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“Hugely overpriced and disappointing”

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HOSHINOYA Karuizawa
Certificate of Excellence
Tokyo, Japan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Hugely overpriced and disappointing”
Reviewed 18 April 2014

The photos and website present this hotel glamorously enough, but in reality, it's a huge disappointment, and no better than any other ryokan choice in the region. Yet it is way more expensive than its neighbors. Pictured as if its surrounded by nature, it is in fact surrounded by other buildings, car parks, roads and such, taking away from the experience of being "in nature." The service was nonchalant, and the food though well presented, was bland and no better than at any other similar ryokan. Many high-end resorts are worth their price. This one, though they may be good at taking glossy photos, most definitely is not.

Room Tip: There are plenty of other ryokan nearby that offer rooms of equal quality.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
36 Thank ShaunLock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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307 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Saint-Tropez, France
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2014 via mobile

We spend 4 nights. Its expensive but they offer also free coffee, tea and snacks in good quality.
A parents and kids paradise. The staff is very child friendly. They are trying all the time to cheer them up. A 24 h kids room is available. You may leave your children there. Nannies take care.

The food is very good. Also expensive but thats how japanese high end vacation is like.
There are no shops so you depend on the hotel facilities and some low standard restaurants in walking distance.
Nice walking tours. Go on your own its not complicated and you may save some cash for food and sake...

Take a riverview villa. Its worth the extra costs.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank seba f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2014

Rooms are OK. Room services are great. 4 - 5 stars services but 6 stars costs. We went with 2 kids 9 and 7 years old. They charged them for staying, even using existing beds in one room. The costs for kids can add up to almost the room rate for ONE MORE ROOM. So I end up requested 2 rooms for my family, which rarely happens to other hotels. I know Ryokans and Pensions in Japan charges each guests including kids. However, the price shouldn't be that unreasonably high for kids right?!

Room Tip: Go the Prince Hotel if you want to go skiing
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Kannie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2014 via mobile

We stayed 2 nights in Hoshinoya Karuizawa where the room is exactly as the photos posted in their websites. The premise is quiet and clean especially when it was not crowded with people. I extremely like to spend some time @ their library where u feel relax to enjoy cups of complimentary drinks and snacks. We joined the nature watching and enjoyed it very much. With an mountain and forest so close, we definitely enjoyed the peaceful environment very much. All the staff are young and cheerful, but some lack of experience and could not provide information. We stayed within the premise during our stay there, so no problem with the non frequent bus to train station.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FamilyLeung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arcadia, California
Level Contributor
47 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2013

What you'd expect of an old school Japanese resort. Clean, tranquil, but kind of blah. The food was excellent.

Like all Japanese hotels, you get top notch service at Yoshinoya. It's actually not that far from Tokyo, but getting to it (taxi to Shinkasen, the train ride, then shuttle to the resort) is kind of tiring.

Room Tip: Visit the small onsen in the back....there's a completely dark onsen and that was pretty cool
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tsaoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2013

This is the place. Sure, the price is steep. But Hoshinoya has become one of my most memorable and cherished stays. We went in early summer and the weather was perfect for us. Early morning walks around the extensive property were rewarded with the gentle tweeting of a multitude of birds, along with sightings of ducks, butterflies, dragonflies, frogs, fish and beautiful flowers. When you wake up and walk out onto the deck overlooking the water, fresh cup of tea in hand, and you breathe in the crisp, clean country air, you'll understand. Utter tranquility and beauty await.

The restaurant on the property was first-class. Exquisite dining in kaiseki style with fresh local ingredients - to die for! With large panoramic windows overlooking the beautifully manicured grounds and water features, you're sure to enjoy breakfast and dinner here. Upstairs there is a library, featuring the same wonderful views, with books, newspapers and magazines in English and Japanese (perhaps some others too), along with super comfy sitting areas. Free coffee, tea and snacks are available 24/7 here as well.

Next to the property is a park with some nice hiking available. We took a rather short, 40 minute hike, but longer courses are available. There is some moderate elevation gain, but the trails are well marked and easy to follow. Lots of birds again, and a nice open field with views of Mt. Asama in the distance. Highly recommended.

The onsen here is quite nice, and interesting. The 'Meditation Spa' is reserved for guests only, and features a sauna, cold plunge, and two baths, one of which (at night at least) is utterly dark. A bit spooky, but once your eyes adjust to the dark, you'll see that it's quite relaxing. I didn't try this bath during the day, so I'm not sure how dark it is then. There is also a relaxation area and the spa is adjacent to this. We didn't try any spa treatments.

The other, open to the public bath, called Tonbou no Yu, was very beautiful. The public can enter (for a fee) after 10AM, so it's advisable to get there before then. There are very large outdoor baths here, and of course an ample indoor one as well. Another sauna and cold bath are available here as well, and with dragonflies and birds (again) zipping around, it makes for another excellent, relaxing experience. N.B. if there is a line of people (the public) waiting to get into the spa, you can just show your room key and go right in (or in my case, go to the front of the line and get a towel first).

This is the place to come and relax, to enjoy Japanese culture and food, and to reconnect with nature. Highly recommended for couples- I think children may not appreciate the ambiance!


Tips:

Get a unit which is on the water. This will make your stay complete.

Mt. Asama is nearby, and there is an amazing shrine, viewpoint, and walking course there.

Shiraito waterfall is close too, A short walk from the local concessions (peddling delicious farm fresh fruits and vegetables, along with a dose of river-fish Ayu) you'll be rewarded with a very interesting geographic feature

Room Tip: Get a room on the water. Splurge. There's nothing like waking up and shuffling out to the deck o...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NYCKankyoukyaku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
41 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2013

We spent 2 nights at this hotel.
The reception was good but the check in took time since we needed to take a car to travel between the reception and the hotel.
The room was spacious and clean with a nice view. However, it was not as clean as you would expect for this hotel standard and compared with other ryokan we stayed at (dust on some furnitures, walls were not immaculate). The wooden bathtub and terrace were really enjoyable and relaxing.
The strong point of the hotel are the surroundings: the hotel is in the middle of a forest next to a lake and offers many activities (yoga in the morning, traditional japanese toys and activities for children, bar on the patio in the evening, fireworks, nice shopping center in the middle of the forest within walking distance, SPA and onsen of course). No way to get bored.
The dinner was very good using fresh ingredients from the region.
Also there is a playroom with babysitter that can look after your children while you are having dinner (the hotel even offers have children meal+baby sitter service plan).
The overall service was OK but everything takes time since the staff needs to take a car to bring you anything you might need.
Overall this hotel is a very nice getaway but is not worth the high price. For the same price range, you can find much nicer ryokan in Japan with much better service.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jgk_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about HOSHINOYA Karuizawa

Property: HOSHINOYA Karuizawa
Address: Hoshino, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0194, Nagano Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Kitasaku-gun > Karuizawa-machi
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Karuizawa-machi
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Karuizawa-machi
#2 Spa Hotel in Karuizawa-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — HOSHINOYA Karuizawa 4*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In a richly forested mountain setting 90 minutes and a world away from Tokyo, our showcase retreat provides the ultimate fresh-air escape with award-winning ecotours, acclaimed birdwatching, and healing hot springs. After a day on woodland trails, relax further with seasonal cuisine, spa treatments inspired by Zen precepts, and a cypress-bath soak in the privacy of your spacious guestroom. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hoshinoya Karuizawa Hotel Karuizawa-Machi

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