The Hotel Grantia Hakodate Ekimae located in Hakodate, Hokkaido has plenty of amenities for the weary traveler. We could start with the prime location, only 100 meters from the nearby Hakodate Train Station and bus terminal. Or, I could point out that the staff provide service in English, all rooms have Wi-Fi and that the top floor (13th) has a ridiculously awesome onsen and lounge with massage chairs.
You will most likely not have traveled all the way to Hokkaido for just a short visit and other services the hotel offers will be appealing for those whose trips are longer in duration. I love the fact that I have a workstation in my room, complete with a mini-fridge and electric kettle. But for someone who travels extensively, the Hotel Grantia Hakodate Ekimae has found a very special place in my traveling-heart. And they’ve done so by way of a rather mundane, but exceedingly pragmatic amenity on the 13th floor: Coin-operated washing machines and dryers.
You heard me correctly, I am extolling the hotel for its addition of a small laundrette on the top floor which contains two washing machines and two dryers. It also has a laundry detergent dispenser. For seasoned travelers, of which I am one, this is a feature that is greatly appreciated. Finding such a service, and at such a reasonable rate (¥200 per wash load, ¥100 for 30 minutes of drying, ¥50 per soap packet) compared to typical in-house hotel laundry services, exemplifies the hotel’s customer service. For those from North America, you will be ecstatic to see the dryers – I’m sure of it – as it is rather uncommon to find such a convenience in Japan (and Europe for that matter).
The hotel contains everything I need as I explore Japan: connection to the internet, space to work, an ultra-convenient location in terms of major transportation and the aforementioned laundrette. Now, with a clean batch of laundry and an evening spent in the onsen after a day of hiking in nearby Esashi, I feel human again.
With the train station and buses so close and many nearby attractions within walking-distance, I feel perfectly situated to explore my immediate vicinity and venture into surrounding towns and enjoy all that Southern Hokkaido has to offer.