Niseko was coined the St. Moritz of the Orient by insiders in the 1960s, but the area still remained seriously under the radar until the 90s. Now 2014 Niseko is the place to be this coming season. Think Champagne powder, night skiing and snow rafting, or maybe a reindeer sledge followed by a dip in the hot springs. Niseko is a hive of activity and one of my top destinations for this season.
You may be pleasantly surprised by the quality of accommodation, Niseko features large family chalets and chic penthouse suites. Below are a pick of my favourites, all of which, are up for awards at the World Ski Awards 2014 where the results will be announced in Austria at the end of November.
This is one of Niseko’s most stylishly appointed five bedroom luxury chalets, situated in Niseko-Hirafu village. With sweeping views of Mt Yotei, it is surrounded by a creek and an untouched natural environment but is still only minutes away from one of Niseko’s favourite onsen bathhouses. The Glasshouse is the most exceptional five bedroom designer home in Niseko. Outside are various terraces to enjoy the views from, as well as a hot tub. For your convenience, there is a quick-dry, secure boot room. Private concierge is dedicated to the Glasshouse guests. Consider your concierge your personal tour guide to the Hirafu area.
The magnificent apartment building of Suiboku has an ultra-modern industrial look, blended with a traditional Japanese character, and all the comforts and luxuries you could wish for. It is superbly located in the upper part of Hirafu village, neighbouring the ACE family pair-chairlift, with all the best local eateries, bars and shops within a few minutes walk away. There are ten lofts, spread over six floors, each one a luxury rental apartment on its own, all with full views of Mount Yotei. In each private apartment, you will experience the pleasures of authentic Japanese mushiro straw-mat rugs, down futons, granite ofuro baths, nara wood floors and bamboo screens. All the lofts have balconies and terraces varying in size and with astonishing views.
The two-level luxury apartment has a contemporary design with concrete as the main theme and it is an ideal choice for families and groups of friends.The large picture windows let in vast amounts of natural light, and fashionable furnishings make sure that guests are warm and comfortable. The large open plan living, dining and kitchen area allows you to entertain friends stylishly. The balcony on the second floor and the relaxing outdoor Jacuzzi offer amazing views over Mt. Yotei and the snowy backdrop.
The luxury apartment in this boutique block embodies one of the best and superbly appointed resort homes in the Niseko Hirafu area, only a short walk to the ski lifts and high-level eateries. From the apartment you have panoramic views of Niseko’s renowned powder snow. Designed over two levels and with a floor area of 225 sq m, this remarkable private rental apartment sleeps eight to nine guests in three double bedrooms and a studio. The interior design combines Japanese and European culture and the living area on the ground floor and dining area on the first floor are delightfully spacious with designer furniture. One of the highlights of Sekka Kan is the private outdoor balcony with jet bath with views over the forest.
Holly McQueen is Sales Manager for Indigo Lodges.
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