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Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendations - Bumble Bee Mum

I’ve often been asked for recommendations for Hokkaido accommodation.  And as with what I always do when I get asked the same question repeatedly – I write a (too) long post about it.

In this post, I am going to share my personal recommendations for accommodation in the various areas of Hokkaido.  I have not stayed in ALL the hotels in Hokkaido before, so I cannot guarantee my recommendations are the best.  Some of the recommendations are based on my personal experiences, some are based on reader feedback, some merely based on location.

New Chitose Airport Hotel Recommendation

Air Terminal Hotel

If you have an early morning flight out of New Chitose Airport, the first thing I recommend you do once you secure your air tickets is to book a night at Air Terminal Hotel for your last night.  Air Terminal Hotel is directly connected to New Chitose Airport, and we almost always spend our last night here for our Hokkaido trips. Staying at Air Terminal Hotel gives you free access to the onsen at New Chitose Airport and free breakfast.

> Visit Air Terminal Hotel’s Website

Sapporo Hotel Recommendation

Mercure Hotel Sapporo

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Mercure Hotel Sapporo

In Sapporo, most of you who have read my travel blog would know my default hotel choice is Mercure Hotel Sapporo.

> Click here for my review of Mercure Hotel Sapporo

Mercure Hotel Sapporo is located in the Susukino district which I personally find more ‘happening’ compared to the Sapporo station district.  HOWEVER, if you are using the train a lot and/or travelling in winter via public transport, Mercure may not be for you and it may be a better idea to stay in the Sapporo station district.

> Visit Mercure Sapporo’s Website

JR Inn Sapporo

Dragging your luggage through snowy pavements with kids in tow is NOT a good way to start your vacation.  So particularly if you are travelling to Sapporo in winter and planning to use the public transport, I highly recommend you find a hotel that is connected to Sapporo station.

When I want to find a hotel near a JR train station and with that as my only consideration, I almost always go straight for JR Inn.  JR Inn is a hotel chain ran by the rail company JR, and hence they have the advantage of being located very close to the JR stations.  I recommend JR Inn Sapporo because on their website, it says “About 4 min. walk from JR Sapporo Station West Gates. Accessibility without being drenched with rain.”  Accessibility without being drenched with rain, I assume, would mean without having to go into the snow in winter?

> Visit JR Inn Sapporo’s Website

JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo

JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo is right above Sapporo station.  Which means you can get to the hotel without having to step out of the station at all.  So as far as accessibility from Sapporo station is concerned, JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo is unbeatable. However, it is not cheap.

> Visit JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo’s Website

Niseko Hotel Recommendation

Hotel Alpen Niseko

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Hotel Alpen Niseko

If you are planning on skiing at Grand Hirafu, Hotel Alpen Niseko’s location – right smack at Grand Hirafu Base – is pretty unbeatable.   However due to its prime location, you can expect prime pricing during ski season.  You can probably get a nicer room elsewhere in Hirafu for the same price, but if location and convenience (for the sole purpose of skiing) is of utmost important to you, you can try Hotel Alpen Niseko.

> Visit Hotel Alpen Niseko’s Website

Hilton Niseko Village

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Hilton Niseko Village

Hilton Niseko Village is very kids-friendly.  They have a small indoor kids playroom in the lobby.  Their beginners ski area has a travellator to get you up the ski slope and they have excellent ski programme for children.  The only thing I didn’t like about Hilton Niseko Village was that it was too touristy.  But then again, the whole of Niseko is touristy.  And I prefer the food options at Hirafu compared to Niseko Village.  But Hilton Niseko Village does provide free shuttle to Hirafu, so you can always catch the shuttle bus out for dinner.

Oh, there is one other thing that I do not like about Hilton Niseko Village: the lack of a coin laundry.

> Visit Hilton Niseko Village’s Website

Niseko Northern Resort Annupuri

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Niseko Northern Resort Annupuri

If you are in Niseko outside ski season and looking for an affordable resort just to spend a night, you can try Niseko Northern Resort Annupuri.  We stayed here in June 2016 and I felt it was very value for money.  The room was very spacious and comfortable and the buffet breakfast was not bad. You probably need to have a rental car if you stay here though because of the resort’s rather remote location.

