‘Travel Gratefully’ is a series of special or sponsored write ups that add more value and gratitude during my travels. The topics cover unique grateful experiences with specific people, things, places, and many others. For sponsored write ups, all are inspired by my experiences and nothing else. All posted articles are deemed worthy and in line with the main goal of this blog series which is to inspire MORE grateful travelling.
To anyone who has been reading my travel experiences for a while, they know that when I travel on my own I prefer to stay in hostels or guesthouses. Not only is this the cheaper alternative but I get to meet and learn from so many travelers around the world. It is usually when I am with my family that my accommodation upgrades to hotels.
Prior to my travels, I usually go on Agoda and sort the accommodations from lowest price to highest price. I always browse the hostels and guesthouse first but when I have time I also check out some of the affordable hotels.
When I came across Cross Hotel Sapporo, 2 things immediately drew me in:
#1 – It was a 5 minute walk to/from JR Sapporo station which would connect me conveniently to important train lines and subways, shopping areas, and many more.
#2 – The large public bath on the top floor with an amazing view of the city. And when you’re in Japan, these amenities represent an “onsen” like experience which means BEING LITERALLY NAKED IN PUBLIC!
These reasons were enough for me to research further on this hotel. Cross Hotel Sapporo has really good reviews on different hotel booking websites. It even has a high rating on TripAdvisor.
From the research alone, I was really tempted to book one night at Cross Hotel Sapporo. I planned on staying during my last night so that I would have easy access to the airport line. Before booking, I decided to reach out and proposed a feature for my blog series. They responded a few days later and offered to give me a complimentary stay for one night. When they emailed, it was really funny because the one thing that was on my mind was: WILL I TRY THE LARGE PUBLIC BATH AT THE TOP?
At the time, I really thought that that was confirmation from the heavens for me to try THAT new travel experience – BE NAKED IN A PUBLIC BATH. I know it may not mean a lot to the local Japanese or other people but being from a conservative country and my own upbringing, I AM A VERY SHY PERSON and wouldn’t in a thousand years think of doing something like that. I just thought I would decide on it when the time comes.
I am truly grateful to the Cross Hotel Sapporo media team for the opportunity! It was definitely an amazing stay and experience! One I will NEVER EVER forget! If you’re a traveler who prefers convenience/comfort and travelling in groups as a couple or with kids, I highly recommend that you stay at Cross Hotel Sapporo. When I come back to Sapporo with my family, I will look no further and definitely stay at this hotel!
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Here are some points that I think will benefit any traveler in Sapporo if you wish to stay at this accommodation:
- Again, it is a 5 minute walk from JR Sapporo Station. This is your access to/from the airport, JR Lines to places like Otaru, subway lines, and best restaurant (Nemuro Hanamaru) or shopping establishments (Daimaru or Stellar Place). Take note of Exit #13 as this is the nearest access to Cross Hotel Sapporo from the underground walkway.
- Restaurants and convenience stores are a minute walk away.
- Odori Park (famous for the Sapporo Snow Festival or Sapporo White Illumination) and the Sapporo TV Tower is an 8-10 minute walk away. From there, you can walk to the Nijo Fish market, shopping arcades, subway/streetcar lines.
CROSS HOTEL MEDIA TOUR
Cross Hotel Sapporo is very modern. It prides itself with the promotion of local art and music as its theme. Walking through the front desk, café bar, and lounge floor, you can find different art pieces from Hokkaido locals. I am not really a fan of art but the thought of advocating local artists made me in awe and appreciative of the culture Cross Hotel Sapporo wants to come across to its guests.
Cross Hotel Sapporo, in my opinion, can be likened to Marco Polo Ortigas or Sofitel in the Philippines. I know these are expensive places to stay in but with sample bookings I made in Agoda, you can stay at Cross Hotel Sapporo for as low as P3,500 during low season and P5,500 during peak season. This estimated price is already for 2 people per night. I think these are really good prices if you wish to stay at a hotel of comfort and convenience.
I was really grateful that the hotel media team took time in showing me around the hotel. Other hotels let me explore on my own which is good but the effort of doing a media tour was really a plus for me. I really learned a lot about the hotel from the tour which made the stay more meaningful. They were really pleasant to communicate with as well.
And the tour begins…
(Actually, it was just a short tour. We only explored 3 floors.)
On the lounge floor, you can find the front desk where you check in. A few steps from there, you can find a small store that provides guests with some of the best Hokkaido products like coffee.
Across the front desk, you’ll find the café bar where different genres of music are played during different seasons. Through the walk, you’ll find variety mediums of art and music.
The elevator had a piano design as its rug – this was a bit dusty. The red hues of the piano design complemented the semi dark lighting of the elevator. Very dramatic! I also liked that while waiting to ride the elevator, there are sofas for you to sit on. It makes waiting comfortable.
Aside from the café bar, Cross Hotel Sapporo has another restaurant, Hache by Haruhoro. When I went there, an event was being prepared. It was a very elegant hall. I asked the team where could the guests eat if there was an event at the restaurant and they said that the café bar was another option if people wanted to eat at the hotel. It wasn’t just a bar, it was a restaurant too.
