Reviews of Arinsal, Andorra

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Reviews: 4
UK - England
    3 of 5,  "Small resort - great for beginners"  04/01/2015 @ 22:39
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Price Paid
Booked Trip Through
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Great option for a cheap holiday.
Stayed for a week with a friend in 2012 in Aparthotel Crest and had an absolutely amazing holiday.

The Hotel room was good and fairly spacious, we both kept all our kit in the room over night; snowboards included, although there is a ski room.
The layout may not be ideal for some as the rooms are relatively open plan in style (the bedroom was open) but that didn't bother us.

Staff were welcoming but be aware that English, although spoken, is not necessarily a second language in Andorra so you have to be selective about who you talk to when you want to find out information. The receptionists were fluent enough and very helpful.

Breakfast was adequate with the usual continental bits available alongside cereal, although there was no hot food.
Dinner on the other hand was a slightly different affair. For the extra bit that we paid to go half board it wasn't a rip off but if I went again I would go B&B only.
As Andorra is tax free eating out was super cheap and when we did the food was great.
Mexican at Cisco's (near the main gondola) was well priced and tasted great and the pizza at Pampa over the road was good value.
The main town has loads of other places to eat and drink and the night life was great. If you're out there to party then, from our experience, the Monday night pub crawl is not something to shy away from.
As the resort and town are quite small everywhere seemed busy in the evenings and the night-life was great.
My voice survived one night and we had an amazing holiday.
Beer and other alcoholic drinks were cheap, the biggest costs seem to be for products like branded soft drinks, especially on the mountain.

Beware that the slopes themselves are a bit limited.
Arinsal is a small resort, great for beginners but easily covered top to bottom in one day.
You can also head over to Pal to get some more runs under your belt

Finally and I cannot stress this enough, you're rep will say this too, make sure you get over to Arcalis.
There is a wealth of slopes available for those who get bored on the relatively easy slopes of Arinsal/Pal. There is a lot of variety over there and a small beginners park for the more adventurous.
The free buses ran twice in the mornings from the car park outside the hotel and are the first stop. Generally by the second stop it was completely full.
Trying to get back from Arcalis is interesting, there were 3 few buses in the afternoons but it is chaotic at best and you have to be determined to get on.
Be prepared to miss a bus as it left early, get on an extra bus that's being put on or not get on at all and have to get the local buses back.

Overall it's a nice resort but don't expect the world if you're an advanced boarder.
I was just a beginner when I went so it was adequate for a week.

I would give it a 2* because of the lack of pistes if you're anything but a beginner but the night-life pulled it up a peg.
Great night-life
Hot Spots
El Cau
Limited local pistes available
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Reviews: 10
    4 of 5,  "All in all a good trip and would recomend everything (maybe not thompson?)"  27/03/2009 @ 11:57
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Price Paid
Booked Trip Through
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Well i shall start with the iarport experience. we had an early flight which had us getting up at 1.30am to get there in time for check in. which gave us a 3hour wait in the terminal, thats usual though. we booked good seats which makes all the diff for the flight but meant no window, i'm a kid like that. The food? was it food? the joury is still out on that one....

Upon arival in Tolouse airport we were not directed anywhere and i had to rely on my bad french to find the carrocell. and i'm not fond of the board bags being dropped off outside the airport. if i haden't enqiured then our board bags would have been left in racks on the street! then the bus driver was a c*ck! he swore at me in spanish when i stuck my bags on the coach. (i was just reying to help) he was by the way to busy chatting to his mate, the other driver. He was on the phone all the time. letting go of the stearing wheel to change gear and almost hit a car that was already on a round about!

When we arived in resort the place we stayed in was fantastic! Montane...! nicely decorated room with doors opening towards the mountain onto a non-balcony. about thirty yards from the gondola station.the food was in the restaurant was ok.

The mountain was Rad! plenty of runs in descent condition. My GF is a beginner and i can hoon down any run. I would say the slopes catered more for her than me.

mostly the blues and reds in Arisal and all the runs on the Arinsal facing side of Pal. all fun runs for the both of us. We met up with some other guys from our hotel on the third day and spent the remainder of the holiday slidin and chillin with them which ment i could go faster and not worry about the Gf. not that i mind hangin with her. I can play and jib arround.

I did quite enjoy a few of the steeper runs however I would only call the black La Capa was the only run i'd call black. On the plus side though it was mostly deserted. In fact the liftie seemed pissed off that i made him let me on his lift as he was too busy relaxing with a brew and a fag. as this lift only services the one run.

