Grids Sapporo had just opened in June 2017 and everything was clean, brightly lit and modern. The location was unbeatable, being located right smack in the middle of Tanukikoji with a Family Mart, 7-Eleven and Lawson around the corner. The bus stop to the airport was also a minute's walk away in front of New Sunroute Sapporo Hotel.
The lobby was on the second floor which was accessible by a lift from Tanakikoji. Check-in was at 4pm and because I arrived in the morning, they offered to store my luggage while I headed out to check out Odori Park and have lunch at the famous Shingen Ramen, a ten minutes walk from the hostel.
I booked the mixed dormitory and was pleasantly surprised to find how spacious my lower bunk bed was. There was enough space for me to store my suitcase, backpack and handbag next to the bed. A towel and hanger was provided as well along with a safe box in the bunk. Guests are expected to make their own bed with instructions given. I expected the dormitory of 30 occupants to be noisy but surprisingly everyone was very respectful and mindful of their neighbors and the hostel rules.
The toilet and showers are shared but despite the number of people in the dormitory, I never had to wait to use the facilities. The showers are sufficiently equipped with body wash, shampoo and conditioner. The powder room was also furnished with hairdryers and mirrors.
One feature of the hostel I came to like was the shared lounge on the same floor as the lobby. It came with a shared kitchen where we can cook and heat up our meals. The hostel also provided complimentary coffee and tea for guests. At 7pm onwards, beer can be purchased from the lounge area as well.
If I were to go back to Sapporo, I would keep Grids Sapporo Hotel and Hostel on my radar. At 9,800 yen for two nights, admittedly it was on the pricey end for the hostel but the location, convenience of being in the middle of everything and the facilities are well-worth the price especially for a big event like the Snow Festival. I know they also have private rooms but cannot comment on those for now as I did not stay in them.
Grids Sapporo also has sister hostels in Tokyo - Akihabara, Nihonbashi East and Asakusa Bashi. They will soon be opening up one in Kyoto in April 2018, just in time for cherry blossom season. For more info on Grids Sapporo, check out their website at https://www.grids-hostel.com/hostels/sapporo/