Saturday, 29 January 2011

Besotted – Buy A Holiday Home in Niseko

Step aside, Bali. Despite Japan’s strong yen, Singaporeans are flocking off to the powdered slopes of Niseko every year end these days to ski and après ski in style. No need for Aspen, Chamonix or Whistler, Niseko, with its light, dry ‘champagne powder’ snow, is ranked No. 2 in the world and it’s just a seven-plus hour flight from our tropical doorstep!

Come the holiday peak season, this snow resort in buzzing with holidaymakers from Singapore and you’re bound to bump into people you know from home.

In fact, one of my girlfriends was just talking about wanting to buy a property there. Then voila! Look what news fell on my dainty lap!

Summit Properties (based in Hong Kong) has just launched the first phase of The Rocks Niseko Resort, a ‘condominium hotel’ development with townhouses and penthouses for sale. This initial phase, The Rocks Edge, in the centre of the alpine village of Hirafu, is due for completion by the end 2011. This sets it amid a lively vibe of restaurants, bars and cafes.

Pick from three-bedroom 169 sqm townhouses, and four-bedroom penthouses of 259 sqm and 286 sqm. Including roof terrace, the top floor penthouse spreads over 440 sqm.

Master planning, architecture and interior design is led by Riccardo Tossani Architecture, and Japan’s landscape architects ‘studio on site’, known for avant garde planning and design of luxury resorts, is part of its design team.

Expect units to offer floor-to-ceiling windows for panoramic views of Mount Niseko Annupuri, Mount Yotei and adjacent ski fields; large rooms, open fireplaces, balconies, gardens, broad terraces and top-of-the-range fixtures and finishings.

Beyond divine good looks, the property is green and responsible too, with natural energy generation and thermal performance initiatives, like large solar panel ‘farms’ on the roofs of all buildings, generating electricity sold back to the local grid. Natural volcanic hot springs pumping into onsen baths and private rotenburos also contribute to geothermal power generation used for heating rooms, pathways and plazas and driveways.

Subsequent phases will incorporate a Kid’s Club, onsen, modern spa, gym, restaurants, bar, deli, café and ski concierge. Eventually, in the plans are full access to the on-the-snow facilities at the ski-in ski-out Upper Village development including onsen, ski concierge and storage, boot lockers and owner storage cupboards and parking.

- Ee Waun


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