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Old 23.02.2015, 12:31
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Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

How about sharing your info and tips about the Swiss ski resorts you have visited. What are the pros and cons, and perhaps ideas to avoid the latter?

Which is your favourite and why?

We've just come back from Adelboden, with a mixed ability and ages group from the UK. We had a fabulous week, great snow and lots of sunshine, but the lift system was chaotic. We had to get on a bus from the Hôtel, and kids were dropped off in the village to take the Ski school bus up to Geis. Others had to continue on the bus to the lift station, and then walk down lots of steps before getting to the bubbles. After 2 stops along the valley floor, the lower ability skiers had to get off and queue for another bus to take them to Geis- whilst the others continued in the bubble to the top (only reds and blacks from there) and then come back to Geis later to pick kids up from ski school. At the end of the day, massive queue for the bus down to lower bubble station, to queue again to go down to the valley- then up lots of steps, to go and queue for another bus to take us to Hôtel. What a palaver! Mind you, had our Hôtel been at the other side of the village, we could have taken the short bubble down to the big bubble- and avoid both bus and steps- so lesson learnt there. And then it would have been great with our usual group of upper intermediate and advanced skiers.

So yes, a great week, and great weather- but never again. Next year for OH's 70th BD- we will go ski in, ski out! Any suggestions?

We are thinking of going to Arosa again, where we celebrated OH's 60th- or Haute-Nendaz or Siviez (4Vallées - where we skied as a family for 35+ years).

Last edited by Odile; 23.02.2015 at 13:43.
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Old 23.02.2015, 18:31
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

Does it have to be specifically Swiss or are border resorts allowed? We got often to the French side to a small family resort, 35 minutes, park car, skis on, off on the slopes, 20 EUR from 8.00 till 14.00 or from 11.30 till 17.30... it's called Les Brasses.


Odile, how are the slopes on the Jura side? I went once to somewhere around St Cergue, but it was for cross-country skiing.


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How about sharing your info and tips about the Swiss ski resorts you have visited. What are the pros and cons, and perhaps ideas to avoid the latter?

Which is your favourite and why?

We've just come back from Adelboden, with a mixed ability and ages group from the UK. We had a fabulous week, great snow and lots of sunshine, but the lift system was chaotic. We had to get on a bus from the Hôtel, and kids were dropped off in the village to take the Ski school bus up to Geis. Others had to continue on the bus to the lift station, and then walk down lots of steps before getting to the bubbles. After 2 stops along the valley floor, the lower ability skiers had to get off and queue for another bus to take them to Geis- whilst the others continued in the bubble to the top (only reds and blacks from there) and then come back to Geis later to pick kids up from ski school. At the end of the day, massive queue for the bus down to lower bubble station, to queue again to go down to the valley- then up lots of steps, to go and queue for another bus to take us to Hôtel. What a palaver! Mind you, had our Hôtel been at the other side of the village, we could have taken the short bubble down to the big bubble- and avoid both bus and steps- so lesson learnt there. And then it would have been great with our usual group of upper intermediate and advanced skiers.

So yes, a great week, and great weather- but never again. Next year for OH's 70th BD- we will go ski in, ski out! Any suggestions?

We are thinking of going to Arosa again, where we celebrated OH's 60th- or Haute-Nendaz or Siviez (4Vallées - where we skied as a family for 35+ years).
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Old 23.02.2015, 19:08
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

No rules... of course.

The Jura was fabulous last few weeks- but today it was actually raining- what a shame.

We regularly ski at 3 local resorts, 2 in CH and 1 in F. La Robella in Buttes, accessible by train then 2 mins walk, or car-park. 1 chairlift then lots of Pomas (button lifts)- small but great for a day- most slopes are good reds but wide. Ski hire and shop at the bottom.

The other is Les Rasses, above St Croix. Again 1 télésiège then pomas almost all the way to Chasseron. Great views of the Alps on a good day- again, mostly reds and wide. Excellent deals to be had at the old Victorian style Grand Hôtel, with fab views and indoor pool.

Due to our location, and my bad knee (better for cruising the reds)- we tend to ski most of the time on the other side of the border, at the much bigger resort of Métabief/Mt d'Or above Vallorbe. Great road access from Lausanne-Yverdon Mway- take other Mway directions Vallorbe/Pontarlier before Yverdon and it is a dual carriage-way all the way. Quad chair at the bottom- and another chair to link both ski areas- and a few more chairs and lots of pomas at the top- nice restaurant half-way down to resort. Better for kids, more blues available- and 2 ski schools, lots of shops, restaurants and ski hire. Marie at the FFS speaks excellent English to arrange for lessons. They have a little kiddies ski area for toddlers, and a great slope for beginners/learners. Very busy at the mo as the Parisians are on hols- but then it will be great, providing snow holds. Do get in touch if you go- could meet up for a ski.

