Dreaming of a winter getaway from Singapore? Make the trip of a lifetime in Niseko in Hokkaido, Japan with this list of the best hotels and restaurants in town
Ski season is coming up in late December, and all we can think about is zipping down the snowy slopes of Niseko in Hokkaido, Japan. But a trip to the wintry town isn’t somewhere you can casually jet off to from Singapore – spontaneously – not when restaurants in Niseko typically require reservations months in advance (not exaggerating!). To help make our planning easier, we got our travel guru friends at The Luxe Nomad to recommend the best rooms and seats in the house. Put in a call, quick!
Each of its 1-, 2-, or 3-bedroom studio apartment incorporates contemporary Japanese aesthetics, with windows that frame views of Mt Yotei and the surrounding national park. Located at Central Hirafu Village, the chic abode is only a 7-minute walk to the Family lift. Book it here. Make a reservation: Michelin-starred restaurant Kamimura, located on the lobby level of Shiki, is a small establishment that only seats 40 a night, so you do need some careful planning and a stroke of good luck to sample Chef Yuichi Kamimura’s French plates. Its luxurious 10-course dinner, which depending on the season, can feature Haboro king prawn sashimi and sauteed Sempoushi oyster.
360-degree mountain views are a given from every apartment, with 1 to 4 bedrooms available for groups. There is also a charming roof terrace and garden, which is perfect for outdoor relaxation. With the exception of the Studio room, fireplaces and programmable lighting are available in every apartment to provide a warm, cosy ambiance. Book it here. Make a reservation: Privato by Milk Kobo offers Niseko’s most popular yoghurt drink (a must try!), and an unmissable lunch buffet spread that is also vegetarian-friendly. You’ll want a few hours to get yourself together after helpings of pasta and grilled meat. Another highlight here is the view of Mount Yotei framed by floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
This boutique block of stylish 3- and 4-bedroom apartments is situated near the culture hub of nightlife and onsens. There’s also a private hot spring in one of the apartments that offers fantastic views, if you’re lucky enough to land it! Book it here. Make a reservation: No stranger to the dining scene of Niseko, Bang Bang has been making a splash (or rather, snowballs in this case) for years. Their specialty is yakitori; skewered meat in a classic Japanese marinate grilled over hot charcoal. If you can’t get enough of Bang Bang (or forgot to make a reservation), Bang Bang 2 is just down the street with a slightly different menu, which include bento boxes for a super quick meal.
This luxury 8-bedroom apartment is designed by the acclaimed architect Nayakama Makoto. There are other options for accommodation too: a split-level 4-bedroom penthouse, 3-bedroom apartment and studio for two. Other delightful amenities? A Nespresso machine, private use of iMac, private onsen and a Wii-Console and Wii-Sport at your disposal. Book it here. Make a reservation: Rakuichi Soba serves the best bowls of hand-made hot or cold soba you’ll ever slurp, topped with with your choice of vegetable tempura or duck. Housed in a charming little wooden lodge, there are only 12 seats for diners. For the seriously hungry, there’s also the option of a ‘kaiseki’ traditional multi-course dinner.
Classy and luxury are two words that describe The Vale perfectly. It’s a five-star getaway that was voted the World’s Best Boutique Ski Hotel at the 2014 World Ski Awards! There are 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments to choose from, and you’ll love the feather comforters and open-plan bathroom with views of the mountainside. Book it here. Make a reservation: Need a break from Japanese food? Head to The Barn for a truly spectacular taste of French cuisine. The luxurious barn-inspired bistro has a revamped a la carte menu but one thing is for certain; diners simply must try a glass of wine from the owner’s vineyards in Burgundy, France.
Take your pick from hotel rooms, 1- and 2-bedroom condos and spectacular penthouses at this well-known resort. Every room has a Japanese design and is equipped with Jinbei, Japanese-styled hotel wear. Guests in the Penthouse can also take a warm dip in their own Jacuzzi. Book it here. Make a reservation: Downstairs at An Dining, the kitchen is helmed by Chef Shinichi Maeda, previously the Head Chef at Sake Brisbane in Australia where he picked up the highly regarded Chef’s Hat in the 2012 Queensland Good Food Guide. Chef Shinichi serves up fresh and simple cuisine with the aim of supporting modest local businesses such as fisherman, vegetable farmers and speciality markets.
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