Sunday, March 27, 2016

[Hotel Reviews] Hokkaido: New Furano Prince Hotel (新富良野プリンスホテル)

The New Furano Prince Hotel seen from the ski slope
The New Furano Prince Hotel is a four-star hotel located in Furano, Hokkaido. This area is world famous for its powder snow, and the ski slopes here have been used for numerous World Cups (you can read more in my previous blog post). New Furano Prince Hotel is a part of the Seibu Group, and this group also operates the Furano Ski Resort. The hotel is situated right next to the slopes, and it takes only a couple of minutes to slide from the entrance of the hotel to the nearest ski lift.
The entrance to the New Furano Prince Hotel

Guest rooms:

Credit: Agoda
The hotel was lastly renovated in 2012, so their rooms are relatively new. From your room you can enjoy the pretty view of the nature outside. Our room was situated on the second floor and we could see right into the forest from our window.
You can choose between Twin, Double and Suite Rooms, and they also have some rooms situated on the upper floor with view of Mount Tokachi (十勝岳), an active volcano located in the area.

Regardless of which room you stay at you'll find that the room are well equipped with a number of amenities at our disposal.

View from our room

Food & Dining:



New Furano Prince has a total of 4 restaurants to choose from, and you can find both Japanese, Western and Chinese cuisine served here. For our stay we mainly used the main banquet hall as we had breakfast buffet served in the banquet hall included in our stay. We also came here for dinner once, and got to enjoy a wide variety of dishes at their dinner buffet. The selection was quite nice, which you can see from some of my pictures below.
A paradise for those who like crab.. Picture from the dinner buffet
Dinner example
Dessert example
Breakfast example
Local milk and yogurt for breakfast
For those of you who prefer dining out you can take a taxi to the city center of Furano for around 1500 yen. There are some restaurants in the area that serve local dishes as well (we dined out once at a restaurant called Kumagera - くまげら, a nice dining experience and definitely better for the wallet than a buffet dinner at Prince, haha..), so this might be a good alternative to the hotel as most restaurants there can be slightly pricy.


Hot Spring - Onsen

Credit: Agoda
After a long day of skiing and snow there is nothing like soaking in the hot spring. New Furano Prince has separate hot spring baths for men and women (as is normal in Japan), with both a regular hot spring bath, an outdoor rotenburo (露天風呂) bath and a sauna. Onsen manners are well explained in English through posters inside the locker area, so even if you don't have a lot of experience using the onsen you should be fine.

On the way to the hot spring you can also find a relaxation room if you just want to take a break just sitting in a comfortable chair looking out on the falling snow.


Surroundings:

The Shin Furano Prince is surrounded by nature, and right south from the main building you can find an area with small boutique cabins in the woods called the Ninguru Terrace (ニングルテラス, also referred to as the Ningle Terrace).
Prince Hotel seen from the Ninguru Terrace
The Ninguru Terrace
They are selling and exhibiting local handicrafts in the small artisan cottages spread out in the forest area, and visitors are free to go into the cottages to take a closer look.
One of the artists making small wooden statues
This little village of artisan huts is very cozy to visit even after dusk. You can also find a cafe close by the Ninguru Terrace in the middle of the woods if you keep following the path into the forest. The cafe is called Mori no Tokei (森の時計), or the "clock of the forest". Situated amongst all the trees it is a peaceful place to enjoy a warm cup of coffee.
Mori no Tokei
Inside the Mori no Tokei cafe
There is also a little bar in the woods called Soh's bar for those who prefer alcoholic beverages over coffee. Unfortunately the bar is targeting smokers, so if you want to avoid smelling like an ashtray after the night is over it would probably be better to take a trip to the city center of Furano. Soh's bar is even promoted in the hotel's brochures as a bar "for miserable smokers", which to be honest didn't appeal to us all that well (wonder if this was an example of a bad translation on their side or simply an attempt to be funny.. Hmm..). It is supposed to be a very cozy bar though, so for those who don't mind the smell it might be worth a visit (opens after 7 pm).
Ski rental inside the Prince Hotel
All in all you can never go wrong with Prince, so if you're looking for a safe choice when it comes to a place to stay in Furano you would be wise to choose this hotel. This is especially the case if you're planning on going skiing; as mentioned the resort is situated right by the Furano Ski Resort. There is however one more Prince Hotel next to the Furano Ski Resort known as the Furano Prince (富良野プリンス), so the only thing you should be careful about is not getting them mixed up.!


Basic Info

Name of Hotel: New Furano Prince Hotel (新富良野プリンスホテル)
Star Rating: ★★★★
Map
Location 6 km from Furano Station
Check in: Check In From 3PM
Check Out Until 12PM




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About Me

The Cosmopolitan Expat:
The classical story about a girl who went for a one-year exchange program to Japan, fell in love and got stuck there. Starting out as a student in Kyoto in 2010 I now work full-time in Tokyo as a hotel consultant, and write mostly about my travels, working life in Japan as well as a bunch of random stuff. Stricken by 職業病 I also write about hotels and share updates about new opening hotels and/or time sales in the Kanto region.

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