> Visit Niseko Northern Resort Annupuri’s Website

Lake Toya Hotel Recommendation

Toya Sunpalace

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Toya Sunpalace

When you travel with kids, staying in a hotel with big slides in their pool can’t be wrong.  Toya Sunpalace may be somewhat dated, but its facilities such as big pools with slides and free floats, plus availability of laundry (which is typically hard to find in onsen ryokans), make this my choice accommodation at Lake Toya.  If you are not driving, Toya Sunpalace actually provides a free courtesy bus service between Sapporo and the resort.

> Visit Toya Sunpalace’s Website

Lake View Nonokaze

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Lake View Nonokaze
Image Source: Lake View Nonokaze

If you are looking for something more modern and luxurious along Lake Toya, Lake View Nonokaze is probably the most reputable ryokan in the region.  One great thing about Lake View Nonokaze is that they have private onsen for rent – for those who would like to try onsen but too shy to enter a public bath.  Lake View Nonokaze also provides free shuttle service between Sapporo and the resort.

> Visit Lake View Nonokaze’s Website

Noboribetsu Hotel Recommendation

Hotel Mahoroba

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Hotel Mahoroba Noboribetsu

Hotel Mahoroba is the only ryokan I have stayed in at Noboribetsu.  But I enjoyed my stay there so much, I don’t think I would go anywhere else.  They had a slide in the onsen, a pretty up-to-date arcade and the dinner was great.  If you are not driving, they provide shuttle service from Sapporo to the resort (currently priced at 500yen per pax per way).

> Visit Hotel Mahoroba’s Website

Otaru Hotel Recommendation

Hotel Vibrant Otaru

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Hotel Vibrant Otaru
Image Source: Hotel Vibrant Otaru

Hotel Vibrant Otaru may have very small and dated rooms, but its location is great for sightseeing in Otaru – conveniently located between Otaru Canal and Sakaimachi.  The hotel itself is a landmark in Otaru, being housed in a 1920s brick building that Otaru is famous for. Complimentary breakfast is provided at the hotel.

> Visit Hotel Vibrant Otaru’s Website

Hakodate Hotel Recommendation

Hakodate Kokusai Hotel

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Hakodate Kokusai Hotel

I chose Hakodate Kokusai Hotel when we were in Hakodate in June 2014 because it was in the middle of Hakodate Morning Market and Red Brick Warehouse district – allowing us to get to both places within a short walk.  The room was super spacious for Japan’s standard, albeit somewhat dated.

> Click here to visit Hakodate Kokusai Hotel’s Website

La Vista Hakodate Bay

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - La Vista Hakodate Bay
Image Source: La Vista Hakodate Bay

For the same reason I recommend Hakodate Kokusai Hotel, I would also consider La Vista Hakodate Bay which has the same advantage of being right in between Hakodate Morning Market and Red Brick Warehouse district.   Based on the photos on their website, La Vista Hakodate Bay looks more modern and luxurious than Hakodate Kokusai Hotel.  But since it’s location that I’m after, between the two, I would book whichever is cheaper.  Hakodate Kokusai Hotel is usually cheaper.

However if you need an onsen, it is also worthy to mention that La Vista Hakodate Bay has an onsen while Hakodate Kokusai Hotel doesn’t.  So maybe you wouldn’t mind paying a bit more for the onsen and a more modern room.

> Click here to visit La Vista Hakodate Bay’s Website

Route Inn Grantia Hakodate Ekimae

If being close to the JR station is important to you, then look no further.  Route Inn Grantia Hakodate Ekimae is right smack outside JR Hakodate station.

> Visit Route Inn Grantia Hakodate Ekimae’s Website

Asahikawa Hotel Recommendation

JR Inn Asahikawa

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - JR Inn AsahikawaImage Source: JR Inn Asahikawa

Frankly, I have no special preference for any hotels in Asahikawa.  I always go for the cheapest I can find on hotel booking sites. Jr Inn Asahikawa was actually recommended to me by a reader. Being part of the JR Inn chain, it has the advantage of being directed connected to JR Asahikawa station.  Hence, I would go for this if I am arriving in Asahikawa by train, especially in winter.

> Visit JR Inn Asahikawa’s Website

Furano Hotel Recommendation

New Furano Prince Hotel

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - New Furano Prince Hotel

If it is within my budget and if I am driving, I would go for New Furano Prince Hotel when I am in Furano.  New Furano Prince Hotel is a destination in itself – when I first visited Furano and was not staying there, we specially drove there to visit Ningle Terrace.  The price for a room at New Furano Prince Hotel fluctuates like crazy though.  When I saw a twin room going for about SGD150, I quickly booked it for my June 2016 trip.  But in the peak of summer, it can easily cost more than SGD400 – which I don’t think is worth it anymore.

