Stayed here as a group of 7 people Jan 2011.
The transfer in for the airport was not as bad as expected, no getting away from the fact that it is a good few hours on a coach but they didn't hang around at the airport and they stop half way through the journey so you can stretch your legs and get a sarnie and a cuppa tea.
The Hotel - Don't expect luxurious surroundings but great value for money. The hotel is super clean, basic but comfy with spacious rooms. Take some bubble bath to soothe those aching limbs at the end of the day - you have to pay extra for the sauna which we thought was a cheek as other guests that used it said it wasn't worth it. But plenty of hot water in the en suite bathrooms which were clean and tidy with plenty of daily fresh towels. Only downpoint was the shower didn't have a wall mount so a bit of a balancing act!
The food was brilliant, ive never seen so much fresh fruit in the mountains!plenty of choice everyday. Steaming soup and plenty of desert!ha ha. Also choice of meat, fish, veggies etc. They went the extra mile on our day of departure and opened for breakfast at 3am!amazing.
It has a nice lounge/reception/bar area which isn't exactly party central but good for relaxing before/after dinner and has a brilliant fast and free wifi connection (only works in this recepion area not in your room) A nice quiet hotel for a good nights sleep but also with a chilled bar for a few drinks and a laugh
The ski hire shop is in the basement of the hotel - couldn't be more convenient. The week we arrived was the first that the shop had opened so all the kit was brand new, as for the owner - they couldn't have been more helpful, a far cry from french resorts where they chuck a pair of boots at you and get in a strop if they are no good. They were happy to spend time helping my friend, a first time skier get a good fit
If you want to keep your skis/boards at the hotel then you have to either sneak them into your room (plenty of room) or they have racks down in the car park/basement so take a lock for this, looks slightly dodgy but the hotel say they have never had any theft Downpoint is there are no boot racks/warmers to be found but that is just being fussy. Alternatively you can pay to leave your skis/boards at the top of the gondola in cages run by the ski companies, we didn't bother with this as it was no hassle to bring them on the bus with us, thought they did get slightly battered on the short journey.
The hotel is a good 10 minutes walk UPHILL to the gondola that takes you up to the ski area. There are regular buses in the morning so no worries for that but other times of the day are a bit hit and miss, not too much trouble trundling down in the evening if you are a boarder but my friend suffered the short walk in her painful ski boots!the bus is meant to come every 20 minutes but one day we waited 1.5 hours only for the bus driver to tell us off - he has to eat and is only one man after all!ha ha ha typical Catalan attitude!
dare i say if you fancy a break from skiing then its pretty stright forward to get the bus a 20minute journey into Arinsal town for a bit of shopping - expect high street rather than tacky independant shops!
so, the slopes - brilliant for learners and intermediates, experts would be bored. Some nice wide runs good for buliding your confidence. At the top of arinsal you get the gondola across to Pal - beautiful and worth the short trip - boarders beware when you vernture more 'deeply' into Pal you will hit flat areas -s tick to the few slopes close to the gondola
Arcalis is DEFINATELY worth a visit - slightly higher altitude so has better snow. Once again lovely wide runs and again boarders beware!!!!do not take the green leading back to the base of the area - it is COMPLETELY FLAT, it has a didgy rope that you can get dragged along on but i ended up walking most of it - it's to long a trip to even just unclip your binding and scoot - painful!much better to take the reds down, they are nice and wide and not too steep so should be managable even if you are not a pro!
The snow had suffered the week we were there but they did a brilliant job maintining the slopes, plenty of cannons that were kept going at all opportunity. It was just strating to get a bit icey by the end of the week when we were blessed with powder for our last day - if you have the same luck - head straight for Arcalis!!!well worth the free bus journey - be warned though, you can get it from outside St Gothard Hotel but try and get the bus from the centre rather than outside the hotel - it fills up and once it is full it will not stop - or will stop but only for the driver to laugh at you!
so end of the day - head to Cisco's!its quite funny when you step off the gondola you could be mistaken and think you are in Ibiza with the guys touting for buisness at the bottom of the lift. Well worth it though for 1.50 eur pints, free nachos and free shots!i got the drunkest and spent the least i ever have on the mountains!
The town is not a massive party palce, you won't find any clubs but plenty busy and lively enough for nigths out after tiring days with friends.
ps give the quizz night a miss - never been so bored!and as for the disco - be preared for cheese!
so after that long essay - what i say is if you get a good price book it!!!!!don't let the lack of ski in/ou put you off, it's really not a big hassle for a 5 min bus trip each way or a slow strole and the hotel is clean, comfy and friendly - what more do you need?ow yeah the free shots , great slopes and a good group of friends for company!
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel St Gothard
- St Gothard Erts
- St Gothard Hotel Andorra/Erts