Japan Press Trip Part 14
Hotel ibis Styles Sapporo is a stylish hotel, offering exceptional value. While lacking the amenities associated with a 4 star hotel – a swimming pool, s spa, and meeting facilities – the guest rooms are 4 star calibre at 2 star prices!
Following 3 days in Kyoto, Michael Taylor and other Hong Kong based travel writers are flown by Jetstar Japan to Hokkaido, where they spend 2 nights at the Hotel ibis Styles Sapporo.
It is hard to believe that Hotel ibis Sapporo and Hotel ibis Styles Kyoto Station are members of the same brand. When I double check their websites, however, I discover that the hotel in Sapporo does, in fact, have 3 stars whereas the hotel in Kyoto has only 2 stars.
What a difference a star makes! Whereas the hotel in Kyoto is zen-like – Spartan almost – the interior design of the hotel in Sapporo seems more like that of a 4 star hotel.
And it only gets better!
When I make a random check of the room rates, I discover that the rooms in Kyoto start at US$93 a night; the rooms at Sapporo, US$53 a night. (Please note: this is a random check. Room rates can vary from night to night.)
From the lobby to the guest rooms to the restaurant where buffet breakfasts are served, the hotel is stylishly decorated. What stops the property from a 4 star listing is the lack of facilities.
The restaurant only opens for breakfast, and there is no swimming pool, no spa, no fitness centre, and no meeting facilities. Many hotel guests never use these facilities, so why pay for them?
If you are only interested in the room, why not a 4 star room at 2 star prices?
The hotel has 278 spacious rooms measuring at least 30 square metres. Rooms have complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and Internet access.
My room seems to be about 3 times as large as my room in Kyoto. It is also very stylishly decorated. There is a comfortable arm chair with footstool.
I particularly like the large desk and spacious work area. I could happily spend several days here.
Others rooms that I visit have sofas rather than arm chairs. The only things that seem a bit cramped are the bathrooms. But I’m spoiled. I’m used to staying at 5 star resorts in Southeast Asia.
I’m coming to the conclusion that the Japanese don’t take bathrooms very seriously – except for those hi-tech toilets with heated seats the built-in bidets!
Food + Beverage
There are 2 food and beverage outlets – one run by the hotel, and one contracted out, so the latter is not mentioned on the hotel’s website. But I will mention it here …
Sapporo Kitchen serves an extensive buffet breakfast with Japanese and local specialities as well as lots of international dishes. This is where hotel guests have breakfast.
Overlooking the buffet tables is a glassed in bakery, whose chefs turns out impossibly flaky croisants. I never get to the yummy looking pastries that they create, going back for 2nds and 3rds on the croisants.
Unlike the breakfast room in Kyoto, which reminds me of an employee canteen, Sapporo Kitchen is spacious, with tables and booths.
There is also stylish a bar and lounge serving light snacks and beverages off the lobby. It seems to attract a clientele that goes beyond hotel guests. But it is run by an independent contractor, and we are not allowed to take pictures.
There is a bank of computers in the lobby as well as a shop selling gifts and flowers. Other facilities include coin operated washing machines and vending machines selling beverages.
Best of all, there is a spacious mini mart on the premises with direct access to the hotel lobby.
Unfortuntely, I discover the mini mart on my way BACK to the hotel AFTER venturing out in search of a mini mart. But at least I get to explore the neighbhorhood surrounding the hotel.
Location, Location, Location
I am hoping for a snowstorm so I can take photos of temples covered in snow, and – as I look out the window while I’m packing – I see that the weatherman is cooperating. It starts to snow heavily!
I grab my camera and run outside in the direction of a temple I can see through the window of my hotel room. As it turns out, there seem to be several temples (or are they shrines?) in the vicinity.
The hotel is located on a quiet street, a short walk of the Susukino dining and entertainment district and Nakajima Park. Other nearby attractions include The Maruyama Zoo, the Watsu Golf Course, Mount Moiwa, and Odori Park.
The hotel is 0.20 kilometres from the train station, 2.10 kilometres from the city centre, and 38.50 kilometres from New Chitose Airport.
Hotel ibis Styles Sapporo, Hishi 3 Chome 10 Minami 8J Chuo Ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. Telephone: (+81) 11/5304055. Click here for more information and guest reviews on the property: