Stayed in the hotel for 1 week in mid February 2013. We booked this hotel because it was mid-priced (albeit still expensive) compared to others in the area. Arriving at the hotel is relatively easy by car. At the main/only roundabout at the entrance to the resort, take the first exit (i.e. on the right!) and the entrance to the underground carpark is 100m straight ahead. Hotel Ziryab has a direct door entrance on the same floor that you drive into the carpark on (Level minus -2). Within 24 hours of arrival, show your doorcard at the car park manned pay booth for a substantial discount over the usual 20€ daily fee.
The hotel has its own ski-locker room, but it is a 5 minute hike all the way down at the opposite end of the huge carpark from the hotel entrance, so I have no idea why reports on here describe it as 'convenient'. It is the furthest away of any of the hotels in the resort. Lockers are quite small too so fitting in 2 snowboards took a bit of jigging!
The reception and public areas are nice, old fashioned and cosy, with lots of dark wood fitting in nicely with the winter image. Contrary to reports on here, the reception staff all seemed consistently friendly and helpful. Check in was typical for a Spanish hotel (2 - 3 minutes once served). Our room was on floor minus -4 (reception is on 0, restaurant/bar/wifi-zone on minus -1, and rooms are on -3 and -4, although some on all floors. Forget thinking that lower rooms are quieter either. This hotel could wake the dead. I have never heard such echoing and noise in my life. The walls are paper thin, the floors are tiled and echo every trolley wheel and every footstep. Spanish are not known for their quiet living either! The maids (although very thorough and efficient) could use a lesson in moving and putting things down quietly. LIGHT SLEEPERS, BRING YOUR EARPLUGS!!
The rooms are rather dated and most are rather small, although they are surprisingly quaint to make up for it. Equipment is basic. There are no irons/boards in the rooms. The TV is smaller than my PC monitor at home and at such a low angle that you can't watch it in bed without using a dozen pillows to prop up your head. Mostly Spanish channels too. The shower/bath was good with plenty of hot water. The beds are medium firmness and have a good bit of spring. Pillows are those long very thin types, but you can ask reception for a more traditional type.
Breakfast was average 3 star hotel Spanish buffet (i.e. a bit disappointing). The selection is ok (hot breakfast, pastries, fruits, cereals etc) but all rather cheap quality products. The orange juice is a joke (cheap watery 'nectar' sunny-delight flavour). I read the hotel's previous response to a similar criticism when it replied that the juice is the same as in all Spanish hotels. Don't insult our intelligence! Mysteriously, the bar serves real freshly squeezed orange juice, but unsurprisingly you have to pay €3.50 for that !! The coffee wasn't much better and the water isn't hot enough to make a really good tea. Breakfast waiters were unorganised and uninterested too (i.e. don't expect them to help you find an empty table and don't expect them to rush to replace the clean plate stack when they regularly run out!)
We didn't have dinner in the hotel (thankfully!) as there are several good dining options within walking distance in the same 'lower zone' area of the resort (avoid any of the "Little Morgan" chain restaurants however, as they are dire!)
Once you reach the ski-lockers and get kitted out etc, the main gondola and another lift or two are just up the stairs/elevator and about 50m away. This is not a ski-in ski-out hotel however, so expect to do some walking. The ski pass office is about 100m from the hotel (out the front door, bear right through the main square and you'll see the ski pass office along on the left). Cost was approx 235€ for a 6 day adult pass.
Wifi in the floor minus 1 bar area was free, but is only 512k shared among everyone, so don't expect a speedy connection at busy times (during a white-out one day when the lifts were closed, every man and his dog was sitting there with a laptop or ipad). THERE IS NO INTERNET OPTION IN ANY OF THE BEDROOMS!!
The resort has typical southern Spanish mentality (meaning everyone does the bare minimum to avoid getting compaints or shouted at, but they don't go out of their way for anybody) and is not generally luxurious. However, if Andorra or France is not an option, then this is still a good resort with good skiing, efficient lifts, few queues (except at the weekend), good shops and restaurants and better value than most of France. Don't forget that there is an extra hour's light in Southern Spain, so you can enjoy the apres ski, get up at 10.00 and still have a full day on the slopes! Enjoy!
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- Also Known As:
- Ziryab Hotel Sierra Nevada