The last stop of the media tour was the 18th floor! GAAAAAAAH! This was the one that I was really excited about because it was the PUBLIC BATH! I brought my bathing suit and asked if it was possible to wear it but they were firm in saying that I really had to be naked. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
The 18th floor comprised of a separate public bath for men and women. And in each, there is an indoor and open air bath. There is also a lounge where you can rest before or after your bath and just marvel at the view of Sapporo city. This was really a good place where tourists can retire at the end of each travel day. The environment indeed invited relaxation.
The staff is very accommodating. They all smiled a lot! There was no problem with the language as the staff I talked to knew how to speak in English.
…and the tour ends. The media team wished me well and hoped that I would enjoy my stay.
It was my last night in Hokkaido so I definitely maximized my stay!
MY EXPERIENCE AT CROSS HOTEL SAPPORO
On the morning of my stay at the hotel, I planned an Otaru day trip. I checked out early at my previous accommodation and went to Cross Hotel Sapporo. They stored my luggage even before check-in. When I got back, they informed me that my luggage was already in my room. Check-in was really quick as they only asked for my name and passport. They handed me my key card afterwards.
Mai, one of the prettiest hotel staff I have ever met, accompanied me to my room. She opened the room and led me to my luggage. She informed me of all the complimentary items and turned on the TV. The wi-fi username and password can be found on the TV! ANG GALING! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
She informed me about the media tour and wished me well.
The room is very cozy. It was very clean and COMPLETE. It had everything! There was coffee, water, utensils, pajamas, slippers, 3 different kinds of towels, bath robes, etc. The bed was SUPER comfortable as well. It was a VERY NICE room.
The toilet was the usual high-tech one and the shower had a bath tub with an overlooking view of the city.
The toiletries were from expensive beauty brands, L’occitane and Acca Kappa! The amenities were definitely high class! If you’ll compare it to high end hotels in the Philippines, I would definitely prefer Cross Hotel Sapporo. The room was really of quality and if you book through Agoda, you can really experience it for affordable rates.
I also loved the view of the Sapporo TV Tower from my room. I felt like I owned a very big clock. When I needed to know the time, I would just look out the window and VOILA! use the Sapporo TV Tower. It was a really fun and convenient way in knowing the time!
AND NOW…To one of the most exhilarating travel experiences I have ever had in my entire life!!!! And I am so grateful to Cross Hotel Sapporo that I got to experience this: THE PUBLIC BATH!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH I know this may not be a big deal to some but it is for me. I am really shy and conservative. So it was really a new experience.
In Japan, you’ll often hear about ONSENS. This is a public spa or bathing facility. Most are public and only few accommodations have private ones.
What are the steps in using ONSENS/PUBLIC BATHS?
STEP 1: Remove your clothes and put them in a locker
STEP 2: Shower thoroughly
STEP 3: Step into the onsen or bath
STEP 4: Relax (and don’t mind the other naked bodies of strangers around you! HAHAHAHA)
So what happened to me?
Well when I was putting on the hotel pajamas in my room, I really wished that no one was using the public bath. HAHAHAHAHA! I really kept on repeating in my mind – “I’m grateful that I will be the only one who will use the public bath!”
When I arrived at the 18th floor, THERE WAS NO ONE THERE! OMG OMG OMG SOBRANG RELIEVED! I was nervous and excited at the same time! I sucked it up and just went with the flow. I removed all my clothes, put them in the locker, and took a shower.
When I went to the bathing area, it was steaming so I just eased my body slowly into it. The view was amazing! I could see my naked self in the reflection and wondered if people from the other buildings could see me. But when I was slowly feeling the heat, I started to relax, and forget. In that moment, I didn’t care anymore if someone else would walk in. I didn’t care if other people from other buildings saw me. The only important thing was what I felt in that moment – confident, relaxed. I had an amazing view in front of me. Nothing else mattered.
When it was getting a little hot, I decided to try the open air bath. I confidently stood up in all my naked glory and walked out. AND OMG ANG GANDA! It was so beautiful! The cold winter air mixing with the steam of the bath, KAKAIBA TALAGA! SOBRANG BLESSING TALAGA! It was indeed a grateful blessing.
I eased into the hot water and felt the cold air around me. KAKAIBANG FEELING! SOBRANG SARAP! The view was just a bonus at that point. That was one of the most exhilarating feelings I have ever had! I’m really glad that Cross Hotel Sapporo has this. SOBRANG GANDA! I was really stunned! SOBRANG GRATEFUL MOMENT TALAGA!
No one ever came to the public bath while I was there. I had it all to myself! It was definitely a large public bath experience that I will never forget! We should always do things that scare us. When an opportunity for a challenge arises, we should make the most out of it. We let the fear do its things for a while and we should let go right after. When we let go, we learn. We become confident. We should always live for moments like these and never ever let them pass us.
I felt so relaxed after that I fell asleep immediately when I got back to my room.
I had a really good stay at Cross Hotel Sapporo. I would stay for the public bath alone. All the rest are just bonuses! If you’re looking for a good hotel to stay at in Sapporo, I highly recommend this one! Check out other reviews from different websites, I’m sure they can attest to my claim!
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