When you drive from Hokkaido’s Shin-Chitose Airport to Lake Toya you will see plenty of scenic spots and landscapes that can’t be found on the main island Honshu. I will introduce a pleasant inn called Phoenix Toya Club which has a great view to the lake. It’s located on the north-west side of Lake Toya and is close even to Niseko. Here you can spend some leisurely time eating top-class food! And it’s surprisingly affordable! This inn is known for receiving many repeat customers who all love this place.
How to spend your time at this auberge inn
This place is actually an auberge (French-style inn and restaurant). Many people, especially travelling girls have a romantic image of such inns even if they don’t exactly know what these places are. Auberge inns developed in the French suburbs as restaurants where you can also accommodate for the night. In other words, the typical hotels offer “accommodation plus food”, while auberge inns offer “food plus accommodation”. This means that they put emphasis on the food. It has to be made of local products so that you will enjoy fully your stay in the nature. Of course, delicious wine is important too. The idea is to relish your meal slowly without any rush. Auberge inns are ideal for relaxing holidays.
A comfortable room is a must at auberge inns!
The main feature of auberge inns is spending a relaxed and leisurely holiday. Therefore the room is spacious and has a great view to the nature outside. It’s equipped with a large sofa and big windows which allow you to see Lake Toya behind the trees. On the terrace you can smell the fresh forest air and hear the pleasant sounds of the wild birds. At this place you will instantly forget about all your daily worries. It doesn’t look like Japan, more like some northern natural paradise like Canada – or at least that’s what many local guests think. You can close your eyes, take a deep breath of the fresh air and listen to the nightingales. This inn is ideal to spend some wonderful and relaxing time.
It’s typical for auberge inns to have only a few rooms and therefore treat the limited number of guests with special care. Phoenix Toya Club has spacious grounds but only 12 rooms. Instead, there is a swimming pool, a tennis court and billiards table. When I was there only 3 other pairs of guests stayed at the inn but nevertheless the staff warmed up the pool’s water. This high-quality customer service extends to many other things as well and is one of the best features of the inn. Here you can enjoy your meal slowly, watching the beautiful lake and savoring the food with all your senses. The staff serves you the new dishes in the right timing without any rush. This is also part of the special service for the guests.
Watching Lake Toya at sunset
As you’re proceeding with your meal the colors of the lake change gradually and by the time the dessert comes lights are already turned on. There are two types of desserts served. The first one is something cold that you eat at your table, while the second one you can bring to your room and eat later. Everything is targeted towards your leisurely stay in your room.
Auberge inns slightly differ from ordinary hotels. They’re half hotels, half private lodges, and provide unique opportunities for relaxation. At auberge inns you can enjoy the flowers in the garden, look at the scenic views outside, relish the delicious food and spend leisurely time in your room. I definitely recommend this experience to you!