Ski holiday in Arinsal
"Intro and Apartment"
Hi, we're just back from a week in the Hotel Club Diana Apartments in Arinsal. The apartment was great, roomy with an open fire place and plenty of hot water to sooth the tired muscles after a day on the slopes. As is normal with apartments you can hear the guests one floor above, but we heard very little from those next door. The apartment block is right by the main road through Arinsal so there is some road noise too, especially those rooms that face the road. Windows are only single glazed. The kitchen had only basic equipment and a two ring cooker. There was also a microwave and full size fridge and freezer. Stinky drains, both in the apartment and street, seemed to be a theme but it was never too bad.
As said on other posts, the apartments are run by the St Gothard hotel, although there were no free facilities that we found in the hotel. The whirlpool and sauna were 6 Euros each and there are a couple of arcade games, pool table and air hockey to provide a bit of relief from the skiing. The reception staff were very helpful, although not so knowledgeable about the ski slopes or travelling by bus to Arcalis.
Arinsal is basically a tourist resort so full of ski shops, restaurants, pubs, hotels and a couple of supermarkets that were well stocked (lots of Brit food if you miss that on hols). There are several cash point machines and a couple of Banks if you need more than cash from the machine.
"The Ski Areas"
The gondola from Arinsal centre up to the slopes is very quick and efficient, as are all the lifts. The lifts and tows are in good condition and run efficiently to minimise the queues. There weren't that many slopes open from Boxing day to New Year, but enough. The Greens runs were open and the two main Blue runs. A cable car links Arinsal slopes to Pal and was open everyday except one windy day and New Year's Day. We also used the ski bus to La Massana (free) and caught a linking ski bus (1.50 Euros each) to Arcalis to ski at the Ordino-Arcalis area. We found that the jewel in the crown. Much quieter slopes and with longer and more varied runs, although some of them were more challenging than Arinsal and Pal. Well worth the trip. Ask detailed advice from your rep to make sure you get the bus times and pick up points right as we didn't get it right first time and spent over an hour waiting at La Massana because the bus left from a different stop!