What kind of small luxury hotel is Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan?
On a snowy January weekday, I left work around 4:00 p.m., headed for Shinjuku Station, took Odakyu Romance Car, got off at Hakone-Yumoto Station, transferred to Hakone Tozan Railway, got off at Chokokunomori Station, and I called the hotel to pick me up. As I approached Hakone, the whole area turned into a silver world, which was very different from the usual Hakone scenery, and I was very surprised. Yesterday’s weather forecast said that it was going to snow, so I was worried that the train might stop, but I was relieved to arrive at Chokokunomori Station without any trouble. I just hope that the train will not stop again tomorrow. Since I was traveling alone this time, I wanted to fully enjoy my time alone, so I booked this hotel.
The Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan, where I will be staying tonight, is, as the name suggests, a unique place where you can enjoy alcohol to your heart’s content from morning until late at night.This time it snowed so I thought about canceling, but I’m glad I came. It was a wonderful place beyond my imagination.
As I got out of the pick-up car, the building looked more like an adult retreat in the woods than a hotel. By the time we arrived here, the sun had set and the area was pitch black. Check-in starts at 6:00 p.m., so it was just in time. Entering through the modern wooden automatic door, I was surprised to see a magnificent bar wooden counter with many stylish bottles of alcohol behind it and a large window overlooking the mountains of Hakone and the illuminated forest. It was after a heavy snowfall that day, so the view from here was like a huge horizontal painting, magical and dynamic. The silver world lit up and floating in the darkness of the night created a different world.
Then in front of the wooden bar counter was a wonderful fireplace surrounded by sofas and stylish contemporary art paintings on the walls. It was a pleasure to sip drinks to my heart’s content while enjoying the snowy scenery and the flickering fireplace.
A staff member led me to the bar counter and prepared a glass of champagne. There is no front desk, lobby, etc. Upon arrival, I checked in at the bar counter. After checking in with a glass of champagne, staff escorted me to my room. I stayed in a superior room on the first floor.
Upon entering the room, I found it to be spacious enough for a single person and comfortable, with easy-to-use furnishings. The complimentary minibar had champagne, beer, Coca-Cola, and soft drinks. Also available for free were potato chips, Tom Yang Kung cup noodles, nuts, and Czech Rates. The room had only a shower booth and no bathtub. A yukata and black one-piece dresse for women were provided. While the room was relaxing enough, I spent most of our stay either at the bar on the first floor or in the lounge on the second floor.
Overall, the place was romantic and stylish with black everywhere. Indirect lighting was designed into every detail of the bar, corridors, rooms, hot springs, and the trees seen from the windows, making for a creative space. In addition, paintings depicting the bar and alcohol motifs were displayed everywhere, making it a pleasure to move around the hotel.
First, before enjoying a drink at the bar, I headed to the communal hot spring baths to warm up our bodies, which were completely chilled after moving through the snow. There were stylish communal outdoor and indoor hot spring baths. The snowy landscape from the outdoor bath was lit up and made for a wonderful view, but it was too cold outside, so I just watched it while warming up in the indoor bath. The spring water was very moist to the touch.
Then I went to the bar I had been waiting for. First, I had a glass of champagne and an appetizer to quench my thirst. Then, while sipping champagne, I looked at the menu and found that in addition to champagne, there were a variety of other drinks available, including wine, whiskey, gin, cocktails, and Japanese sake, etc. Moreover, with the exception of a few drinks, over 300 drinks are available free of charge, making this place a paradise for drinkers. To my surprise, there was an array of alcoholic that I had never seen before.
The comfortable chairs, two by two, were placed at the 13-meter long one-piece wooden bar counter, each with a different design. The space between the seats next to each other was also quite wide, making it a luxurious space.
Then I especially liked the carefully made cocktails. The cocktails were named after the main characters in famous movies. For example, Got father, James Bond martini, Charlie Chaplin, and so on. If you ask for a cocktail other than the ones listed on the menu, the bartender will make it for you. Also, the hotel does not serve dinner. However, they do serve snacks at the bar. For example, tomato caprese, five cheese platter, ham and salami platter, bagna cauda, beef curry, french fries, sausages, roast beef, etc. Basically, you need to pay for everything except drinks. I had the beef curry and cheese here. Alternatively, there is an affiliated teppanyaki restaurant called Itoh Dining nearby, and the staff will drive you there. When I stayed here, check-in time was 6:00 p.m., so many guests seemed to come after having dinner.
