My best friend and I just finished up our trip to Hakuba and we are absolutely thrilled with our stay at Wadano Forest. The rooms are simple but very comfortable (ie if you're looking for extravagant luxury this is probably not your fit), great water pressure in the showers, and breakfast was always delicious and home made. They will pick you up at the bus station and take you into town for errands whenever possible and drop you at any of the free ski shuttle stops in the morning (and afternoon pickup) so you can try all of Hakuba Valley's slopes. The nearest lift is barely 3 minutes down the road and easily walkable if you prefer as well. They even took us farther into town to get to lifts because the closest ones were closed. The onsen is a perfect way to relax after a day on the slopes, but be warned it is traditional, so you will have to disrobe and wash off before getting in! What really makes Wadano Forest stand out is the staff. They were prompt and friendly during pre-arrival communication and even more wonderful in person. Sai and Leah cooked a delicious breakfast every morning and Raymond was always ready with the bus to transport you as needed. We were "lucky" enough to plan our trip during the worst winter in decades (so little snow) and Leah and Sai organized a day trip to Matsumoto Castle for a very affordable amount and we had a blast with the other guests for the day. They did a snow monkey tour as well, but it was before we arrived. They really made you feel like family. Luckily, we got to experience some true powder on our last day and between that and the amazing time we had at Wadano Forest, we will definitely be back!…
Second time we have stayed here. First time in the new apartments which are beautiful. The staff are so helpful: negotiating everything from the shuttle bus timetable to other ski fields, taking us on trips to the ATM or supermarket, booking dinner.... nothing was too much trouble. And the hotel onsen at the end of the day was just the best for tired skiing legs. We aim to return next year.
This the second season we have stayed at Wadano Forest Hotel and it was again a really wonderful experience. Joanne and her team were extremely helpful. The rooms are great and the onsen so relaxing. We dined in one evening and the nabe prepared by Sai was the best we have had in many trips to Japan. Nothing was too much trouble for Raymond and his bus.
My partner and I stayed for a week in Hakuba, the room was very comfortable with a view out into the snowy forest. Breakfast selection was great every morning. The relaxing onsen was great every day after a day of skiing. Although the hotel is a little walk away from the town center, is is close to everything you need and the hotel runs shuttles in the morning and afternoon to the closest lifts so you don't have to walk the hill in ski boots. Joanie was lovely and often booked dinners for us over the phone and even offered to drive us to restaurants and into town to grab supplies when she was off to run errands.
As the other reviews have said, the team at Wadano Forest Hotel really make this place! Joanie, Jamie, Mayumi, Raymond, Sai and the others are very accommodating. The rooms are warm and cosy and have everything you need, the view of the forest is stunning. Sai's cooking is delicious and the breakfast is worth it with a simple variety and always something warm to fill you up. Sai made us the most wonderful 'sushi role your own' dinner which my children just devoured and we stuffed ourselves. The hotel is located near the end of the shuttle bus route which is a bonus when catching the bus to Iimori as you are the first to get on! Wadano Forest is in easy walking distance of the Thai Food van (amazing!), The Rabbit Hole and Penke Bar. We will be back!