Reviews of Sauze d'Oulx (Milky Way), Italy

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  3.94 of 5  (17 reviews)
5 stars:
(4)
4 stars:
(9)
3 stars:
(3)
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(1)
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Beanie
Reviews: 8
    4 of 5,  "Loved it... but perhaps a tendency to get icy????"  11/02/2013 @ 17:56
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Price Paid
£600 per person for half board hotel and lift pass
Booked Trip Through
Crystal
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Just got back from a week in Sauze d'Oulx. We loved it there and would definitely go back...

The first BIG plus for this resort is the very short transfer time. We were in resort by lunchtime, in fact sat in our hotel bar by 12.30pm! If you are the energetic type (I am not) you could easily get a half day pass and get a bonus afternoon on the slopes. Coaches are not allowed in the town, so your transfer bus will drop you at the tourist office and you have to walk to the hotels. The UK tour firms will have a van pick up your luggage and drop it to your hotel so at least you don't have an uphill walk with all your gear.

Sauze is a hilly town, and pretty much most of the hotels we saw would have an uphill walk to the lifts. There are two lifts which go from the town, the Clotes and the Sportinia. Clotes is walkable from the town, perhaps a 4 minute walk uphill from the town square. I wouldn't fancy the walk up to Sportinia. Again it is uphill and a good couple of minutes on the bus. The bus is free with your lift pass. We generally got the bus some time about 9am, and the only day we had to wait for a second bus was the first day we were there. We had no issues for the rest of the week. The timetable didn't seem that rigid, we usually waited no longer than 10 minutes.

The Sportinia chair can be used as a pedestrian, and you can catch it down if you don't fancy taking the slope all the way back to town. There is a ski/board deposit at the top of the lift. We paid 20 euros each to keep our gear there for the week and to be honest I don't think it was wasted. It made catching the bus much easier and it was quite nice to sit and have a coffee while getting your boots on etc. I didn't use the Clotes lift from town so can't tell you anything about it, but found the Sportinia was not that busy each morning and we got it without queueing for longer than two or three minutes.

The top of the Sportinia lift also is the main mid-mountain base area. The ski and board schools meet there. There are at least three restaurants, possibly four in that area and compared to France they were reasonable value. If you accept that you pay a premium for on mountain eating, you could get a decent bowl of pasta for 7 euros, a coffee for 1.50... I thought that wasn't too bad. There is an outdoor grill at the Orso Bianco which did lovely freshly cooked burgers. There are other restaurants dotted around the mountain, but we stuck with the Orso Bianco as it was good.

If you look at the piste map then you will see an awful lot of red. This shouldn't put beginners off, as the reds in Sauze are not like reds I have experienced elsewhere. I am an intermediate with a distinct lack of talent but I was generally fine making my way about. Added to the lack of talent I also have a lack of fitness so was not blasting around all day every day. I had enough to keep me amused in Sauze but for those fitter and better than me (most of you reading this!) the resort is part of the Milky Way so there are plenty of runs to choose from. Getting to Sestriere is apparently quite easy, and you can get all the way into France to Montgenevre if you want to. Your Milky Way lift pass covers you for one day in Montgenevre I believe. We took the Crystal coach trip there instead, and liked the look of the place.

Snow conditions were pretty good for us... On the Thursday of our stay it had got a bit icy mid mountain and below but the top was fine. The Sauze staff do a good job of grooming and keeping things going. We went to Montgenevre on the Friday and it was pelting it down with snow. There was apparently snow in Sauze too but I'm told it was raining in the town which is not great. On the Saturday (our last day) the winds were fairly brutal and a few of the lifts got closed. This meant some people got stuck in Sestriere and had an expensive taxi ride back to Sauze. I guess you need to be careful and keep a good eye on the weather reports if you are planning to venture around the whole Milky Way area. Sauze does have a reputation for being a sunny resort and that was certainly what we experienced. It is a shame though, as I would have loved to have had some fresh snow to play in while we were there but you can't have everything.

We stayed at the Gran Baita hotel. It was great. If you want to know about the hotel PM me, I won't review it on here but I have done a review on Tripadvisor.

Most of the bars in Sauze do Happy Hour deals. Most were from 4pm - 7pm but some longer. Beers were reduced to 2.50 or 3 euro, and a few of the bars put out pizza or snacks. The bars seem to cater for the UK crowd with Guiness and Strongbow readily available. We tended to hit Happy Hour, go for dinner and then stay in our hotel. There seemed to be quite a few places who had live music for those who are still young enough to party and then get on their board with a hangover...