For total beginners- the best and cheapest little resort is Les Fourgs, again not far from Métabief and before Pontarlier. Restaurant at the bottom and ski school- very gentle beginner area and 2 other pomas- gentle and very wide- with very cheap pass and cheap ski hire right there.

Last edited by Odile; 23.02.2015 at 19:30.
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Old 23.02.2015, 19:23
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

we ski regularly in Jungfrau region as we buy a season pass . The day pass is expensive but gives children free skiing on Saturday : but as this is traditional changeover day : it never is awful for queues except Xmas week. Last week weather was perfect and queues were light.


Ski in and out is available from Wengen and Muerren , but most come up from the valleys on the train.


is extensive area but the trains from Lauterbrunnen are slow to Kleine Scheidegg but the cable car to Muerren has you skiing within 30 minutes .


We also used to go to Arosa a lot and loved it but not super for advanced skiers. Not been since the link up with Lenzerheide though


Hoch Y Brig was OK for day trips but limited for anything more than 2-3 days


Davos Klosters was a good late season choice as things stayed open for late Easters .
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Old 23.02.2015, 19:43
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

I spent a very enjoyable week during Christmas in Avoriaz, Portes du Soleil. The rich were still at home, so it was not too expensive and fairly empty.
Some people don't like the look of the village, but it does look futuristic with the high buildings covered in cheap wood. There is everything there for a holiday, even a cinema!

Otherwise I would recommend going to Austria, there are many first class ski resorts, which are not expensive. Gastein is excellent, Dorfgastein is probably the best, https://www.google.ch/maps/dir/Dorfg...47.1140887!3e0
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Old 23.02.2015, 20:13
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

I haven't skied for a few years and never got beyond blue/easy red level, but for the kind of easy skiing that I managed to get any pleasure out of I always enjoyed Saanenmöser/Schönried - lots of nice wide blues where you can practice falling over without bothering anyone else.

I have never skied there, but have always liked the look of Sörenberg when snowshoeing in the area, and the piste map looks interesting from a beginner's or lower intermediate's perspective.

Not in Switzerland and not very high, but for my profile of skier I always thought Métabief was perfect, and it's cheap as well. Too far from here unfortunately.
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Old 23.02.2015, 20:17
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

Must say I really do not like Avoriaz- sorry. We've skied there are few times from over t'other side in Champéry, which is a really nice old Swiss town, and not just a resort.

For the Portes du Soleil from Switzerland, the best access is via Torgon, a small resort opposite leysins which is purpose built with huge chalets that sort of look traditional but concrete and wood (highly visible from the MWay below at entrance of Rhône Valley. There is an excellent UK company based there- with great accom and prices, their own ski/snowboard and FSS ski/snow school right there at the bottom of the very long piste. A very long Poma on the left where beginners and learners can come off easily at several levels- and a long chair on the right- with a path or red down to the area of Plan de Croix- with access by quad chair to Tour de Don and on to Châtel and Super Châtel + Morgins, and a poma/t-bar onb the right up to the huge wide reds going down to Chapelle d'Abondance. If we drive there for the day, we park at Plan de Croix (just before Torgon) and then do both areas to super Châtel and also Abondance- there is a geat traditional restaurant at the top of Chapelle, on French side- great views, good food and prices in Euros.

The Ski Company has the best prices and service in the area- and for families, kids are taken charge off, before and after lessons (excellent English speaking staff) all day by great staff. They have hostel type accom and also appartment for families- snooker and table tennis, huge undercover play area and huge lounge with large tv, etc. Dining-room is often shared by school groups from UK- so can be noisy, which we don't mind. I've used them for school trips and family and friends trips for about 20 years (from the UK and then from here)- They are booked now for half-term- but after that still have gaps. Just talk to Gerry, Ollie or Becky- and see what they can do for you, for long week-end, a few days, a week. They lloked after us so well in Adelboden last week- and also do weeks in Gstaad, Arosa, Crans Montana and more- but they own the accom and all equipment in Torgon. Just 30 mins from Lausanne too!

www.skicompany.net

Métabief is fortunately very close to us Stephen - hurrah. You are welcome anytime btw.

And for families where some members don't want to ski- don't forget about the spa resorts in the Rhône Valley with good skiing too. Like Ovronnaz and Leukerbad (Loèche-les-Bains). We had a week last year in Leukerbad- skiing till about 3 and then going to the hot spas to soothe the aching muscles- brilliant. The Lindner Spa Hôtel is not a far walk from the Cable car- and there are a few Hôtels on the footpath to the cable too- the ski valley at the top is so pretty- shame about the couple of 1970s concrete buildings, but you soon get away from them!

