January 28 2011
Blue-chip interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud made her mark in New York with a ravishing reimagination of The Carlyle; but Hokkaido is where she’s busy these days. The Green Leaf (www.greenleafhotel.com; from $336 including lift pass) is the new jewel in the crown of Hokkaido’s Niseko Village complex; it reopened in December after an overhaul in Champalimaud’s signature style (understated palette, luxe materials) with a collection of almost 200 works by Soichiro Tomioka, whose seminal oil paintings of Japanese winter landscapes have been exhibited at New York’s MoMA.
The onsen bathing is all understated tradition, the spa all 21st-century amenities, and the rooftop lounge, with its postcard view onto Mount Yotei, Niseko’s new après-ski glamour nexus. (This is the first in a series of developments – ski-in ski-out estates, championship golf, starry dining venues – intended to turn Niseko Village into Japan’s premier winter resort. Watch this space.)
Pictured: the Altitude rooftop bar at The Green Leaf hotel.