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All You Need to Know About the Rooms
at Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko

Room/Suite (50)
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Guests1 room, 2 adults, 0 children
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Room review highlights
We stayed in a room that overlooked the lake. The room was fairly large but cozy, with lots of amenities (including a large...
... two kids. We were then told to take our own bags up to our room, only to see the Japanese guests having their bags carried...
... too much snow…at the base of a skiing area. Oh well. The room in KAI Nikko was a step up from the one in Kawaji and much...
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T N wrote a review Feb 2020
1 contribution
We stayed in a room that overlooked the lake. The room was fairly large but cozy, with lots of amenities (including a large bath). The staff, from the moment we arrived to when we left, were excellent. They anticipated our needs in the warmest, thoughtful way. The front desk assistant who spoke excellent English when we checked out was especially notable for his professionalism and warmth.
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Date of stay: February 2020
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Response from 世生子 飯田, 支配人 at Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko
Responded 3 Mar 2020
Dear 801thinhn, Thank you very much for a great review! We are happy to hear that you had an enjoyable time at KAI Nikko and that our staff members were able to assist you to the fullest as needed. We hope you to see you at KAI or another one of our resorts sometime in the near future! Sincerely, Guest Relations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DrC wrote a review Jan 2020
Melbourne, Australia9 contributions4 helpful votes
We spent three nights here in mid-January as two adults with two small children, and although wouldn’t necessarily recommend against staying here, probably wouldn’t stay again ourselves. Initially we partly decided on staying at Hoshino Nikko based on the complementary bus service that left from Tokyo in Winter, and a combination of positive reviews left by others.

We arrived early for the bus service, and were the first checked in by the lovely Hoshino lady who did not speak any English – hilarity ensued when the electronic translation device broke, but all was managed by calling through to the hotel. The bus service was significantly delayed by 20 minutes waiting for other guests to arrive, unfortunately.

The biggest issue with our stay came on arriving at the hotel. The driveway was icy meaning the bus could not safely approach the front of the hotel, so smaller shuttles were arranged. The luggage went up first, followed by a series of trips for the guests.
Despite having arrived on time and first at the bus terminal in Tokyo, and travelling with a baby and a 3 year old we were the last to be shuttled up to the hotel. That meant we were standing in heavy winds and snow on the lakefront with some very uncomfortable children, including one that needed to use the bathroom urgently. On departing the shuttle bus we were made to make our own way to the lobby with 5 suitcases, 2 backpacks, and carrying two kids. We were then told to take our own bags up to our room, only to see the Japanese guests having their bags carried up and being escorted to their rooms – including two travelling with two small backpacks being carried for them by hotel staff.

In essence we were forced to carry our children and lug all our gear around (and having come from skiing in Hokkaido was a good amount of gear) by ourselves without a luggage trolley. We also received no welcome to Kai Nikko. This has to be some of the worst service I’ve ever received for a hotel stay anywhere in the world, despite the premium price we were paying for a room.

We stayed in a WL6 room “Japanese-style Suite with Lake View”. The room itself was certainly spacious, although our room must have had the worst view of all the top floor rooms being set well back in the hotel on a corner. We could see the lake, but only from the side, and the view was dominated by a view of a room set further forward to our side; we had great views of the staff car park though! While the rooms are tasteful and well-appointed, they are reasonably worn-down. A previous review describing the stains around a bathroom basin I thought was petty until I saw the result myself. Our room also smelt somewhat damp, and the fridge had a very interesting odour. The exterior of the hotel is also similarly run-down with broken metal barriers around the balconies at places. Access from the hotel to the lake was only available down the ice-covered driveway the bus had refused to take, and we had a good tumble with a carried child on one such journey.

Kai Nikko is also only questionably child friendly. Provision of both child-sized sumae and yakuta is wonderful, and our 3 year old loved these. Children are also welcome to use the onsen. Nevertheless, while they stay free of charge, this does not hold up if they use any extra bedding which they are charged signicantly for. Furthermore, the food provided for kids at both breakfast and dinner is very lacking – it consists only of rice and a bowl of miso soup at both meals; no fruit or protein in sight. Food for adults on the other hand is of very high quality. The daily Japanese-style breakfast and evening kaiseki meals are generous in terms of content, quality, and daily variety.

There are five separate onsen pools at Kai Nikko. There are both indoor and outdoor male and female onsens, and a fifth outdoor bath that alternates between men and women over the day. This is the bath presented on their website photos, but unlike these it has no view as blinds are drawn all around, so it is nowhere near as impressive as the photos make it look. Similarly the outdoor male and female baths have no view, and even the sky is barely visible from either as they are located under building overhangs. That being said it is hard to beat the sensation of having a warm outdoor onsen in a Japanese winter.

