We are just back from a week here over New Year, where we stayed with our lively 2 year old daughter. After my wife and I booked this ski holiday through Crystal (late deal) we were concerned that we had made a big mistake! How would we cope with sharing a room with our toddler, nap times, meals etc. Would this be a holiday or a complete nightmare!?! The one thing we were fairly confident of, from reviews of this hotel, was that regardless of what the resort and skiing environment had to offer our daughter, the hotel should be about as child friendly as a hotel can be. We were not disappointed at all - the play room was the sort of thing you would be happy with had you paid for the use of it back home. Really well kitted out. large and looked after. Not only did Mike and his family clearly like and welcome children, but the entire staff - waiters, cleaners etc shared the same ethos.
Evening meals were a little challenging because the 4+ courses took a couple of hours to get through while our daughter is capable of sitting down to eat for around 5 minutes! What a great idea then that the hotel had a play corner (in addition to the playroom) in the corner of the dining room. This tended to act like a magnet for the kids between courses keeping them busy and happy. Our daughter actually pushed the waiters child friendliness to the limits, with her tendency to run, dance and sometimes crawl between our table and the play corner. I think the worst response we had from a waiter who, loaded with plates, narrowly avoided our daughter pushing a toy train along the floor in front of him was "Please".... Fair enough really. Our daughter wasn't the only toddler pulling stunts like this and the waiters seemed to accept it was inevitable and had a 100% record of avoiding collision while we were there! We tried to control our daughter the best we could. Generally the waiters made a fuss of her and she even helped them clear up after the Friday Gala dinner!
So what about the hotel then? - food excellent, rooms excellent - warm as you wanted them and comfortable and very clean. Shower not great on 1st floor due to lack of pressure but most of the rooms are level or below ground floor (hotel on a slope/ edge of valley) so would not have this problem. Thing is a weak shower is not such a big deal if the bathroom itself is nice and warm. The view from 1st floor was out over the road, other hotels and a few distant ski runs. It was ok and grew on us. But I would say the view from the other side of the hotel that you get from rooms -1 to -3 of the high mountains is likely to be better. Also it was not especially quiet in our room with some noise from below and the street. By ski resort standards it was quiet mind. Any noise was temporary and noticeable rather than annoying. I reckon the rooms on the other floors would be much quieter given their aspect over the mountains.
The best thing about the hotel is the people that run it and work there. So nice and genuine that whatever problem or request you might have you could rest assured they would do their best to listen and resolve it. The hotel location is not the best in terms of access to the slopes but its still within Passo Tonale, convenient for shops and the circular buses are every 10 mins. Being at the end of the village you are one of the 1st on the bus too which is useful given they can be busy. Without having to carry an awkward 2 year old on your shoulders Hotel Adamello is a short and easy walk to anywhere in the resort. With ski boots on obviously walking any distance is never pleasant...hence the bus option. In hindsight we should of hired/ brought a sledge to drag our daughter around, as many locals had done. Walking in snow and ice is hard work for little people and the road is one to be careful of with small children. It is a through road and so quite busy with some idiots driving through way too fast. I saw a few cars overtaking through the built up area.
So what is Passo Tonale like? - well it grew on us as the week went on and for children in particular it is underrated. It has a new park called Fantaski that comprises a secure area with slide, swings, bouncy castle, other inflatables and play houses etc. Best of all it has a moving carpet up a small dedicated slope from which you and/ or your children can snow tube. We paid 60 euros for the week so that we could visit Fantaski as and when we liked, and we tended to alternate so that either my wife or I was here with our daughter while the other was skiing/ boarding. It worked surprisingly well we thought. Sure it was a compromise but life is when you have children. Obviously it would be better with family support/ friends to share looking after children so that you could ski with others. Having said this boarding or skiing on our own was the perfect antidote to half a day with our daughter, and neither we or our daughter got bored of the snow tubing. By the end of the week our daughter was taking herself plus snow tube (rubber inflated rings) up the magic carpet and going down the slope alone (prompting the staff at the the top to put her in the ring and give her a push). This meant she didn't get cold as she was busy. You can also sledge in the fantaski area though you have to pay an extra 5 euros per day for the sledge (the tubes are far more fun anyway). Early season the fantaski park gets no sun until about midday so bear that in mind but it was lovely there in the afternoons. I reckon from Feb on it would get sun all day. When we were there the mountains meant that the sun frustratingly basked the slopes from immediately above the Fantaski area in the mornings.
