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“Beautiful Gardens and Good Location in a Challenging Area for Foreigners”

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Hakone Hotel Kowakien
Irvine, California USA
Level Contributor
128 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
“Beautiful Gardens and Good Location in a Challenging Area for Foreigners”
Reviewed 6 June 2013

Hotels in Hakone are more focused on the Japanese resort holiday traveller. It is not easy to find reasonable priced hotels that are accessible for foreigners. We liked the hotel for the reasonable price, non-smoking rooms (not easy to find in Japan), triple room (not easy to find in Japan), and location.

The location was good for a mid-loop stop. There is a bus station right outside the hotel. We used it to get from the hotel to the Sounzan Station (5 minutes by bus not included in Free Pass/20 minute walk) where you switch from the Cable Car to the Ropeway.

Yes, the public spaces are very nice and the rooms are a bit worn. The garden view makes the hotel special. Most rooms do have a view, but make sure you have a garden view.

Nearly all of the guests were Japanese. The staff spoke enough English to get by, which was fine.

The restaurants in the hotel are expensive. But we spang for the buffet breakfast, which as good. If you can, get a package that includes breakfast, which would be a better deal. For dinner, we walked about 10 minutes down the hill a found a nice and much more reasonable restaurant (but there are few options within walking distance).

To make the most of our time in Hakone, we used the baggage forwarding service to deliver our luggage from Hakone-Yumoto station to the hotel and back again the next morning. Paid 900 Yen each bag each way, which was not cheap, but worth it so that we could focus on our day.

By the way, I don't suggest trying to do the loop in one day. You can, but this area is really beautiful and you just won't get to really enjoy what the area has to offer. Get the Hakone Free Pass starting either from Shinjuku or Odawara (if you have Japan Rail Pass).

Room Tip: Make sure you get a garden view (which is most rooms).
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank David-IrvineCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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494 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 (32)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Arnhem, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2013

We needed a hotel for 1 night in the Hakone area, and booked this hotel. Good points:
-Surroundings are great
-super market just outside the hotel

Bad points:
-Old, not very clean rooms. Carpets, wallpaint and curtains are ready to be replaced!
-expensive for what you get
-half of menu was sold out in the bar.

As described in the title, this was probably a beautiful hotel someday. But it isn't anymore. If possible, book another hotel.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tunderman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Hakone-machi hotels

Lymington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
119 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2013

As with other reviewers, we only stayed here briefly as part of a tour. The setting and gardens are exquisite so make time to wander in them. The hotel is a bit tired, but it is clearly popular with local parties and families. There are very few non-Japanese guests. We ate dinner in the Italian restaurant at the associated facility across the road and it was a good value, fun meal. Hotel was very busy when we visited and we had to queue for breakfast, but was not a big problem.

Room Tip: If you are not happy with your room, do ask - they moved us very quickly and without question as we...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank StephenWestSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 April 2013

if you are planning to do a one day trip in hakone, i suggest do not waste your time to book a hotel in Hakone as they are overpriced. We chose this hotel because of its convenient location to all the sightseeing in Hakone. However, there are more cons than pros for this hotel.

Most of the staff do not speak fluent English which was pretty tough for us with all the pinpointing and mimicking of sign languages for them to understand what we are thinking. The interior of the hotel looks decent. If you are a nature lover, you may like this place.

The room we received was depressing. What we have requested was a bedroom similar to a ryokan with two double beds meant for 4 people. However, there were only 3 single beds. We informed the receptionist and they go according the maximum number of people that we booked. So it doesn't seem our money was worthwhile as it was the most expensive out of the other hotels we will be staying.

Bathroom was small and squeezy. Not to mention that mirror in the bathroom was tainted with dirt. Poor service and it makes the toilet creepy too.

Channels are limited for the television as well. Terrible entertainment when we went to the arcade. There wasn't a single guest playing except a security guard. Plus, it is smacked right at the corner of the hotel.

There is a bar, but the cover fee was exorbitant. What bad luck we have to find entertainment around the vicinity.

Luckily, there was a convenient store (Family Mart) nearby to purchase some snacks for supper.

If you are planning to book this hotel just because of the Yunessun, I guess you can just purchase the ticket yourself without booking the hotel. Plus, there aren't many people in that onsen amusement park. But it's worth a try to soak in different onsens.

If you are looking for Wi-Fi, please don't book this hotel. They do not provide free Wi-Fi and their internet corner closed by 10pm with only two available computers.

Overall, i suggest if you really want to book a hotel in Hakone, get a hotel that has Wi-Fi. At least there is entertainment through your phone as the shops in Hakone close pretty early, similar to Australia minus the availability of bars.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Jermss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 22 April 2013

Nice room at a good price. As noted in previous reviews, the rooms aren't updated, but they are certainly adequate and spacious. The staff spoke good English and had plenty of helpful recommendations. There is a convenience store and the bus stop directly outside of the hotel which was extremely helpful. Great shampoo, conditioner and hair dryer in the room too.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cynthia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
35 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2013

We chose this hotel bec of its location. It was part of our fuji-hakone tour with overnight in this hotel. The western style room was huge in hakone standards. 3 beds plus a two seater sofa. The view from our room was amazing. I would love to wake up with the garden as a view. The garden has a historical story. Outside the hotel is a big yunessen with some small restaurants. We did not eat in the hotel. We tried the bathes and it was great! Love the indoor hot bathes! All in our naked glory. The hotel was clean. Location was perfect. Outside the hotel is a bus stop to the train stations (oduwara or hakone yumato) and to the museums or gotemba outlet.

Room Tip: Room with a garden view
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank irongirl22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 April 2013 via mobile

This hotel is very overpriced. The buffet was $55pp and was terrible. Our non smoking room stunk badly of smoke & the carpet was filthy with multiple burn marks. The rooms don't look like the photos. Staff were helpful and friendly but that was the only positive.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CrissyD333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hakone Hotel Kowakien

Property: Hakone Hotel Kowakien
Address: 1297 Ninotaira, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi 250-0407 , Kanagawa Prefecture
Phone Number:
Region: Japan > Kanto > Kanagawa Prefecture > Ashigarashimo-gun > Hakone-machi > Gora Onsen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#17 Onsen Hotel in Hakone-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hakone Hotel Kowakien 3.5*
Number of rooms: 220
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Several years ago I was in Japan for 7 days. Stayed in 3 different 6 star hotels, but Hotel Kowaki-en, Hakone National Park, impressed me so much as it was simply out of this world, with incredible service, hyper-luxurious rooms with elegant bathroom. Simply so fairytale like that anyone ever stayed there will remeber it forever. It's like Paradise. Have the correct address in Denmark, where I'll arrive in 10 days. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hakone Hotel Machi
Hakone Onsen Hotel Machi

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