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“The dirtiest room and the worst Japanese food in Japan”

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Hotel Green Plaza Joetsu
Reviewed 15 February 2017

This is a big hotel comprising of three buildings. The lobby is impressive.

It's said we can ski in/out, but in fact we need to walk up slope after skied to reach the hotel. We are supposed to be able to save the up slope walk by riding on a lift chair, but the queue is very long which despite the effort need to be made, walking up slope is much faster.

Though there are some interesting slopes, this resort is not for snowboarders. Either the access to the lifts or that to the slopes is too flat, that requires some flipping or even striding if not walking, not to mention most of the slopes if not too flat will involve sections which requires us to flip, stride or walk.

It's hard to find the ski map as firstly the cover is dominated by an advertisement, which it's hard to realize it's a ski map just by a glimpse. Secondly, it's not placed at the Front Desk or the rental shop counter. Thirdly, it's not enclosed in the check-in welcome pack even our package is a room+ski ticket one. Eventually we found it at the cloak room where we applied for a locker to store our equipment. Mind it, we didn't get a locker on our first night. The Front Desk stored our equipment and then we checked if any locker available the next morning at the cloak room. The Front Desk could not even help us to book the locker, so we had to wait for one before we could set out to ski.
[Note: the colouring scheme of the ski course here is different from the other resorts. Those marked red here are for beginners]

Even the hotel was said to be full house, only two outlets were opened (as shown in the attached photos). More worse, the food offered in both outlets was the same. What more worse, the menus were totally identical during our two-day stay, not even the ingredients of the fresh salad or the desserts was changed. The worst of all, the fish on the sushi looked stale. We always find the sashimi and sushi in Japan great, even those in the 100 yen sushi restaurants. OMG, what were they offering here?

However, the worst is yet to come. Our nightmare started when we opened the bathroom door. An awful smell of ammonia was immediately noticed. We asked for a thorough clean up, but it's the English-speaking receptionist we met at the check-in turned up to clean our bathroom as there was no housekeeping staff on duty after 22:00. Her cleaning had no effect and she turned down our request to change to another room as it's full-house. So eventually we were stuck in such a room for two days.

As we tried to find out the cause of such smell, we saw the moulds and dirt in the bathroom as in the attached photo. They were not cleaned even we were told the housekeeping had thoroughly cleaned our bathroom the next day.

Then we further discovered the dirty and wearing out condition in our room, like those at the curtain rail and of the cupboard.

Everything in this hotel freaked us out.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank EC-HK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 7 of 273 reviews

Reviewed 2 January 2017

I stayed many times at this hotel mainly for skiing. I chose it as I went with my teenager son and it is very close to the Shinkansen station, the ski tracks plus I'm not an expert skier. If you want to avoid taking the shuttle hotel/ ski tracks, this place is good.The hotel interior is old fashioned but still functional, don't expect a 4-5 stars hotel ski resort, but I feel it is comfortable enough(for sleeping) if you plan to enjoy skiing. The hotel is huge and you need time to get used to the places. There are many restaurants but they serve basically the same food in most of them, they may offer some special options you need to pay additional depending on the restaurant specialty. You need to reserve a time as else there is a big wait to get seated, morning is tougher as there is no reservations taken.If you stay for a long time, you may get bored. But with teenager kids that eats a lot, you don't have any concerns. I feel it is ok. There are not many options around to eat. The major problem is the check in / out , it may take long as many people come and go every day, so you may wait for 1 hour for your turn. The other major problem are the lifts, with so many people flowing in and out, the lifts are not big and you may wait a very long time for it. If you are used to the place, just pack things in a bag you can carry up the stairs, it will save you time and patience. The staff is polite and try to help as much as they can though English may be limited.

  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank williefil13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2016 via mobile

Great place for kids and begginer ski.and have lots of other toys to do beside skiing.easy access to the ski lift.
Bear in mind the ski school all in Japanese.
So my kids basically just follow their action,
Coach are very friendly and patience.
Room was great, breakfast was gud but sadly the same menu everyday .
Most of the hotel staff don't really speak English but we managed to survive.
Overall we enjoyed ourselves still..
Will be back , hopefully they will look into the matter.

Stayed: December 2016, travelled with family
Thank hnahuang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2016 via mobile

I'm a family of 4 with kids 7 & 5 yo and stayed for 3 nights for ski. We chose a large room with 2 levels with stairs. The room is pretty big and able to accommodate 7 adults. But the door opens at 8/F, you have to carry heavy lugguage down to 7/F and when you leave, you have to carry it up again with a long stairs. At the very beginning, it's quite impressive, but after walking up and down several time. I felt that I would like to have a big room without stairs.
The hotel is located at the end the uphill road. There's no any transportation except hotel shuttle. It's not a problem to me as I rented a car. So if you don't, please prepare to dine at the hotel for every meals.
For the restaurant, I had buffet breakfast and dinner. I've stayed in many different ski resorts and onsen resort. This is one of the worse to me. The variety of choice and the quality of food are under average to me. I chose to go out for breakfast and dinner after tried the restaurant once!
The early this year, I went to shiga kogen for ski. The hotel restaurant is better than hotel green plaza.
For the onsen, please use the large and outdoor onsen in main building and don't use the small indoor one in connectionnex building.
Ski is ok.
In conclusion, I would suggest to look more and compare other hotels before choosing this hotel.

