January 2014

We had an amazing family ski trip to Hakuba, our second visit in two years.

We had previously stayed in Hakuba Village but this time chose the new Big Bear Apartments which were extremely comfortable and warm. The apartments were beautifully equipped and private - and the one bedroom was more than big enough for a family of three. We loved the fact we could ski on Happo all day then ski down and arrive 5 metres from the drying room underneath our apartment.

We were happily surprised at how close we were to everything - we had ski rentals across the road, we were surrounded by great restaurants and bars and the buses to other ski resorts stopped outside the front door. We would've been happy with this, however what made the trip so special was that Darren and his staff did everything possible to make our stay even more comfortable, making reservations and driving us to restaurants, organising lift passes and giving us advice and local knowledge of the area. This sort of personalised service was something we had never experienced staying anywhere else, and is the main reason we will return.

Being from Australia and loving the snow, Hakuba is one of our favourite holiday destinations, we will have no hesitations staying in one of the fabulous Big Bear properties again.

Big Bear Hakuba Testimonial

The Collins's, Gold Coast

December 2013

We have never visited Hakuba and were quite keen to try out a new ski area having been to Davos, Whistler, Shigakogen, Nozawa Onsen and Niseko. I chanced upon the Big Bear apartments website and noticed that they were new for the season 2013/2014. I'm so glad my good luck brought us to Big Bear because it is indeed one of our best ski trips ever!

First, the location. It is located a short walk to the lifts and Sakka is perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers. Some of the other parts of Happo-One maybe a tad difficult for beginner skiers especially when the slopes are icy. After a long day at the slopes, we can almost ski all the way back to the apartment.

Skis can be rented from the shop across the street and there's even a small area in the drying room for the skis to be collected by the staff from the ski shop without us having to carry them back to the shop! The rates were also very reasonable.

Second, the service. Darren and his assistant Josh were the most helpful hosts we have ever encountered. They gave us advice as to which slopes to go to, and even shuttled us to most of these slopes! The apartment is located a stones' throw from the shuttle buses anyway, so transport to the different resorts is not really a major problem. There were also daily to-and-fro supermarket shuttles in the afternoon so grocery shopping was a breeze. In the evenings when we decided to venture out for a meal, we were given a free ride to the restaurants. What more could we ask for?

Thirdly, the apartment. Much thought was given to the design of the apartments. They were functional, spacious and tastefully decorated. It was truly a home away from home for us.

In short, we enjoyed our time at Hakuba so much that my husband is considering a return trip in March! I am so glad I made the decision to stay at Big Bear apartments. Our gratitude to Darren and Josh for a fabulous time and beautiful memories of a wonderful holiday there.

The Toh's, Singapore

September 2103

A great chalet in a wonderful location where nothing was too much trouble for our hosts (also the owners). There is nothing lacking; we felt that we could have just as easily stayed for a month rather than a few days, without missing anything. Recommended! We definitely plan to return this winter and look forward to trying the new apartments.

The Andrews Family, Tokyo

AUGUST 2013

閑静な和田野の森に趣あるパブレストランの建物を横に調和するログハウス。4才男児、12才女子、14才男子と夫婦の計5名で盆休みを利用して2泊しました。旅の目標は、八方尾根トレッキング。到着してから終始子ども達のログへの興奮がよく伝わりました。まだ、できて間もないのか、木の香り、電気製品、食器、家具等は使い勝手が良かったです。BBQも食材だけ用意すればいいだけでした。石風呂は、写真では小さく見えたのですが、大人2名+幼児でも浸かることができるほどで、早朝独り占めにできる歓びは格別でした。
ベッドルームは家族4.5名には十分過ぎるほど。
2階テラスと屋根作りに感心しながら、早朝の静けさを楽しめました。階段のきしみ音が少し大きいと感じました。子ども達が登り降りする際は気にならないのですが、自分の体重が85kgからかも知れません(ー ー;)
宿泊中の天候にも恵まれ、目標も達成。文句無しです。

