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Easy to get a booking, old hotel with friendly staff and buffet restaurant with play area
Price: 10500 yen
The very first time we stayed here it was because it was the only place we could get a last minute booking in Karuizawa. It is a very basic hotel, but it is comfortable and somewhat clean, and the onsen is decent enough. They have quite a few international staff some of whom speak a little English.
Although it is not what you would call a "nice" hotel, we've been back twice since for one main reason; they have a kids play area in the restaurant. It is not a huge play area, but there is enough to entertain small children, preschool age or below. For us, it is a huge bonus when you have four kids to be able to eat a meal in peace. The meals are buffet style. You can opt for both breakfast and dinner or just breakfast if you prefer. The food isn't particularly excellent either, but it is nice enough and what it lacks in flavour they make up for in choice. They have a very good choice of food for both breakfast and dinner. The food, drink bar and desserts are all self service. They have high chairs and cutlery for children. I found the place and the staff to be very child friendly. However, it is not stroller friendly. There is no lift in the 2 storey building and some of the doors are quite narrow.
The hotel is very reasonably priced for the area. I often see deals for between 6 and 8,000 during off season and even in the peak of season you can sometimes get it for 10,000 yen per person a night. The location is good too if you are coming by car. It is not close to any of the famous attractions but it is in the centre of the greater Karuizawa area so you can travel to each part of both Gunma and Nagano Karuizawa within 20 minutes.