This was our first time to Niseko. We booked The Green Leaf based on price for the standard of accommadation, and travelling as a couple for 6 nights this was really good value. Friends who had been recommended apartments in Hirafu Village, which seems to be a good option if there are at least 4 of you, but for us they worked out twice the price of the Green Leaf.
LOCATION: I was in two minds regarding the location before I went. I had heard that Hirafu was the Bali of Japan, full of Australian's, which didn't appeal to me at all, so The Green Leaf seemed like a good option to be slightly away from that. I was concerned about how isolated it would be though to get to Hirafu for different restaurants in the evening. Actually it was a perfect location, and only 10 minutes by free shuttle into Hirafu. There are actually 2 shuttles that go to The Green Leaf: Hilton / Green Leaf shuttle is free for everyone, and goes to Hirafu and some into JR Kutchan station in the main town (good option for an explore and dinner one night to see where the locals really live). This runs fairly regularly and the last bus back from Hirafu is 1am; The second shuttle is the Niseko United bus, which is free if you have an all mountain pass (otherwise small fee) and this runs between all the ski areas (Annupuri to Hirafu), last bus back from Hirafu was 20:30. Based on location I would definitely stay here again as the ski-in ski-out is really convenient, straight on to nice gentle green runs to get to the Hilton Gondola or if you are a beginner then the slopes outside are good to start learning on.
ROOMS: The rooms were modern, clean, great views from the hotel rooms. Rooms are a bit small, as are the bathrooms, but very comfortable, and there wasn't an issue for us to have space for 2 suitcases. Good amenities - TV, Kettle, fridge, safe etc. Beds were comfortable. We had breakfast included in our room rate, and this was excellent and easy. Breakfast is buffet style with lots of options, so even after 6 days we weren't bored with the choices. Staff were really helpful and got me soy milk each morning.
ONSEN: It took me until the 4th night to go to the Onsen, which was a shame because I loved it. It was just a bit daunting as I have never been to an onsen before and even with the sheet in the room to tell you onsen etiquette I was a bit overwhelmed and left the first time until my boyfriend went and gave me step by step instructions of how they are set up and what to do. For those who have not been before you basically go into the change room, leave all your belongings there in the basket, just take the small towel that is in your room through to the onsen. The first door you go through is to the indoor onsen, and each side of the door along the wall are small hand held showers you need to wash yourself. There is then another door that goes through to the outdoor onsen, and this is what I loved as it is all natural rocks and sitting out there when it is snowing was really beautiful... also great for your legs after skiing all day and better than a bath. So I would highly recommend the onsen - on Day 1 of the trip!
Hotel Facilities: The bar downstairs is great to have a drink and relax after a day skiing. The hot wine and hot chocolate are really good. The lockers are well set up to store all your ski stuff and so you can kit up and ski out. The main area I think the hotel could improve on is to get new hire gear. Everything I hired from the hotel looked well past it retirement date. Originally I only took out hire for 1 day, just because it was easier to hire from here than go into town. I did end up keeping it for the whole 6 days just for convenience but really the lining in the boots was pretty non-existent and I guess they have a captive audience. The hire shops in town are open until 10pm though and seemed to have better equipment. If I was more organised I would have gone to Larry Adler in Australia and you can try on boots there and hire gear, they then send your details to the Larry Adler in Hirafu and send to be waiting for your at your accommadation exactly what you tried on. I think the price was a bit more but much better quality.
Overall I did love this hotel and I would stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located at the base of Mount Niseko An'nupuri in Hokkaido, Japan, The Green Leaf Niseko Village is contemporarily redesigned to embrace the creative touch of renowned local artists.This 200-room hotel provides ski-in ski-out accommodation at the base of Niseko Village ski area, complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel, a spa, authentic onsen, with access to the world's finest powder snow.Each Deluxe King room inter-connects to a Deluxe Twin room, allowing flexibility for families, and features views of ski slopes and Mt. Yotei. Goshiki serves an international and Japanese fusion buffet, local seafood and seasonal Hokkaido produce. Lively and comfortable, Tomioka White Lounge features a signature fireplace and bar to enjoy cocktails. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Green Leaf Niseko Village Hotel Niseko-Cho
- Hilton International Niseko Cho
- Prince Hotel Niseko