Nest at the Trees: Where You Must Stay in Niseko
After our days of short exploration in Sapporo, it’s finally our time to find better snow and stay at a greater place while in Hokkaido. Niseko has always been on our list since we started receiving newsletters when there was a contest online that we joined in and each letter from Niseko Tourism was just really exciting and in this journey, we will be staying at Nest at the Trees.
Of course, we searched Nest at the Trees online to see what we can find and what is in there and by that notion, we got more excited. It’s our first time to see snow and to be surrounded by lots of it feels like heaven, you know, first-timers, lol. So searching for them really made our trip more exciting.
Getting to Nest at the Trees
From Sapporo, we boarded the train from Sapporo Station to Kutchan at 10:13 am. This is what’s really great about Japan. The train times and tables are always so accurate that if you missed a schedule, it’s only because of your fault, not the traffic, not the other people.
It says on the schedule that we will be arriving at around 12:15 to Kutchan station and we also have to transfer trains from Otaru Station. Kutchan Station is where Nest at the Trees will be picking us up. We arrived in Otaru Station at around 11:30-ish in the morning and transferred to Hakodate Line bound to Kutchan station.
After going off at Kutchan station, we got so excited and started taking photos of the station and the area. We are already seeing Mt. Yotei and Mt. Hirafu from the view at the station. It was so cold but the feeling was exciting. Here, we will be picked up by the Nest at the Trees team. After a few minutes and chats with Acme of the Niseko Tourism, we found Nest at the Trees van and the driver, Yama, started waving at us, the guests of their hotel.
Before heading to Nest at the Trees hotel, Yama, who is really good at his job, took us on a short tour of the village, what to see, and where to go. He even took us to the foot of the Grand Hirafu, a mountain that is home to the best skiing places in the world. He also gave us time to take a look around the area. It was really awesome seeing Mt. Yotei in full form and clear skies, that Yama even said, “Mt. Yotei is the Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido.” which holds to be true.
Nest at the Trees: The Experience and Review
After our short tour at the foot of Grand Hirafu courtesy of Yama, we were escorted to our hotel where we will stay while in Niseko, Nest at The Trees. It is a hotel situated at the main road between Hirafu and Niseko Village, and only about five (5) minutes drive from Grand Hirafu and fifteen minutes drive from Kutchan Station.
Our check-in experience was quick, didn’t take long. The front desk officers are great and they speak really good English so we didn’t have any problems with communication. They asked for a copy of our passport, gave us our keycards, and that’s it. We were then escorted to our room, a One (1) Bedroom apartment.
One Bedroom Apartment at Nest at The Trees
The apartments in four lodges are connected to one another and ours is located on the third lodge with the trees view. It’s a 37 sqm room, large enough to keep a company of four, and we are only two so there are more spaces for us.
Our apartment is a mix of Japanese and modern design which makes it classy and homey at the same time. Similar to a Japanese household, we have to remove our shoes upon entering. When you got in and the window blinds are open, I bet you would probably be amazed at the view from the window especially on a winter season or when there’s a good motion of falling snow. It’s just mesmerizing.
We settled our things at the cabinet by the entry and moved to see and how beautiful our room was. It has a nice couch, that transforms into a bed, fronting a 43-inch Smart TV that you can use to binge-watch movies anytime you’d like to. Adjacent to the television is also a work area with a nice lampshade. Underneath the window is a heater to keep the room warm.
The sink area also has a great view of the outside environment and besides that is the in-room toilet and bathroom that has a bathtub with also a nice view of the trees. It’s best to take a bath in the morning or when there’s still sunlight since you will be able to see what’s outside unlike when you take a shower by the night where all you can see is darkness.
What I loved the most was their bathroom amenities, a premium line of bath soap, shampoo, and conditioner. You also get to have a shave and shaving cream; of course, the toothbrush and toothpaste; shower caps; hair brush; vanity kit; sewing kit; and a foam cleanser (that’s really good for the skin).
In front of the toilet and bath, is our bedroom with a king-sized bed which also comes with a stunning view of the trees and the stream. You can even see the spa (onsen) from the window of our bedroom. We can stay here in this apartment all day long, but luckily, our entire stay at Niseko was a fine sunny but windy kind of days.
