We booked through Neilson Ski to stay at the Nievesol, Formigal, Spain during New year and liked the reviews of this hotel. Wouldn't book through Neilson again as a cock-up with flight tickets etc, they changed out flight on Christmas Eve, two days before we left, saying that they would e-mail through e-ticket for new flight. Had to chase e-mail as did not receive, then when received it was not an e-ticket but was advised I could fly with just this e-mail and also that the terminal would be the same at Gatwick (South).
We arrived with plenty of time at Gatwick to find our flight was not taking place from the South Terminal, so we had to get a bus to the North Terminal. Queued for check in and was then advised that as we had no tickets we could not check in and we had to go the customer service to pick up tickets. At customer service was told the tickets were back in South Terminal but as it was getting late they would approve the e-mail paper so we could fly but that we would have to pick up tickets in Spain to return! What a Palaver!!
Anyhow there was only 35 of us on our flight to Zaragoya (which should have been Huesca originally) and included in these 35 was our resort rep Alastair, who was flying in with us after a Christmas break back home - this was the first week of the ski season for Brits in Formigal. Alastair was the resort rep for all UK tour operators in Formigal (Crystal, Neilson, Igluski etc)
Alastair was a good rep, giving us information on the flight out and also on the coach journey to the resort, he was very laid back but this was not a problem.
Upon arrival at The Nievesol we were impressed, lovely large reception and lounge area, Reception staff were lovely and friendly and as we arrived at 9.45pm we asked if we could eat and they said no problem. We went to the restaurant and was greeted by the Maitre' D Andreas, who spoke wonderful English and guided us to our table to receive a three course meal, choice of three starters and three main and buffet dessert, much more than we expected after arriving so late. Food at this hotel is not the greatest but not bad either and they also have a childrens buffet so that if there are dishes that the children do not like (or indeed the adults) then they could eat from the buffet, which contained the usual pasta, chips and chicken nuggets etc.
Once we had eaten we returned to the reception to check in and at first they did not have rooms next to each other for us (me and my husband) and our two daughters, we were to be put at opposite ends of the hotel, great for us but girls did not like it. Anyhow after requesting they find two rooms together, the receptionist asked her manager who kindly found us to room (322 & 323), but informed us that the previous rooms would have been larger with balconies but these two would not have balconies. We were fine with that as we wanted to be close to our daughters. Rooms were small but adequate, enough closet space, nice bathroom with very good, hot and powerful shower and toiletries and soft towels, only thing missing was face cloth or flannel so would advise packing those. Beds nice and firm, so if you like hard beds these are great, I had great niights sleep in them, however my daughters moaned they were too hard. Rooms are very well cleaned and cleaning staff are lovely, same lady cleaned the whole week and would always say "Hola" as we passed.
In some previous reviews I noted complaints about the lift, there is only one lift but we found it fine and did not have any trouble with it.
Hotel has a well equipped Games Room in the basement with a pool/snooker tables, air hockey table and some gaming machines, plus tables and chairs. There are ski lockers in the basement, but we paid to store our skis etc at Sextas the main ski point. There is a disco in the basement, which we used on New Years Eve and was great, but otherwise you would not know it was there as no noise, open Thurs, Fri, Sat and special occiasions i.,e New Year.
Large bar in hotel and bar staff spoke enough English to make our stay enjoyable, very good service throughout the hotel and even the staff that could not speak English, tried their hardest to make our stay enjoyable - very nice people. We appeared to be the only English in the hotel at the time, but in no way felt out of it or different.
There is ample lounge space to sit after a meal and have a drink or play cards and there is a selection of games in the reception area to be used in the evenings and there is even a separate enclosed smoking room by the bar, with glass walls and doors so smokers do not feel too segregated.
All in all a lovely 3 star hotel and we visited the other hotels nearby who were all four star and not much different apart from the Aragon Hills who looked and felt a bit classier as a spa hotel but a bit stuffier.
New Years Eve was good in the hotel, had a lovely meal (best of the week) and free wine and our rep Alastair joined us for the meal and a game of cards after before midnight. Hotel provided bag of goodies each (hats, streamers, noisy blowers, masks) and also a bag of 12 grapes which you are supposed to eat one grape per chime of the New Year bells - Spanish tradition - I only managed five. After celebrating the new year in the hotel, we travelled to the other hotels to meet up with people we had met on the plane and we gate-crashed the Aragon hills celebrations as they had Samba dancing, a live band and free bar. After that we went back to the Nievesol as they had a disco in the basement and joined the hotel staff and the town's people dancing which was good.
Skiing in Formigal is good, some lovely long red runs and the blue runs are long as well but can get very busy with Spanish people on weekends and found the Saturday before we left the busiest, hundreds of Spanish people who had driven in for the weekend queuing at the chair lifts. Other than that there were no queues and with regard to queues, the Spanish are very good, no pushing in or shoving anywhere, not like in other European resorts, again very nice people.
Weather wise it was not so good, it rained solidly for the first three days, so we were saturated each evening and had to try and dry all our ski clothes on two small radiators in the rooms. There was still plenty of snow so could still ski but visibility was very poor, on third day it started snowing and carried on for a couple more days, so still no good visibility, then on fifth day we had sunshine - best day and last day was just right, snowing but could see.
Alastair our resort rep took everyone up on the slopes on the first day to show them around the different runs and we met up with him on some evenings in our hotel bar or around, he was very good and very helpful in his laid back sort of way.
Ski areas meeting points are good, Sextas being the main one, with Restaurant, Chocalatier (Coffee and chocolate) and fast food snack bar as well as ski hire, ski lockers, very clean toilets, shops etc, then there was Anayet with the same facilities and then Portalet a bit smaller. In between each run to the different points are several small snack bars or chocolatiers plus a couple of warming Tepees and and Igloo Bar.
Prices not bad for food and drink in this resort, have had worse.
On one of the runs back down to Sextas, you can see the Husky Dog farm and Skiddoo trails, you can book these through your rep, looked good but we didn't do as have done before in other places.
On ou return to the airport to fly home, we were given vouchers for free lift passes for a week in Formigal for the ski season 09/10 (apart from half term) so if anyone reading this is thinking of going let us know and you can have these free lift pass vouchers, we have four - first come first served, send me a message. Only condition is you have to book holiday through a UK tour operator like Crystal, Neilson, Igluski (if booking through Igluski, talk to Sean, he wa there on holiday with us, a lovely guy) etc.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.