Then after listening to pleasant music, admiring the lit-up snowy landscape, sipping a variety of beautiful cocktails, and getting moderately drunk, I decided to move to the lounge on the second floor. There was another very nice lounge, in contrast to the bar on the first floor, which was very sophisticated, with ornamental plants here and there. This lounge also had champagne, wine, beer, sangria, gin, liqueurs, snacks, and cup noodles available for self-service and free of charge at all times. A variety of gins, displayed on the stylish white walls, are also at your disposal. Tables and sofas were arranged along the large windows. Each sofa had a different design, so it was hard to decide which seat to take. There were a few people working on their computers here and there. I decided to sit here for a while, drinking a glass of wine and reading a book I had wanted to read for a long time. Then I realized that it was past 10 p.m., so I went back to the bar and had just one glass of brandy for a nightcap before returning to my room. When I left the bar, most of the guests were still in the bar and lounge. This is a place where you really want to stay up late, but I got up before 6:00 this morning and I was already at my limit.
The next day, I woke up a little early and watched the dawn break from the window of my room while drinking a cup of coffee. Watching the dawn break and being healed by the great outdoors was one of the pleasures of the trip. After 7:00 a.m., the sky gradually became brighter and clearer, and a clear blue sky came into view.
Then I changed into a yukata and decided to go to the communal hot spring baths on B1 again. I did not see anyone using the communal baths in the morning. The bar is open until 26:00, so it seems that there are many guests who drink until late and wake up late in the morning to have brunch. I went to the lounge on the second floor where breakfast was available after 9:00.
Breakfast was buffet style, all delicious Japanese-French. Wine, champagne, non-alcoholic champagne, and non-alcoholic cider were also available free of charge in the morning. It is a very complete service. Truffle croquette, scallops au gratin, steamed abalone, vegetable quiche, prosciutto melon, blinis with sea urchin, bonito salad, homemade sausage, salmon meuniere, corn soup, chestnut tiramisu, ricotta cheese mousse, etc. were on the buffet. Not a huge variety, but all the dishes were delicious and perfect with champagne or wine. In addition to the buffet, you can order a galette for your main course. From the counter seats, we could see the snow-covered mountains of Hakone. I was so happy to be able to enjoy the wonderful buffet in the morning while gazing at the silver world spread out under the blue sky. I found myself relaxing here for more than an hour. After breakfast, I went to the bar on 1F, which had a nice open setting, quite different from the evening.
Since check-out time is 2:00 p.m., I was planning to relax in the communal hot spring bath and lounge until then, but thick clouds appeared around 10:00 a.m., and I thought the trains might stop due to heavy snow, so I checked out at 10:30 a.m. while drinking an original cocktail at the bar counter, and asked the staff to take me to Chokokunomori station. The weather is the only thing I can’t control.
The only drawback I can think of is that only one of the 21 rooms has a private hot spring. However, that may be enough, since you can use the private family hot spring bath with a wonderful minibar for a fee. It was really a great place for me, all things considered. Then, they do not allow people under 20 years old to stay here, so it is not suitable for families.
Check Availability and Pricing for the hotel on Agoda
Is the location easy to access?
If you are going from Tokyo Station, take the Shinkansen bullet train to JR Odawara Station. From there, transfer to Hakone Tozan Railway, or Odakyu Romancecar to Hakone-Yumoto Station. From there, transfer to Hakone Tozan Railway and get off at Chokokunomori Station. *All Hakone Tozan Railways departing from Odawara Station terminate at Hakone-Yumoto Station. Hakone Tozan Railways bound for Gora require a transfer at Hakone-Yumoto Station.
A free shuttle service is available from Chokokunomori Station. Staff will pick you up at the station.
Alternatively, it is a 15-minute cab ride from Hakone-Yumoto Station. Cab fare is about JPY3,500. The day I visited was after a snowfall, so there were no cabs at the cab stand, so I ended up taking Hakone Tozan Railway.
Alternatively, you can take an Izu Hakone Bus or Hakone Tozan Bus from the East Exit of Odawara Station. It takes 40min. Then get off at Horaien Bus Stop and just a 5min walk from the bus stop to the property.
Then, you may want to show the driver the Japanese text below when you get on the bus. That way, in case you fall asleep, the driver will let you know when you arrive at the bus stop where you will get off.
Please let me know when you reach “Horaien Bus Stop”.
Please note that the small hotel is surrounded by mountains and forests, so it is pitch dark at night. Moreover, check-in time is from 6:00 p.m. If you are a first time visitor to Hakone, I would not recommend taking a public bus.
