YTL Hotels’ Niseko Village on the island of Hokkaido in the north-east of Japan, is gearing up for a thriving winter season with the December launch of significant ski infrastructure, including new lifts and gondolas and the hiring of 90 international staff across the resort.
As part of Niseko United, voted Japan’s Best Ski Resort in the World Ski Awards three years running, Niseko Village has seen its visitor numbers increase steadily from 209,700 in 2009 to 484,300 room nights in 2015. To support the growing visitation of the resort, YTL Hotels has invested in two all-season lifts.
The state-of-the-art Village Express and Upper Village Gondola are both unprecedented construction designs for a major ski resort in Japan and in another move to cater for Niseko Village’s growing popularity; a new ski run will also open ensuring the slopes remain as uncrowded as ever.
For YTL Hotels these developments and the recruitment of international and Japanese staff are part of an ongoing strategy to provide a world class ski destination with an authentic Japanese flavour, giving guests access to the best facilities and multi-lingual staff with service experience at global industry standard.
The growth of cafes, restaurants, bars, retail outlets, on and off piste experiences, together with a wide array of accommodation options sees Niseko comparable to some of the best global ski resorts, with YTL Hotels’ Niseko Village offering a luxurious and integrated alpine village experience.
The increase in visitor numbers to Niseko Village also supports recent reports of the wider Niseko area defying the country’s trend of a shrinking population, with the local economy booming, attracting residents, workers and travellers from around the world.
Niseko Village is opening two all season lifts as part of its ongoing growth strategy.
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for YTL Hotels, Luke Hurford said the developments demonstrate YTL Hotels’ commitment to continually enhance the infrastructure, accessibility and overall experience at Niseko Village whilst maintaining the quintessential Japanese experience travellers desire.
“In 2010 when YTL Hotels purchased Niseko Village, we identified the potential of the area and have systematically worked to grow the two separate hotels, Hilton Niseko Village and The Green Leaf Niseko Village, into a flourishing ski resort town,” Mr Hurford said.
“In 2014 we unveiled the Kasara Niseko Village Townhouse, providing self-contained, luxurious apartments for small groups and families, as well as a bustling dining and retail hub. Now this year we’re excited to unveil the next stage of development and the new lifts, gondolas and ski run make Niseko Village even more accessible than ever.
“Our guests crave uncrowded slopes with unbeatable snow; world class service and facilities; Japanese touches like the onsen experience, cuisine and culture; and Niseko Village delivers all of these,” he said.
“It’s a privilege to be a part of the boom Niseko is currently experiencing and we anticipate strong Australian visitation for the coming winter season, together with growing numbers of other international guests.”
New lifts, gondola and run
The Village Express is an 816-metre long, high-speed detachable lift, comprising of six-person chairs and eight-person gondolas on the same line for ultimate comfort. A mid-point station has been built beside the main village hub for easy accessibility to shopping, entertainment and dining outlets.
Constructed by Nippon Cable, the Village Express is the first gondola and chair mixed lift in Japan, the only lift with a single gondola cabin with a glass bottom and the first six-person chair within a major ski resort in Japan.
The Upper Village Gondola, a new 250-metre pulsed gondola, allows guests from Kasara Niseko Village Townhouse and The Green Leaf Niseko Village properties to access a beginner’s ski area on The Green Leaf Niseko Village mountainside. It also provides access to the top of the Village Express lift for easy connectivity around the central village, restaurants, shopping and hotels.
In addition to the new lifts, a completely new 1.2-kilometre ski run has been created running from The Green Leaf Niseko Village and Kasara Niseko Village Townhouse down the fall line of the mountain. It will run alongside the central village retail and dining area, traversing by a ski-over bridge across the road that accesses Hilton Niseko Village with no impact to the current road system.
Australians looking at booking a group stay can take advantage of the Powder Promise travel package.
Powder Promise travel package
Family or friends travelling together can book for up to six people at YTL Hotels’ Kasara Niseko Village Townhouse in Japan and receive two hours complimentary ski or snowboard lessons per night of stay, complimentary ski or snowboard gear and complimentary lift passes during lessons. Advanced skiers and boarders will also receive a one hour complimentary Mountain Guide.
All guests will have access to the resort’s onsens, complimentary access to the Fitness Centre at Hilton Niseko Village, concierge services and on-call chauffeur plus 10 per cent food and beverage discounts.
Cost: AUD $2,201 (JPY 173,376) nett per townhouse per night.
Travel from 1 December to 17 December, 2016. T&Cs apply.
For more information: www.kasara.com/nisekovillage/o
Niseko Village is comprised of Hilton Niseko Village, which won Japan’s Best Ski Hotel in the World Ski Awards three years running, The Green Leaf Niseko Village and the Kasara Niseko Village Townhouse. These properties join other iconic properties in the YTL Hotels’ portfolio including: The Gainsborough Bath Spa, the UK; Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia; Gaya Island Resort, Borneo; Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel; Brisbane Marriott Hotel and Melbourne Marriott Hotel.www.ytlhotels.com