Never been to Badgastein, but OH has twice. The big problem with the Austrian resorts (and we've been to many)- is that skiing almost always involves a bus trip first to the lifts- which is a pain.

Last edited by Odile; 23.02.2015 at 20:28.
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Old 23.02.2015, 20:26
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

Thyon 2000 was our fav with the kids. Out the door, walk across the snow to the ski school, no cars, kids entertainer, but it has got more expensive these past few years. Good Irish cofee
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Old 23.02.2015, 20:34
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

We loved Veysonnaz and Thyon (the long Piste de l'Ours a favourite- but then the long traverse to Siviez to access Mont Fort and Verbier is such a pain, and lots of skating and pushing. We never stayed there, but always skied the area from Haute-Nendaz- our favourite family resort, especially when the girls became proficient skiers.

Haute-Nendaz is great- and the area at the top of Tracouet is fabulous for families, with ski school, travelator for little ones on baby slope, tubing and sledging area- and all sorts of blues, reds and black up to Plan de Fou, with a great slope going to Super Nendaz and access to Verbier and Mont Fort glacier. We've stayed in flats and Hôtels- but always with a bus ride up, or a drive to Siviez/Super Nendaz- next time we want to be near the bubble at the top and not have to bother with buses or cars.
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Old 23.02.2015, 21:17
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

Flims perhaps?

We just came back a week ago, and it was a great resort! We were lucky to get an apartment right by the lift, and this were spared us the hassle of traveling by buses with small kids! We found the apartment by contacting the Laax/Flims reservation office. They sent us a list of resorts which fit our budget and criteria, and then the toughest part was to choose which one to go for.

What I liked with Flims is you get a huge skiing area - I think the area is called Surseval. Plenty of blue pistes in the Flims area (I think it's 1600m), but also in the Crap Masegn area (2400m). So even beginners get to enjoy the sun higher up .

Good luck in your search!
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Old 23.02.2015, 21:35
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

I second Flims/Laax parents in law have an apartment there but good skiing and blue and red runs high on the mountain, as said before.
As mentioned, one critical thing in all these places is transport to the base station. Flims has free buses which is great but when it is busy you can not get on as it is full after the first two stops so either a 15 min walk in ski boots or wait 30min for the next bus. So either get a place next to one of the base stations or near the end of the bus runs which in Flims case is maximum 10 min ride.
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Old 23.02.2015, 22:05
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

If you go for a week I can recommend getting out of Switzerland and enjoying a cheaper holiday in the french resorts of Le Grand Bornand ( smaller, quaint and affordable) good for beginners or where we were Le Grand Carroz, larger ski area. I also find Italy good value for money : Madonna de Campiglio or anywhere on the Sella Ronda. Relatives just skied the school holidays in Arraba, Italy and found it quite enjoyable school holiday skiing and not many crowds. A longer drive than to France. Swiss resorts are just so much more expensive for families.
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Old 23.02.2015, 22:18
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

Currently staying here: http://leysinlodge.ch/ Ski to lift in the morning. Coming back, there's a little uphill, then level, and then down to lodge. Very friendly people. It's warm, fairly well equipped, with free but not very fast wifi. (When watching the Voice on Saturday, it was only possible via Zattoo, through tethering my phone).

Only possible cons are that you might be only able to reach the car park with chains or 4WD. The car park is 400m from the lodge, but they snowmobile your stuff from the car park to the lodge on arrival, and back again on departure. Bit of a walk into town if you need to get more milk - though bakery products are delivered in the morning if ordered the evening before.

Tip: buy your ski passes when booking. You get a discount, which I calculated at about 30%.

Leysin has great slopes for beginners/intermediates, and a few that experts should enjoy. It's also (on a clear run) only 3 hours from Basel. It gets more snow than you'd expect for its altitude, due to proximity to Lake Geneva. We were here 3 (4?) years ago when the snow cover was poor, yet they still managed to keep the resort run open.
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Old 23.02.2015, 22:43
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

In Adelboden now. Nobody here Odile - you picked the wrong week ;-)

But I understand your comments about access... It isn't great and is missing a lift from Geils back up to Sillerembuhl. But the town is nice - nicer than e.g. Davos. Skiing has so far been good though.

We had a couple of great years in Cran-Montana - parking was a bit hectic, but if you got there early the queues were usually later. Skiing was fun and weather great.

In terms of access to the slopes, the best I've been to was Betmeralp. Fantastic snow, no cars, true ski to the door resort with a well equipped flat. Sigh.
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Old 24.02.2015, 11:16
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

Ahaha- we are stuck with UK half-term hols for the grand-children I'm afraid (and the high prices) for a few more years yet. However, it was the right week as we had nothing but sun all week- no powder or off-piste (those days are gone for me, sadly)- but fabulous.

