November 21, 2023
NISEKO, JAPAN – Singapore’s luxury property developer SC Global’s first hotel, Setsu Niseko, has just been crowned the World’s Best New Ski Hotel, outshining nominees such as Six Senses Crans-Montana in Switzerland, The Comodo in Austria and Badia Hill in Italy.
This accolade is given by World Ski Awards, a prestigious awards programme in the field of ski tourism. Winners are chosen by ski industry professionals, tourists and skiers around the world.
Nestled between Mount Yotei and the ski slopes of Mount Annupuri in Hokkaido, the high-altitude resort draws its name and design inspiration from the Japanese expression “setsu-getsu-ka”, which translates into “snow, moon, flowers”.
The resort’s facade is the brainchild of Singaporean architect Mok Wei Wei of W Architects, who was named in a global list of top architects in the 2005 book 10 x 10_2: 10 Critics, 100 Architects.
The interior blends Japanese aesthetics with modern luxury, with 190 fully furnished Japanese-style apartments, ranging from studios to penthouses.
The curated spaces pay homage to Hokkaido’s rich artistic heritage and culture, showcasing an array of paintings, sculptures, calligraphy and photography.
It also boasts a 750 sq m wellness centre – Niseko’s largest – with public and private onsen baths, as well as a spa. In addition, there are six restaurants, a ski rental shop and a yoga studio.
Guests can take part in seasonal cultural activities here, whether it is the traditional sake barrel ceremony to usher in the New Year or Setsubun, a festival held on the day before the beginning of spring in February.
This is not Setsu Niseko’s first time in the limelight.
Earlier this year, the hotel secured a top-three finalist position in the Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2023.
It also won five gongs at the 2021 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards in the Greater Niseko category, and Best Hotel Condo Interior Design at the regional grand finals, even before its official opening in December 2022.
The resort may be SC Global’s first overseas resort development, but it is not the last.
Spearheaded by SC Global founder and chairman Simon Cheong, the company, which is behind landmark condominium projects in Singapore such as The Marq on Paterson Hill, Sculptura Ardmore and Seven Palms Sentosa Cove, is now eyeing other cities in Japan.
According to an earlier Straits Times report, Mr Cheong decided to purchase and develop four plots of land around Niseko, after his annual trip there with his family in 2012. Back then, the popular ski destination was a quieter mountain resort town with “mediocre” and “expensive” ski lodges, he said.
Commenting on the latest accolade, he says: “This award is wonderful news not just for the hotel, but also for Niseko tourism at large, shining a spotlight on one of the finest ski destinations in the world.”