Masafuwa, Shiga-ken

SUMMER 2013

コテージ泊が初めてで大変不安だったのですが、写真でのお部屋の綺麗さに感激してここに決めました。
ナビに住所を入れることができず、白馬駅から電話にてナビをしてくださったり、
BBQの用意をしてくださっ たり、その後旦那様が様子を見に来てくださったり、
チェックアウトの際のこちらの不手際にも快く対応してくださり、
大変お世話になりました!
お部屋はもう言うコトなし!です!
この広さ、設備でこのお値段はかなりお安いのではないかと思います。
お風呂も広いし、窓を開け放って入ると、外の音が聞こえてさながら露天風呂のよう・・・!

キッチンの設備は実家よりも断然よかったです。笑

また絶対行きます☆
ありがとうございました(^-^)!

'Piyo', Hyogo-ken

JULY 2013

Having only ever experienced Hakuba as a snow-covered winter destination, it was with fairly modest expectations that we decided to visit this month (July), mainly just to escape the stifling summer heat of Tokyo for a weekend. Upon our arrival we were welcomed into our beautiful Big Bear chalet, surrounded by forest, impeccably clean and equipped with everything we could possibly want during our stay. It honestly felt more like somebody's own home than a summer holiday house - from the great kitchen, to the furniture, awesome TV and sound-system, comfy beds and last but certainly not least, the fantastic bath! Just when we thought we'd seen it all, the owner provided all the ingredients for a terrific barbecue, including a real Weber, outdoor furniture, all our cooking equipment and our own private outdoor area (I believe we were the first visitors to get to use that spot). The climate was a real contrast to the city and just what we were looking for; even the occasional mountain rain-storm was a welcome relief. I can honestly say none of us wanted to leave after our way-too-short stay and we had a hard time getting the kids in the car. Next time we plan to try some of the outdoor activities on offer, but this time we were more than happy to just relax, soak up some fresh air and head back feeling genuinely refreshed. Highly recommended and worth the drive!

Nadine and family, Tokyo

SPRING 2013

"Je reviens d'un super weekend a Hakuba en compagnie de ma femme et de notre petite fille de 15 mois pendant lequel nous avons passe 2 nuits aux chalets Big Bear. Je connais bien les environs pour avoir skie de nombreuses fois a Happo/Goryu et avoir fait pas mal de rando sur les cretes allant de Renge onsen a Goryudake, mais c'etait en fait la premiere fois que je prenais le temps de profiter du village, Ca ne nous a pas empeche de monte sur la crete de Happo samedi malgre une meteo un peu instable avec de superbes vues a la clef (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/9114806449/). En un mot, une super experience. Les chalets sont superbes, spacieux, bien equipes et tres agreables a vivre. Ils sont aussi bien situes, a moins de 10 minutes a pied du Gondola Adam, mais neanmois dans un cadre boise et calme. Nos hotes furent exemplaires, discrets mais prets a nous aider a la moindre question. Chaudement recommande! 素晴らしい体験でした、お勧めします!"

Bernard, Tokyo

AUTUMN 2012

"We stayed at Big Bear Hakuba in October 2012 and the Autumn colors were at their peak. I have hiked Japan's mountains during the summer but never in the fall. Honestly, the fall is the best time to visit. The trees are exploding with color and the animals are very active as they prepare for the long winter ahead. The cabin has everything you possibly need – full kitchen, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, rice cooker, stove, etc. Large table for dining. Great TV and sound system. Two decks (1 upstairs and 1 downstairs). The cabins are nestled amongst the trees and the area is peaceful day and night. These are real log cabins. I am a construction manager and can tell you that these cabins are SOLID. Great care was spent in designing and building them. They have a 'down home comfy' feel that one can only get in a REAL log cabin. Our children absolutely loved the cabin and the surrounding area where they collected copious amounts of acorns. It was a natural playground for them. The owner was the definition of friendly and helpful. He has a passion for the area and provided countless tips on places to visit. Not one bad recommendation. My mother traveled from USA to visit with me, my wife and three children and though the trip was over two months ago, she continues to talk about how much she loved the area and the cabins. Trust me, we will be back to Big Bear Hakuba."

