As the title suggests, this should have been written a long time ago. I've just returned from my 7th visit in 9 years to the Sporthotel Village. From this attendance then, you can assume that the hotel is fairly good - but here are the main points:-
Location - Best in resort! Right on top of the Soldeu gondola and central to everything in the town. The building looks straight out over the mountain and provides magnificent views from both the rear and side elevations. The ski lockers are located to the side of the hotel (down some fairly steep stairs - why do they do that??) and you will therefore have to walk no further than a 100m or so from the lockers to the gondola.
Property - The Village has traditional, Catalan style architecture with impressive wood carvings and an even more impressive central atrium. A rigorous regime by the staff ensures that the public areas are well maintained at all times.
Bedrooms - Possibly a weak point at the moment - the bedrooms have always been generally good, very warm with good decor etc. However, on my visit this year, I noted that the bedroom furniture was looking a little worn, the doors and door frames (especially the bathroom) were swollen at the bottom - therefore, a little attention may be required in the near future. On a personal note, I really wish that the hotel would replace the sheets & blankets with duvets! I would also advise against a room overlooking the street - can be noisy when the late night revellers get kicked out of the bars at 3am!
Staff - Generally pleasant and helpful, always willing to give a smile and an 'Hola'.
Food / Drink - It's no secret that, whilst Andorra is a duty free principality, the prices of drinks in the bars have risen significantly over the years, to the point that you will probably be paying the same as if you were in a popular European resort for a summer break. This is generally due to the introduction of the Euro, with Andorra piggy-backing on the rises throughout the rest of the Euro-state without actually being a member (and a tax has been introduced for food & drink - strange for a tax-free country!). However, nothing prepared me for the €12.90 bill that I received for a gin & tonic at the hotel bar - That's over £10 for one drink!!! Now, I realise that the measures are 6cl, thereby being nearly 2.5 times a standard British measure, but even so - it was enough to ensure that I didnt order any more drinks from the hotel bar!
The food in The Village is buffet style for both breakfast & dinner and, whilst there is plenty to ensure that you will not go hungry, the food on offer has definitely gone downhill over the years - it is certainly not of the quality that you would expect from a 4+ star hotel. This is a real shame as it used to be of a much better range and quality than currently offered, and no amount of 'show-cooking' will disguise a poor cut of meat etc.
There is a 5 star hotel owned by the same hotel chain (Sport Hermitage) right next door, if you want a touch of luxury, a la carte dining etc, but this will cost you at least an additional 40% on top of The Village price. However, it is still worth visiting the Spa attached to the Hermitage (underground access from The Village) as it is the most fantastic relaxation time that you will get on this type of holiday - rates are discounted for Village guests, usually on a Monday & Tuesday.
In summary, I will probably continue staying at The Village, but only through the fact that there is little alternative in the 4+ star arena with The Village's location & convenience. However, they must look to maintain the high profile that they have built for themselves in previous years by not allowing standards to slip too far - otherwise guests may just start to look for another hotel (in another ski resort / country, potentially!).
- Also Known As:
- Sport Hotel Soldeu
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the southern slopes of the Envalira Valley, SPORT HOTEL VILLAGE offers 148 rooms with private bath (25 jacuzzi), phone, satellite TV and a safety deposit box. ... more less
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