Our daughter got a free lift pass with ours so we took her on the Gondala down to the lower village of Pont de legno one day for a walk along the river to the public swimming pool (superbly maintained with separate children's pool - bring swim caps or you'll have to buy them at about 1.50 each. Bring your lift pass too as it gets you in for a couple of euros each instead of 5 euro each) - ask the owner or tourist office for details on opening times/ getting there etc. Getting to the Gondala involved a hike up a short but steep ski slope. Not ideal. The ski map shows some kind of furnicular from the road to the Gondala but this did not exist in reality. You could alternatively get a bus down to the mid-point of the Gondala but these were few and far between so check the timetable first. We also took our daughter up the mountain on the other Gondala (much more straight forward to access) where there is a nice new restaurant with terrace and views up to the glacier. Great snow for skiing up here and down the black run to the valley.
Though not with children I have been to many other ski resorts and Passo Tonale has some genuine strengths. It is no beauty, but its not ugly either like most high purpose built places. I would say its a good place to go early season cos its sunny and snow sure. Later in the season being sunny might not be such a good thing. Its quite a convenient place to get around with the lifts and slopes all well linked. The main open area of skiing is a bit dull but on the plus side sunny and accessible. The slopes on either periphery go quite a bit higher and are more interesting. The slopes up on the glacier were surprisingly steep for a glacier. The slopes to and around Ponto de Legno were tree lined and more challenging. Despite being low they seemed to keep their snow well being north facing. Snow was good when we were there and the sun shone all week too. Also I never felt ripped off in Passo - A sandwich or pizza slice on the slopes was around 4 euros, small beer about 3 euros (large 4 euros) and coffee from 1-2 euros depending on type. A large pizza or pasta dish would be unlikely to cost you more than 8 euros. Lift passes are expensive anywhere it seems (just under 200 euros each for 6 days though our daughter got a free one included) but ski equipment was less than I think I have paid anywhere. The only thing seemed poor value to us was soft drinks which were generally about 2.5 euros for a 330ml can when they are rarely more than a £1 back home. Again I have paid significantly more for soft drinks in other ski resorts, especially big french resorts!
Prices in the Adamello Hotel were also good - A bottle of wine was 9 euros and 1/2 litre of house wine was just 4 euros. Coffee <2 euros.
A couple of small niggles - Our flight over was delayed quite a lot such that we arrived at the hotel after midnight. We were pleasantly surprised to see a cold meat/ salad/ bread meal left for us in our room until we (a) smelt it and (b) tasted it. We put it out on the balcony asap and went to sleep. My guess is that Crystal didn't communicate with the hotel as to what time we would be arriving as in our opinion it had been sitting in our rooms (and possibly somewhere else beforehand) far too long. The meat and cheese was well beyond its room temperature life. This is only a niggle however because our arrival food had no resemblance to the excellent food and service we experienced all week in the hotel dining room. It really was very good and always fresh/ hot. The other niggle was that the curtains didn't anything like close because their rails were only about a third of the length they should have been! We managed to bunch the curtains up and put a hair band around them to keep out most of the light beaming from the hotels opposite. This was strange as the rest of the room was so well thought out and comfortable. Something I reckon will be put right by the hotel manager when he gets a minute. The room looked like it had only just been furbished/ refurbished.
Overall - We very much recommend Hotel Adamello (with or without children) and Passo Tonale is good value for a family ski holiday. Book with confidence. Its what I would call a 5 star 3 star hotel. If we return to Passo we will probably stay at the Adamello again and book direct with the hotel. The manager Mike is a pleasure to deal with direct and transfers from Verona are easy to access and not expensive. Again ask Mike or the Passo Tonale tourist office for details.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Adamello*** has been almost completely renovated between 2003 and 2011. From the hotel to the center of Passo Tonale or to the slopes it's only a 300 meters walk. The free skibus stop is only 30 meters far from the hotel (runs every 20 minutes). Adamello has got 42 rooms with a maximum of 130 beds; all rooms are larger than normal 3 stars law-standards and realized or renovated in the past few years. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Hotwire, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Priceline and Hotel.de so you can book your Hotel Adamello reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Adamello Hotel Passo Tonale