This ski-in ski-out hotel houses an onsen and the offshoot of an acclaimed Sapporo sushi restaurant.
Hokkaido-bound travelers keen to take advantage of the first ski season since Japan’s borders reopened may rejoice at the recent debut of Sansui Niseko. Located a short hop from the slopes at Niseko Tokyu Grand Hirafu, the 55-room boutique hotel promises creature comforts in an elegant setting. Sapporo-based Makoto Nakayama Architects gave the hotel a sleek, minimalistic aesthetic, with textured pillars and wooden walkways recalling traditional Zen design elements.
At Sansui Niseko, the cool-contemporary accommodations range from 39-square-meter studios to a four-bedroom penthouse suite; all rooms are fitted with kitchenettes and washer-dryers, as well as Bose Bluetooth speakers and Sony flatscreen TVs. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the mountain views. Downstairs, guests will find recreational spaces including a traditional onsen fed by mineral-rich hot springs (a private family onsen can also be booked), an in-house spa, children’s playrooms, and a 24-hour fitness center stocked with Technogym equipment. A multipurpose hall and art gallery round out the facilities.
Gourmands will want to reserve their seats at Sushi Shin by Miyakawa, the Niseko outpost of Sapporo’s Sushi Miyakawa, which earned three Michelin stars back in 2017 (the most recent time the Michelin Guide Japan was extended to Hokkaido). The high-end omakase serves seasonal umami-rich appetizers and Edomae sushi made with locally sourced ingredients. Japanese-inflected international cuisine is the hallmark of Dining by Lupicia, where seafood and Niseko-grown vegetables star in the hearty Japanese and Western breakfast sets. Bento lunches feature mains like grilled king salmon, while the dinner menu features fresh Hokkaido oysters and sea urchin, Shira-oi wagyu beef steak, and sauteed pork loin from pigs raised in nearby Rusutsu. Lupicia Boutique is a store and deli selling snacks, artisanal sandwiches with fillings such as korokke (Japanese croquette), and drinks like the brand’s own Yotei Sanroku beer to bring back to your room after a day out on the slopes.
Naturally for a ski-in ski-out hotel, the in-house rental center supplies equipment for skiers and snowboarders of various skill levels. The chairlift bringing beginners to the gentle slopes of the Grand Hirafu Family Course lies just 300 meters away, and Sansui Niseko is a two- to 2.5-hour drive from New Chitose Airport, depending on the season, or a 10-minute drive from Kutchan Station.
sansuiniseko.com; doubles from US$644, three-night minimum stay