Since hosting the 1998 Winter Olympics, Hakuba has exploded in popularity attracting travelers from around the world looking for epic powder in the Japanese Alps. This year the area is anticipating record numbers of skiers as the nine resorts in the Hakuba Valley have joined the Epic Pass which now includes 55 different resorts around the world. If you’re thinking about visiting Hakuba this winter, these are our suggestions for the best places to stay.
The Lab :
The Lab is an inexpensive option, perfect for singles or groups of friends travelling together who enjoy the jovial atmosphere of a shared lodge with communal living arrangements. The Lab also houses arguably the best lodge/hotel bar, where you can kick back after a day skiing with a few drinks and chat to other like-minded travelers. It’s also located close to many of the area’s best nightlife in Echoland.
Hakuba Springs Hotel:
Hakuba Springs Hotel is a modern western style hotel located in the center of the Happo Village and a few minutes walk to the lifts of Happo One ski resort. The hotel is a complex comprising of shopping, restaurants, bar, and great hot springs with spas and sauna. This is our go to Happo Village Hotel, as all your needs are covered here; the hotel is home to the great Japanese restaurant, Sharaku, and one of the area’s most lively bars, Jack’s Sports bar which offers guests a high level of service with very knowledgeable local staff and in an optimal position. Jack’s is open late and often has live music, DJs, and special events such as karaoke and Trivia Tuesdays.
Ski in Ski out
Marillen Hotel & Restaurant:
Another Happo locale is the Marillen Hotel & Restaurant. The Austrian style structure situated at the foothill of the Nakiyama ski slope in Happo One is one of the very few ski in ski out hotels in the Valley. The Austrian theme stretches right over to the food as schnitzel and pretzels are served while a fire roars and live musical acts perform in the Après bar. The restaurant is actually the only authentic European alpine cuisine on the mountain. Night skiing is conveniently held on the Nakiyama ski slope so you can head out for a few more laps straight after dinner if the mood strikes you.
Chalets are perfect for families our groups who desire a bit of privacy and a home to call their own for the duration of their ski holiday. There are dozens of companies renting chalets that range from small and cozy to spacious and luxurious. Many chalets come with a shuttle service to the slopes or with a complimentary van (drivers will need an international driver’s license).
Phoenix Hotel and Chalets:
Phoenix Hotel is an Upmarket property in Wadano offering guests a high level of service including housing what is in our opinion Hakuba’s number 1 restaurant, Mim’s. The property also has a great lounge bar, Hot Springs and offers guests private shuttles to and from the ski resorts
If it’s all out luxury you’re looking for my suggestion would be One Happo. Perched high on a hill with wide reaching views over Hakuba Valley, this private residence is James-Bond-esque in aesthetic with its fusion of red cedar, marble, stainless steel and glass throughout. There’s even a transparent fireplace, sauna and fully stocked wine room to name just a few of its ultra-modern amenities.
For more information on The Hakuba Valley, resort information, accommodation, trail maps, snow forecasts and daily snow reports visit hakuba.com