The Vale

Central Hirafu, Hokkaido, Japan
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Scout loves

  • This is one of the best locations in Niseko – a true ski-in ski-out hotel right in the heart of Hirafu.
  • When you stay here you get all the luxuries associated with staying in a big hotel.
  • There are lots of attentive, friendly staff.
  • Some rooms include their own private onsen.
  • The complex also has a public onsen (indoor and out) and sauna (segregated for genders), as well as a small lap pool that’s great for kids.
  • Guests have access to complimentary DVDs and books.

Scout tips

  • Some of the standard hotel rooms face a concrete wall.
  • Being a very Westernized hotel that’s popular with families, many visitors do not adhere to typical onsen etiquette.
  • Getting to the main part of Hirafu Mountain requires a short lift to get you to the Ace Quad. There’s great beginner terrain right outside the hotel.
  • A buffet breakfast is included in the rate for hotel rooms and studios, though according to some reports the options are limited.
  • There can be noise from snow ploughs early in the morning (which is pretty hard to escape anywhere you stay in Niseko).

SCOUT REVIEW

The Vale is one of most renowned 5 star luxury hotels in Niseko, and for good reason. It has one of the most prime locations (being ski-in ski-out), but it’s also right in the thick of the Hirafu restaurant and bar action. To boot, some of the rooms even have great views of Mount Yōtei (when the sky is clear).

The location makes it ideal for families who don’t want to mess around with their ski gear. Not only does the hotel have its own rental store, but it’s only a few steps from the (huge) locker area to the snow – right in front of a beginner slope and chairlift. On top of that, there’s a Go Snow Ski School Office situated right inside the hotel. Further to all this convenience, in-room child care can also be arranged by the hotel.

But convenience is only the starting point. On top of everything that’s already been mentioned, there is a stylish, modern feel to this hotel (an aesthetic that is reflected by its guests). Additionally, there are always plenty of staff around who will help you sort out everything you need for your stay, as well as providing shuttle services (not that you need them in this location).

There’s a large variety of room types at The Vale, from standard hotel rooms through to three bedroom apartments. All of them boast luxurious, modern furnishings, and they’re all really spacious.

Featuring a small living area with a sofa and a kitchenette (including a microwave, kettle, toaster and fridge), the hotel rooms are perfectly adequate for couples. We would recommend the superior or deluxe category since the standard rooms are on the lower level, facing a concrete wall.

The studio apartments are a little bit bigger than the hotel rooms – with full kitchens, as well as washers and dryers. The apartments are all a great size, and if you’re going for a 2 or 3 bedroom option you can even choose one with a private outdoor onsen (that has natural hot spring water). Another choice is to opt for the Mount Yōtei rooms which look out across the village through floor-to-ceiling windows, and if you’re lucky you’ll even see the mountain itself. 

Who should stay here

Those wanting a hotel room or self-contained apartment but in a full service luxury hotel. Particularly great for families.

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