> Visit New Furano Prince Hotel’s Website

Furano Natulux Hotel

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Furano Natulux HotelImage Source: Furano Natulux Hotel

Furano Natulux Hotel is the default hotel choice for travellers who want to be near JR Furano station.  One of the advantage of staying near JR Furano station, on top of easy access to the station if you are using public transport, is that there are better dining options compared to staying at, say, New Furano Prince Hotel.  Some of my favourite restaurants in Hokkaido such as Kumagera and Yuigadokuson are within walking distance from Furano Natulux Hotel.

> Visit Furano Natulux Hotel’s Website

Furano La Terre

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Furano La Terre

If you are driving and looking for a place to base yourself to visit BOTH Furano and Biei, I like Furano La Terre’s location.  Furano La Terre is located in between Furano and Biei and right along Route 237.  This means you can get to either Furano or Biei pretty quickly with your rental car.  I have never stayed here before so I don’t know if their onsen is as fab as it looks, but I would stay here based on location.

> Visit Furano La Terre’s Website

Tomamu Hotel Recommendation

Hoshino Resort Tomamu

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Hoshino Resort Tomamu

If you want to visit Tomamu, be it in summer for Unkai Terrace or winter for skiing and Ice Village, you really don’t have much choice when it comes to accommodation.  Hoshino Resort Tomamu kind of monopolises the region, unless you want to stay in a pension a short drive away, or the condominium I will mention later.  I have stayed here twice in June 2014 and December 2014, and I love their onsen and breakfast and just about everything else like free diapers in the lobby (no kidding).  It is one of my favourite resorts in the whole of Hokkaido.  I would recommend anyone who wishes to spend a night at Tomamu to stay here – if your budget allows it.

> Visit Hoshino Resorts Tomamu’s Website

Condominium in Resorts Tomamu

If you are travelling in a family or group of more than 4 people and hence are required to book more than one room at Hoshino Resort Tomamu, chances are the resort would be out of your budget.  This condominium is probably Tomamu‘s most well-kept secret, and I have to thank a reader for telling me about it.  The condominium is actually located at the resort, which means you can walk to the ski grounds or Ice Village.  It works out to be much cheaper for large groups.  Just that you don’t get all the frills like wave pool & onsen access and breakfast that comes with a stay at Hoshino Resort Tomamu.

> Click here to visit Condominium in Resorts Tomamu on AirBnb

Obihiro Hotel Recommendation

Richmond Hotel Obihiro

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Richmond Hotel Obihiro

Just as Mercure Hotel Sapporo is my default hotel choice in Sapporo, Richmond Hotel Obihiro is my default hotel choice in Obihiro.  Rooms are spacious, modern, reasonably price and it is located right opposite JR Obihiro Station.  Can’t ask for more.

> Visit Richmond Hotel Obihiro’s Website

Lake Akan Hotel Recommendation

Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga

As far as onsen ryokans in Hokkaido are concerned, Tsuruga Group Hotels is a big name. If your budget allows it, Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga is THE place to be when visiting Lake Akan.  Walking into the lobby of Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga, you will be greeted by kimono-clad ladies and wood carvings by the local master wood carver.  Around the lobby, you will find complimentary soup given out to guests to warm themselves up.  You can even make your own onsen eggs and touch a marimo at the lobby too. The onsen here boasts 33 different baths – it’s no wonder many locals flock to this prestigious hotel at Lake Akan for their getaways.

> Visit Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga’s Website

Hanayuuka

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Lake Akan Hanayuuka

Okay, so you may not have the budget to stay in Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga.  At least I didn’t have the budget for it when we were visiting Lake Akan in our December 2014 trip. But here’s the budget-friendly trick to enjoy the amenities there without having to pay a premium.  Stay at Hanayuuka, also under the Tsuruga Group Hotels, located further down the road.  They provide free shuttle bus over to Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga and guests of Hanayuuka are free to use the facilities there.

