#WeekenderStays: Shiretoko Grand Hotel, Hokkaido

Relax after your travels with an impressive buffet and onsen in a traditional Japanese inn setting

Photos: Pamela Chow

After a long day of exploring, there’s nothing more relaxing than kicking back in a cushy hotel and resting your weary body in a hot onsen (hot spring) bath. In my recent trip to Hokkaido, Japan, I capped off a day of exploring the Shiretoko Peninsula with a pampering night at Shiretoko Grand Hotel, or Kita Kobushi.

Here’s what makes Shiretoko Grand Hotel a good choice of accommodation if you’re visiting this side of Japan.

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The room

Unlike its modern outer and lobby appearances, the hotel has rooms done up in traditional Japanese ryokan (inn) style, with tatami mats and paper-screen sliding doors. Due to this, this room was the largest of my trip in Hokkaido – traditional tatami-mat rooms tend to be larger than more modern ones.

For those not used to sleeping in mattresses on the floor – which is remarkably comfortable and warm – the hotel also has rooms fitted with beds.

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My room opened up to a view of the Okhotsk Sea. My visit here was marked by unusually strong winds, so I had a view of fierce waves surging in and crashing against the rocky shore. In winter, the bay freezes over and visitors can walk on the drift ice.

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