Then, if you are taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to JR Odawara Station, you need to pay attention to your luggage. Please check here for details. When boarding the Shinkansen, luggage whose total of three sides exceeds 160 cm requires advance reservation of a seat with an oversized luggage space. Baby strollers, musical instruments, bicycles, surfboards, etc. are excluded. Items may be brought in as long as they are placed in a special bag and can stand up.
Passengers bringing oversized baggage without an advance reservation will be charged a carry-on fee of 1,000 JPY. In such cases, the baggage needs to be placed in an area designated by the crew. Also, large luggage is not allowed in unreserved seats on the Shinkansen. Then, children under 6 years old usually do not need a ticket, but if a preschooler uses the Shinkansen, a reserved seat ticket for preschoolers is required to be purchased.
On Odakyu Romancecars, the size of luggage is limited to a total of no more than 250 centimeters on three sides and no longer than 2 meters in length. The weight is limited to 30 kg, and up to two pieces may be carried on board as long as they do not interfere with the operation of the train or inconvenience other passengers. Exercise equipment such as ski boards, snowboards, bicycles, etc. may be brought in as long as they are placed in a special bag and can stand up. Strollers are folded and placed in front of the seats. Then normally, children under 6 years of age do not need a ticket, but when using a seat on an Odakyu Romancecar, a child’s express ticket and a ticket for children are required. However, if you hold a child on your lap, a limited express ticket and a boarding pass are not required. Please refer to the info.
Due to the effects of Typhoon 19, the Hakone Tozan Line between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora Station is under a long-term suspension. During this period of suspension, bus transfers and Rail Replacement bus services will be operating between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora stations. It will be restored in late July 2020. Refer to the info. The Hakone Tozan Line has restarted since the 23rd of July, 2020.
Where is the best accommodation for anniversaries in Hakone?
If you are looking for a nice place for a special occasion, the property would be one of the best in Hakone. The staff arranges cakes to celebrate an anniversary at additional charges.
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How about rooms?
There are no elevators in the building, so you will need to take the stairs. If you want to frequent the bar, a room on the first floor is convenient. If you want to frequent the lounge on the second floor, a room on the second floor is convenient. The communal hot spring baths are on the first basement floor. Only one suite room with a private hot spring bath is available.
How about toiletries & in-room amenities?
All of the amenities are taken care of including enough toiletries, yukatas, one-piece dress for women, a coffee machine with capsules, snacks, cup noodles, tea bags, a complimentary mini-bar including beer, champaign, wine, etc. There are bath amenities and skincare products in the bathroom. Also, a CD player, Bluetooth, and a DVD player were placed in our room. Room service is not available. The free Wifi reception was excellent. There is no convenience store nearby.
How about In-house Facilities?
There are two communal hot springs on the first basement floor. The communal hot spring called Spa Kayama has an indoor bath, an outdoor bath, a sauna, and a water bath. The communal hot spring named Spa Hinoki has only an indoor bath, but as the name suggests, it was filled with the scent of hinoki cypress.
Also, there are two family private hot spring baths with saunas. You need to book them in advance and they cost 10,000JPY for 90min. They are open from 6:00-27:00. Complimentary minibars including champagne, wine, beer, Japanese sake is available.
*Guests with tattoos may not be allowed to use the communal hot spring baths. Please use the private family baths instead.
Then the property is not a universal design. There is no lift. Wheelchairs are not available for borrowing. I wouldn’t recommend it if you bring people with weak legs.
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How about meals?
As noted above, the Japanese-French buffet breakfast was excellent. Breakfast hours are 9:00-12:00.
The staff were all sophisticated. If you expect 5-star hotel service, this is the place to stay. If you want to relax with a drink in a lush natural setting, it is well worth staying here. Finally, if you are staying here in the spring or fall season, I would definitely recommend taking a walk in the nearby Kowakidani Horaien Garden. In spring, the cherry blossoms and azaleas are in full bloom, and in fall, the red maple leaves are magnificent.
Have a nice trip! Welcome to receive any questions about Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan from the below space. Check Availability and Pricing for the hotel on Agoda
Info about Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan
|Style||Small Luxury Hotel|
|Check-in and out times
|Estimated Price||80,000 JPY for 2 adults per room|
|Internet Connection||Free WiFi in the hotel|
|Facility Information||Wheelchairs are not available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available
|Location||Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan’s MAP|
|Access||Free pick-up service
from Chokokunomori Station
|Address and TEL||
|Official Homepage||Bar Hotel Hakone Kazan’s HP|
*All information above is as of the date that I posted on my blog.
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