It was hot pretty much the whole time. culminating in the runs lower down getting very chopped and slushy esspecially in the afternoon. i'll ride anything. after all when i'm not on a mountain i'm on dry slope almost every day. THe upper slopes didn't get too bad though. it was 20-25c all the time. being stopped meant over heating.

After a hard days riding it was down into town for free stuff,
Toasties at El Cau (two local beers for €5, nice) or Nacho's at Sisco's pub and tex-mex (some beer offers, ask the lady that you'll see just off the gondola). both have nice beer and the Darby is good also they do tostie and pint for €5

Don't get ill! my Gf had a bunch of calamity's inc a visit to the hospital for an alergy to sun creme? i know. We where suprized too. but in total with the ambulance €110 (get a taxi if needs be) treatment and drugs €190ish! we're going threw the claims process now.

The trip home was ok, relative to expectations of our outbound experience?
The emptyness! we never had to share a chair with anyone else the whole trip. The emptyness does funny things to you. if there where a few prople on the runs then i totally inapropriatly felt a small bitt of inner rage. (how dare they?) not at all like the other places i've been. not evan a cue for a lift!
Hot Spots
Surf steak house. We went there on a deal organized by the rep. it was the mixed grill. we went there with the two guys we met from our hotel. it was €22pp and totally worth it! the pile of meat we got was HUGE! with it we got a bowl of chips and a big plate of salad to share between the four of us. and to top this off we got a pint aswell! we can all eat and managed it but all felt defeated by the quantity of the meat. Not to mention the taste! it was cooked on an open griddle just by the entrance of the place wich wafted through the whole restaurant. would almost go to Arinsal for this reason alone?! needless to say we went back and i had the Argentinian steak. The biggest hunk of meat i've ever had. (i'll not be able to order steak in this country again!)
The transfer outbound, detailed above.

It did get a bit slushy on the lower slopes in the end of the day but at that time of the year thats no biggie.

The welcom meeting (not the reps fault) he had arrived in resort the same day as us so had to ask the barman all the local info. Thompsons fault as they pulled him from another resort where he had been all season and would have given many useful tips. The barman was good though!
Similar Resorts Visited
Bulgaria - Borovets (A hole in comparison)
Switserland - Zermatt (more developed than Arinsal but tastefully, would also recomend)
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Reviews: 1
    4 of 5,  "st gothard hotel, ARINSAL, PAL and ARCALIS"  13/01/2009 @ 09:59
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Price Paid
415 inc lift pass
Booked Trip Through
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
jan 4th - 11th '09
my only comparison is to 3 previous weeks in morzine and one day in avoriaz but i was with a very experienced group of skiers and boarders and they were all very impressed.
Arinsal is a great place to finish the day with free beers and toasties helping to keep costs down but really you want to get over to Pal for a wider range of runs and fewer people. Much better still is Arcalis which is well worth the drive or free bus. we caught the first bus of the day and were on to the many slopes just after 9. they were long wide and empty! get yourselves up to the highest point in the area and you've got a long winding red run with lots of hairpin bends to look forward to, it tested the best skiers in our group. my advice is get to arcalis earlier in the week as a) you'll want to go again and b) it does start to get a little busier as everyone else gets around to making the effort
but pal and arinsal are still good places to be especially if the weather and snow are good, both of which we were lucky with
apres ski bar action in arinsal is limited but make sure you gather your freebies as get off the bottom of the gondola. el cau bar got most of our action luring us in with free toasties, but free beer and 'vin chaud' were also available in cisco's, el derbi and quo vardis. all were gratefully received before heading back on the last free bus down the hill to our hotel st gothard. (it is walkable easily esp for boarders!)

the hotel was absolutely fine, not luxurious but not at all shabby either. the rooms were VERY warm (open the window and turn radiator down at night or you'll roast) big bar area (too smokey), storage in their secure garage for boards and skis and restaurant that did a very passable hot and cold buffet with very attentive waiting staff. any veggies out there i would encourage to make themselves known as the kitchen seem very happy to make alternative options within reason. we normally get a chalet but i have to say this experience has sold me the half board option. i would definitely be happy to return to st gothard

