Daryl and I were presented with the option of learning how to ski or snowboard at the Kiroro Ski & Snowboard Academy on our second day there!
Daryl and I were presented with the option of learning how to ski or snowboard at the Kiroro Ski & Snowboard Academy on our second day there.
The thought of learning how to ski was both terrifying and exciting at the same time: thoughts like “What if I fall and become an embarrassment”, “Why did I agree to this?”, “Will I pick up skiing quickly?” were running constantly in my mind. But according to my dad and friend Eva, both of whom are avid skiers, skiing would be an amazingly fun experience, and they suggested I try skiing instead of snowboarding for starters, because according to them, skiing is *relatively* easier to pick up… I hope!
Daryl and I booked an AM Lesson slot (10am – 12.30pm) for ¥30000 (approx SGD $375). The rates for the AM lessons stay the same for up to 6 pax, and all lessons are private to you and your group of friends, and are conducted in English. The rates do not include the ski lift pass and rental equipment, which can be purchased at 3-hr, 6-hr, 1-3 days intervals. For more information about rates and lessons, you can check out the Academy’s website here.
We arrived at the Academy at approximately 9am – The Academy is located just a 5 minute walk away from our hotel, Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort, via a connecting passageway. We were then introduced to our ski instructor Chris, who then brought us to get our rental ski equipment sorted. The Mountain Centre has everything you need for rent: helmets, waterproof and windproof ski clothing, boots, skis, poles, gloves, eyewear – but still come dressed warmly – I had my thermalwear, a sweater, and an ultra light down jacket underneath my ski suit!
We had 2 and a half hours to pick up skiing – and we were worried it would be a feat to accomplish that, but we were hitting the slopes after a half an hour crash course! During the first 30 minutes of the lesson, Chris taught us how to wear our skis, the basic dos and donts, the correct posture to have when skiing, and most importantly, how to stop! We weren’t allowed to learn its ski poles as poles may inculcate bad habits and posture!
Chris walked – or skied – us through every step, he accompanied us down the slopes, and with every round our confidence grew! Before we knew it, we were just zipping past Chris and reuniting with him only at the base of the slope!
We were still a long way to go before attempting longer steeper slopes, but I can safely say if we had 2-3 more days to spend at the academy, we would be able to ski unaccompanied!
My only wish was to have Imran and my family there with me. I plan to come back to Hokkaido for a proper ski retreat next year with them, and who knows! We’ll be zipping down slopes together by the end of it!
Thank you Chris, and Kiroro Ski & Snowboard Academy for this once in a lifetime experience!
This Kiroro series was produced in conjunction with http://momentum.travel/, a site is dedicated to travellers who thrive on life, love and culture: head on to the website to look up travel articles, suggestions, tips, specific to destinations all over the world. x
Our stay at Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort saw us experiencing “the best powder snow” in the world.
They say Hokkaido is the place to be if you want to experience “the best snow” in the world. Coupled with the ample amount of snowfall Hokkaido gets, her mountains have carved names for themselves for being ideal ski vacation destinations amongst locals and tourists.
Daryl and I had the opportunity to stay at Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort last week. Our stay was unfortunately a short one as Daryl and I had to rush back in time to celebrate Chinese New Year with our family, but we really wanted to 1) try skiing 2) head up to the mountains since we were already in the prefecture. Nevertheless, we made full use of what we got and had the chance to experience as much of what the resort has to offer within our 36 hours there. I’ll talk a bit more about my skiing experience in another blog post that will be up within the next few days, but for now, I’ll share the other activities both of us were up to!
Getting There & Around
The Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort is 90 minutes from New Chitose Airport, an hour away from Sapporo Nishi Interchange and 40 minutes from Otaru. To get there, you can hire a taxi, or hop on the complimentary shuttle offered from JR Otaru Chikko Station for guests. Alternatively, if you plan on renting a car to explore the rest of Hokkaido, you can drive yourself to the resort, where parking is readily available.
The resort is located in Kiroro Town – we didn’t get to explore the town due to time, but apparently there are hot springs, stone saunas, and a massage center to explore if you have the time and your own transport!
The resort has a sister property called The Kiroro Hokkaido, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel located 5 minutes away, and a shuttle bus runs from the Sheraton Hokkaido, to the Mountain Centre (where the Ski & Snowboard academy is located), and to The Kiroro every 10 minutes.
