"La Vista Akangawa & Daisetsuzan", the best relaxing hotels!The 2 newly opened hotels in 2015; “La Vista Akangawa” by forests and a river, and “La Vista Daisetsuzan” surrounded by the sacred mountain. What are attractions of two La Vista hotels? The Hokkaido Likers editor team went to these hotels to find the attractions in early March 2016.
River and forest view onsen comes with every room “La Vista Akangawa”
About 1 hour drive from Kushiro airport. “La Vista Akangawa”, just opened in September 2015, is located in the middle of unspoiled nature. Akan river lies in front of the hotel, and national park is located behind the river. I’m sure you can really relax in this beautiful hotel.
River and forests can be viewed from everywhere in the hotelAs the automatic door at the entrance open, the beautiful view of the huge forest comes into your eyes instantly. Below the forest, Akan river flows and many wild animals such as Ezo deers and white tailed eagles appear as they are not noticing us humans. It feels like I came into their life area.
The guest room on the river side comes with long seats and bathtubs by the window to view the river. There are many picture windows built in the hotel. You can feel the flows of river and breath of the forests during your stay.
▲Every guest room on the river side comes with this view. In the building, natural woods are used everywhere. All the furnitures collected at this hotel are made of woods.
▲The restaurant where guests have breakfast and dinner. When I covered, an Ezo deer appeared as close as I felt I could reach. Everyone in the restaurant cheered as Ezo deer moved.
▲Public space has chairs too. At night, the forests and the river are lightened up and create very dramatic mood. The footprints near the window are left by Ezo deers.
▲Ezo deers also appear by the window of the bar, where you can enjoy original cocktails.
Onsen gushes out naturallyWhite steams sometimes appear near the river. In fact, this is the onsen that directly flow to each tubs in the hotel. It’s naturally flowed. Spring water is also used for the food provided here. This hotel is blessed with privileges of truly amazing natural environment.
The large communal bath has inside tub and outdoor hot spring (roten buro), the door of inside tub can be opened. Customers can directly feel the sound of the river flowing and beautiful scenery created with tall trees which provides a really relaxed environment.
▲Looks like this when the door of inside tub is open.
▲The outdoor hot spring (roten buro) by the river. Wild bird came by when I was taking bath in the morning.
On the other hand, I recommend to use the tub in the guest rooms at night. Use the tub at the time when river and forests are lightened up. Only the sound of the river can be heard in the silent environment. This bath gives you a deep relaxation with gentle hot spring water.
3 private bath are free and able to use for unlimited time. Enjoy onsen in various bathtubs.
▲Each private bathtub is made with different material, and this on the picture is ceramic type. There are also red brick bathtub and cypress bathtub.
Japanese kaiseki + western food. Variety of tastes for dinner.For dinner, various dishes are provided featuring the main dish bouillabaisse flavored Kotan hotpot.
▲Plenty of amount of food for dinner. The soup of Kotan hotpot has a deep flavor of seafood and vegetables. Hotpot are eaten with smooth garlic cheese sauce.
▲From the left clockwise, sashimi, roasted Shiretoko pork with red wine sauce and horseradish, tomezakana of your choice seasoned tuna.
This dinner course which mixes kaiseki with meat dishes and western dessert depicts the playful mind of the cooks. An example is the rice dish for the end of dinner course. You can choose from nabeyaki udon of Kotan nabe or surf clam rice curry.
“Our rice curry is authentic, uses only flour, curry paste, and butter. This menu is acceptable, right? We provide English tea instead of Japanese tea. I think English tea comes better with our dish.”
The master chef Kenzou Tamura says.
This dinner came with a variety of tastes and I enjoyed this fun and delicious dinner very much.
▲Mr. Tamura with surf clam rice curry and English tea. Became the master chef of La Vista Akangawa after experiencing in “The Windsor Hotel TOYA”.
AccessFrom Kushiro Airport / 1 hour 20 minutes by car or 1 hour 10 minutes by route bus
From Memanbetsu Airport / 1.5 hour by car
From JR Kushiro station / 1 hour 20 minutes by car, 2 hours by route bus
Secret onsen surrounded by mountains “La Vista Daisetsuzan”About 40 minutes by car from Asahikawa Airport. “La Vista Daisetsuzan” stands at the halfway of Mt. Asahidake, the main peak of the Daisetsuzan volcanic group, which means has an elevation of 1,055m. Surrounded by unspoiled nature, this hotel is perfect as a base for sightseeing around Asahiyama zoo or Furano and Biei. The winter ice bar is until the end of March, hurry up!
You get a full view of Mt. Asahidake from mountain side guest roomsThis hotel stands at the halfway of the way to ropeway station, which goes up to the Daisetsuzan Mt. Asahidake. It gets colder and colder as the altitude gets higher, and it feels so nice when you enter the warm lobby of the hotel with fireplace. This is a limited happiness you can feel in winter Hokkaido.
▲While checking in, the sound of firewood cracking gives you a relaxing moment.
Guest room uses heavy dark brown colored wood, just like a lodge in mountains.
▲The Japanese-Western style guest room with tatami. You can choose a pillow you like from 10 choices such as Tempur.
The mountain side guest rooms give you a full view of Mt. Asahidake and guest rooms on the other side give you a view of unspoiled forests.
