Ski in/out and stroll about The Maples Niseko

When it comes to accommodation in Niseko, having direct ski in/ski out access is quite simply the Holy Grail.

Nothing beats having direct access to the slopes – and if you’re treated to sublime hospitality, fabulous views and situated right in the heart of the village at the same time, all the better. Eager to soak up some of that Japarch magic, our team lived the slopeside dream at The Maples Niseko.

“We couldn’t wait to check into our new slopeside home.”

Introducing The Maples Niseko

The Maples Niseko is a sophisticated condominium hotel ideally situated right by the slopes in Hirafu – but more on that prime ski in/ski out access later. Checking in is a seamless process and every time we swing by the reception, we are greeted by endlessly welcoming and professional staff. The lobby also has a concierge desk to look after all your slopeside needs and a well-styled ski shop for picking up some fashion forward apparel.

The Maples Niseko houses 73 apartment style units built over six floors, ranging from studios to lavish four-bedroom penthouses. We couldn’t wait to check into our new slopeside home.

Rooms with a View

Located on the fifth floor, our three-bedroom ski side apartment offers some real wow factor. The obvious standout feature is the view – it’s one you really have to tear yourself away from. The apartment looks out to the Ace family run through full-wall windows, giving us front row seats to all the slopeside action. When booking scenic accommodation in Niseko, most people look for Mount Yotei views (which The Maples Niseko also offers), but if you ask us, nothing beats the thrill of looking over the ski hill.

The apartment’s well thought out design complements the views perfectly. Both the furniture and colour palette are sleek, subtle and sophisticated, providing the perfect backdrop for those slopeside vistas.

Our spacious apartment has everything you need for a comfortable stay in Niseko, including a fully-equipped kitchen and huge TVs with Netflix. But really, any screen you bring into this apartment has some serious competition in the views. We loved cosying up on the tatami cushions laid out on the wide windowsills with a steaming cup of cocoa in hand, watching skiers and snowboarders gliding down the ski hill.

Ski, Eat, Pilates, Repeat

Though there’s much to love about this slopeside standout, one of the biggest selling points of The Maples Niseko is that coveted ski in/ski out access. The hotel is built right by the Ace Family Lift, with a broad ski ramp allowing for the smoothest access possible. You can ski right down to the lifts to get further up on the mountain, making this one of the best (if not the best) ski in/ski out locations in Hirafu. Naturally, the exclusive residents’ ski room comes with numbered ski lockers and direct access to the ski hill.

Shredding the mountain all day has a way of leaving you famished, so having a restaurant right by the slopeside entrance is a stroke of genius. Overlooking the ski run, Roketto is a relaxed restaurant serving steaming bowls of laksa and ramen – just the hearty kind of comfort food we all crave after a day in the snow. Bringing some added culinary star power to Hirafu (as if this Michelin starred village needed any), the restaurant is headed by Willin Low, the celebrated chef behind Singapore’s late, great Wild Rocket restaurant.

While the world-class cuisine and direct access to some of the best skiing on the planet would be more than enough to wow us, The Maples Niseko also has a unique ace hidden up its sleeve. Located on the hotel’s ground floor, Focus Physio offers Pilates, physiotherapy and sports massages for skiers, snowboarders and those of us who are in town to simply soak up the ambiance. We were lucky enough to try out a Pilates class and left feeling refreshed (not to mention about three inches taller). Focus Physio also offers Pilates classes specifically designed to warm you up before hitting the slopes and to help minimise injuries.

Location, Location, Location

With all these bases covered, The Maples Niseko feels like a microcosm in and of itself. But there is so much to explore beyond the hotel walls, too, and we loved staying in such a central location. The Maples Niseko enjoys a pride of place along the main street of Hirafu Zaka in the Upper Village, just a hop and a skip from the Welcome Centre which works as most travellers’ first entry point into Hirafu. There is a shuttle bus stop just a few easy steps from the hotel’s entrance – though you might have little use for it. As we were delighted to discover, you’ll find many of Hirafu’s most wanted right down the street from The Maples Niseko.

“As we were delighted to discover, you’ll find many of Hirafu’s most wanted right down the street from The Maples Niseko.”

Right across the street, the Hirafu 188 building has a convenience store offering all the essentials – including a respectable selection of wine and sake – with supermarket pricing. A little further down the street, Rhythm Japan is arguably the best rated ski shop in town. Right next door, the Odin Place complex houses a handful of trendy ski shops and well-rated restaurants – head to The Alpinist for fondue and crepes, followed by a craft Hokkaido beer at Niseko Taproom. You’ll find all this and more within 300 metres from The Maples Niseko – Hirafu really is your oyster!

Final verdict

The Maples Niseko offers one of the most seductive stays in Niseko. The ski in/ski out access is obviously a huge selling point, but we loved every aspect of our stay here. We could have spent days on end snuggled up in our luxe pad, watching the world ski by. Add to that a team of five star staff, an indulgent Pilates session or two and you’ve got yourself a winner.

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