Meals are easily available throughout the 9 restaurants spread across Sheraton Hokkaido and The Kiroro. We had amazing sashimi prepared and served to us at Sushi House Fuga over an intimate sushi counter session, and I would definitely recommend dinner at Robata Grill restaurant, Hokki. We chose Hokki to celebrate Daryl’s 26th birthday too!
We stayed in the Deluxe Rooms, where we got an amazing view of the snow fields and forest. The pentagon-shaped window frames just make for the ultimate romantic getaway. I’ll leave the photos to speak for itself.
Besides Skiing, we chose to go on a Snowshoe Trekking Tour, where we trekked through the snowy forest with our own personal guide. We had the the forest to ourselves, and trekking through 2m-deep “powder snow” is such an experience. At the top of the forest, we got to see an amazing view of The Kiroro, which you see in today’s pictures. There are other activities to do of course, like going on a snowmobile adventure, a snow banana boat, or a winter segway, snow buggy or snow bubble ball. But the hiking-junkie in me will never say no to a trek!
If you’ve had enough of the cold for the day, try out the newly renovated The Kiroro Onsen, or try out the Tokiwayu Hot Spring Bath located on the 2nd floor of the Mountain Centre.
All in all, we had such a wonderful stay at the Sheraton Hokkaido: Be it with friends, family, or your other half, this destination is not only for the romantic-lovers, it is for the adventure-seekers, the nature-lovers, and the winter-wonderland-dreamers.
We also want to thank Sheraton Hokkaido for being such tremendous hosts – they knew it was Daryl’s birthday during our stay, and prepared a lovely cake that was waiting for us in our room after dinner. If this is not the ideal place for a celebration, I don’t think what else will be. x
For more travel inspiration and information, head on to http://momentum.travel/, this site is dedicated to travellers who thrive on life, love and culture: look up travel articles, suggestions, tips, specific to destinations all over the world. x
We shortlist beauty launches that are worth getting your hands on.
M.A.C – Shadescents Collection and Caitlyn Jenner Collection
Caitlyn Jenner has partnered with M.A.C to launch a 15 piece full collection and it continues her mission to celebrate all ages, all sexes and all races. It champions inclusivity with aptly named products like “Tolerance”, “Kindness” and “Compassion”. The products, housed in sleek metallic gold and matte black packaging, come in sophisticated and timeless shades.
If you’re into coordinating your outfit with your makeup, you can now take it to the next level by matching your lipsticks to your perfumes. Introducing M.A.C Shadescents Collection: it features six corresponding fragrances to mirror the vibe and personality of their six iconic lipsticks. Go for the Crème d’Nude fragrance and lipstick if you like a casual and no frills look. Heroine – with its bright matte purple lippie and notes of saffron, incense smoke and cordovan leather in its fragrance partner – leaves a lingering and impactful impression.
Philosophy – Time in a bottle 100% in-Control Serum
It’s never too early to start on preventative-aging skincare. Like its name suggests, this serum offers you jurisdiction over the traces of time on your facial skin. With religious use, it hinders the imprint of time on your facial skin. Infused with a potent vitamin c and a patented antioxidant complex, it helps neutralize free radicals and protects skin from oxidative stress e.g. environmental toxins.
Prior to first use, ensure that you mix the entire vial of the fresh pour activator into the serum bottle to maximise the potency and efficacy of its age-resisting properties. Shake well for 20 seconds and an appearance of a light pink mixture is an indication that it is ready for use!
Ideal for: AM/PM, prior to applying moisturiser
SK-II – SK-II Limited Edition Multi-Coloured Phoenix Facial Treatment Essence
If you’re a stickler for packaging like me, then don’t miss out on a special launch of the brand’s star product. SK-II is rolling out an exclusive edition of the Facial Treatment Essence and is for sale only in Asia. The phoenix design borrows elements from Suminagashi, Japan’s ancient art of marbling, and signifies rebirth, and a transformation with vibrancy. The essence is saturated with Pitera™: the fermented ingredient contains amino acids, vitamins, organic acids and minerals. Add this to your cart to revitalise your skin for the new year!
Burberry – Liquid Lip Velvet
If feminine pink and berry tones are your thing, then Burberry’s latest lip collection – Liquid Lip Velvets – will be a great addition to your vanity wardrobe. With its light-as-air texture, the liquid lipstick offers moisturisation and longevity in a tube. With intense pigmentation, it wears off to a stain so you won’t have to worry about retouching during the day. Our top picks include natural wearable shades such as light nude, peach and brilliant violet.