Stayed: December 2016, travelled with family
Thank Mark Wai Wah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2016

We went for ski trip in Joetsu Kokusai ski ground. There's not much choice of ski-in ski-out resort. The resort is in good location with shuttle service from 越後湯沢駅, Echigo-Yuzawa-eki, only 30mins.

The architecture of the resort building are beautiful, staff are friendly although no much of them speaks English. The ski ground is nice but a bit far for the lift to travel around.

Hardware of the hotel is a bit old.

We book with a package with breakfast & dinner included, plus ski pass & 20% off rental. it's value for money, but you cannot expect much on the buffet style meals.

  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank StoneH0N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2015

I read some the "Terrible" reviews to get an idea of what bad things to expect. I have to say after staying at the hotel, I found all of the WHINERS to be either pampered or born with a silver spoon who want everything for FREE!

This hotel is very old and it is a bit dirty however, I found it to be exactly what you paid for. My family and I stayed there Aug 2015. We were looking for a short cheap family vacation and we found it at Hotel Green Plaza Joetsu.

I will address some of the "Terrible" comments below;

1. Someone POSTED "The carpets are dirty" - Yes, they are dirty however, there are a lot of tourist coming and going everyday. In the winter, I imagine that that carpets take a beating from guest snowboarding/skiing. It is difficulty to keep the carpets perfect with the high volume of guest during winter. I can deal with it because I did not intend to stay in the hotel/room all day.

2. Someone POSTED "It takes 15 minutes to walk from one end to the other" - The hotel is big and beautiful like a chalet you would enjoy in Europe. Since we were not there to stay in the room, we enjoyed walking through the hotel to the restaurants, game center, lobby and sauna. We got our morning exercise and after eating a big meal, the walk was nice. I guess some people are just LAZY.

3. Someone POSTED "Could not control temp in room". This is true but I brought a small fan so I could be comfortable when in the room which was only to change and sleep. The room was not hot at all but I need to have some cool air when I sleep.

4. Someone POSTED " The food was not good and there was a line to be seated already at 0800. We found the food to be GOOD for the price we paid. The morning buffet had plenty of eggs, sausages, bacon, toast and plenty more veggies. For those who had to wait because the restaurants were full by 0800, either get up early and beat the crowds or be prepared to wait. Stop complaining and enjoy your stay. You could make a reservation and walk around the hotel till it is your time to eat.

This is a family resort and it was great! They have a festival every night where families can enjoy Japanese style games and activities. They even have safety fireworks.

The pool was a short walk down the hill. It is not deep at all, it was about waist high at the deepest end. I recommend bring floating devices. They have electric air pumps to save you from having to blow it help yourself. There are a couple of water slides, a train ride (not too long but the kids enjoyed), a big slip n slide, merry go round and Go Karts which you must be in the 5th grade to drive or you can ride with two in a Kart.

The sauna was typical spacious cold/hot/outdoor. It was really relaxing.

The room was also typical two beds and futons for the kids nothing special The shower was nice, big tub and strong water pressure. For the price it was perfect because we did not intend to spend the day in the room.

They also had a monkey show, game center and arts and crafts for the kids.

All in all, it was a great hotel for the price. if you drive, you can bring your coolers, fans, snacks and drinks for the room and/or the pool.

So if you make plans to go there, be prepared to be in a resort where you get what you pay for and enjoy were time there.

  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TomBruise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2013

This hotel makes everything easy, when it comes to skiing or snowboarding. I went in February to go snowboarding for the first time. The outside of the hotel is spectacular - like Switzerland in Japan. The inside of the hotel is very quaint and whilst the rooms are a little on the shabby side (could do with some new carpet, curtains and bed linen), it's very comfortable.

There's a free shuttle bus that leaves the hotel every hour or so to go to the main train station and back - it's about a 30 minute ride. You have to pre-book at the hotel to go back to the train station to ensure a seat.

Not many staff speak English but they usually always have at least one person at the front desk who can help you.

Be prepared for a long walk - it takes about 10 minutes or so to walk from one end of the hotel to the other - it's a long hotel.

They have everything you need there for skiing/snowboarding. Hiring gear and leaving your luggage in a storage area is easy if you can't check in yet.

MY ADVICE - go to the 7Eleven in town and buy some snacks/ drinks to put in your room fridge as there convenience store at the hotel doesn't have a good selection and the cafe is expensive and only really does proper meals.

The buffet for dinner has a lot of food to choose from but it's not really that good -although we were so hungry we didn't care. There's a nicer restaurant you can go to though if you want.

The breakfast buffet is pretty good and in a nice setting, looking out over the snow.

it's not a swank hotel but it's very comfortable and convenient and the slopes are at your doorstep.

Room Tip: Request a room overlooking the ski slopes. The other rooms also have magnificent views but the parki...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Tiff85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Green Plaza Joetsu

Address: 112-1 Kabanosawa, Minamiuonuma 949-6431, Niigata Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Niigata Prefecture > Minamiuonuma
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 72 Hotels / Ryokan in Minamiuonuma
Price Range: $223 - $479 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Green Plaza Joetsu 3.5*
Number of rooms: 634
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Also Known As:
Hotel Green Plaza Joetsu Japan/Niigata Prefecture

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