Powder Life Niseko Japan

Whether it’s cycling on picture perfect roads, mountain biking down the ski hills, hitting the golf courses or floating down a river, skiing pristine powdery slopes – winter and summer in Niseko has it all. Niseko is in the southwest of Hokkaido – Japan’s rural, northernmost island and its largest prefecture. It’s about two or three hours by car or train, southwest of Sapporo, the capital. Or land nearby 60/90 mins from airport to town.

Penthouse Jacuzzi

Winter/Spring planning should begin now! For ski-in, ski-out, the best options are Ki Niseko, The Vale, and the brand new Aya Niseko.  Also, there are a significant number of fully serviced chalet homes. Most of these are in Hirafu village, where most of the restaurants, ski shops and bars are located.  This is usually the most attractive location for guests who want to be at the center of all the action. Niseko is synonymous with the Japan ski scene and incredible powder.

Busiest times of the season are Christmas & New Years (December 18th – Jan 4) as well as Chinese New Years (Jan 21st – Feb 4th for 2017).  Many of these dates are already nearly sold out, and most of the accommodation options will also sell out in the high seasons. So I would recommend the off-peak times for the best experience, however, most come to the area for the powder so the best months for that are December – end of February.  The ski area is vast, and suits all ability levels well.

We have an exclusive ski guiding service that will pick you up each day, knowing the daily snow conditions and escort you to the best slopes.

Have children coming with you? We can arrange two guides. Our exclusive ski guiding service will pick you up each day, after checking the finest snow conditions and escort you to the best daily skiing. Kids practice on gentle slopes while you head to more challenging back-country terrain.

Our VIP team is at your service to take care of all the details so you can relax and enjoy your day to the fullest. The lesson start and finish times are flexible, so whenever you are ready your instructor will pick you up to begin your 6 hour private lesson.  We take care of lunch and dinner reservations and can help arrange anything else you need to have the best day ever.

My professional local team knows the hot spots for dining will add a stop at a small farm for fresh ice cream and will assist with organizing private onsen visits.

Dining – this is Aspen Japan! Michelin star chefs and local gourmands are abundant; many up scale and authentic small venues. Gourmet cooking classes also available. French-Japanese fusion Kamimura restaurant at refined An Dining at Hotel Ki, 3-Star Michelin chef at Asperges in Hanazono, and immaculate omakase at Snow Castle in Hotel Ivy, just to name a few standouts.

Snow boarding leave you battered and bruised? Take a day off and visit an onsen ( hot springs), dotted around Hirafu, including an open air onsen.

This is the time to plan your powder escape and add a few days in Tokyo on each end for more exploration.


Ritz Paris

In its 117 years, the Ritz Paris has been more than a backdrop to world events — it has figured grandly into them. Its gossip-filled lobby was Marcel Proust’s inspiration; its cocktail bar a hub for French resistance during the Nazi occupation; its foyer a paparazzi magnet that Princess Diana traversed before her deadly car ride. But while the fabled luxury hotel on Place Vendôme has always been an independent icon, its decaying standards told another story. In 2011, the French tourism ministry humiliatingly left the Ritz off its list of ‘‘palaces’’ (a classification for five-star hotels of special character), compelling the hotel’s owner, Mohamed Al-Fayed, to upgrade. Now, after three years and an estimated $227 million renovation by the architect Thierry Despont, the 142-room Ritz reopened a few weeks ago — complete with upgraded suites, a spacious new fitness center and, unsurprisingly, an untouched Bar Hemingway. A recognition, perhaps, that while time and technology march on, history is one luxury that can never be replaced.RITZ Paris