> Visit Hanayuuka’s Website

Shiretoko Hotel Recommendations

Shiretoko Prince Hotel Kazanamiki

Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendation - Shiretoko Prince Hotel Kazanamiki
Image Source: Shiretoko Prince Hotel Kazanamiki

I have only stayed in Shiretoko once back in March 2010, and the ryokan I stayed in then has since closed down.  But if I had to choose a ryokan at Shiretoko today, I would go for Shiretoko Prince Hotel Kazanamiki.  Because of the facilities they have for kids. 😀

> Visit Shiretoko Prince Hotel Kazanamiki’s Website

Did we miss out something?

Do you have other hotels in Hokkaido to recommend?  
Feel free to share with us in the comments below!
We would be happy to know what other great hotels there are in Hokkaido. :)

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Hokkaido Family Accommodation Recommendations - Bumble Bee Mum

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Supposed to be a stay-home mom, but hates staying home. Definition of parenting is bringing the boys out for 'experiential learning' in Singapore, Japan and wherever else in the world her husband can afford to pay for.

21Comments

  1. Esther says:

    wow .. my dear, you are definately my life saver. Am cracking head checking on the accommodation and here you go with the list … thank you so much for your effort.

  2. WAH! Envy! I saw your post on airfare and straight away messaged my husband but he says next year we should go NZ since the yen is not so favourable (and we are going to Osaka in Nov anyway). Sigh, can’t wait till we’re back in Hokkaido! I’ll definitely refer to your list for help when we do =)

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Your husband thinks just like mine – travel based on exchange rate! Haha.. NZ is super shiok lah. NZ has better scenery than Hokkaido imo! Though Hokkaido has better food.. haha… Look forward to reading about your NZ adventures.

  3. claire says:

    Hello, bbm, I love your blog,could I ask for some advice regarding booking online, specifically booking. com? I normally book through agoda but this hotel that I’m looking at, Toyoko Inn in Sapporo, the one next to the crabs, for some reason doesn’t appear on agoda’s site, but does appear on booking. com. When I book through agoda, I pay everything upfront before I leave for Japan, so it’s really easy. I went to the booking. com site and I understand it’s a reservation, as in we pay when we check out of the hotel in Hokkaido? I’ve never booked on booking.com before, so am a bit paranoid something will go wrong with my reservations later. I read an earlier blog of yours where you mentioned that you made reservations before through booking. com. Could you please advise me? Thank you very much.

    • bumblebeemum says:

      For Booking.com, it depends on the hotel’s booking policy. Some hotels require you to pay in advance – which booking.com will charge to your credit card and pay to the hotel. Some hotels require you to pay direct to them – so booking.com helps you to secure your booking with the hotel, but you will have to pay to the hotel when you check in (or check out – again depends on hotel), either by cash or credit card. It’s pretty common for booking.com to not ask for payment and tell you that you need to pay to the hotel when you are there. They will usually tell you the amount you need to pay in local currency on your booking confirmation. Just print out the booking confirmation and show it to the hotel when you’re there. I don’t think there will be a problem.

      Alternatively, if it is for Toyoko Inn, you can just book directly from Toyoko Inn website. They won’t ask for payment during booking, you will pay them when you are there.
      http://www.toyoko-inn.com/e_hotel/00100/

      • claire says:

        Hi,BBM, thanks so much for replying. I’m replying to your reply late…I am shocked I posted In October and it’s January 2017 now….a brand new year, time flies! I have been busy preparing for my daughter’s wedding, she got married on Xmas Eve, and was a lovely bride…I cried, couldn’t stop the tears. Anyway here I am, back to the real world and Hokkaido. Things have moved pretty fast since then, and Toyoko’s non-smoking twin rooms are all sold out, leaving the non-smoking singles instead. We’re travelling in a group of five, so I am now casting my sights on APA Hotel, which is next to Mercure, I believe. It has twin non-smoking rooms left, so I guess we have to book fast, probably after CNY. Thanks so much again for replying, I wish you and your family all the best, and I look forward to more Hokkaido posts from you. Happy New Year in advance from me.