The entire room has designated heaters which are located in almost every window to help keep the room warm especially in the winter season. There also are two air-conditioners to manage air temperature which Jane really loves as she’s not that good at keeping herself warm during cold days.
There’s also a Nespresso Coffee Machine, which reminded me of our stay in Taiwan, a microwave oven, and the usual kitchen stuff without the knives. Every day, the room is being cleaned unless you put the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign outside your door.
Facilities and Amenities at Nest at The Trees
As a guest of the hotel, you could use the laundry area on the second floor of every lodge. The detergent is also included and you are free to use the machine. We tried it as we have a couple of clothes that need washing and in less than an hour, we’re done and the clothes are completely dry.
Fortunately, there are vending machines in each of the lodges. So if you are willing to spend a few bucks for a drink, it’s definitely worth it!
One thing I liked about Nest at The Trees is that they are open for service to their guests. Once you are checked-in, you can also get to use their shuttle service free of charge. We were able to utilize this service since we are the only guests in the hotel at the time.
Japanese Hot Spring Baths
The last time I was able to experience an outdoor onsen during winter was our time in Kinosaki Onsen. Here at Nest at The Trees, I was able to experience it again but this time with snow grounds and snow falling. Oh, how exciting this was! I was also able to take some photos because we are the only people checked-in at the time. They have an indoor hot spring and an outdoor hot spring. When we stayed there, the indoor hot spring pool was under maintenance.
The spa (onsen) for men and women are separate but I vote that the best views are located in the men’s area. There also are soaps and shaver plus shaving cream in the room and lockers that are free to use. You will also be able to use hair dryers if you want to.
We totally loved the outdoor bath overlooking the trees and the stream covered in snow. It was a unique experience. It’s usually experienced over commercial hot springs but here at the Nest at The Trees, they have their own source of natural hot spring water. How cool is that! It’s just really better to do onsen when it’s cold so you would have a more relaxed and relieved feeling than having an onsen during the summer where it’s also hot after the dip.
The onsen is open at different times and you can see the schedules just outside the room before you go in. If you want to know more about how to use or what to do when in a Japanese Hot Spring, just follow this link.
Black Wood Grill
Black Wood Grill is an in-house restaurant located in the front area of the hotel. The primary focus of the restaurant is to cook using firewood and also through techniques of smoking to infuse flavors of traditional cooking.
We had our breakfast here at Black Wood Grill and I must say that the food is absolutely sumptuous. There are not many choices for breakfast but that also means good because you won’t have a hard time picking what would you want to eat. We always had the omelet since there’s something to its cooking. The egg is paired with other more food so it’s really tasty and it adds flavor to the dish.
Imagine sipping a cup of coffee with the overlooking the beauty of the snowfields and Mt. Yotei in the background, all you can say is that it’ll be a good day.
We stayed in Nest at The Trees for three (3) days and we regret staying too short. The kind of service that we experienced was truly outstanding and we don’t wanna leave. We should have stayed a bit longer as we really wanted to experience the snow, especially that we are almost a few minutes away only from Grand Hirafu.
Grand Hirafu is where we really enjoyed the powdery snow. It was really awesome and it was a different feeling of happiness to be stepping into snow that’s more powdery and fluffy. The experience was surreal and all thanks to Niseko Tourism, Nest at The Trees, and Hanazono Niseko for all that.
Other things to Do in Niseko
While in Niseko, of course, you don’t wanna miss the powdery white snow that Niseko is known for. It’s hailed as one of the places with the best snow qualities in the world. You also don’t want to miss the snowsports like skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing, snowboarding, and whole other more snow activities. We get to experience those as well with Hanazono Niseko.
You can read our snow activities, skiing and snow tubing, on another post and how our experience went. It all happened on our second day of stay at Nest at The Trees.
For updates and best experience while in Niseko, we highly recommend that you download the Niseko App so you can get the latest guides and makes the best times in Niseko. Make sure to also check out Niseko Tourism website and social media channels for on-going promotions, weather updates, and everything you need to know about Niseko.
| NEST AT THE TREES
Tel: +81 (0) 136-55-6688
41-5 Aza Kabayama