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7 Tips for Running a Successful Boutique Hotel: Lessons from SnowDog Village

Updated: Feb 8


7 tips for running a successful hotel in Japan - Experience authentic culture, embrace local tastes, stay tech-savvy, and more.......

SnowDog Village is a unique ski-in boutique hotel that is dog-friendly and offers a one-of-a-kind experience for guests. As a smaller hotel, focusing on a specific theme, like being the only dog-friendly hotel in Hokkaido, can help to set it apart from larger competitors and attract a targeted audience.



Here are 7 tips for running a successful hotel in Japan:

  1. Offer authentic experiences: Offer guests unique and memorable experiences that showcase the local culture, such as traditional tea ceremonies, kimono experiences, or calligraphy classes.

  2. Cater to local tastes in food: Offer a variety of authentic local dishes and source ingredients locally, showcasing the culinary culture of Japan.

  3. Offer high-tech amenities: Japanese travellers expect the latest in technology, so make sure to offer smart controls for lighting, temperature and more in rooms.

  4. Foster a clean and serene environment: Cleanliness is a key aspect of Japanese culture, so make sure your hotel is spotless and well-maintained, and create a peaceful atmosphere with calming colours and traditional design elements.

  5. Provide exceptional customer service: Japanese hospitality is known for its politeness and attention to detail, so train your staff to provide personalized and attentive service.

  6. Embrace sustainability: Implement eco-friendly practices such as LED lighting and recycling to appeal to travellers who are looking for environmentally conscious hotels.

  7. Location is key: Choose a location that is easily accessible and near attractions, with good transport links and clear signage for easy finding.

Having a restaurant on site is also a great option as it can offer guests a convenient dining experience and can be used to showcase the local cuisine and culture. This can help to further enhance the guest experience and create a memorable stay.

By focusing on a specific theme and offering high-quality amenities and customer service, SnowDog Village can differentiate itself in the market and establish a strong reputation as a leading destination for dog-friendly ski trips in Hokkaido. This can help to drive demand for travel to the region and increase overall tourism revenue.



At SnowDog Village, we are proud of the success we have achieved in growing our local domestic market during the summer season through our fun initiatives and dog-friendly focus. Our guests love the added touch of being able to bring their dogs with them, and our staff love the convenience of being able to bring their dogs to work. By offering a unique and personalized experience, we have established ourselves as a leading destination for dog-friendly vacations in Hokkaido. By following the 7 tips for running a successful hotel in Japan, we hope to inspire other boutique hotels to offer exceptional experiences to their guests and create memorable stays that they will never forget.


Jo Lodder is a trail runner, business leader, and philanthropist. He's the co-founder of JNW Asia, a property marketing company based in Hong Kong focused on Niseko projects, and a master agent of SnowDog, a hospitality brand. He's also embarking on the Run for Freedom challenge to raise money for charity. With a passion for helping others and a drive for success, Jo inspires through his love of adventure and entrepreneurship.


Donate to my challenge "Run for Freedom" HK5Trails

www.give.asia/runforfreedom





Jo's quote today

"If my greatest accomplishment is having made a positive impact by giving more than I received, then I have succeeded in life."


Our Businesses

SnowDog Village: www.snowdogniseko.com

SnowDog Chalets: www.snowdogchaletsniseko.com

Raku Ichi Residences: www.rakuichiniseko.com


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