17/03/2019

Skye Niseko – Five-star luxury with ski-in ski-out access to the world’s best powder snow

We absolutely love snowboarding and skiing as a family and were excited stay at the brand-new luxury Hokkaido property, Skye Niseko and experience some of the world’s best powder snow.

Five-star Skye Niseko occupies the best location in all of Niseko. Perched high up, literally amongst the snow fields in the scenic ski town of Hirafu the elevated position of the of the hotel in the stunning Hokkaido National Park, boasts breath-taking views of Mt Yotei and truly enviable ease of access to the slopes.

The position of the highest-altitude five-star hotel is second to none, located on the top of the mountain and virtually in amongst the ski fields yet an easy walk or shuttle into Hirafu Village. The ski-in and ski-out condominium-hotel features 100 rooms (including 5 penthouse suites), restaurants, cafes, deli and day spa.

After checking in we quickly headed to the number one activity on offer –skiing. As we stepped out of the lift into the guest ski valet service, who had us all geared up and ready to get to the glistening snowy slopes within minutes. The friendly guest ski valet service also included storing and drying our ski gear overnight.

Our Room

We stayed in a stunning 3-bedroom apartment which was spacious and oozing alpine luxury with beautiful timber and stone features throughout.  The architecture of the room was quintessential Japanese minimalism with all the modern comforts you would expect of a five-star hotel. We loved the heated oak floorboards, allowing our kids to walk around the beautifully warm room in their bare feet after a long day of skiing.

The marble bathrooms, complete with walk in showers, were spacious and luxurious. The suite was well designed for relaxation and down time and the kids really enjoyed relaxing in the comfortable living room with Netflix, Apple TV and high-speed broadband access. It was also great to have the added convenience of a kitchenette so we could prepare snacks and warm drinks for hungry kids without having to order in or head out.

Most of all we just loved the stunning view from our apartment. The rooms have been designed to maximise the view and we could relax and unwind whilst looking out at the majestic winter wonderland around us. And on the nights we weren’t out there amongst it, it was just magical to watch the night skiing from the expansive windows of our lounge room adding such a fun element and really allowing us to experience something quite unique as no other accommodation in the area is quite so close.

Penthouse suite 

The next time we come back I would love to experience the indulgent luxury of the penthouse suite, commanding a top floor position with incredible views. The penthouse has several private heated balconies, with fire pits and an outdoor onsen which is fed with rich mineral water from deep within the mountain. Maybe a luxury anniversary treat for the hubby and me, sans children!

Kumo Restaurant

Skye Niseko is home to the Kumo, the biggest restaurant which boasts “Japanese soul-food by day, a dazzling Hokkaido izakaya by night.” We enjoyed several dinners and lunches here and loved the high quality Japanese food they had. Kumo Restaurant has world-class chefs using fresh, local Hokkaido ingredients like legendary Rusutsu Pork, which was a personal favourite for my husband, and local seafood (he’s still reminiscing about the melt in your mouth Cod from the degustation dinner).

Included in our accommodation was the buffet breakfast at Kumo where we could choose between Japanese or all imaginable options of western cuisine, for the less adventurous family members.  My husband and I enjoyed going to Kumo for afternoon après ski drinks and snacks before the evening set in, where we could really relax and indulge in the breathtaking Mt Yotei views.

CaféDeli

We also loved the CaféDeli in the hotel as it proved handy to grab a delicious coffee and panini, allowing us to get onto the ski fields quickly after our morning caffeine fix. The afternoon at CafeDeli was a great time to taste the local sake or enjoy a cold Asahi beer.

We also wanted to experience the hustle and bustle of the village and were able to jump on a complementary shuttle that runs you into the heart of the village every twenty minutes. Here we enjoyed some great dinners in Hirafu village, renowned for its exceptional Japanese cuisine and Michelin starred restaurants.

Onsens

First on my list of “must-dos”was to visit a Japanese hot spring onsen and a real positive point of Skye Niseko is that I didn’t even need to leave the hotel to do so. In fact, I was able to wander to the women’s onsen (there is also a men’s onsen) in my complimentary pyjamas and slippers which was just what I felt like wearing after a day out on the slopes.  We also used one of the private onsens that you can book complimentary to guests. This allowed our whole family to relax and unwind in our own space for a decadent 45 minutes. It was such a lovely and soothing family activity to do after a particularly long day of skiing.

At Skye Niseko, the mineral rich onsen baths draw water from nearby thermal streams making for a relaxing and peaceful experience, exclusive only to hotel guests. There is also a sauna & cold plunge pool to invigorate the senses.

Ryko Spa

Spa services include invigorating massages, facials & full body treatments utilising premium skincare. Skye Niseko is also home to Hokkaido’s first ever Float Tank to restore and refresh your mind, body and spirit at in-house Ryko Spa.

For Families

We found Skye Niseko offered a perfect family experience. Being situated at the highest altitude with direct ski-in ski-out access to the ski fields made life so much easier as we didn’t need to que up and battle the crowds to move from our hotel suite to the slopes. This direct ski-valet access saved us so much time and effort it really was a key benefit of staying in such a central location. The location also created a truly fun and unique vibe as you feel you are staying, sleeping and relaxing in amongst the ski slopes, just adding to the whole experience.

We also loved that the hotel had an extensive range of rental gear and we were astounded that you could even hire goggles and gloves! We have never seen these for hire anywhere and my son actually forgot his gloves so they were the first thing we hired! All the restaurants and facilities were family friendly. We loved that the kids could unwind at the end of the evening with an in-house Netflix film and we brought their iPads to enjoy the free broadband.

Another huge plus as parents was that when we booked our children in for private ski/board lessons with GoSnow, the coaches would come and collect our children for their lesson at the indoor ski valet within Skye Niseko! Too easy!

Gym

The gym was well equipped with treadmills, cross trainer, bike, weights, and is open 24 hours in case you haven’t burned enough calories on the slopes.

Activities:

  • Day skiing
  • Night skiing
  • Multiple dining options
  • Regular private shuttle bus to the village and back
  • Spa treatments
  • Soaking it up in a number of onsens located within the hotel

We loved:

  • The magnificent position of the hotel perched in the highest altitude right amongst the snow
  • The second-to-none ski in, ski off access to the slopes
  • Ski Valet – they hand you your gear before you head out and take it from you and pack away when you come in
  • The pure indulgence and absolute must do Japanese experience of the in-house onsen
  • World class cuisine of Kumo restaurant
  • Easy access to Hirafu village with shuttles running every 20 minutes or it’s an easy downhill stroll.

Kids will love: 

  • Soaking in a soothing private family onsen, complimentary to guests
  • Watching the skiers from the comfort of their suite
  • Being amongst the powder capital of the world during the ski season

Getting There:

We flew with Qantas from Sydney to Tokyo and enjoyed a few nights seeing the city and then a direct JAL flight to Sapporo. We were met at baggage claim by staff from Sky Express, with their heated airconditioned van (with Wi-Fi) for the direct transfer to Skye Niseko (about 2.5 scenic drive through the snow).

How to book: Head to https://www.skyeniseko.com Have you been to the brand-new Skye Niseko? What did you love? If not ask me more about it in the comments –I’d be happy to help answer questions.

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