Hotels and resorts in Japan often offer unique surprises that can make it hard to even leave the premises. The biggest perk is often the natural onsen hot springs that the hotel has been built on top of. For the beautiful and snowy land of Hokkaido, those onsen are doubly alluring. Then there are the ski resorts, which Hokkaido is celebrated for. Hokkaido’s hotels, whether they be city-based, lakeside, or on a mountaintop, represent some of the finest, most beautiful, and most exciting hotel and resort experiences in Japan, and here are ten of the very best of them.
Located at the edge of Hokkaido’s Lake Toya, in one of the southernmost parts of the island, The Windsor Hotel Toya Resort & Spa represents the height of luxury; not only for its location and unparalleled views but also for its fantastic food and restaurant experiences, and its incredible range of spa treatments. If you’re staying for the lakeside location, this hotel offers a selection of activities for both summer and winter. In the summer, you can play tennis and golf, go horseback riding and fly fishing, and even learn how to blow glass. In the winter, there is sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and even stargazing on offer. The aforementioned spa offers an outdoor onsen and a selection of wellness experiences, including back and foot massage and access to the hotel’s private indoor pool. Stays cost $350 on average.
The central Hokkaido town of Furano is a quirky place of local legend. Its location in the heart of the island has given it the nickname Hokkaido’s Belly Button. But Furano is also known for its incredible summer lavender fields and winter ski resorts. Visiting Furano in the summer or the winter is equally dazzling, and Furano Hotel offers its guests the unique and fantastic opportunity to wake up to lavender garden views. Furano Hotel blends comforts from both the East and the West, with the hotel’s amenities, including hot spring baths and traditional stone saunas, as well as a restaurant that offers a mouth-watering range of French cuisine. If you’re visiting in the summer, the lavender gardens and easy access to nearby lavender fields are an absolute treat. And, if you happen to be visiting Furano in the winter for skiing, the hotel does offer ski storage to all guests. An average night's stay will cost $150.
This unique Hokkaido hotel was born out of the idea of connecting and transforming a group of traditional Japanese storehouses (kura). The hotel plan took several years to piece together, and the owners are very proud of what they have achieved together. The unique storehouse setting provides guests a feeling of absolute comfort, snugness, and security. The surrounding forest showers guests with the smell of rain, grass, and falling leaves. It’s a tranquil and beautiful Hokkaido environment for any guest. Like every great Hokkaido hotel, Otaru Ryotei Kuramure also boasts its own private onsen hot springs for guests to take advantage of. The restaurant’s food is local and comes fresh from nearby farmers and fishermen, meaning that the menu changes with the season and provides guests with an authentic Hokkaido cuisine experience. A night's stay will cost around $550.
Situated at the edge of Hokkaido’s Lake Akan, this is a uniquely local hotel that takes roots and influence from native Ainu architecture and tradition. The name Tsuruga comes from the local Japanese crane, which features in Ainu mythology, and hand-carved statues of the crane can be found at the entrance to the hotel. As for what guests can expect when staying here, the hotel’s onsen features thirty-three separate baths to enjoy, and these baths are found across separate floors. The dining experience at this hotel consists of local Hokkaido cuisine, famous across Japan for its rich flavors. You can enjoy the food in both a buffet style and an exciting multi-course dinner. Then, of course, there are the views of the surrounding lake, which guests can enjoy and explore at their leisure. The average price for a stay at Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga is $280.
The town of Niseko is primarily known for its nearby mountain range and the white, snowy winters it enjoys, with Mt. Yotei being the area’s crown jewel. At the boutique ski hotel of Ki Niseko, guests can enjoy all the warmth and luxury that a ski resort demands. Traditional onsen hot springs, surrounded by dense white snow, provide an unparalleled experience, especially in the heart of ski season. The alpine spa experience includes massages, perfect for guests coming off a day on the slopes. Then, of course, there is the cuisine that boasts local ingredients that are used to create stellar traditional Hokkaido dishes for guests to enjoy. The average cost for a night at Ki Niseko is $670.
Visitors to Noboribetsu Hot Spring District can enjoy this tranquil ryokan featuring private onsen in the traditional ryokan rooms featuring fluffy futon and comfortable yukata to wear during your stay. A generous breakfast and dinner, using seasonal ingredients, are included with the room leaving you feeling healthy and satisfied. Aside from the private baths, there are also larger communal baths available for guests at the hotel. Many rooms offer a lake view, and guests can walk to Hell Valley in just 10 minutes. There’s also a bus stop in front of the hotel, making it very convenient for exploring Noboribetsu; the staff can also organize shuttle buses to more difficult to reach areas. This hotel focuses on hospitality and making sure that guests leave as relaxed and fulfilled as possible. A night at Ryotei Hanayura will cost $535 on average.
An ideal hotel for a city-break in Sapporo, located just ten minutes from the main JR Sapporo train station and a two-minute walk from the open space of Nakajima Park and Nakajima Koen Subway Station and key areas like Odori Park and Tanuki Koji shopping street. The hotel itself boasts a luxury set of amenities like natural hot spring baths, sauna, and hot tubs, as well as practical solutions for people in the area for skiing like ski storage, laundry services, and car rental. Guests also have the option of experiencing a Japanese-style breakfast or enjoy the international buffet available. Farm fresh food and specialty seafood are served at the restaurants for the evening, meaning you can enjoy the best of Hokkaido dining right from your hotel. A night at MyStays Premier Sapporo Park costs $72 on average.
Visitors traveling to Hokkaido to enjoy the famous skiing area of Niseko will enjoy the centrally located Chalet Ivy featuring spectacular mountain views and facilities perfect for those enjoying the slopes. After an energetic day outside, it’s a pleasure to come back to the roaring fire, private hot springs, and a luxury massage and care has been taken to make sure your stay is as comfortable as possible. Japanese cuisine is served in the restaurant and a hearty breakfast and the bar as a fine selection of expertly chosen wine and sake. Private ski locker and ski and snowboard equipment rentals plus ski passes are available to purchase. While the hotel is within walking distance of the first ski lift, there is also a free shuttle available to avoid lugging heavy equipment. The hotel is a convenient 15-minute drive from JR Hirafu Train Station. Chalet Ivy costs, on average, $240 a night.
The perfect location for visitors wanting to make the most of Shikotsu Toya National Park, the hotel even offers a free shuttle bus from JR Sapporo Station. The hotel blends Japanese and Western comfort, offering rooms with western beds at tatami seating areas. The hotel menu, featuring breakfast, lunch, and dinner, has Japanese and Western options. Indoor and outdoor hot springs are available to relax in after a long day of hiking, as well as an outdoor hot spring pool for swimming. This hotel is also particularly welcoming for families and will organize families' activities on request and provide a child-friendly buffet at dinner. The average cost for a stay is $245.
Get to know Hokkaido’s third-largest city with sweeping views of the city and harbor, which can be enjoyed from the bedroom or the relaxing rooftop hot spring baths. La Vista Hakodate Bay offers an upscale haven to come back to at the end of the day, complete with a spa and sauna, fine dining restaurants serving European and Chinese cuisine, and spacious art deco rooms inspired by the Taisho period. A Japanese buffet breakfast is also served, and you’ll find coffee grinders and facilities in the bedrooms. While this hotel feels like a luxury retreat from the city, you are actually very much in the heart of the action being a ten-minute walk from the city center and a three-minute walk from the bay and Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses. The average price for a night at la Vista Hakodate Bay is $250.