Henderson and Julie, Okinawa

SUMMER 2012

"We have just visited in August 2012 (the summer time) & Hakuba is a very special place! There is so much to see and do, we really wished we had spent more time there. Our stay with Darren at his Big Bear Chalet was every thing that he said it would be and more. Its was very relaxing and peaceful stay,at the base of the Japanese Alps. Added to the fact that it is in a beautifully designed log home, defined as a beautiful modern home with a luxurious shower and Onsen, very nice. Darren (our Host) has prepared a list of recommended places to visit & fine establishments to eat also was very accommodating by offering transportation, by picking you up at the bus depot, trips to town for groceries (easy walking distance if in the mood). The best part was Darren & his wife know the area! They recommended many enjoyable hikes and places to go and see which might have been missed by a first timer. The summer festival/fireworks in Happo was amazing!, something that we will always look back fondly. We will definitely be coming back!"

David and Tracey, Toronto, Canada.

"8月の半ばに家族4人でお世話になりました。まずは森の中にたたずむ本格的なログハウスを見て、子供たちは大興奮です。続いて中に案内されると、お部屋がいくつもあるので誰がどこを使うかで大騒ぎでした。リビングが吹き抜けでとっても気持ち良く、ゆったりしたソファで時を忘れてくつろげました。清掃が行き届いて清潔ですし、今回は朝食くらいしか作りませんでしたが、台所も広くて必要なものはそろっています。日中は暑くても、夜遅くまで窓を開けていると肌寒いくらいなので、都会の熱帯夜を忘れて快眠できました。白馬の街中まで歩いて行けそうなくらい近いのですが、和田野の森という静かな森の中にあり、別世界です。車ならコンビニまで3分、大きいスーパーまで5分で行けますし、八方へ登るリフト乗り場へも街中の狭くてわかりずらい道を通らずに裏側から広い道だけを使って5分で行けます。オーナーの(熊のような)ダレンさんとは残念ながらお会いできませんでしたが、奥様には事前の問い合わせからとても丁寧に対応して頂き安心できました。現地でも私たちのリクエストに対していろいろと調べて下さったり、連絡を取って下さったり、連れて行って下さったりと、とても誠意のある方です。東京にお住まいだったせいか、こちらの意向が伝わりやすいと感じました。3泊4日はあっという間でしたが、とても楽しいひと時を過ごさせていただきました。家族全員「また行きたい!」と言っております。"

旅好きな2児の父 Tokyo, Japan

"We spent the 3rd week of August in Hakuba and everything was perfect. The wooden chalet is really nice, very clean, comfortable, new and with lots of details (wi-fi, ipod connection, flat screen TV and hi-fi system, all cleaning products, comfortable beds...). The location is beautiful and very convenient. This is the first time we visited Hakuba in summer and we really recommend it, there are so many activities to do: kayaking, trekking, cycling... The weather was sunny and warm during the day but cooler at night. Darren, the owner, was very helpful, thank you for all your restaurants' and activities' recommendation. We will came back, hopefully very soon, it is only 3 1/2 hours from Tokyo."

Dario and Ana, Tokyo, Japan.

"8月の終わりに家族で利用させていただきました。予約の決め手は、内風呂でした。実際、岩風呂は清潔感があって、広くて期待通りでした。 海外旅行ではコンドミニアム派なので、外国人仕様の設備はとても満足しました。 ワイングラスや食器などたくさん使っても、大きな食洗器で洗えるので、ラクチンです。また、リビングにあるソファはとても快適でリラックスでき、持って帰りたくなりました! ただ、トイレが洗面所やお風呂とつながっているので、大人数で利用するには、トイレに仕切りのようなものがあると助かるなと思いました。 電車で到着したので、送迎やらスーパーの買い物まで車を出してくださって、とても助かりました。何か困ったことがあったら、電話にすぐ出て対応してくれるしオーナーもその奥様もとても感じが良かったです。 全員とても気に入ったので、白馬へ行ったときはこちらを利用したいと思います。"