All in all we had a great week (once I had worn in my new boots, I hate foot pain) and would definitely consider going back to Sauze. My only worry would be the general snow conditions, this year they had an epic start to the season but I would worry about icy slopes otherwise. It was quite warm while we were there, and th only snow we did have was accompanied by very strong winds.
Strengths
Sunny
Reasonable prices (as far as Europe goes)
Food
Happy hours!
Short transfer
Quiet slopes - hardly any queues
Hot Spots
La Grotta
Weaknesses
Lots of sun seemed to mean it could get very icy
Similar Resorts Visited
Bansko, Valmeinier, Jasper, Crested Butte
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Sym0n
Reviews: 2
Nottinghamshire
    4 of 5,  "The Milky Bars are on me!"  23/01/2011 @ 18:45
Price Paid
£560
Booked Trip Through
Neilsons (via Hays Travel)
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
First time for me on a snowboarding holiday and Sauze appeared to have it all for a budget price.

We flew out of Birmingham in to Turin, staying at Hotel Assietta (http://www.albergoassietta.it/), which was a nice cozy hotel in a great location in the resort. As soon as we started climbing up the mountains during the transfer it began to dump and this carried on all night, meaning an awesome powder day for our first day, sadly it didn't snow again the rest of the week. The slopes covered by the snow cannons weren't too bad and the piste bashers did a good job on the majority of runs, but some of the lesser used did turn to sheet ice towards the end of the week. All in all the riding was great, the amount of runs and off piste available is insane; but from our mixed skill group I'd say it's more a beginner to good intermediate resort, although none of my group got bored with what was available.

The snowpark in Sauze is small (1 drop box, 1 drop rail & 4 kickers) but fun. Difficult to find though as the entrances aren't well signed (actually a lot of the runs aren't well signed thinking about it). Best way to find it is to ride the 4 man P. Rocca chair up or the 2 man from Sportinia and then follow Blue 13 down and it's hidden on a corner, you can also get in to it from Red 12a. If you want more there are other parks dotted about all over the Milky Way...if you can find them.

Nightlife is great, the atmosphere in all the bars is so chilled out and fun and there's a bit of something available for everyone.

I loved my time in Sauze and would return again.
Strengths
Amount of runs available.
Snowpark.
Nightlife (Especially Paddy's Bar).
Cost, for the package deal itself.
Slopes are pretty quite during the week.
Hot Spots
Paddy's Bar. Great place to end you day on the hill (happy hour) and to start your night off.
Orso Bianco, great bar/restaurant at Sportinia to hit up for lunch.
Weaknesses
Restaurants, the menus were quite poor and boring.
Expense, a bowl of chips was 3.5 euros and a pint 4.5-6 euros.
Stupidly busy on most runs and lifts at the weekend when the locals flock there.
Racist Italian men...just remind them who helped them in WW2 it soon shuts them up.
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dabomb
Reviews: 1
Middlesex
    5 of 5  13/04/2005 @ 13:27
Price Paid
£600
Booked Trip Through
Neilson
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
good reception from our reps, info about weather, what was happening etc. which was always a bit helpful!!!
stayed at the savoia debili, opposite the shuss bar :), which was always good as we didnt have 2 go wondering around the whole resort for our hotel after a couple of drinks!!!haha:P.
didnt snow while we were there, it stopped the day before!!!so by the end of the week the slopes were getting gravelly and icy, some runs were closed because of this.
food great, absolutely loving the pasta :D!! forgot what its called, but there is a little pizza place just a bit further down the hill past shuss which makes amazing pizzas for one euro! great if your staying 1/2 board and gettting hungry 2 hours before dinner!!
sportinia lift gets PACKED veeeery quickly in the mornings, so better to go earlier in the mornings, or totally avoid the "rush hour" by going at around 1030ish
when i say early, i mean about 830ish, especially if you want to avoid that nasty walk up the hill to the sportinia. this is because of the buses.........they get so busy!!!!i think i must have waited around 55 mins for a bus that would fit me on, 6 of them drove past with no intention of stopping!!!
button lifts - careful, they can carry on for 15 mins or so!!!
blue runs - bit like green
red runs - some should have been blue
black runs - closed went i went hunting for them!!!!
off piste - veeeeeeery good!!
nightlife - loved it!not a raver,but couldnt call me quiet either, but it was enough to satisfy me! girls,try to avoid paddys unless you seriously want some sweaty overweight guy perving over you.............. eugh
Strengths
nightlife, but be careful of tickets that say 1/2price drinks and the barstaff charging 3/4s, because"to them, thats half price"
slopes
food
Hot Spots
shuss
Weaknesses
buses in the mornings
barstaff sometimes arent too friendly
button lifts
Similar Resorts Visited
somewhere in switzerland (lol)
poland/russia
lavignio
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mok
Reviews: 33
Surrey
    5 of 5  05/03/2005 @ 12:06
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Price Paid
500 inc passes
Booked Trip Through
neilson
Times Visited
2-5 Times
Review Detail
this is the second time i have been to sauze. we stayed in the derby hotel again wich is a great little hotel. the snow conditions were not great but we made the most of it. big area of runs but we mostly went off pieste because the snow was better. we found a few kickers on the 4th day which was good fun. nightlife was good inc bar crawls school discos etc
Strengths
lots of runs
good food
good nightlife
snow is normally good
Hot Spots
derby bar is great for chilling out.
village bar good food and free nuts.
Weaknesses
not much snow when we were there
Similar Resorts Visited
chamonix
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sarkum
Reviews: 2
    3 of 5  24/01/2005 @ 13:54
Price Paid
Er £250?? for 6 days
Booked Trip Through
Panorama
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Just come back from a week there (mid-jan 2005). Unlucky with the snow as it hadn't done so since Boxing day.

