If you want to hit the slopes this winter and looking for a family-friendly resort, grab your skis – large and small – and head to Niseko in Japan. This picturesque resort with views of Mount Yotei offers first-rate chalets, English speaking staff and endless pistes full of powder.
STAY: The Vale is a group of glamorous self-catering apartments that provide a Japanese alpine experience like no other. With stunning views of the ski run, your own personal onsen, a swimming pool and a fine-dining restaurant, this award-winning property is the ultimate in ski-in ski-out luxury. You can choose from a 1.5 bed to three bedroom chalet, or if you want to spoil yourself splurge on the penthouse apartment. Or if you’re travelling with a large group, you could look at the super chic Annabel chalet that can cater for up to 12 people. It is close to the slopes and restaurants, offers amazing views of Mount Yotei, and has a media and games room for kids.
EAT: If you’ve got a picky eater in your family who is sure to turn their nose up at raw fish, book a table at A BU CHA 2. This lively Japanese izakaya serves a wide range of mouthwatering dishes such as organic grilled chicken with green tea salt, tofu and tuna salad, and salmon butter-corn hot pot. Or if you plan to have a couples night and taking a break from the kids, treat yourself to a meal at Kamimura. Sample menus include Hokkaido mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto, Niseko potato puree with lily bulb and black olive, and grilled local fish Soi with puttanesca sauce. Absolutely divine.
PLAY: If the kids think you’re cool for taking them skiing, up the ante by taking them snowmobiling. You can speed through trails cut through the sprawling golf course at the Green Leaf Hotel. Younger kids can ride adults so it’s an activity everyone can enjoy.
AND WHEN YOU WANT A DAY OFF FROM THE SLOPES: Visit the seaside town of Otaru – a short train ride from Niseko. Take a stroll along the canal adorned with Victorian-style street lamps, discover the arts and crafts at the shopping bazaars, and dad might want to sample some of the town’s famed beer.