Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hakodate Kokusai Hotel

As I have written in an earlier post, hubby and I had been on a sightseeing trip to Hokkaido in mid-June. On the morning of 20th June, we visited Ueno Farm in Asahikawa City and then took a couple of local trains to travel down to Hakodate City where we stayed overnight at a hotel named Hakodate Kokusai Hotel. Hakodate Kokusai Hotel is a refined luxury hotel with over 44 years of history. The hotel is located just a 7 minute walk from JR Hakodate Station, and overlooks Hakodate Bay. The hotel has elegantly designed features, and is suitable for leisure, business, as well as sightseeing. The hotel offers twelve types of rooms from single-bedded to suite rooms for the guests to choose from.

The hotel has two buildings namely the East building and the West Building. The interior design of and the outside views from both these buildings have different characters. The hotel has a total of 305 rooms with a capacity of 536 people to stay at a time. So the visitors have a wide variety of rooms to choose from. In fact, rooms of the type namely, deluxe single-bedded, single-bedded, deluxe twin-bedded, deluxe twin-bedded with rounded-windows, twin-bedded, double-bedded, Japanese and Western mixed-style, barrier-free, imperial suite, and royal suite are available to choose from. Non smoking rooms are available in both the buildings. Car parking lots are available in the hotel which is preferable for sightseeing purposes. The hotel has a chapel and a Shinto-style wedding facilities. In addition, 25 banquet rooms, bridal products shops, souvenir shops, vending machines, as well as a bread and cake shop are also available. The hotel has four restaurants where Japanese, Chinese or Western style foods are available.

On 20th June, hubby and I reached Hakodate Railway Station at about 9 pm. We took a taxi and reached Hakodate Kokusai Hotel within a few minutes. We noted that the main entrance and the reception are located in the East building. We checked in and immediately went to our room located at the sixth floor in the West building. The West building can be accessed via an accessway from the East building, so we reached our room without any hassle. Our room was deluxe twin-bedded Western-style with ensuite facilities. The interior of our room was beautifully designed, and the room overlooked Hakodate Bay and provided a nice ocean view. It was a luxurious room and had various facilities like a bathtub with a shower, toilet seat with warm-water shower feature, television, cable and satellite television, radio, air-conditioner, refrigerator, hairdryer, and humidifier. We noted that bath towels, face towels, toiletries, and gowns were also provided in our room. In addition, free Wi-Fi system and high-speed internet was also available. We loved the room interior and the facilities provided. We enjoyed the nighttime view of Hakodate Bay from the window of our room for some time. A brightly lit memorial ship named Mashumaru looked amazing. The ship was one of the Seikan railway ferries that operated between Hokkaido and Honshu until 1988, following which it was permanently moored at the bay. Afterwards, I watched some television program and hubby did his office related job. We retired for the night at about 11pm. We loved staying in the room which was very clean, spacious, and had a comfortable atmosphere with relaxing beds. I would like to mention here that I usually do not write about the hotels we stay at during our sightseeing trips to various places as we stay in relatively inexpensive hotels. But Hakodate Kokusai Hotel is a luxury hotel and we really had a relaxed time there, so I decided to write about it.
I am standing in front of Hakodate Railway Station

Nighttime view of Hakodate Bay as seen from the window of our hotel room

Brightly lit Mashumaru ship moored at the bay

Nighttime view of Hakodate City as viewed from our room

Our deluxe twin-bedded Western-style room

I am watching some television program

Hubby doing office related job in our room

The next morning, on 21st June, we got up quite early and again enjoyed the pleasant views of Hakodate Bay and the city surroundings from the window of our room. It was a cloudy day but Mashumaru ship moored at the bay looked majestic and grand. We took shower, got ready, and left the room to explore the interior of the hotel. This is because, the previous day after checking in at the hotel front, we had directly gone to our room without exploring the hotel interiors as we were a bit tired. At the first floor of the West building, we saw a chapel where Christian-style wedding facilities are available along with a costume room and a photo studio. Later we came to know that the hotel also provides Shinto-style wedding facilities. Right in front of the chapel, we saw a shop selling bridal products though it was closed at that time as it was just 6.30 in the morning. The contrast between my casual wear and the bridal dresses was so remarkable that hubby took a few photos of me standing along with the bridal dresses.
Hakodate City on a cloudy day as viewed from the window of our room

Mashumaru ship moored at Hakodate Bay

I am standing in front of our room at the sixth floor of the West building

I am standing in front of the chapel located at the first floor of the West building

