[Hotel Review] – Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings (Japanese Style Room), Lake Akan, Hokkaido, Japan (16 – 18 Feb 17)

Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings Hotel in Akanko Onsen

Location

Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings Hotel is located at the west of Akanko Onsen Town, by the shore of Lake Akan. The hotel is conveniently located in Akanko Onsen with numerous souvenir shops right opposite the hotel. There are a couple of 24-hour convenient shops opposite the hotel. It would take one 5 mins to walk to Ainu Village and 7 mins to the Akan Tourist Information Centre from Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings Hotel. Akanko Bus Centre is 10 mins walk from the hotel.
Ainu sculptures placed in the lobby of Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings
Ainu artefact on ground floor of Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings
More Ainu artefacts on the ground floor of Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings
Entrance to the smoking room on ground floor of Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings
There is a large TV inside the smoking room for guests to enjoy

The Room

Sleeping Area

I checked into the Japanese style room in the hotel, instead of sleeping on a bed guests will sleep on the futon over the tatami floor. A small front porch greets guests when entering the 30㎡ Japanese style room. As the futon will be laid over the floor in the evening, guests are expected to remove their shoes before entering the room. To the left of the porch is a row of large cabinets where the bedding items are being stowed, and the toilet is to the right of the porch. A Japanese style door separates the sleeping area from the porch. Passing through the Japanese style door from the porch, guests enters into the room sleeping area. The light brown woven tatami floor looks very traditional and clean.

Corridor outside my room
I like the use of the Japanese style wooden gate outside the room, with the wooden roof, gives the room a zen and Japanese feel
View of the room from the lounge. From this angle, the front porch of the room can be seen

To the right from the Japanese style door, placed next to the wall is a built in wardrobe where one can hang some clothing. As the wardrobe is rather small, it is full when 2 winter jackets are being hung. The in-room safe is tucked into the bottom of the wardrobe.

Wardrobe in the room

Further into the room, a small knee height table and a couple of chairs are being placed in the middle of the room. Along the wall to the left of the room is where one can find a small table. There are a couple of power point outlet by the wall, making this table a great place to charge mobile phones. The TV console is further down the wall to the left of the room.

The empty space along the left wall of the room provided me with a place to stow my luggage
TV console where the phone is located

In the day, only the table and the chairs will be in the room. In the evening, hotel staffs will come into the room and set up the room for sleeping. The small table will be shifted neatly to one side and the futons are being laid over the tatami floor. The sleep quality on the futons are excellent. I was able to get a great night sleep at night. The pillows are perfect to my liking as it is not too soft.

The sleeping in the day is furnished with a short knee height table and 2 chairs for guests to relax
The table is pushed to the side of the room and futons are laid over the tatami every night for guests to sleep

Lounge Area

Further into the room, next to the windows is a 3 seater L shaped couch. This is a great area to rest in the day and provided extra space to stow one’s day bag. There is a small coffee table placed in this area. A cabinet, where the mini fridge is tucked, is located opposite the couch. This is where one will find the kettle and tea. The hotel placed some sweets on top of the cabinet.
The couch area at the end of the room next to the window
Mini bar area where the fridge and tea making facilities can be found
Tea cups and tea together with some snacks that the hotel places for guests to enjoy
View of the frozen Lake Akan from my room

Bathroom

The bathroom inside the Japanese style room in Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings Hotel is rather small, much to the Japanese standard. From the entrance of the bathroom, at one glance, one can see the entire bathroom. Despite being small, it has all the essentials of a bathroom such as a toilet bowl with washout, a sink and a bathtub. There are no separate walk-in showers, guests would have to shower in the bathtub. Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings Hotel stocked its bathroom well despite the size, it has all the standard bathing amenities that one would find in a 5-star hotel.
The bathroom is rather small

Onsen

Onsen is located on the 3rd floor for male guests and 2nd floor for female guests. The onsen is rather small in Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings Hotel. In the male onsen, there are 6 onsen pools with temperatures varying from 38.5 ℃ to 40.5℃. A steam room and sauna is built in the onsen area. Guests in the hotel can also use the onsen in the sister hotel next door. The onsen in the hotel next door is bigger and has more onsen baths, located on B1 and 8th floor.
Information on the onsen found in the lift of  Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings Hotel. I did not manage to take photos of the onsen due to the no cameras allowed in the onsen area policy.

Breakfast and Dinning

Meals are served in Hapo Restaurant next to the lift lobby of Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings Hotel. The restaurant is very big and seem to be able to cater to all the guests in the hotel at one go. There are Japanese and western options for both breakfast and dinner. For breakfast, there are the standard american style with dishes like croissant, danish, and assorted bread. There are also things like eggs on offer for breakfast. Japanese options such as sushi, miso soup, rice and onigari etc are available. The spread for dinner is even more lavish. Other than cooked dishes, there is an area serving cook to order dishes and a sushi station. There are Japanese options for dinner as well. There is also another station with waffles and ice-cream. The food is delicious and the sushi tastes fresh in Hapo.

Hapo Restaurant where breakfast and dinner are served
Dessert area in Hapo Restaurat
The cook to order section  of Hapo Restaurant
Cook food section in Hapo Restaurant

Service

The service in the hotel is excellent, starting from check-in. Although the staff spoke very little English, this does not seem to be a barrier for them to delivery excellent service. The good service started at the reception during check-in. The staff, always with a smile, expeditiously processed my room and handed over the key to the room without having me staying there for longer than necessary. The staff also carefully brief me on the onsen arrangements and the place for dinner. I requested for extra pillow in the room and the staff responded to my request within minutes. The front desk staff were also seen helping guests with their luggage. After checking out, when boarding the bus arranged by the hotel for my next stop in Hokkaido, staffs were seen braving the cold weather sending guests off with the Japanese bow.

The service at Hapo is excellent as well. The staff at the front of the restaurant, always smiling, quickly got another staff member to show me to my table for dinning. The staff whom showed me to my table took the trouble to explain where various food are located and departed with a bow and a smile. They did this every time I went to the restaurant for food.

The housekeeping team relentlessly prepare the futon in my room every evening, ensuring they are ready by the time I return after dinner. Futons are put away every morning, the room is ready for day lounge mode after I returned from breakfast. Rooms are kept spick and span every day, with bathroom supplies topped up.

Reception area in Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings Hotel

Overall

Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings Hotel is a great place to stay in Akanko Onsen. The hotel lobby is practically an art gallery showcasing Ainu sculptures and Ainu artefacts. The sleep quality is excellent and the room size is great. I particularly like the lounge area in the room, which is a great place to relax in while the view of Lake Akan from the lounge area is fantastic. The service rendered by the staffs is exemplary. They made me feel very welcome in the hotel. Despite the small onsen in Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings Hotel, guests are welcome to use the onsen facilities in the sister hotel next door, giving guests more than 20 onsen baths to enjoy. At the price, with the half boarding arrangement, Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings Hotel is a value for money stay in Akanko Onsen.

 

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