What’s Hot in Japan: An Introduction
What’s Hot in Japan: Onboard the SQ A380 SIN-NRT
What’s Hot in Japan: ANA Pokemon Jet to Sapporo Chitose
What’s Hot in Japan: Cross Hotel Sapporo
What’s Hot in Japan: Furano and Asahikawa
What’s Hot in Japan: Lake Toya Onsen
What’s Hot in Japan: A Day in Hakodate
What’s Hot in Japan: Domestic IOJ Service between HKD and HND
What’s Hot in Japan: Ramen in Japan
What’s Hot in Japan: Red-eye on the A330 KIX-SIN
The last time I head to Sapporo, I stayed at the Gracery Hotel which is conveniently located right opposite the central JR Sapporo Station. While I recommend that hotel, larger rooms were not available for the dates I wanted. Thus I picked the Cross Hotel which is 3 blocks away from the station, and located near the old Clock Tower which is a landmark in downtown Sapporo and only 2 blocks away from Odori Park. The hotel is very smartly furnished with its lobby on the second floor and an outdoor bar and patio on the ground floor. Like many Japanese hotel chains, the staff are not very well versed in English, though there was no problem at all during check-in. I had booked 2 rooms on the ‘Cross Floor’ which has nicer rooms that comes with better amenities and it came down to an average rate of ¥22,000 (~US$230) per room per night inclusive of taxes. It was quite good considering it was peak travel season when I visited and it was one of the highest grade of rooms in the hotel.
Location of the hotel was a major factor for me in choosing this hotel since there are several nice izakayas (Japanese tapas eateries) to eat that opens till late night and the hotel is also between Sapporo station and Odori Park. This means it is of walking distance when we leave the city for excursions as well as to the entertainment district of Susukino. Around the hotel are also several convenience stores that makes it easy to get water and other necessities.
We managed to get both rooms on the same floor though they were on a slightly different configuration. In one of the rooms, the beds faces the window while the bathroom door was right beside the entryway. The second room has a small foyer that leads to the two beds placed side by side facing the bathroom. I would say the second room configuration works much better and allows guests using the bathtub to have a view out of the window.
Both rooms also have a couch by the window and a small work desk. The bathroom is as nice as the rooms with a long transparent glass console and compartmentalized shower rooms and toilet. The shower area also has a separate bathtub and rain shower. Being on the Cross Floor, guests receive a pack of essence of honey shower oil on check-in and is provided one set of shampoo, conditioner, lotion and bar of soap from either of these 3 brands: 1) L’Occitane, 2) Acca Kappa, or 3) Thann. What was surprising was that there was no shower gel available so that was a bit disappointing.
The double rooms have 2 beds that were slightly larger than the normal single beds and it was adequate for 2 adults. While the room size was quite small, the design of the room was very clean and modern with minimalist themes yet also functional at the same time. The couch by the window is probably the nicest place to relax after a day of sightseeing and comfortably seats 2 people with a small table that can be moved easily.
While we had a room on the smoking floor, there was an air purifier in the room and it made a lot of difference in keeping the air smelling fresh. However, on the first night the bed I was sleeping on seems to have bed bugs as I was bitten with marks in the morning. When I mentioned it to the receptionist in the morning around 7am, it was a bit difficult since they did not seem to understand me, and they mentioned no one staff was versed in English until at least 9-10am. He did seem to get the point when I showed him the bite marks and said he will send housekeeping to check and change the linens. The problem was that I was bitten again on the second night and that eventually got their attention. Eventually I think they changed the bed and linens on the last night and that made for a better night’s sleep.
As the hotel has a bathing facility on the top floor, they provide guests with what seems like summer bath robes which was cleaned every day. Slippers were also provided in the room. The bath facility is not equipped with hot natural spring water but it was definitely a popular place for guests to unwind during the night as the lounge adjoining the baths provide a nice view of the city. Guests should know that the etiquette for entering these baths are similar to that of onsens.
For the purpose of my stay, the bathrooms in the Cross Floor and the location of the hotel made a good impression and even with the bed bug issue, this would still be a hotel I would consider when I am in Sapporo again. Should any guests book a stay at this hotel, I also suggest visiting the izakaya beside the hotel that serves excellent food as well as a seafood izakaya opposite that has a good selection of crab and uni, both ingredients that are common to Hokkaido.