Location wise it should be noted that Kai Nikko is not located near the World Heritage temple area – in fact it’s a fairly lengthy bus ride of more than 30 minutes away. Hoshino runs no buses from the hotel to the area either, but they do provide an intermittent shuttle service to the bus station at Chuzenji Onsen bus terminal which is otherwise about a 10-15 minute walk. By foot this walk is is probably fine most of the year, but walking through winter snow and headwinds makes it a fairly refreshing experience to put it mildly. Kai Nikko is actually located on Lake Chuzenji away from the town of Nikko. The lake is in itself an interesting place. Only a relatively short length of its 25 km circumference is developed, and a lot of this is in a major state of disrepair. Broken down pleasure boats shaped like helicopters and swans line this spot – most of which will never be lake-worthy again and are just broken down junk. Many of the buildings in the area are similarly uninhabitable and unlikely to be restorable. Regardless, there are some amazing sites located in walking distance of the Kai Nikko, including the very impressive Kegon Falls, the lake itself, Chuzenji temple, and most impressively the area around the old British and Italian embassy villas.

Overall Kai Nikko and Lake Chuzenjii are a nice spot to visit. If your goal is to explore the Nikko temples I would suggest staying in Nikko proper and making a day trip to the lake area. For us the biggest issue was the exceptionally poor service we received on arrival which really marred the rest of our stay. With no orientation we had to work out how the hotel worked aided only by some fairly sparse explanations on the folio in the room. At the price I would expect a more formal greeting and introduction to the hotel, and at least an offer of assistance with getting to our room if we are clearly struggling with a lot of luggage and two small children. The service the rest of the time was pleasant enough without being exceptionally, and even when the staff did not speak much English we certainly got by with a combination of our broken Japanese. It is a nice enough venue with some good features, but for us represented relatively poor value for money.
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Date of stay: January 2020
Room Tip: Ask for a lake view at a front suite. The side suite room is not great.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Response from Hoshino_Resorts, お客様担当マネージャー at Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko
Responded 29 Jan 2020
Dear Propofool Thank you very much for taking your time to review our property in detail. We are glad to hear that you were able to enjoy sightseeing near our property. Also, we are happy to hear that you enjoyed the meals and the yukata provided in the room. However, it is unfortunate that we were not able to assist you and your family upon your arrival as well as provide excellent service consistently. We hope to provide better service so that we can welcome you back again. Sincerely, Guest Relations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheClairvoyant wrote a review Jan 2020
Sydney, Australia58 contributions61 helpful votes
Having previously had a wonderful time at Hoshinoya Karuizawa, our family of four felt we could trust their brand and devised a driving holiday which took us from Kawaji over to Nagano. KAI Nikko was the second of four Hoshino branded resorts that we stayed. Sat-nav got us very close to the main building but it took my eagle-eyed family to spot the small KAI sign pointing up the road to the entrance. The entrance feels as though its on the side of the building rather than the front but fortunately someone was again there to greet us. We had arrived a little early so got our first experience of the strictness the Hoshino resorts apply to checking in (15:00 to be precise). Rather than hang around, we dropped our bags off and went for a walk over to Kegon Falls. It was January, windy, and very, very cold…..very glad we had packed for skiing later in the trip.

Nikko has a lot more to do than our previous location in Kawaji, but surprisingly a lot of activities were closed for the holiday period. I had hoped to visit the Nikko Natural Science Museum and arrange some tours but it was shut for all the days we were there. I’d also planned on visiting the various Embassy Villas….also shut for the season. Later on we drove over to Yuno Lake where I had planned on doing a small nature walk….closed due to too much snow…at the base of a skiing area. Oh well.

The room in KAI Nikko was a step up from the one in Kawaji and much larger and more modern. We had only booked a side room without views over the lake which I regretted; I didn’t expect the view over the lake to be as impressive as it is…the resort was completely full so we couldn’t change; I would strongly recommend a lake view room if its your first time to the area.

The food was very good, but of the four resorts, I’d say it was the least impressive when it came to the standard meals; not bad in any way..just not quite as good as the others. The exception to this was the new year’s day dinner which was extremely good and our waiter Suzuki did a great job.

The onsens were as good as ever. I’d guess that KAI Nikko gets a lot of visitors during the year and the public areas were quite worn, especially the carpets and the furniture.