みい様, Tokyo, Japan

"We have always wanted to try out these chalets when we walked past during the skiing seasons, and we were lucky that it was available this summer. We had a very enjoyable stay. The chalets, beautifully constructed in cedar logs came in a row of three. Our friends and we shared two adjoining ones connected by doors in the kitchens; these doors provide surprisingly effective sound proofing and privacy between houses. They are very spacious. During the day, we had kids in one and adults in the other. At night, each reverted to being isolated family units again. The kitchen is equipped with all the essential tools, plenty of cutlery and crockery. We cooked our breakfast everyday and dinner on a couple of nights. Everything was well kept and maintained. It looked and felt clean when we arrived. The chalets are very well located within the Wadano area. There are also restaurants close by within walking distances. Hakuba is very different in the summer compared to the winter but we enjoyed the peacefulness not that it ever felt crowded in the winter. It was definitely cooler when we were there in July than Tokyo. We would definitely return to the Big Bear Chalets. Selfishly, I would rather not write a review - we like it that much, but our stay was made even more pleasant by Darren, the owner who built them. He was extremely helpful and we were lucky to have him staying next door during our trip. ".

Sussana, Singapore.

"8月に家族6人で3泊滞在いたしました。 とてもきれいで居心地の良い貸別荘でした。 びっくりする位、家具、調度品、備品が良いものが揃えてあって、 気持ちよく、ゆったりと白馬の生活を楽しむことが出来ました。 ウッドデッキでのバーベキューの道具も大変使いやすく、皆で森の木々の中で頂く食事は格別です。 貸別荘というより、大切なマクガン家の別荘をお借りしたという感じです。 早朝の散歩でみた、白馬三山の朝焼けも素晴らしく、静かな森の中で過ごした4日間は忘れられない日々です。 ".

Family, Aichi-ken, Japan.

"お盆明けの暑い盛りに2晩、弟と息子2人の男4人でおじゃまさせていただきました。貸し別荘ということで、何をするのも自由だしまったく気兼ねなく快適に過ごせました。とっても綺麗な寝室と大きなお風呂で贅沢を満喫できました。車で走れば1時間ほどで日本海に出られるし、山にいってもさまざまなレジャーがあるので夏でも楽しいです。スキーはしないのでまた来年夏におじゃまさせていただきたいです。"

kuri 40代 男 Tokyo, Japan

"7月最終日から2泊3日でBIG BEAR CHALETSに宿泊させていただきました。オーナー夫妻には予約の段階から宿泊最終日まで、事細かにゲストの要望や周辺情報の提供等に対応していただき、一同大変感謝しています。ゲストハウスの設備や内装・外装は申し分のないほど整っており、普段都会で生活していた私たちにとっては、都会の時間を忘れ、普段味わうことのできない自然と調和した、大変刺激的かつ心ゆくまで穏やかな時間を過ごすことができる場所でした。短期間の宿泊であったことが、大変悔やまれます。次回、機会があれば長期で利用したいものです。"

Student, Chiba, Japan

7月の3連休で宿泊させていただきました。 内装はとてもキレイで,キッチンには食器類や調味料が完備され,至れり尽くせりの貸別荘でした。 また,オーナー夫妻は常に笑顔で対応してくださり,3連休がとても良い思い出になりました。 忘れ物をした際にも非常に迅速に丁寧に対応してくださったので大変感謝しています。 機会があれば,冬にもまた宿泊させていただきたいと考えています。

Japanese guests, Tokyo, Japan.

"貸別荘ではとても楽しい時間を過ごすことができ、私を含め、皆満足していました。また、白馬に滞在する機会があれば、ぜひご利用したいと思いますので、その時はよろしくお願いいたします。"

Japanese guests, Aichi, Japan