Review: Hilton Niseko Village | Prince of Travel

After deciding on Niseko as the destination for our ski trip to Japan, my friends and I went through the process of selecting a place to stay. As a heavily trafficked destination, there is certainly no shortage of places to stay in the area, which range from shoestring lodging to five-star hotels.

Wanting to make use of my newfound Hilton Honors Gold status, we wound up settling on the Hilton Niseko Village for our stay. While it didn’t appear to be the most aspirational hotel in the area, we wanted to find a property that had a good balance of location, cost, and facilities.

As it turns out, we got exactly what we were looking for.

Hilton Niseko Village – Booking

In the months leading up to the trip, I was busy scouring the various properties available in Niseko. There was certainly a wide range of choices to pick from, and having never been to this part of Japan before, we weren’t too familiar with the different areas around the ski hills.

When it came time to choose a hotel, we opted for the Hilton Niseko Village after seeing that it had direct gondola access from right outside the hotel. 

Cash rates at this property vary greatly depending on the season. Rates are as low as ¥12,000 ($120 CAD) outside of the busy ski season, and as high as ¥75,000 ($750 CAD) or more during major holidays. 

During the busy ski months in from December–February, expect to pay an average of around ¥35,000 ($350 CAD) per night, which is what we wound up paying for our stay. 

If you’re booking with Hilton Honors points, expect to pay around 40,000 points in the low season, up to 260,000 points during holidays, and around 170,000 points per night during the ski season.

When pitted against our valuation of Hilton Honors points at 0.5 cents per point (CAD), there isn’t really a strong argument to be made for a redemption here. 

Since we were splitting the cost of our stay between three people, we ultimately decided that paying cash and earning points through a promotion was the best bet. 

It’s worth noting that for our first night in the area, the hotel was sold out, so we just booked a room at a hostel nearby. Our room there priced out at around the same as our room at the Hilton Niseko Village, which goes to show that accommodation is going to likely be your biggest expense when planning a ski trip to Niseko.

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Hilton Niseko Village – Location

The Hilton Niseko Village is located at the base of Niseko Village Ski Resort, one of four hills in the area.

One of the main draws at staying at the Hilton Niseko Village is its ski-in ski-out location. The Niseko Village Ski Area gondola departs from just outside of the hotel’s entrance, which is very convenient for guests.

There are a total of four ski hills accessible in the Niseko area: Annupuri, Niseko Village, Grand Hirafu, and Hanazono. If you take a chairlift to the top of the mountain, you can access any of the four resorts quite easily.

Depending on weather, various lifts close at different parts of the day. You’ll want to be mindful of the closing times, as you won’t be able to access different areas of the mountain once they’re closed.

However, don’t fret if you miss a lift, as there is a free shuttle that runs to all major hotels in the area from the base of each mountain. 

There isn’t a lot going on in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, aside from a small area with shops, restaurants, and a café. 

Hirafu has the most options for food and drink in the area. Simply hop on the free shuttle bus from the Hilton Niseko Village, and you’ll be dropped off in Hirafu around 15 minutes later. 

Taxis are notoriously difficult to hail, so make sure you pay attention to the schedule for the free shuttle bus. 

As for accessing the area, you can take direct buses from Sapporo Chitose Airport (CTS), which take around three hours. Alternatively, there are buses or a train that run from Sapporo.

These can either be booked online in advance, or if you’re like us, you can show up at the airport and book it upon arrival. 

Hilton Niseko Village – Check-in

We actually arrived in the area the night before we checked in; however, the Hilton Niseko Village happened to be sold out, so we just stayed elsewhere and took a taxi over in the morning.

The Hilton Niseko Village certainly has an interesting look to it. It’s also referred to as “Dr. Evil’s Lair” or a spy bunker from times past, and for good reason.

Hilton Niseko Village – Exterior
Hilton Niseko Village – Exterior
Hilton Niseko Village – Exterior

The main entrance to the hotel is located at the end of the inbound road in a large parking lot.

Hilton Niseko Village – Entrance

Upon entering, you’re met by a grand, open space with tall ceilings and the lounge bar directly in front. Outside of the bar area, you’ll find a number of couches set up in the lobby lounge.

Hilton Niseko Village – Lobby lounge

We arrived quite early in the day, as many guests were checking out. Our plan was to hit the slopes right away, so we approached the check-in desk with that in mind.

Hilton Niseko Village – Check-in desks

The staff at the Hilton Niseko Village were great, and very helpful throughout. They acknowledged my Hilton Gold status and told me about the various inclusions at the hotel, including breakfast. 

The hotel was very busy during our stay, and my feeble attempts at “suite-talking” with a mid-tier status were promptly, but politely, rejected.

For what it’s worth, I paid for the stay using my HSBC World Elite Mastercard, since it comes with no foreign transaction fees

We were directed to the concierge desk to drop off our luggage, which was then brought to our room once it was ready. Shortly after we arrived at the hotel, we were already heading to the hill, which was great.

