HIRAFU’S first five-star condominium-hotel, The Vale Niseko, swung open its doors with its grand opening ceremony earlier this month.
But it wasn’t the opening of just another hotel. The unveiling of The Vale Niseko marks a new age of high standard luxury development in Hirafu and greater Niseko, said Nisade chairman Jonathan Martin.
“We built a condominium that functions as a hotel of the highest standard, and that is a first for Hirafu,” he said.
“I think and hope that The Vale Niseko may be a catalyst for more similar projects to begin in Hirafu and Niseko, because more people are coming to look at the quality we have implemented.”
The Vale Niseko is comprised of 46 apartments, from studios to three-bedroom apartments and luxurious penthouses. Other high-end trimmings include a heated pool, private or shared onsens, and a restaurant, which sets a new standard in Hirafu for in-house hotel dining.
The Vale Niseko is also looking to summer seasons, offering air-conditioning, hotel-styled resort rooms, a natural hot spring onsen, and tours to local national parks and golf courses.
But the biggest string in The Vale Niseko’s bow is undoubtedly a premium ski-in-ski-out position at the foot of the Family Lift, creating a ‘beginning-to-end-of-day ski destination’, and a five-star surrounding precinct, Martin said.
“People can enjoy some breakfast at The Vale Niseko, then step outside the door to ride the slopes,” he said. “At the end of the day, parents can hit the bar for a beer or go for an onsen, and the kids can go for a swim. All of this can be done straight out of their ski boots.”
Martin said the completion of The Vale Niseko was made all the sweeter when reflecting on the problems faced along the way. He said The Vale Niseko was a daunting project from the start, made more difficult by the toughest financial times in Japan for six decades.
The Vale project was completed on November 20 this year, taking about three years from conception to completion.
The Vale is built on the site of the old Snow Universe, built in 1970 by former owner Shibata-san, who is ‘ecstatic’ with the final result, Martin said.
The Vale even embraced the historic legacy of Snow Universe by recycling some of the rustic building’s timber and other materials such as the onsen and front deck.