Its a fairly low resort and predictably many, 40% maybe, of the pistes were closed. Attempts to get higher up were marred by really vicious winds.
High winds also had the effect of closing the lift link to Sestriere.

There are loads of runs just in Sauze and most are okay for boarders. Not too many flats to get across. However its cursed by evil poma (button) lifts which are a nightmare so that could rule out many runs for the inexperienced.

Many of the lifts are noticably old and the arrival of the 2006 Olympic freestyle event will probably not change this. The freestyle slope is at the bottom of town, well away from the slopes so newer lifts will not be necessary for this event.

Maybe because of the lack of snow or lack of people trhe pistes were well flat and didn't get too mogully through the day. A lot of the resot is north facing so suffers less from the effects of the sun.

Sauze's rep. as party central is nowadays undeserved I think. There are some good bars, "Shuss" I particularly liked and the Bar/Tabac in Jouvenceaux is great for a cheeky half before 8:00pm. Paddy McGinty's was a mud swilled mess by the time we got there, expensive Guiness and a forced atmos. Its Italy fer gods sake not Cork! Ditto the Crowded House.

Stayed half-board at the Hotel Martin in Jouvenceau, down the (steep) hill from Sauze. A bit out of it and only served by the town red-bus (Lina Rosa) till early evening I think. Very slow lift from Jouvenceau but no faster then a bus upto the main sportinia lift.

I hired via Skirental.com from Clataud sports, which is a planet 2000 franchise. They were really helpful.

If thers a link problem try hiring a mini bus from your hotel and driviing over to Sestrieres. We got over for E20 return each.
Strengths
Attractive hill town. VERY attractive hill girls.
Fantastic pasta.
Sheltered tree lined runs for much of the way.
Potentially lots of off-piste for when it really snows.
Access to huge extended ski area.
Social scene not mental if you like the quiet life.
Reds are not too red and blues are more like greens. Not many Blacks.
REALLY fast transfer from Turin airport. If you went via Turin rail instead of your package operators coach it shouldn't take much more than a couple of hours.
Hot Spots
Shuss bar, any small italian bar-tabac.
Weaknesses
Prone to high winds or just unlucky this time? I dunno.
Bit low to weather the lack of snow.
Lifts bit creaky.
Way too many button lifted areas.
Link out of resort too susceptible to high winds.
Not a massive town. Depends on how you like your apres.
Steep walks if you're not right in the middle of things.
Almost at one end of 'Milky way' so there's a lot of travelling to do to get to rest of it.
Similar Resorts Visited
5th year away, done Deux Alpes, Alpes d'Huez and Morzine/Avoriaz.
Morzine closest in feel for me.
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