I enjoyed the nice location of the hotel in a forested area, makes for great morning walks! The room is nice with both a western and Japanese section with tatami. The hot baths area is a nice extra. The hotel staff is friendly and tries their best to help out in English where possible. The renovations make for modern rooms and a nice overall look, one that is definitely fitting in the environment.
Some of the lesser points:
Due to social distancing, the breakfast buffet has been changed to table delivery with a reduced menu. That's understandable, I have no problem with that. However, if the hotel can offer a full dinner menu (which it seemingly does), why can it only offer a limited breakfast menu? Also, the quality of the breakfast food was mediocre at best and in the case of the scrambled eggs, horrible. I don't think I have ever before had scrambled eggs this bad. Perhaps the Japanese-style breakfast is better?
You also have to sign a paper on check-in which essentially requires you to stay in your room all day, not use the restaurant or baths or any other facilities outside the room, wear a mask inside the guest room and more. This is strange, given that they then continue to invite you to their restaurant and the public baths are open. They note on the paper that they will regularly temperature-check the guests but I haven't been checked once during my stay. The paper indicated that masks are required inside the hotel but the staff regularly passes many, many guests who were not wearing masks in the hallways, not mentioning anything.
Unfortunately, I feel that covid-19 has become an excuse for many hotels to deliver a subpar experience. And where they should increase measures, they don't seem to do so (like the mask checks).
It would also be good if the hotel website had clear guidelines on whether they offer a Hakuba station shuttle service (which they don't, as I understand), given that the hotel is not easily reachable by public transport from any of the train stations. We ended up calling a taxi for our transport from and to the station.
This is also the first Mariott property where I feel like the staff didn't always know what's going on. I don't know whether that's because they were new or there was simply no clear documentation on Mariott staff guidelines but it felt like many of them were constantly scrambling to give an explanation for fairly basic things. For example, someone couldn't tell me where the toilet is.
Overall, this hotel is decent, in a lovely location and the room is nice enough but the hotel is not without its problems. Perhaps this is in part due to the whole pandemic situation but the whole experience felt a bit "off".