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Reviewed 9 March 2017

I don't say this lightly, but I dare say that this is the best service I have gotten at any hotel ever. But it started out with a bit of frustration and difficulty as almost all of their staff don't speak much or any English at all. But again, that's the beauty of choosing to be away from the usual crowds who flock to Hokkaido.

They do have one staff that they rely heavily on for English speaking guests. I don't remember her name, but she tries very hard. And at times, she is almost forming her sentences as we speak. But she proves once again that great service knows no singular language and conquers through all. She patiently tries to explain all our queries.

Next, the driver. Again, didn't get his name. But this gentleman wears a hat and is around 60 - 70 years old. He operates the van which brings guests up and down the windy snowy roads and back and forth the the Bus Terminal. He took us on so many trips and at the end when I insisted on giving him a tip, he flat out refused us. If you ever book with Jurin, please give him a friendly hi from us and a pat on his shoulder. He works hard and tirelessly without complaining.

Now on Hotel Jurin itself. We booked this through a friend who is Japanese. And what a lovely gem it turned out to be. It sits on a gentle slope and you can literally come out of the hotel, pop on your skis or snowboard and ski down to Jupeer. Our room's view faces the slopes and you are 15 metres away from the ski lifts. Fantastic view.

Meals while not top-notch are very decent. There is a choice between Sukiyaki, Shabu-Shabu, Chicken mushroom pot and some korean style BBQ lamb (menu spells it ramb meet, haha!). If like me, you are thinking you prefer not to have hotel food for 3 days and are the kind who likes to venture out, think again. First, you're there to ski or snowboard. When you come back in the evenings, you may be too tired to. Heading to the onsen in Jurin makes the most sense. After which, you're too clean to want to put on your clothes and head out in the snow, get a vehicle to head to town to find a restaurant. Instead, you'll leave the onsen feeling recharged in your yukatas (traditional Japanese garb) for a warm soupy meal looking at the sunset and watching the night skiers go.

As I said, it's the little things that matter. And I dare say, this is the BEST service I have ever received at any hotel I have stayed in. The hotel may be slightly dated but with the outstanding, friendly service, you'll start seeing the little charms of this hotel. Honestly, I don't know if all the other hotels at Zao have the same friendly service, because this is my only hotel I have stayed in, but generally, the people at Yamagata are super nice and way friendlier than the big cities like Tokyo. Highly recommended!!

Date of stay: March 2017
Thank Tribeee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 12 February 2017

Hotel Jurin was like a number of Japanese ski resort hotels we have stayed in, in that it is getting old and in need of renovation. The decor and fittings are very dated, possibly even original. Our bathroom was one of the smallest we have experienced, and not in good repair. The breakfast was fine, with mainly Japanese options, but also a small range of western breakfast items. The staff tried very hard to assist with enquiries, but English was either non existent or limited. This is obviously not unusual in Japan, but given the promotion of the hotel to English speaking guests, and given our experiences in similar local run hotels, we found the hotel's capacity to communicate with English speakers to be below average. On the plus side, we were able to arrange transport to and from the village on several occasions, including drop off and pick up from a restaurant on a very cold, snowy night.

The location is a winner - true ski in, ski out. And a do-able walk up the hill from the Jupeer Centre ( we found it more direct to do this straight up the side of the ski slope, rather than on the road.)

Having stayed in a few similar Japanese ski hotels over the years, this one wasn't our favourite, although we did enjoy Zao Onsen as a resort.

Date of stay: February 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank melscottmax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 27 January 2016

Stayed here with with the family of 4 (mum, dad and 2 teenagers) for 6 nights. Caught the Tsubasa Shinkansen to Yamagata and then 40 min ride bus to Zao Onsen bus station (1000¥ pp one way). Arrived at the Zao bus station and got the lady from the visitor centre to call hotel and organise for a pick-up which took about 10 minutes, great service, limited English. Got our ride to hotel which is located part way up the ski slope, definitely ski-in, ski-out!! Wear robust shoes/boots because you need to track a few metres through snow to get to front door and lobby. You need to ski down the slope to catch your first ski lift and lift pass at the base. Check-in/out was easy, though there is limited English spoken here, we made do with simple words and hand gestures, staff were always very friendly and helpful (translate app can also be helpful). Hired our skis, boots and poles from the hotel, good prices. They do hire ski clothing but it was fairly dated, so we made the decision to hire our ski clothes from the Jupeer Base Station which was more appealing to the kids!! Organised our evening meals from a list on the first night (was always a bit of a lucky dip), but we were never disappointed and were fairly excited to see what we would be having each night, very Japanese style evening meals and suited us perfectly because I didn't want to be bothered walking down the slope in freezing weather trying to find something to eat after a full day skiing. Breakfast and dinner held in hotel restaurant, fairly casual, just make sure you wear slippers, many people wore yukatas supplied in room by hotel. We shared a Japanese style family room and had our own bathroom and toilet because our daughter wasn't keen to try traditional Onsen. Slept on mattresses on tatami floors, camping, Japanese style!! When beds were made the first night, the pillows were hard, I mean like being filled with wheat or tiny pebbles!! So went to reception and managed to get ourselves soft feather pillows, you just have to ask, and they were brought to our room. Beds are put out when you have dinner and packed away mid-morning after breakfast. Breakfast each morning is a full buffet with choice of Japanese or Western, plenty to choose from. Kids ended eating enough breakfast we would often skip lunch and just have a snack and then have an early dinner. My favourite indulgence here was the Onsen bath, every day after skiing. Generally went fairly early between 4-5pm and often had the bath to myself, I know it got busier later on. There is a choice of ladies and gents inside Onsen and an outside Onsen (outside ones gets rotated between men and ladies at different times). Small gift shop onsite and usual vending machines available. Beverages were an extra cost at dinner. If you are after a place to stay with Japanese flavour and experience, I highly recommend it, not very many westerners and a lot of Japanese people staying here. Like I said not a lot of English, but be patient, polite, keep it simple and you will get by. We had a ski lesson with local company at base, he was Japanese and said he spoke simple English (was actually fairly good) and gave us a great lesson and tour of the slopes. Walked into the village on a couple of occasions and when we were finished, got shop owner to make a phone call to hotel and they would pick us up. Free wi-fi in lobby, but not in room. I know this is long winded, but I found it hard to get any English info about this hotel, so I want it to be informative. Return trip was the same, got a lift in hotel shuttle to bus station, bus to Yamagata and Shinkansen to Tokyo. Not sure if I would stay here with little children, as long as they are not fussy eaters. Highly, highly recommend this hotel and would definitely stay here again.

Date of stay: January 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank em-a-lee1756
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 May 2018 via mobile
Google Translation

Date of stay: May 2018
Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 13 March 2018
Google Translation

Date of stay: April 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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