This was my first experience of skiing and I'll split my review into a few sections.
Accommodation - the Ski-dorm is a typical youth hostel style accommodation only a 5 minute walk from the main lodge, it was absolutely fully booked (this was due to many other ski resorts closing early and many other school parties were moved here). Although very loud with around 200 teenagers, the staff handled it fantastically, especially at meal times (the food was actually good too!) and with the evening programmes. The rooms themselves mostly had four bunk beds each with a double bathroom. Perhaps a bit tired but fully functional and clean. They were very warm, too hot to sleep in really, but we could not open the windows at the request of the management. Something to do with pipes freezing in the rooms. The common areas were spacious and included many tv's, sofas and table tennis. Again a bit tired (although i suspect very used by many teens!!). A room to store our skis was available and a shuttle bus was also provided to ferry us and our ski gear to the main lodge and back.
Skiing Tuition - We had four hours of lessons per day and apparently the resort had about 200 instructors. The instructors we encountered (I had 3 across the week) were absolutely fantastic. Enthusiastic, patient and friendly. The groups were a little large to start with, about 14-16 but this lowered to about 10 by the end of the week. There were also plenty of extra staff to help out, especially at the magic carpet area. The ski patrol were also easily identifiable and plentiful. The lifts were great and did not have long lines. The issuing of skis, boots, poles & helmets was very efficient also.
Lunch facilities - only the main lodge was open, however there was plenty of choice of food and space. $15-20 for a lot a of food and soft beveridges.
Dinner - we tried the Foggy Goggle and The Phoenix, the latter was better and perhaps more reasonable with the daily specials.
There was a lack of snow this year and a huge melt had occured just before we arrived. This meant a 2-3 meter mud walk and avoiding some mud and grass on a few slopes. There were still 3 or 4 green runs open that provided enough variety for the beginners group however they resort moved snow and groomed nightly to help the situation.
The group also visited the cinema and the adventure centre in Bethel. Both were enjoyed. The Joly Drayman English pub has a lovely atmosphere and good food too.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sunday River Resort is located minutes from picturesque Bethel Village in Western Maine's Mahoosuc Mountains. A true four-season destination, the resort offers eight interconnected peaks of world class skiing and snowboarding, the most slopeside lodging in the east including two resort hotels, and in the summer months activities including lift-serviced mountain biking, ziplines, and golf at the acclaimed Sunday River Golf Club. Sunday River is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Sunday River Hotel Newry
- Sunday River Resort Newry, Maine