Every year in Hakuba we see an increasing number of newly built accommodations to support the growing number of visitors to the valley. With so much information so readily available at our finger tips, it can be difficult to get a clear understanding of what the options are, as well as what type of experience we can be assured of.
Dealing with thousands of guests and numerous properties every season has allowed us to become aware of – and indeed familiar – with some of the the true gems in the Hakuba accommodation conundrum.
One such selection of apartments and chalets is The Hakuba Collection. Owned by long time Hakuba locals Jason and Fumiko, these properties encompasses some of the most beautiful views, elegant designs, finest craftsmanship and thoughtful locations. Below is an overview of their collection, and what makes them true standouts as self-contained options.
Their convenient location in central Happo is not only ideal through ease of exploring the main village area – the shops, restaurants, bars, onsens, information centre and even bus terminal – but for the sensational views that it offers. With nothing obstructing your view and floor to ceiling windows, these are some of the best views to be found in Hakuba, and all from the comfort of your couch. Happo One is directly in front, with Hakuba47 to the left – and the impressive Northern Japanese Alps serve as the backdrop. Whether you are assessing the conditions and slopes before you head out, or simply being soothed by watching skiers and falling snow, it is very hard to feel anything other than awe and relaxation from this location.
Not lacking in design or appointment, these chalets are located in Echoland – the main `wine and dine` area of Hakuba. For those that want to balance their days on the slopes with great food and tipples in the evenings, Echoland offers the largest selection of restaurants and bars in Hakuba. This enormous advantage of having so much variation within easy walking distance is particularly convenient during busy season, when taxis can be scarce and slow to arrive. Bluebird Chalets truly allow one to stay in comfort, whilst enabling the connoisseur experience of local food and drink once the skis have been retired.
Keeping location as a central theme, Powdersuites are unique – and indeed special – in where they are situated. While the bulk of tourism focused properties in the valley tend to be in more developed areas, Powdersuites offer privacy, an absence of overt tourism and a streak of authenticity as you look over the snow covered paddy fields and get a glimpse the rice farming village that Hakuba is for the rest of the year. That said, the convenience index is extremely high as there are two of Hakuba`s best and most diverse resorts within a couple of minutes, making these ideal for any level skier or snowboarder. This also means that no time is wasted in the mornings navigating ones way through traffic or built up areas – as these are one straight road to either resort. As an added bonus, a vehicle is included, allowing you to frequent busier areas of the valley, and then return to your own peaceful haven to unwind and relax.
The newest build in which every attention to detail and quality has been paid, Eminence is in close proximity to Powdersuites – thus benefiting from the excellent location in relation to the slopes, but with the difference of being nestled in the Kamishiro forest. Underrated, peaceful and truly local – this is another property that has found its way off of the beaten path in terms of tourist traffic, and allows one to appreciated the un-interfered magic of countryside Japan. The two close resorts – Iimori and Hakuba47, combine some of the best beginner terrain in the valley (Iimori) with some of the most advanced (Hakuba47) – and fortunately, every type of slope in between. As with the above, a vehicle is included to assist your explorations.
The ultimate Hakuba chalet, Powderhouse is nothing short of a masterpiece. The skill and passion in the craftsmanship is tangible, and no thought as to its luxury, layout, or appointment has been overlooked. Unobstructed mountain views, a hot tub, media room, pool table and wet bar are just a few of its inclusions, along with all location benefits as mentioned with the Powdersuites. The holy grail of self contained – it would be very hard to rival Powdershouse in comfort, convenience and class.