Review: Sapporo Grand Hotel

Jyaga likes (4/5)

Sapporo Grand Hotel

Nearest Airport : OKD (8 km away) or CTS (50 km away)
Neighbourhood : Chuo Ward, Sapporo
Website :
Address : Nishi 4-Chome Kita 1-Jo, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, 060-0001, Japan
Chain : Granvista Hotels

Opened in 1934, the Sapporo Grand Hotel is the oldest operating hotel in Sapporo. The hotel was built at the request of Prince Chichibu when he decided that the city needed a Western-style hotel. Today, the Sapporo Grand features 494 rooms and suites spread between two buildings. The hotel itself is managed and owned by Granvista Hotels, a Japanese hospitality company derived from the original management of the Sapporo Grand Hotel.

Booking Sapporo Grand Hotel

I booked my stay at the Sapporo Grand Hotel via for a nightly rate of JPY 14,400 (~USD 99, GBP 78), which seemed like a fair price for the hotel. This was slightly higher than most city centre hotels, which included the Sapporo Prince Hotel. However, I happily paid the rate, given the hotel’s unparalleled location. This was a Run-of-House rate, which meant that I did not have a specific room type assigned. In theory, this meant that I could be assigned whichever room upon arrival (good or bad), at the behest of the hotel.


The Sapporo Grand Hotel is located smack bang in the middle of Sapporo, a block away from the central section of Odori Park and the Sapporo Clock Tower. The JR Sapporo Station is located 10 minutes away, making connections to the airport very simple. Furthermore, the hotel has a private entrance to Sapporo’s popular underground pedestrian passage, which makes it easy to get around in the rain. Overall, it is a location that is as good as it gets anywhere in Sapporo!

Sapporo Grand Hotel
Sapporo Grand Hotel location

Arrival and Check-in

After arriving at New Chitose Airport on Spring Airlines Japan, I travelled to the hotel on the JR Line train service, stopping at JR Sapporo Station. After a painless 40-minute ride, it was a leisurely 10-minute walk to the hotel in the crisp autumn weather of Sapporo. It didn’t take long to find the Sapporo Grand’s prominent 17-storey brick façade.

Sapporo Grand Hotel

I arrived at the hotel at around 15.30, by which time check-in had already begun. Seeing my bags, the doorman quickly took care of my things and invited me to head to the reception desk for check-in. There, I was greeted by a friendly reception associate who spoke decent English.

Lobby at Sapporo Grand Hotel
Lobby at Sapporo Grand Hotel

After filling in my details on a Kindle-like tablet, I was presented with my keys. I then gave my keys to the porter, who kindly walked me to the lifts of the East Building and brought me to my room.

Reception desk at Sapporo Grand Hotel
East Building Lobby

Notably, the East Building has its own lobby and entrance, meaning that guests do not need to head back to the Main Building to exit and re-enter the hotel. There are a handful of izakayas and convenience stores just outside this entrance, which only sweetened the deal.

East Building Lobby
East Building entrance

Standard Twin Room

Since plenty of the entry-level Standard Twin Rooms were available, I was assigned one as such. These rooms are located in the newer East Building (constructed in 1976), which is connected to the lobby through a short indoor walkway. This building was last renovated in 2013, which is surprisingly recent for what looked like a much older design.

Corridor in the East Building

I was assigned a room on the 11th floor, which is about halfway up the building. Despite that, it was high enough for me to get a decent view out of my room window. In any case, given the hotel’s relatively low-rise structure and central location, it was obvious that I wouldn’t get any better views than those from Sapporo Prince Hotel, anyway.

View from the bedroom


Just like the rest of the building, the room looks quite outdated, featuring a design popular with German hotels in the 2000s. At just 21 sqm (226 sqft), I was expecting the room to be tight – but not this tight. Given the room’s design, there is very little walking space within the bedroom, which is only compounded by the fact that there isn’t a large enough dedicated space for a large suitcase. In the end, I resorted to placing my bags on the window alcove, where the air conditioner is located.

