but if we did, we would definately stay at Mominoki.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade to larger room..for the small price increase, it is well worth it.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank chris c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2013

We stayed as a group of 7 (3 rooms) for 5 nights mid Feb '13. This was a return visit because we really enjoyed our stay the previous winter. 3 people shared a family room located in the newer wing which also houses the dining room. They loved this larger sized room. With door height windows the room seemed even bigger - connected to the outdoors and plenty of light. Others in our group stayed in Standard Twin rooms in the main hotel. These rooms were smaller (not Tokyo small) but cosy and comfortable and had a forest view.
This is not a hotel for enjoying a sleep-in. In winter it's guests are mostly skiers/boarders and while the hotel is generally quiet, the guests who rise for an early onsen or breakfast before the ski lifts start operating, seem to wake everyone else. So, it's best to be in bed by 10 and join them.
Jeff, the concierge was new this year. We appreciated his helpfulness organising a couple of lifts for us and checking the train timetable for our day trip to Matsumoto Castle. Other English speaking staff also made it easy for us non-Japanese speaking tourists.
The Hakuba Mominoki has a 1980's ski lodge atmosphere. The breakfast buffet and the onsen are possibly the best in Hakuba. Proximity to the Evergreen and Sakka ski lifts, free shuttle buses to take you to all the other Hakuba resort areas and very fair accommodation prices make the Mominoki a good choice. The hotel has several restaurant options if you want to stay in at night. And there are several restaurants within walking distance and more if you take the night shuttle to the village. We love it will return!

Room Tip: You can hear people in the hallways so rooms further away from the lift have fewer passers-by and ar...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank wanabeeoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2013

Overall a good stay, staff very helpful, nearby pub that is open late

Pro's
- Good wifi
- Free transfer to and from bus stop (and easy bus to bullet train)
- Good buffet breakfast
- Rental shop next door
- Ski lift 5 mins walk away

Cons
- Rooms small
- No radiators to dry gear, etc

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank bckirk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2013

We spent a week here with the Hawaii Ski Club and found many positives about this hotel. The onsen is one of the best in the area - natural hot spring, no chlorine, good amenities in the onsen AND it has an indoor/outdoor pool. Breakfast buffet (7-9 am) was included in our pricing as a group and everyone enjoyed meeting up to make plans for the day. Twin standard rooms are small, clean, and a little dated. Each twin room has two small double beds, a nightstand, 2 chairs, a table, a hotpot for water/tea/coffee, and a mini refrigerator. There are very few dresser drawers and not many extra outlets so bring along a 2-prong (Japanese outlets are 100V, 2 prong only) outlet strip if you have more than one electronic device that you need to charge.

Wifi is VERY good at this hotel - a huge plus and the Kokusai lift is a short walk (5 min) up the road. Ski's, snowboards should be locked up daily in the visitors center a few steps away and there is a drying room for your boots. The hotel is not a ski in/out and make sure to follow the runs to the KOKUSAI area to get back, or catch one of the plentiful shuttle buses if you happen to end up in another area like Sakka, the Gondola, or Nakiyama area.

Food choices - there is a pub that is pretty quick on service (self serve - you have to walk up to the bar to place your order for food/drink - about 1000yen for a great terichicken burger), a nightly dinner buffet that was plentiful (about 2000yen) an Ogino steakhouse that serves a great Wagyu steak (3500yen), and an Izakaya Kaz restaurant that requires reservations, no walk ins. Other restaurants within a short walking distance are Musashi Chanko Nabe (3980 yen for 2), Hummingbird (looks like a small house - about 1200-1500yen/person) and Terry's (1500yen for salmon).

Beds in the hotel are average, but clean. The toilet fills with water each time you sit on it - a bit disconcerting at first. The shower and sink are multifunctional and share the same faucet fixture. I used the room shower only the first night and went to the onsen thereafter - roomier, amenities right where you need it, and it was nice to soak at the end of the day in the indoor bath, which is much hotter than the outdoor one.

They have a number of English speaking staff at the front desk - Jeff and Koki were the best! Buses to the various mountains are by schedule only and are posted in the lobby. The hotel is at the base of the Happo One mountain (pronounced oh-nay, not 1). Iwatake is good for beginners, only a 10 minute bus ride away- a gondola to the top and nice wide runs with protection from the wind. Cortina is good for its steeps and is very crowded when there is a snowfall - bus ride is 2 stops and about an hour. Goryu/Hakuba 47 is combined on the same ticket and is a good mountain with enough variety in terrain and is about a 20 minute bus ride away. Ski buses mostly stop on the road - note which bus it is (A,B,C, D etc) and stand by the correct sign or you'll miss the bus.

Cabs to Echoland or the Hakuba train station can be called by the front desk - about 1580 yen one way to Echoland and 1000 yen to the train station. Or you can catch the Genki-go bus from 5:45 pm for 200 yen one way. Pay the driver when you board. Best to catch the Green line bus to leave the hotel and the blue line Genki-go bus to return. Get a schedule - it isn't regularly on the half hour and they are very on time - be there or miss it! Easy to get to the Gondola area where there are a lot more shops.

It snowed twice in the 7 nights we were there - good light powder, but sometimes low visibility. Bluebird days produced fabulous scenery and great pictures.

We would love to return

Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
2  Thank rainb0wtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2013

I have stayed here before with a mate, and was a little worried this time bringing the whole family. I need not have worried, rooms were comfortable, restaurant was good and handy and the staff were always ready to help. The atmosphere was great, in the bar and restaurant. The whole family loved it. We all used the onsen, and the in hotel massage was fantastic. The hotel itself is within 400m of the nearest lift. And has a ski hire shop adjoining it. The staff at the hire shop went out of the way to have my whole family in the best gear for each days conditions, and the drying room and buses to other lifts and resorts were all there. The actual hotel staff went out of there way to make sure we were comfortable and organised.See you next year.

Room Tip: Get a massage!!
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank AlwaysonHolidayz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hakuba Mominoki Hotel

Address: 4683-2 Hokujo | Wadano, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun 399-9301, Nagano Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Kitaazumi-gun > Hakuba-mura > Hakuba happou Onsen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 125 Hotels / Ryokan in Hakuba-mura
Price Range: £100 - £328 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hakuba Mominoki Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 75
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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