Its my second stay at the Brownie Condos. I found the Brownie Condos staff to be helpful, the condos to be warm (2 x split a/c units) comfortable and functional - kitchenette to cook, breakfast, make lunch, cook dinner. Most local amenities within 15 minute eg restaurants, bars, convenience stores, ski hire (Rainbow have a deal with the Condo - discounts, pick you up for fitting, drop you back at the condo, and collect gear from condo when you leave). Its only a couple of minute walk to the various shuttle bus stops so you can access the various local ski resorts. Tetsu (I think he's the owner) will get you to and from Happo BT or the Hakuba Station by the Condo shuttle bus on arrival and departure. He also runs the shuttle to and from the Big Supermarket (good luck understanding what food you are buying!) and local on-sen 3 times during week days and if you arrive on a weekend, will take you for supplies. Condos sleep up to 5 configured in 2 bedrooms, a small living area, incorporating small dining table and kitchenette. The bathroom is separated into 3 sections - basin area (which includes the washing machine), toilet recess and shower recess (warm strong shower) giving users privacy. First time I stayed fro 9 nights with 3 mates, second time 6 nights with another adult and 2 children. Whilst quarters are close there's still enough room to get your own space. Obviously 5 paying adults makes the accom pretty good value comparative to say Perisher rates. Beds are firm to my liking but I found the pillows uncomfortable (for the 30 seconds or so I stayed awake each night after smashing the slopes!) As far as food, we alternated eating in one night out the next, and made our own breakfast each morning. Many of the restaurants in Echo Land need to be booked in advance. Make your restaurant bookings when you are in town one evening all in advance. There are a few walk in restaurants but expect to wait for a seat. Take your streaming devices, cards, board games etc for nights in as there is only Japanese content on the TV (strange that eh?) Can't recall if 2 or 3 floors to the building, but all rooms are accessed by stairs - no lift. There's a drying room downstairs but its hit and miss as to whether the heater gets turned on so we some drying in our room. There's also a small bar and bistro downstairs, nothing special, but somewhere to socialise, have a bevy and some basic fare. Its basic but comfortable functional accommodation and more than adequate if the focus is full downs on the slopes, ticks all the boxes if skiing or boarding is what the trip is about. As far as skiing/boarding goes, plenty of Japow and terrain for all levels across the various resorts in Hakuba Valley - I rate it as one of the best places I've ever skied. Also in my experience, if you don't intend to resort hop buy daily lift tix (in conjunction with the on line discount vouchers on offer which you can down load from resort websites before you leave) The saving will be worthwhile comparative tot he Valley Pass. Cheers
Our Brownie Villa was perfect for our family of six. Very cosy, super comfy beds, lovely helpful owners at the Meteor reception offering a supermarket bus run every two days and a daily run to Happo One ski resort if needed. Great location in Echoland - huge choice of restaurants and heaps of free shuttle buses to each different resort. We chose to try four resorts and then returned to our top faves. Would love to stay at Brownie Villas again one day.
We stayed in a cottage, which was quite beautiful in the snow, and a short walk to the Echoland main street. Tetsu, the manager, was friendly, very helpful, and made our stay very enjoyable. He has a minibus and takes trips to the supermarket and onsen 3 times per week, and was happy to take us to nearby ski slopes and pick us up at the end of the day. For slopes further away, he dropped us off at the bus station.
One thing to be aware of - the cottages are advertised as 3 bedrooms, however, one bedroom is a very high loft with a ladder. I would be worried about young children being up there, and it's pretty awkward for adults to climb the ladder. (If you fell you would sustain a serious injury!) There is only one 2 seater couch in the living room in addition to the dining table.
There are no condiments in the kitchen- that would have been helpful, and no dishwasher. We found the cutlery grubby - probably not washed properly, but otherwise the cottage was clean. Enough crockery and cooking implements, but not over-endowed!
No fire place, just split system air conditioners. At first it was quite cold, but the heating got better while we were there. No drying room for ski gear, so it had to be draped around the living room, including ski boots.
Beds were OK but hard, although that seems to be common in Japan.
Overall, pretty good.
Travelled with our family of 2 adults and 2 children. The villas are simply gorgeous and in an excellent location!
2 story log cabins fully self contained and very well thought out. Heated floors, kitchenette, living area, TV (which was never used as there was too much to do!). All the heating is adjustable and of course heat rises so the loft bedroom does get hot but just crack the window slightly or close the door!
Tetsu the owner was so helpful and runs his guests around in a private shuttle at convenient times and also will pick you up and drop you off to the major bus port and also the supermarket and Onsen three nights a week.
We left the kids skis one day at a resort and not only did Tetsu go and find them in his own time he also lent us a pair so we wouldn't miss our ski lesson!
I would not hesitate to stay here again and cannot think of anything negative to say about the stay, it couldn't have been better. Thanks for everything Tetsu and staff!