The big problem for us was that we had kids and adults of all different abilties- and the resort just does not link well at all. Going up to Sillerenbuhl every day with a more homegenous group would have been fine- especially if staying near the small gondola that takes you down to the main one. Have fun in the fresh snow.

For those in Romandie looking for day or a few days- 2 of our favourites are Arolla, right at the top of Val d'Hérens- no chairs though, but the scenery and skiing is fabulous for anyone intermediate and above.

And another is Nax- chair up, and then very long pomas right above the tree line- the scenery is magnificent, with lots of large rocks and gnarly, twisted old arolla pines and great skiing- again for anyone from intermediate and above. Again, in the beautiful Val d'Hérens above Sion.
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Old 24.02.2015, 11:31
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

My personal preferences in Graubunden are either Lenzerheide (particularly now it's linked to Arosa) or Obersaxen. Both have a pretty good lift system and mix of Pistes. I am less keen on Davos or Flims/Laax, partially because the lift infrastructure is rather older and less integrated, partially also because I find the skiing at the first two to be simply better.

As a place to stay I would certainly pick Lenzerheide of the two. Obersaxen appears to be rather quiet.

St Moritz is too far to bother driving!

If you have a season card for anywhere else, it is worth knowing that Obersaxen offer a half price day pass.
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Old 24.02.2015, 11:32
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

Just back from a week in Saas Fee. Some stunning vistas, but not a huge amount of variety in the skiing if you stay in Saas Fee alone. I would say you'd have to be a reasonable good skier to enjoy it there; the reds are pretty steep and after a heavy snowfall can become quite lumpy and require quite a bit of technique. My oldest daughter and I coped reasonable well, but my (somewhat risk-averse) wife and younger daughter, who started snowboarding a couple of years ago, found it pretty taxing. We skied mostly around Felskinn (Foreskin?) and up to Mitelallalin, where there are some nice wide reds and blues, but the lower reds are narrower and steeper. It's not easy there by any means. Our mistake was to head up to Plattjen on the first day after heavy snow, which is where we had the steep, lumpy pistes. It was not enjoyable in the slightest and made us nearly wish we'd not bothered. However, the pistes around Felskinn were easier and the weather had started to improve, which bumped our confidence up a bit. We didn't venture up to Spielboden at all, mainly as the pistes looked bloody steep.
It's a pretty little resort with some great restarants, but a little on the pricey side. You have to leave your car in the big garage at the entrance to the village and your accomodation will arrange to have you and your gear collected in their funky little electric cars. Accomodation was basic, but comfortable, we paid a shade over 1300.- for a family of four in a 2.5 pce flat for 6 nights.
I would go back there for a long weekend, but not for a week.
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Old 24.02.2015, 11:36
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

Surely Morzine is one of the easiest drive-in-park-ski places.

Park at the car park on the main street called Pleney (8 eur for the whole day) and go up some stairs to the tele cabin.

This is my first season skiing after about 20 years so I'm still finding my way around.
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Old 24.02.2015, 11:42
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

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Currently staying here: http://leysinlodge.ch/ Ski to lift in the morning. Coming back, there's a little uphill, then level, and then down to lodge. Very friendly people. It's warm, fairly well equipped, with free but not very fast wifi. (When watching the Voice on Saturday, it was only possible via Zattoo, through tethering my phone).

Only possible cons are that you might be only able to reach the car park with chains or 4WD. The car park is 400m from the lodge, but they snowmobile your stuff from the car park to the lodge on arrival, and back again on departure. Bit of a walk into town if you need to get more milk - though bakery products are delivered in the morning if ordered the evening before.

Tip: buy your ski passes when booking. You get a discount, which I calculated at about 30%.

Leysin has great slopes for beginners/intermediates, and a few that experts should enjoy. It's also (on a clear run) only 3 hours from Basel. It gets more snow than you'd expect for its altitude, due to proximity to Lake Geneva. We were here 3 (4?) years ago when the snow cover was poor, yet they still managed to keep the resort run open.
I'm planning to take a couple of days off work next week and head to Leysin, just 50 minute drive for me. Looks on the map like nice really long blues all the way top to bottom? Ideal for me just getting back into things. Like that in reality?

Going by myself - without wife and kids so should be out of the car and into the telecabin in 10 minutes -- instead of 45
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Old 24.02.2015, 11:52
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Re: Your tips, pros and cons re Swiss ski resorts

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Going by myself - without wife and kids so should be out of the car and into the telecabin in 10 minutes -- instead of 45
Could not agree more! However, going with the family for a week, I come back relaxed and raring to go. Come back from a week with the boys, destroyed, skint and need a week to recover!
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