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“What a great place, value for money!”
Review of Grove Inn Skala

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Grove Inn Skala
Ranked #7 of 456 B&Bs / Inns in Hakuba-mura
Reviewed 17 January 2016

Such a comfortable and welcoming place. The Pension is owned and ran by a lovely family who do everything they can to help. We were greeted and picked up from the train station by Usamu (I hope I've spelt that correctly). My partner needed to rent ski equipment so Usamu was more than happy to stop on the way back to our accommodation to get this task out of the way for us. They also took it back for us at the end of our stay which means one less thing to worry about! This place is truly value for money. Our room was fantastic, modern with a nice bathroom. We were lucky to get a corner room which was beautiful on the mornings we woke up with snow, opening up the curtains. Breakfast is served every morning with the regular options (corn flakes, bread, spreads, coffee, tea), along with eggs served differently every morning. Perfect start for a day on the slopes. The communal lounge is a great addition, fire place, fantastic bar with a nice whisky selection, and a massage chair that has to be sat in. It's also a great area to get to know other guests, they even brought in a band one night to enjoy after dinner. Usamu and his wife Asako, along with Asako's mother do everything they can to ensure your stay is as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. You're able to sort out lift tickets for Goryu, 47 and Happo at the hotel which is an awesome service (FYI you still need to collect lift chip from Goryu and 47). There are shuttle buses in close proximity to get you to the ski hills. Happo has a lift relatively close, around a 15-minute walk through a lovely path amongst the trees, so we walked there on the days we skied Happo. They also offer dinner every night if you so choose and charge it to your room. We ate there one of the nights and the food was great. It was nice to spend a night in. Skala is also super close to Echoland main strip, around a 7-8 minute walk. We walked in and out regularly. Echoland also offer a number of dining options and we found them to be quite reasonably priced.

I couldn't recommend this place highly enough for anybody looking for a nice little humble accommodation option. Although the snow wasn't the best it could be, we had such a fantastic time at Hakuba and Skala,got in some nice skiing days and will definitely be back.

Room Tip: We were in the second floor, corner room and it was great.
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  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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Thank Alastair M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 January 2016

A friend and I stayed here for 6 days while skiing in Hakuba. This is a family run business that works very hard to make sure you have a wonderful stay. The husband freely offered to drive us to the rental office to pick up our gear, arranged for the hire company to pick up the gear and after checking out drove us to the bus station. During our stay our requests were never too much trouble. They went to a lot of trouble for all the guests by cooking us a traditional Japanese New Years Day breakfast, giving us an insight into Japanese cooking and culture. The rooms are clean and comfy. They are close to ski buses that take you to the slopes. I wish them all the best and am very glad we were able to stay at the Grove Inn Skala.

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
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Thank Ed V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2015

My family went to the Grove Inn Skala in August. Our boys are 10 and 12 years old. We had to get two rooms, but were happy they had adjoining rooms. One of the rooms was much more modern than the other. It has a super high-tech bathroom and a very modern overall look. The other room had a clean and perfectly adequate bathroom and the bedroom was clean (albeit a little plain). The family that runs the inn is wonderful. The food was excellent. Breakfast was included, but I highly suggest that have dinner there at least one of the nights you stay. As in advance what is on the menu to choose the night that best suits your style of food. We ate dinner there twice, and were happy both nights. One of the nights the dessert was something made with green-tea, which my family immediately abandoned. The owners were so upset that we did not want the dessert that they brought us special desserts (thereafter we all were happy members of the clean plate club). The town had a fireworks festival and the owners were nice enough to drive us there and back. As a matter of fact, we only used a cab once - we either walked or took the provided shuttle. Furthermore, they were nice enough to help us rearrange our planned excursions (mountain biking, rafting, hiking, etc.). The rest of the guests were quite lovely and we quickly became friendly with most of them. They have a cool bar (family room) area with an awesome massage chair. I can tell that it would be a cool place to hang out if you were visiting during a snowy time of year. Wifi was free, but available only in the lounge. We will definitely go back to Grove Inn Skala.

  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled with family
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Thank YokohamaMurrays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2015

Owners are the highlight of this place. They are very friendly and helpful- drove me to restaurants and hiking trails for free and gave me good advice. The care about their guests. The lady is a great trained chef and the meals were filling and delicious. I recommend coming in the summer for the hiking!

