Dining Is The Highlight Here

  • By Jasmine

There is so much to do within the hotel that many guests don’t want to leave. We spoke with a group of guests who stayed with us and shared some of the things they liked most about their trip, including some of the dining experiences they enjoyed after a big day of snowboarding.  

Welcome back to Niseko for most of you, how do you feel to be back in Niseko?

Everyone: We’re so excited to come back. It has been a while since the last time we came here.  

Mint: It is our first time here for Pupaa and myself.

Pupaa: I’m really impressed with Niseko, just seeing snow and the ski resort makes me so excited. 

I know that all of you snowboard, how has your experience been? 

Mint: I had previously never understood when my friends told me how tiring it can be until you don’t want to get up.  To stand on the board is not hard but when you start practising turns, linking turns, that’s when it gets more difficult for me. 

Pupaa: We took a private snowboard lesson with Rhythm Rides, the instructor taught us how to stand on a board, control your board and your body. I’m very determined to keep practising until I get more confident with snowboarding. 

Mint: I started this new year with this Niseko trip, trying snowboarding for the first time. I found it very challenging because I’m scared of heights. Just getting on ski lifts makes me nervous. So this tip has been very challenging but fun. When I see small kids riding past me, I tell myself that if they can do it, I can do it too. 

Mew: It is good to be back. The snow has been good, and the weather has been really nice. This time I took a lesson with my friend and revised the basics, since I had only snowboarded once before.

Saint: It has been nice and sunny, so we got to take lots of beautiful pictures together. Today we will take Marin out for some fun activities at Hanazono which is not far from here.

Pranai: The first 2 days we got lots of snow so it was really fun. 

How’s your dining experience? Did you get to try many restaurants? 

Saint: Yes, we went to méli mélo -Yuki No Koe-, Tempura Araki and Sushi Kato Inori.

Taew: The first meal was at méli mélo and it surprised me because I thought it would be a casual Italian dinner but we were served an amazing course dinner. It was really good. 

Mint: I think it is a wonderful mix of Italian and Japanese food. You can taste the high quality of the local ingredients. 

Pranai: The lobster pasta was my favourite. 

Taew: The shirako dish was good, served with kobo.

Saint: The meal at Tempura Araki was another highlight of the trip. Every dish we tried was tasty. I was so full by the end of the meal. 

Mint: Even the vegetable dishes were very impressive.  

Pupaa: The chef cooks right in front of you and serves you right away. It was an immersive tempura experience.

Taew: Yes, the meal at Tempura Araki really made my day. We also went to park90, the wine bar for some drinks, since we had some friends over. Everyone enjoyed that too.

Saint: It is a proper wine list.

Mew: We haven't really gone beyond the hotel for dinner since we got here, we just eat in the hotel. 

You mentioned that you had Sushi Kato as well. How was it?

Taew: Sushi is the dish I look forward to eating most when I visit Japan. I know the chef at Sushi Kato is actually a local, so he knows Hokkaido’s best ingredients. It did not disappoint. Every dish he served was impressive. My favourite was the Sushi platter. The texture was good. I could taste the freshness, especially with the scallop and crab dishes. Having sushi together in the intimate dining space, with the chef's recommended local sake was a perfect combination.  

Mint: Yes, I was really looking forward to having this, because it feels like I am not in Japan if I didn’t get to try omakase. The chef pays close attention to the ingredients. The way he cooks is a traditional method. The food is really fresh and tasty. 

Last but not least, what are you impressed with the most?

Mew: First of all, the hotel is new and beautiful. When I saw that the hotel has a kids playroom facility, I decided to take my daughter with me. Coming here was a good decision because she stays here comfortably. She could spend the entire day in the kids playroom. 

Saint: I visited Niseko a couple times and I usually stay in a ski-in ski-out hotel. At first I was a bit concerned it would not be as convenient. But it turns out it is better than I could have imagined, with shuttle buses operating frequently. They drop you off directly at the ski slopes. It is a good place for families with kids, considering the hotel offers a good variety of food and activities options.   

Pranai: It is a place that I want to introduce my friends to, because there is a rental store, Rhythm Rentals onsite, where you can get everything you need, including tuning and rentals. If we were to stay somewhere else, we would have to drive to a Rhythm Store to rent and spend precious ski time at the store. Being here is more convenient. 

Taew: I like the location, I find it very convenient. Being close to the restaurants and lots of ski slopes  gives us an opportunity to explore the area too. 

Mint: The shuttle buses keep running, so we didn’t really need to wait. The drivers were really helpful, helping me carry down my gear which I really appreciated. I was low in energy after snowboarding the whole day. Going to the onsen after a day on the hill is perfect. I went to both private and public ones.

Taew: Rikka spa is also great, I went there last night and just went again today. The oil massage is incredible. I wanted to try yoga at Studio En too, but didn’t get a chance during this trip. I will next time for sure.

Pupaa: Not to mention the daily breakfast at méli mélo. Good food and coffee! 

Taew: We actually talked about it this morning that we are going back in a few days, time really flies. I really want to come back to Setsu again this winter and practice snowboarding. Otherwise, we will have to wait until next year. 

Mint: Niseko has its own charm. It is no surprise that everyone loves coming back here, including us.  

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