A shop selling bridal products

I am standing along with Western-style wedding dresses and formal Japanese-style Kimonos at the shop

Western-style wedding reception dresses at the shop

Afterwards, we took rest for some time at the front lobby of the West building located near the chapel at the first floor. We wished to have breakfast at a restaurant located in the East building, so we walked along the first floor accessway connecting both the buildings. While walking, we saw displays of wonderful artworks on the walls of the accessway.
Front lobby of the West building along with the accessway in the foreground

Hubby standing along with the displays of artworks on the wall of the accessway

Soon we reached a restaurant named Azalea located at the first floor of the East building where we had a sumptuous breakfast. Buffet style breakfast is served at the restaurant from 6.30 am to 10 am. The restaurant serves Japanese, Chinese, and Western cuisine, and offers a variety of choices and carefully selected dishes. Although various kinds of dishes are served for breakfast, Hokkaido’s seafoods are considered to be the best choices. In fact, the restaurant boasts of the availability of over 50 kinds of menus for breakfast at all times of the year. The breakfast here is so delicious and delightful that Hakodate Kokusai Hotel is ranked 4th in all over Japan for ‘Delicious Breakfast Hotel Ranking 2016’. Many Japanese consider breakfast to be the most important meal of the day, and these all-you-can-eat buffet style morning feasts are one of the best perks of staying at a nice hotel. In fact, usually we stay at relatively inexpensive hotels during our sightseeing trips but this time our main purpose of staying at this luxury hotel was to have breakfast at Azalea restaurant.
Entrance of Azalea restaurant

Nice ambience inside the restaurant

Inside Azalea restaurant, we noted that various kinds of Japanese, Chinese, and Western dishes were available for the buffet style breakfast. Seafood corner had Sashimi of salmon roe, squid, cod roe, deep-water sweet shrimp, and salmon. We made our original Kaisendon by using our favorite seafoods. Three kinds of meat namely, beef, pork, and chicken were available. The restaurant staff recommended us to make a bowl of rice topped with such meat. We noted that in the freshly made food corner, hot-steak bowl and fluffy omelet prepared by the hotel chefs in front of the guests were very popular. We had pork-steak bowl (Butadon) and omelet from this corner. From the soup corner, we had hot Tonjiru soup served in large bowls. An extensive variety of fresh vegetable salads were available in the salad corner. The vegetables and leaves were locally produced and we had fun making a large plate of salad for both of us. From the bread corner, we had several kinds of freshly baked breads made by the hotel chefs. We also had bacon slices, sausages, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, mashed potato, grilled salmon fish, Korokke, several kinds of Nimono and Tsukemono, fruit juice, and green tea. We even had a dessert of Annin Tofu for breakfast. Many more menus and dishes were available but it was just too much for us. We leisurely enjoyed having the wide spread of breakfast. We were very satisfied and fulfilled with many kinds of Japanese, Chinese, and Western dishes. The breakfast was sumptuous and really delicious. It is no wonder that the breakfast of this hotel is the fourth best amongst all the hotels in Japan.
Hubby’s and my breakfast spread

Hubby’s tray of breakfast

My tray of breakfast

Hubby’s favorite dishes of Butadon (upper left) and Kaisendon (upper right) and my favorite dishes of Kaisendon (lower left) and pork steak pieces (lower right)

I am very happy seeing so much food for breakfast

Hubby having breakfast

I am enjoying the breakfast

We checked out of the hotel at about 10 am. As written earlier in this post, the reception and the main entrance of the hotel are located in the East building. We clicked a few photos of the front lobby and the reception desk area of the East building while checking out. We noted that the front lobby was designed in a chic manner and the brown-based design gave it a modern and grand atmosphere. After leaving the hotel, we took a few photos of the main front entrance area of the East building as well as of the building itself for the sake of memories.
I am standing at the front lobby of the East building of the hotel

Reception desk (left) and the lobby (right)

I am standing near the main front entrance area of the East building

East building of the hotel

Another view of the East building

Hubby along with the East building in the background

We had a nice relaxed time at Hakodate Kokusai Hotel. Our room was spacious and very comfortable. We loved having the deliciously sumptuous buffet style breakfast at Azalea restaurant located inside the hotel. After leaving the hotel, we visited historic Kanemori red brick warehouse buildings located nearby about which I will write in the next post.


Jyotirmoy Sarkar said...

Very nice shots of the Hotel and the side by places, the hotel is really gorgeous.

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thank you very much for your nice comment Jyotirmoy Sarkar.