  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled solo
    • Value
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Thank jack s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2015

Five keen skiers from Australia stayed for a week in this lovely inn. The warm greeting and wonderful service made our Hakuba holiday perfect. The family who own and run the inn are delightful and ever helpful The food delicious with great breakfasts and the evening meals were a treat. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Stayed: March 2015, travelled with friends
Thank Elizabeth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2015

I could not rate this place highly enough. Skala is a beautiful guesthouse that is incredibly welcoming. It really does feel like a home away from home.
Our hosts were amazing. They made us feel so at home and helped us with any queries we had. They offered us lifts to town to collect ski gear from the hire shop and to get to and from the bus station/information centre in town. They even found out the exact travel times for us to get to Kyoto. They were always happy to chat to us and find out how our day was. I was on my own for the first half of my visit to Hakuba and when I was collected from my original hotel I was invited to have lunch with the Skala family at a local Soba noodle restaurant and this is an experience I will never forget and am so grateful for. A truly wonderful family!!!
We stayed in a Japanese style room which was very clean and well looked after. We were shown how to set out the futon bed and how to control the heating. The futon was comfortable and the room was very relaxing. The bathroom was also very modern, clean and not too small, especially for tall westerners like ourselves. I can not comment on the western style bedrooms but I would recommend getting a taste of traditional Japanese style living.
The bar/lounge area downstairs is very relaxing indeed. The bar is well stocked with spirits, beers and Saki. There is a fire which pumps out a lot of heat and very comfortable sofas. The classical music in the background is also very soothing.
There is an Onsen downstairs in the basement which is a lovely experience after a long day on the slopes. The Onsen's are single sex and kept very clean. It is very hot in there!
Breakfast is served from 7am and you are served a hot breakfast as well as a small buffet of miso soup, rice and pickled vegetables. Tea, coffee and juice is also available at all times during breakfast. You can get dinner in the evening which other guests said was delicious however we did not eat this ourselves.
The ski room is very well organised and spacious. Perfect for your gear and hanging up your wet ski clothes.
The location of the hotel is in a beautiful forested area away from any noise. It takes 10 minutes to walk into Echoland and 1 minute to get to the bus shuttle stop that takes you to Hakuba 47.
If I ever return to Hakuba I will certainly make sure I stay at the wonderful place again!

Stayed: January 2015, travelled as a couple
Thank cstone12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2014

We stayed at Skala as part of a general self guided tour of Japan, and of all the places we stayed Skala stands head and shoulders above the rest.

As westerners in Japan, we knew that high service levels are normal. Skala raised the standard, with impeccable, friendly service, great facilities and amazing food. Everyone, from the Japanese family that hosts you, to the friendly Aussie/Brit couple who help out were charming and went out of their way to make our experience a memorable one. Nothing was too much trouble,

The accommodation is a 10 minute walk from Echoland with various restaurants. The ski bus stops are much nearer. Eating in is a good choice and although we ate out the first night, after sampling the sumptuous 5 course meal for a bargain price, we stayed in after that. Yes, there is only locally produced Japanese red wine that tastes nothing like anything from France or the new world, but that's what makes it interesting. It's not bad at all, it's just different (and purposefully served cool). I drank it every night.

You can get drinks from the bar (a cosy bar in the living room/lounge) or even from a vending machine in the hall.

The accommodation is spotless, even by Japanese standards.

Boot/ski room, dry room, family bath (in addition to the ensuite facilities in our Western style room) massage chair and massive DVD collection cap off a great option in Hakuba.

And, last but not least, the local group who come in and play Jazz on a friday night are amazing! Lovely people, and great musicians!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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2  Thank Whyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grove Inn Skala

Address: 2940-19 Hokujo, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun 399-9301, Nagano Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Nagano Prefecture > Kitaazumi-gun > Hakuba-mura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 456 B&Bs / Inns in Hakuba-mura
Price Range: C$177 - C$231 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Grove Inn Skala 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grove Inn Skala is a country resort owned by family. Privacy, comfort and personal care are all yours. Located in the center of Japan's main island, in Hakuba village, Nagano prefecture. Many people know about Hakuba, as it was the sight of the 1998 Winter Olympic events: Giant Slalom, Downhill, Nordic Combined, Cross-country and Jumping. The Jumping Stadium is just about 10 min's and shopping area is also 10 min's on foot from our hotel. Hakuba is about 300km north west of Tokyo at the foot of Northern Japan Alps. It takes approximately 3 and half hours by train and 4 hours by car. Paragliding, Downhill mountain bike riding, Hiking, White water rafting, Tennis, Fishing, Canoe & Kayak are all awaiting you through at a year The main sports are of course, ski & snowboard in winter term till early spring ... more   less 
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