Whilst we still had a great time, Nikko was probably the one KAI we felt didn’t quite stand up when compared to the others we stayed at. It needs its public areas refurbishing, and the food, whilst good, didn’t match the other locations. If I were in Nikko again, I’d probably look for other hotels before trying KAI Nikko.
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Date of stay: January 2020
Room Tip: Pay extra for the lake view, its really amazing.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Response from Hoshino_Resorts, お客様担当マネージャー at Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko
Responded 23 Jan 2020
Dear TheClairvoyant, Thank you for taking the time to review KAI Nikko. We truly appreciate your kind comments, and are very glad that you liked our room. We regret that some activities in the area were closed due to the holiday period. Your feedbacks are much appreciated as they help us to improve in order to offer a comfortable environment to our guests. We do hope we can have the chance to welcome you back and show you how we are evolving. Best regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jessica H wrote a review Nov 2019
Yarra, Australia398 contributions65 helpful votes
The view was very nice. However going from main building to my room was quite an excercise! Lift up to level 3, long walk, then going down two flights of stairs (no lift in this part of the building), not a very good floor plan design?
Meal was average for how much they charged.
Also, for the number of foreign guests I came across, staff's English proficiency surely can be improved...
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Date of stay: October 2019
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Response from Hoshino_Resorts, お客様担当マネージャー at Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko
Responded 13 Nov 2019
Dear A8889VSjessicah, Thank you for taking the time to share a review. It is great to hear that you enjoyed the views of Nikko from your room. However, we regret that we were unable to meet your expectations during your recent stay, as our services strive to provide a comfortable and quality experience for all guests. We appreciate your honest feedback and have shared your concerns with the rest of the team so that we can continue improving our services and welcome you to one of our accommodations in the near future! Sincerely, Guest Relations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris N wrote a review Oct 2019
Chelmsford, United Kingdom15 contributions13 helpful votes
We were greeted very warmly at the hotel and shown to our spacious, comfortable room. The hotel looked a bit tired on the outside from the lakeside but there was no evidence of this inside and the onsen was one the best I used.

The problem came with our dinner. We asked if we could be joined by a guest for dinner and after some debate, the Hotel agreed. Unfortunately during our dinner, in the booth next to us was a baby crying and screaming for pretty much the whole 90 minutes. The server apologised on completion of our meal on behalf of the maitre d’ and said this was not normal at a hotel such as this.

The next morning when I checked out, I was charged ¥12,600, or £100 for the guest’s meal. I said I thought this was unreasonable under the circumstances and asked to speak to the manager. The duty manager arrived and simply said we had eaten the food, therefore we had to pay the full price.

I completely disagree. No one pays £100 for food in any restaurant. When you eat in a top restaurant, you are paying for the food, the service and the ambience, basically the overall experience. With us the food was good (although I have eaten in a number of places in Japan that were better), the service was excellent but the meal was unfortunately ruined by a screaming baby which made it impossible to relax or enjoy.

When I made this point the manager was not interested. He would not move from the position of the food was eaten, therefore the full price must be paid.

I reluctantly paid but this will be the only thing I remember about this hotel, that they had no interest in the customer experience, just in collecting their money. I am not suggesting the crying baby was in any way their responsibility - I have children and have had some embarrassing experiences myself - but just expect them to acknowledge that our experience was not good and accept that the amount being asked for was too high. I made it perfectly clear that I was not asking them to cancel the meal cost, just that a discount would be appropriate to reflect the circumstances in which we ate our meal (I suggested ¥10,000 to pay, which in hindsight I think is generous).

So it might be that Hoshino congratulate the manager for collecting a large sum of money but when I stay at a 5 star resort, I expect an acceptance that my experience should be a good one and acknowledgement when that does not happen.
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Date of stay: October 2019Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Response from Hoshino_Resorts, お客様担当マネージャー at Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko
Responded 18 Oct 2019
Dear Chris N, Thank you for taking the time to share a thoughtful and detailed review. We sincerely apologize for the concerns you expressed above and for any inconveniences you experienced during your stay. We are truly sorry that your dinner experience was not a enjoyable time due to the baby crying at a next table and our staff asked you to pay for the full price with no concern of how you felt. I will share this feedback with our team and reconsider our policy regarding such matter. Again, we truly appreciate your honest feedback, which we will take into account to further enhance our guest experience. We are constantly striving to evolve our services to provide each and every guest with an authentic, yet comfortable experience during their stay. We hope to deliver a better, seamless experience should you choose to stay with us at one of our accommodations again in the future so that you can see just how we are evolving. Best regards, Guest relations manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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