Mt. Asahidake is all white with snow in winter. This mountain stands in the cold air looks very refreshing and but at the same time very gallant. The view of the huge mountain Mt. Asahidake sure moves our heart in someway.
(Photo provided by / La Vista Daisetsuzan)
Of course the mountain looks different depending on the seasons, but it looks really unique, especially in spring and autumn. Around Golden Week, alpine plants bloom, but at the same time snow is still left on the peak. Also in September, there will be three layers; snow on the peak, colored leaves in the middle, and green near the ground.
Onsen surrounded by mountains with rural beautyThe view from the large communal bath and outdoor hot spring (roten buro) comes with rural beauty, such as, icicles as high as over 1 meter and bright green pine trees in monochrome scenery.
▲The large communal bath, built with natural wood. The water of this old cypress bath is poured through hot spring from private sources.
▲The outdoor hot spring with pine tree forests. Wet hair instantly freeze in winter.
There are 3 private bath tubs, some of them with outdoor hot spring. Go ahead and use those private baths if you want to spend private time with your family or your company. Customers can use them for free, and for unlimited time.
▲Red brick bath tub. An example of other style is rock bath, inspired by Mt. Asahidake.
French course available here deep in the mountains!?The choice for dinner is kaiseki; featuring nabe or teppanyaki for main dish, or French course.
This time I tried French. I was surprised (sorry!) that French course is available deep in the mountains, but the dishes were very unique with special ingredients that are found by chef walking around Hokkaido. Also, there were many surprises.
For example, the appetizer for the day was deer from Niikappu cocked with low temperature and vacuum state. This dish came to our table with glass lid contained smokes of sakura chips. The aroma of smoke rose right up to my nose when the chef opened the lid at the table. Not only the food is delicious, but the dramatic presentation came with dishes.
▲From the top clockwise; aging Ezo deer from Niikappu instantly smoked, poele of La Vista beef from Tokachi, white chocolate mousse with pumpkin puree from Wassamu.
In addition, “mountain resorts like our hotel cannot be separated from the image of the famous anime ‘Heidi, Girl of the Alps‘. I started this menu inspired by this anime” says the master chef Yutaka Yamanaka. He introduced me “Raclette” a menu from all you can eat dinner, which is separated from the course menu.
▲On top and bottom left, the chef melts the raclette cheese right in front of us. Be careful not to eat too much because it is delicious! You will get full in the middle of the dinner course. On the bottom right, “we prepare chopsticks too, so even it is a French course, I would like customers to relax”, says Mr. Yamanaka.
Winter attraction, ice barLet’s go outside after dinner if you are here from December to March. The ice bar, which everything is made of ice; pillar, wall, and ceilings, is available in front of the entrance. Drinking warm beverages in this dramatic ice world is the only attraction in northern countries. Dress warm and enjoy this unique experience.
▲It was -14 degrees celsius outside and -8 degrees celsius inside on this day. Inside is warmer than outside.
▲Sweet white chocolate drink perfect for the cold night. There are also alcohol menus such as hot cocktails.
Snow around here contains large snow crystals, and the texture is light and fluffy. Therefore, it’s called “silky snow”. The snow sparkles so beautifully with the lights, might addict you to walk around outside at night in winter.
However, if you can’t stand the coldness but still want to drink more, enjoy some more relaxing moments at the bar beside the fireplace.
▲You can bring drinks from the ice bar and continue drinking here.
La Vista’s hospitality“La Vista” is a hotel group with the theme of “view” and has unique common services throughout the group.
Like mini ramen “Yonaki Soba” (*) available from 9:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. every night, popsicles and drinks after bathing, and coffee beans with a mill at guest rooms…
What’s interesting is that locality strongly appears to their services.
For example, coffee beans provided at “La Vista Hakodate Bay” is a special blend from “Hakodate Misuzu”, which is founded on 1932 in Hakodate. Also ramen of “La Vista Daisetsuzan” is inspired by Asahikawa ramen, one of the 4 best ramen of Hokkaido, and orders the thin noodles which characterizes the ramen to a local noodle manufacturer.
▲On the bottom left is a Hokkaido limited fermented milk drink called “Katsugen”.
Staffs’ visions were behind these hospitalities.
“The parent of La Vista is a company called Kyoritsu Maintenance, which started the business as a dormitory for students. We always think about what can satisfy students who we look after for a year and practice the ideas, and this way of dealing with customers is same for customers just staying for a night”, says Mr. Jou Inagaki, the head of Kyouritsu Maintenance’s public relations.
There was love to customers behind the gorgeous dinner and warm hospitalities.
Don’t you want to stay in variety of La Vista hotels and be a specialist of La Vista? Who can say “the taste of yonaki in that La Vista…” or “coffee beans of that La Vista…” Complete all the La Vista hotels during the travel around Hokkaido!
* The exact time when “Yonaki Soba” is available may vary. Details are announced at front desks. Also, “La Vista Hakodate Bay” does not offer Yonaki Soba.
AccessFrom Asahikawa Airport / 40 minutes by car
From JR Asahikawa station / 1 hour by car, 1 hour 20 minutes by route bus
From Sapporo / 2.5 hours to 3 hours by car
Related Links-La Vista Akangawa *Japanese support only
-La Vista Daisetsuzan
covered, written by / Hokkaido Likers writer Fumiko Magota
photograph by / Hideki Urashima CLUTCH