  4. Ivy says:

    Hi bumblebeemum! Thank you very much for sharing so much information! I have some questions and hoping you can advise me – I’m now scrambling to plan a last minute vacation to Hokkaido during the last 2 weeks of December. I searched the net and many people including you recommended Hoshino resorts Tomamu. It sounds wonderful and seems perfect for our family of 4 with 2 young kids. However, I’ve read recent comments on tripadvisor that the resort had been bought over by a Chinese company (not sure when though) and the resort seems overcrowded by Chinese tour groups. Waiting time at restaurants can be up to an hour long; Chinese tourists are loud and rude; hotel staff (Chinese) are not yet familiar with the massive resort etc. Hence, I’m a bit hesitant about travelling to Tomamu now. can I know your thoughts please? Was it also like this when you visited in 2014? I am looking for a family/kid friendly resort just like hoshino resorts tomamu, but am worried that the above issues would ruin our holiday. Do you have any other recomendations in Hokkaido that’s similar to hoshino? The kids really want to visit an ice village…

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Hmmm… Not sure when this takeover happened. Tomamu has always had large tour groups staying with them – I reckoned it’s how they fill their rooms.

      I usually beat the tour groups when I stay there by arriving early. The tour groups tend to come in the evening close to dinner time, and yes the lobby would get very noisy when they arrive. So I would arrive at about 3 or 4pm and head to the onsen immediately after checking in. At like 4pm, I had the whole onsen to myself when I was there. I remembered when I returned to the lobby after my onsen visit, that was when the tour groups were arriving and the lobby was very noisy and crowded, but I simply retreated to my room.

      As for the Ice Village, iirc it opened at 5pm. We went in the moment they opened – beating the tour groups again. We went for so many rounds of ice slide and tubing before the tour groups even started appearing at the Ice Village – by the time they came, we were done.

      For dinner, we don’t eat at the buffet restaurant and eat at the smaller restaurants located at this cluster of wooden lodges – The people from the tour groups didn’t go there. Not sure where they went come to think of it.

      For breakfast, now that you mention it, I do remember having to wait for breakfast. But the tour groups usually check out of hotels pretty early, so by going a bit later, I think I avoided them as well.

      • Ivy says:

        Wow! Thank you for the wonderful advice, I really appreciate it! So happy to have chanced upon your blog and being able to get in touch with you! Would you also be so kind to comment on my itinerary? We are just there for 7 nights – trying to minimise travelling with 2 young kids (3,5) in tow. Also, it looks like I need to cut down one place – am wondering if I should go to Noboribetsu or Asahiyama zoo? Further, should I even try to fit in Lake Toya, is it worth it?
        Thanks so much for your expert advice!

        Dec 17: arrive Chitose airport@4pm; travel to Sapporo
        Dec 18-19: Sapporo
        Dec 20: Otaru (day trip)
        Dec 21: Noboribetsu OR Asahiyama zoo
        Dec 22-24: Tomamu (2 nights)
        Dec 24: 7pm flight back to HK

        • bumblebeemum says:

          With kids, I would go to Asahiyama Zoo rather than Noboribetsu. If you want to go to Lake Toya without changing hotels, it is possible to do it as a day trip on one of your full days in Sapporo – but you need to drive. If you are not comfortable with the idea of driving in snow, then maybe skip Lake Toya for now.

          • Ivy says:

            Thanks again, bumblebeemum, for the great advice! Appreciate you taking time to reply me!

          • Ivy says:

            Hi bumblebeemum! So sorry to bother you again, I’m now scratching my head over accommodation in Sapporo. Which do you think is the best choice in terms of location – Sapporo Grand, Keio Plaza, or Cross Hotel? Further, is it better to be nearer to the Sapporo station or to the city centre/places of interest? Again, we are a family of 4 with 2 young children travelling in December. Thanks!!

            • bumblebeemum says:

              If you are using the train to get to say Otaru and Asahikawa, then definitely staying near Sapporo station would work better for you. Cross Hotel’s locations looks good – being near Sapporo station but also near Odori (the interchange for Sapporo’s subway lines). You can also walk to Odori Park from Cross Hotel for the winter illumination. I would go for Cross Hotel in terms of location.

  5. edward says:

    hi, if I am travelling to Sapporo during the month of March, which hotel should I choose, Mercure or JR Inn… Thank you very much. We are group of 4 travelling adults with no kids.

  6. Cindy says:

    Hi, I’ll be staying at both Tomamu Tower and Hotel Mahoroba this Dec. Do u know if both hotels have coin operated laundry?

  7. Nancy says:

    Hi Bumblebee Mum,
    Can I ask your expertise regarding hokkaido hotels? I am going to sapporo in April, (holy week days). What hotel can you recommend that is accessible and walking distance to most restaurants? we are 7 and traveling with 2 elderly. Thanks

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