Ritz-Carlton Reserve enters Japan with luxury ski-in/ski-out resort [Construction Report]
The snowy slopes of Japan’s northern Hokkaido island are now home to Higashiyama Niseko Village, the country’s first Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel.
Only the fifth property – and the first in Japan – to join the Ritz-Carlton Reserve portfolio, the exclusive luxury brand from Marriott International, Higashiyama Niseko Village has certainly set the bar high in Hokkaido.
Intuitive heartfelt service
Owned by Malaysian hospitality outfit YTL Hotels, the ski-in/ski-out property flies the luxury flag for the Reserve brand’s ethos of excellent, personal service. “YTL Hotels’ illustrious portfolio continues to expand in Japan and globally, and it is a pleasure to work with Marriott International on this exceptional property,” said Dato’ Mark Yeoh, executive director of YTL Hotels.
“Marriott International’s luxury brand footprint continues to expand in Japan, and we are very excited to be opening the very first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the country, the latest property in our longstanding partnership with YTL Hotels,” added Rajeev Menon, president, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International.
Set at the foot of Mount Niseko Annupuri in the heart of Niseko Village, the 50-room hotel takes its cues from ‘Kachou Fuugetsu’, a Japanese proverb that translates as ‘flower, bird, wind, moon’. In short, this means a philosophy that ‘encourages reverence for the transient beauty of nature and wellbeing through self-discoveries’.
As such, the aesthetics of the hotel unfold over a design inspired by the light of the seasons and its surroundings, using natural materials like polished marble, fragrant cedar wood and flame-brushed granite.
This same philosophy continues into the hotel’s three dining spots, which all celebrate local, seasonal produce, harvested at its peak. At Yukibana, fresh seafood, meats and vegetables are served against views of the beautiful Hokkaido landscape; the itamae – or chef – at Sushi Nagi serves up bold, yet delicate flavours omakase-style; and for something a bit more casual, Ume Lounge delivers izakaya-style dishes alongside customised cocktails, single malts and local brews.
An exceptional spa experience
After a day spent on the slopes, guests can rest their wearied limbs at the spa, which offers tailored treatments as well as a traditional Japanese onsen, filled with the mineral-rich waters of Niseko’s hot springs.
“There are presently five Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties in the world, each one a rare destination in itself, set aside for those who appreciate a sanctuary of bespoke luxury in some of the most beautiful places on earth,” said Jennie Toh, vice president, brand marketing and brand management, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “The exceptional Higashiyama Niseko Village is one such place, where our guests are able to enjoy the beautiful alpine surroundings, and then come home to be pampered by the impeccable luxury, amenities and service that only the Ritz-Carlton Reserve can offer.”
With personal hosts to personalise guests’ stays, alongside a bevvy of creative curators on hand to craft customised excursions and experiences, Higashiyama Niseko Village certainly – as Yeo says – “offers a world-class gateway to Niseko’s adventurous mountains, renowned gastronomy, culture and traditions”.
Located within the 2,191-acre Niskeo United ski area, with access to extensive backcountry skiing, the hotel is conveniently placed near an international ski school, chairlifts and gondolas, as well as a dining and retail venue, an outdoor activity park and two world-class golf courses.
Menon concludes: “Despite the challenges of the past year, we have seen a strong growth in demand from the luxury travel sector. With the opening of Higashiyama Niseko Village, we look forward to providing our guests a warm and familiar welcome, a luxurious home away from home when they travel to Niseko, Japan’s amazing winter wonderland.”