Just returned from a 6 day Half Term holiday with our 17 year-old daughter, staying at the Sport Hotel Village. This is one of three "Sport Hotels" and falls in the middle price-wise. However, it is the closest to the gondolla that takes you up to the ski areas opposite, being part of the little complex that houses "The Villager" pub, a ski shop, ski rental place and lockers, etc with the car park below. All very convenient and linked by stairs and lifts. So you get the gondola up in the morning, then ski back to the base of the building at the end of your day and get the lift back up to the locker area. (BTW, you get a locker allocated with your room and is just beside and below the hotel with a convenient passage down to the gondola level. The room is heated but the lockers themselves are not).
Our welcome was warm and room keys and ski passes were ready on our arrival around 4:00pm on the Sunday. We'd gone for the 'Duplex' room so our daughter had the use of twin beds on a spacious mezzanine style extra floor above us - so a nice bit of privacy for all. The bathroom was a good size and everythng was spotless. It did look out over the street so you could hear some quiet road noise at night/early morning but nothing from the bars as reported elsewhere except on the Friday night....but we were so exhausted from the skiing it was not a problem! All in all, the room (1311) was great.
As reported elsewhere, the dining arrangements are a bit strange and we were told the same thing first night - despite being told we did not have to book, the best they could muster when we arrived when they opened at 7:30 was about 9:00, despite the place being fairly empty. It transpires that they keep the same tables for each room when you use them. If you sit at table 48 on your first night, it is yours for the week. Very odd way to do it given a lot of people eat out when not on a dinner rate and there are many empty tables every night. (So we just booked after breakfast each day if we thought we'd eat in, which we did 3 nights).
The food is excellent - breakfast has everything you'd want, including sparkling wine if you so wish, so we started the day with full stomachs (and sober!). Dinner is a pretty up-market buffet affair with a chef cooking fish and meats to order at a hot grill, plus another chef serving pasta and sauces to order. With umpteen salads, meats, cheeses, sushi, hot meals, vegetarian meals, paella and vegetables we had plenty to choose from. Desserts were varied but the highlight for my ladies was obviously the chocolate fountain!
We thought the service was very good all round - plates were cleared quickly, coffee brought to us at the table in the morning, etc but a tad slow in the bar one night - but otherwise prompt and very pleasant. (When my wife's wine was served in a glass with some light lipstick smears on it they were truly mortified - Not only did they replace it straight away but our next two glasses were complimentary as well. Can't say fairer than that).
"The Villager" pub (part of the hotel) was a bit of a disappointment though - the service and beer/wine was good but the 'tapas' was no such thing - all deep fried, breadcrumb-coated, mass produced, salty mush. Didn't try the mains, sorry - might be better.
There are certainly cheaper places to stay but we will be back. The combination of location, facilities, quality of food, service, attitude and surroundings all add up to more than the sum of the parts.
FYI, we flew to Barcelona and drove up to Soldeu. The hotel recommended the longer route via Ponts because it is reliable and easy to follow. It also avoids any possible nasty conditions over on the French side, which can apparently be awful. The trip was indeed very easy and pleasant and we crossed easily into Andorra on the Sunday afternoon and back into Spain on the Saturday morning coming back. However, the border crossing back into Spain when we drove UP to Soldeau on the Sunday about 3:00pm had a HUGE tailback so be warned if you intend to return via Spain on a Sunday.
Ask for one as high as possible to avoid any road noise if at the back. (I assume you pay extra for...
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