crystal did well with our rep suzy on hand to sort us out with any prob's or advice and giving out the liftpassess on arrival. transfer is a numbing 4hrs which is a drag, no onboard loos but 15mins comfort stop.
arcalis, hotel restaurant, freshly made rooms and long soaks in bath, freebies at bottom of slopes
2 busses only between arinsal and arcalis means can get frantic trying to get on last bus back (4.30pm)
Similar Resorts Visited
morzine and avoriaz
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Reviews: 12
    3 of 5,  "Arisnsal (its ok)"  18/08/2008 @ 14:49
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Price Paid
about 550
Booked Trip Through
cant remember
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
We stayed in the Hotel St Gothard which was fine as a base, food was ok facilities were ok too, there was a phenominal amout of kids in the hotel and much of the entertainmnent provided was centred around them (which can drive you mad) although the hotel is only 800 m from the main gondola what they dont tell you in the brochure is that it is 800 m uphill which can be a pain if you are in your boots carrying a board and the days supplies.
The slopes were quite limited when we were there due to the a lack of snow high up meaning you could not traverse over to the ajoining resort this in turn mate the slopes very busy and also cut up and icy much of the time.
no real strengths unless you are a 18 year old who likes english style bars and food
Hot Spots
el cow great free toaties
ski busses crowded
lifts first thing in morning
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Reviews: 1
    5 of 5,  "An AWESOME holiday!! 5-12 feb 06"  14/02/2006 @ 15:42
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Revision #2 (Last edited: 14/02/2006 @ 16:10)
Price Paid
£439 H/B + 200 for tuition and board hire and liftpass!!
Booked Trip Through
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
first of all we were a group of five 21yr old lads, this is an ideal resort for us!!

i have no hesitation in giving this holiday a full 5 out of 5! this holiday was incredible and i would certainly consider Arinsal again!!

ok im going to start with one of the bad points! after a great (delay free) flight we were sat on the transfer coach for 2 hours waiting for a Glasgow flight to come in plus a 3.5 hr transfer plus half hour break. so in total the coach transfer was 6 hours, which also meant we missed the Inghams welcome meeting (this is the first bad impression of inghams). its just a good job we got our lift pass on the coach!!! one other thing, there is a stop about halfway on the route, theres some toilets and some dodgy looking sandwich building but the chip buttie was a nice sight! (no toilets on coach!)

the hotel:
we stayed at the hotel st gothard, when we walked in the first impressions were very good! we were the third room down on the left on the river side of the hotel, i have read on another review that the river was too loud, i want to argue with this, the river is NOT loud at all, and we were the lowest floor! the bar has a weird ordering system but no big deal, also some cold food was ready prepared for us which was good to say we had been sat on a coach for 6 hours!! the rooms were absolutely SPOTLESS and towels were changed everyday, except wed, there was no maid that day! the breakfast wasn't anything special, it wasnt bad but nothing special, i just had toast but there were small pepperami style sausages and fatty bacon, scrambled eggs and beans! the dinners were great, plenty of choice and there was something different every night (chips everynight of course)
the bad part of this hotel was the location, it was about 7 mins walk up to the gondola and 5 mins to the nearest bar, this isnt a big issue if you get a locker for your boards / skis.

the main problem was inghams, we didnt get a welcome meeting and therefore missed booking ourselves on the sledging night and the bar crawl night (although having said that we managed to locate the bar crawl ourselves and tagged along for free), we ended up missing the sledging night. there was no real rep presence and we didnt see her much at all. add that to the coach transfer and u have a pain of a travel company (HOWEVER - this could have been a one off for the week we were there, i wont be going with inghams next year)

slopes / school:
we got the inghams board, liftpass and tuition pack for 200 quid, i think we got a good deal on that, its the same for all companies though. the board hire was a bit of a disaster the first morning because of no welcome meeting we didnt know how long to allow for gettin kitted up. MAKE SURE you give an hour and a half to queue up for your boots and board, we were there at 8.45 til 10.15.
this made us late for ski school, however it was probably the best thing that ever happened to us!!!, we turned up late as a group of 5 of us and managed to land a groups with 5 of us plus one other guy and THE BEST INSTRUCTOR on the slopes: DAVE. an absolute awesome teacher!! the slopes were great, this was the first time i had touched a board and we learnt so much in the week!!
just a note about the guy that wrote the last comment, there was a half pipe in the freestyle area near the top of the 6 man lift!

i want to stress one thing about the slopes: DONT EAT UP THERE, the food is appauling, like school dinners, its expensive and there are small portions. check out the italian opposite the gondola and a small place opposite the st moritz ski hire shop, and the burgers at Quo Vadis are amazing!!

any questions PM me!! :)
Dave at board school
slopes for begginers (i would go back for a 2nd time)
Apres ski
Hot Spots
Quo Vadis (strait from the slopes)
70s night at el cow
Distance of hotel from bars / gondola
Transfer from airport to resort (again inghams)
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