It had snowed quite a bit overnight, so we were very eager to get on the hill and see what Japow was all about.

Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room

After an incredible first day on the hill, we returned to the hotel in the late afternoon to complete check-in. Our keys were ready, and we headed up to the room.

Hilton Niseko Village – Elevators

We weren’t expecting to be blown away by the room, since it was really serving as a base for us to explore the area. 

Immediately upon entering the room, there is a small foyer with a sink. Next to it was the room’s closet, which was already stocked with an extra bathrobe for our party of three.

Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room foyer
Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room foyer sink

The main part of the room was quite crowded. We selected this room type since it came with three beds already, which is great for families or small groups of friends.

Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room bedroom
Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room bedroom

In between the single bed and the pair of beds was a night table with a delightful old panel that controls lighting, heating, the alarm clock, and radio. 

Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room telephone & room control panel

Directly opposite from the beds is a television, dresser, and luggage rack. There is also a small mini-fridge located under the television.

We quickly got the sense that the hotel hasn’t changed too much since it was built in 2008.

Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room television & luggage rack

Inside one of the drawers were three yukata bathrobes and slippers, which is always a nice aspect of a Japanese hotel stay.

Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room yukata bathrobes & slippers

Next to the television is a large shelf which came with a boilerplate welcome note, as well as chocolates and three bottles of water as a welcome gift.

Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room welcome gifts

In front of the room’s windows, which looked over at the ski hill, were two chairs and a small coffee table. It was nice to look out at the ski hill in the morning to gauge how much snow had fallen overnight.

Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room chairs & coffee table
Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room view

The bathroom in the room was fairly cramped. Inside, there is a Japanese toilet, a small washbasin, and a shower stall with a small bathtub below. 

Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room toilet & bathtub
Hilton Niseko Village – Twin Deluxe Family Room shower

Overall, our room was entirely suitable for a ski trip during which we spent most of our time outside of the room. It certainly wasn’t fancy by any means, but it was comfortable, affordable, and had enough room for all of our luggage and gear.

We also appreciated having a mini-fridge in the room, which was perfect for the après-ski beer and keeping some snacks chilled.

Hilton Niseko Village – Breakfast

Breakfast at the Hilton Niseko Village is served at Melt Bar & Grill, which is located on the second floor of the hotel. It’s served daily from 6:30–10:30am. 

Hilton Niseko Village – Melt entrance

You won’t need to make a reservation here, as there is plenty of space. Try to arrive early and you might score a table with a lovely view of Mount Yotei. 

Hilton Niseko Village – Melt seating
Hilton Niseko Village – Melt seating
Hilton Niseko Village – Melt seating

To be honest, I didn’t necessarily have high hopes for the breakfast here. During our first breakfast, however, our thoughts quickly changed.

Breakfast at the Hilton Niseko Village is remarkable. The buffet area spans the entire length of the restaurant, and there are options aplenty to suit any taste.

At the head of the buffet area is where you’ll find the beverage options, which include coffee, hot cocoa, a selection of teas, juices, and a soft drink machine. The automatic coffee maker can be quite busy in the mornings, and was actually one of the lowlights of the restaurant.

The first section of the buffet offers many Western, Japanese, and Asian hot food choices. Some core items, such as sausages, bacon, and hash browns, were available daily, while other items, such as Hokkaido fried salmon or fried noodles with chicken broth, changed daily. 

The next buffet section was full of cold items. In this area, you can find a nice variety of smoked fish, salads, cold cuts, and cheeses.

Along the back wall of Melt, you’ll find a cooked-to-order eggs station. The chefs here will whip up your order, or alternatively, you can choose from some pre-made options, including a Niseko waffle eggs Benedict.

Hilton Niseko Village – Melt Niseko waffle eggs Benedict

In the middle section of the restaurant, you can find a daily soup such as pho, congee, pastries, Niseko waffles, crepes, rice bowls, and a honeycomb.

If you have a hankering for some cereal, you’ll find some available at the head of the buffet area, alongside some fresh fruit, yogurt, and desserts.

Needless to say, we left each morning well-fuelled and ready to hit the slopes. In terms of quality, I was pleasantly surprised with everything that I had, and I also appreciated the wide variety of items to choose from each day.

Hilton Niseko Village – Breakfast spread
Hilton Niseko Village – Omelette
Hilton Niseko Village – Niseko waffle, crepe, & fresh fruit

It’s worth noting that we weren’t always charged for the third person in our group. Of the five times we had breakfast, we were only dinged for an extra person twice, which made us feel that we weren’t being nickel-and-dimed. 

Hilton Niseko Village – Dining

The Hilton Niseko Village has a few other restaurants available for guests. Aside from dining at the hotel, there aren’t too many options nearby, so you may want to head into Hirafu for some more options (and especially ones at a lower price point).