Standard Twin Room
Standard Twin Room

For some reason, the room has a long desk with two chairs placed across each bed. When in use, it became even harder to go from one end of the room to the other end. At first, this arrangement really reminded me of something you’d find in a college dorm room. Hmm…

Standard Twin Room

The desk area also doubles as a minibar and a TV console, as well as a vanity desk given the portable and wall-hung mirror. In particular, you’ll find the minibar between each seat in compartments housing minifridge and the tea and coffee-making equipment. A very small luggage rack and a humidifier are placed on either end of the desk. Between all these items, I felt that the room looked very cluttered for what is already a very small space.

Standard Twin Room
Standard Twin Room

At the very least, I appreciated that the beds were firm but comfortable. As always, simple sleepwear is provided for each guest. In this case, a buttoned-up robe is left on each bed and is replaced each morning. Thoughtfully, charger cables are available on the nightstand, accounting for the few power outlets in the room.

Standard Twin Room
Charger cables
Room entryway


By the entryway is a simple, glaze-tiled bathroom, which looked like it was transported straight from the times when Germany was still split in two. Despite its perceived age, it is kept pristine and well-maintained. Owing to Japanese bathing culture, the bathroom still features a bathtub (and a shower combination), which I appreciate. Alongside that is a bidet-equipped toilet.

Bathroom in the Standard Twin Room
Bathroom in the Standard Twin Room

A full set of toiletries and bath amenities is provided on the sink top, as well as a bottle of hand and face soap. Additionally, the Sapporo Grand Hotel uses POLA-branded Shower Break with Royal Jelly bath amenities, which I found to be quite nice.

Bathroom in the Standard Twin Room
Bath amenities
Shower Break amenities


Memorial Library and Business Center

Located in the walkway connecting the Main Building lobby and the East Building is a library and business centre facility. In addition to some 2000 books and publications (in Japanese), the Memorial Library also displays pictures and curios from various points of the hotel’s history. This includes several photographs commemorating the visit of various world figures like the Japanese Imperial Family, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Chinese General Secretary.

Memorial Library and Business Center

In addition, there are also a couple of desktop computers as well as a printing and photo-copying facility in the business centre part of the Memorial Library. As expected from a non-luxury hotel in Japan, the use of both the computers and the printers is charged. Both are coin-operated and can be used from a sum of JPY 100 (~ USD 0.70, GBP 0.55)

Business centre
Pay-per-use desktop computer

Gift Shop

Given the hotel’s history and reputation as one of Hokkaido’s first Western-style hotels, it is no surprise that the Sapporo Grand has a dedicated gift shop. Located in the annexe connected to the Main Building, the shop also incorporates a Starbucks Coffee outlet. In addition to selling various Sapporo Grand-branded packaged and canned food souvenirs, the shop also has fresh bread, cakes, and pastries on offer.

Sapporo Grand Hotel Gift Shop
Pathway to the Gift Shop and Annex Building

Underground Entrance

What’s perhaps the hotel’s X factor is its private entrance to the all-encompassing Sapporo Chi-Ka-Ho. This is the underground passageway that connects the Odori Subway Station to the JR Sapporo Station. Located a flight of stairs down from the lobby level of the Annex Building, the entrance connects the hotel to the rest of the city without having to deal with Sapporo’s sometimes harsh elements. Better yet, after ending at Odori Station, the passageway connects to the Sapporo Pole Town and Aurora Town underground malls, which enables one to walk all the way to the Susukino entertainment district. Very convenient!

Chi-Ka-Ho Underground Passageway
Entrance to Sapporo Grand Hotel
Entrance to Sapporo Grand Hotel


Honestly, the staff members at the Sapporo Grand Hotel were pleasant and respectful. This is probably what you’d expect at any 4-star Japanese hotel, so there were no surprises here. Given how the service is more reactive than proactive, I mostly had little interaction with the hotel staff outside check-in and check-out. For instance, staff do not really greet guests in the lobby unless they are arriving or departing. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s a different approach to hospitality compared to other hotels.


Despite the tight and outdated rooms and the average service, I was quite happy with my stay at the Sapporo Grand Hotel. For one, I’ve always found Sapporo to be a lively walking city, and due to that, I rarely find myself staying inside the hotel. Given the unbeatable location and its private entrance to the underground passage, I was pretty satisfied with the hotel, despite its obvious shortcomings. As such, I’d happily stay at the Sapporo Grand Hotel solely for the location – well unless I pay up and get a better room too here next time… 🙂

Read more from this trip here!

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