Zaborin, Hokkaido, Japan

The noble traditions of ryokan hospitality have been reimagined for 21st-century travellers at Zaborin, a luxe 15-villa property in the mountains of Hokkaido in northern Japan.

Though it's close to ski fields and the resort town of Niseko, Zaborin is shielded by forest and sits above a natural spring, affording each villa the luxury of a private indoor and outdoor onsen.

Guests can choose to sleep "washitsu" on futons, or "yoshitsu", Western style, in interiors that embody Japanese simplicity with a reverence for nature.

The ryokan traditions of kaiseki are overseen by Hokkaido-born chef Yoshihiro Seno in a private-room restaurant, teppanyaki bar and tearoom.

Zaborin, which loosely translates as "place among the trees to sit and forget", is the first hotel project for part-time Hokkaido residents James and Michele Marshall.

Villas from $1425, including breakfast and kaiseki dinner. 76-4 Hanazono, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, Japan.

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