Melt is also open for lunch between 11:30am and 3pm, and again for dinner from 5:30–10pm.

At the other end of the second floor, you’ll find Ezo Pub.

Hilton Niseko Village – Ezo

This is the hotel’s most casual dining facility, and felt a lot like something you might find at a ski hill back in North America.

Hilton Niseko Village – Ezo seating
Hilton Niseko Village – Ezo seating

We were in need of some quick calories one day, and stopped by for a pizza and a beer. We weren’t really blown away by what we had, but it fit the bill for an easy fix so we could get back to the slopes.

Hilton Niseko Village – Ezo pizza

Adjacent to Ezo is Ren, which offers Japanese cuisine in three separate settings within the restaurant.

Hilton Niseko Village – Ren entrance

We didn’t wind up eating here; however, I noticed that it was often busy. When I popped in to take a look, the staff member suggested that guests should make reservations, as they’re often at capacity.

Inside, you can choose from Pirka, which offers teppanyaki dining; Sisam, which is a Japanese restaurant; and Rera, a sushi bar.

The interior of the restaurant looked nice, and I’d like to give it a shot if I come back to stay here again.

Hilton Niseko Village – Ren seating
Hilton Niseko Village – Ren seating
Hilton Niseko Village – Ren seating

Yotei is another venue at the Hilton Niseko Village. It offers all-you-can-eat shabu shabu, or Japanese hot pot. 

Hilton Niseko Village – Yotei

On the main floor of the hotel is Flame Bar & Lounge. During our stay, there was a live band playing every night, and we popped down to enjoy a drink and chat with other guests.

The fireplace is the centrepiece at Flame, and it’s a great spot to unwind before heading to bed to rest up.

Hilton Niseko Village – Flame seating
Hilton Niseko Village – Flame fireplace
Hilton Niseko Village – Flame bar

Hilton Niseko Village – Other Facilities

The Hilton Niseko Village has a number of other facilities for guests, which are mostly geared towards winter activities.

One of the best features at the hotel is the onsen, or Japanese hot spring. The onsens are located on the ground floor of the hotel, and are open from 5:30am–11pm daily.

Hilton Niseko Village – Onsen entrance

The areas are separate for men and women. Inside, you’ll find a change room, but most people just wear the yukatas from their room and then disrobe once they get to the onsen.

You’re expected to be naked, and bathing suits aren’t allowed.

There are two hot pools, with one inside and one outside, as well as a washing area with shower stalls. The outside pool is quite magical, as it looks out over snowdrifts and another pool. 

I didn’t manage to get a picture during our stay, as the onsen was always occupied when we went by. In my opinion, there’s nothing more satisfying after a long day or skiing, or even just to start the day, than soaking in a pool.

The fitness centre is located on the ground floor of the hotel. It’s open around the clock, and features a modest selection of equipment.

Hilton Niseko Village – Fitness centre
Hilton Niseko Village – Fitness centre
Hilton Niseko Village – Fitness centre

Close to the fitness centre is the ski valet service, which gives you complimentary storage of your skis, snowboards, and boots. It’s open from 8am–7:30pm daily, and it was a great facility to keep the room less cluttered.

Hilton Niseko Village – Ski valet entrance
Hilton Niseko Village – Ski valet

As you exit the ski valet area, you’re only steps from the gondola that brings you up Niseko Village mountain.

Hilton Niseko Village – Gondola access

There is a small convenience store, the Hilton Shop, on the ground floor of the hotel. It’s open daily from 8am–10pm, and has a decent selection of non-perishable food items, drinks, and some cheaper snacks.

Hilton Niseko Village – Hilton Shop

There is a spa, An Spa Niseko, located on the ground floor of the hotel. It didn’t appear to be all that busy; however, I imagine that getting a massage might be a nice treat after a few days of deep powder.

Hilton Niseko Village – An Spa Niseko

Lastly, the shuttle bus that takes you to Hirafu stops just outside of the hotel in the main parking lot. This is also where buses that connect to Sapporo and the airport will pick you up and drop you off.

Hilton Niseko Village – Shuttle bus

We wound up cutting our stay a bit short as one of my friends got injured, but the hotel was very happy to accommodate an early departure without any penalties. 


The Hilton Niseko Village is a good choice for anyone looking for a ski-in, ski-out hotel in the Niseko area. It has a nice amount of facilities available for guests, including an onsen and a ski valet service, which are nice added touches.

The breakfast offering at the hotel is quite strong, and it’s a great way to fuel up for the day. 

While the hotel might be a bit dated, and certainly has an unusual design, it’s a great spot if lapping up some luxury isn’t your primary focus in Niseko. I’d certainly consider returning to the Hilton Niseko Village on my next trip to the area, which is already in the works after experiencing four days of the best powder I’ve ever encountered.

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