Canillo is one of seven resorts that make up Grandvalira, Andorra’s largest ski area, home to 210km (130mi) of pistes. Arrive during the summer months and you’ll be treated to alpine hiking trails and gnarly mountain bike tracks. Make sure you take a peek at the 11th-century Iglesia Sant Joan de Caselles, the best-preserved Romanesque church in the Pyrenees. Schuss down the ski runs of Grandvalira, straight into one of these plush pads in the heart of Andorra – from self-catered apartments to five-star resorts, they’re all bookable on Culture Trip.
Unusual for an Andorran hotel, this wellness-oriented, four-star property has an on-site Irish bar with wood-panelled walls, Guinness on tap and live sports TV. Rooms come as doubles, triples, quadruples and family suites – each one features mountain views, bold blue walls and light wooden fittings. Wellness facilities comprise an indoor pool surrounded by exposed stone walls, a well-equipped gym and a spa with a sauna, hammam and massage centre. Book the Hydro Suite to have your own private jacuzzi.
A good option if you’re self-catering, Hotel Obaga Blanca offers 28 suites with room for up to six guests, all of which feature kitchenettes with ceramic hobs, microwaves and fridges. You’ll also have a parking space in the underground garage and access to a free shuttle bus to the cable car for Grandvalira, southern Europe’s largest ski resort. Hotel-style amenities include a cafe, gym and outdoor hot tub.
If you’re looking for a shop-and-ski break, book Font d’Argent. It’s a five-minute walk from the cable car and a 20-minute drive from Andorra’s capital. When you’re not hitting the boutiques or slopes, relax by the indoor pool or take cocktails on the terrace. Treat yourself to the Junior Suite for floor-to-ceiling corner windows facing the mountains, and a star-gazing skylight above the bed. There are also themed suites for families where kids can sleep in motorcar-shaped bunks.
Geared towards families, Hotel Bonavida offers a kids’ club and play area, special childrens’ menus and a garden with two heated pools. There’s also an extensive selection of family-oriented accommodation, from doubles with the option of an extra bed to quadruple and quintuple rooms. All have village views and most have balconies. When the little ones are occupied, unwind in the sauna, shoot some pool or warm up by the open fire in the living room. The gondola station is right behind the hotel.
Cook in or dine out at the on-site restaurant of this complex of serviced, Pyrenean-style apartments. Each apartment has a kitchenette, cosy living room and mountain views. Multilingual staff can arrange ski passes for the Grandvalira resort and tickets to the nearby Palau de Gel sports centre, where available activities include ice skating, hockey and karting, water polo, squash and tennis. The bars, restaurants and main Canillo ski lift are easily accessible on foot, and there’s free street parking outside the apartments.
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This immaculately restored, 17th-century chalet has three accommodation options: a double room with balcony, a quadruple room with a double and bunks, or a ten-person apartment with a pool table and a mountain-view terrace with barbecue. The in-house restaurant is one of Andorra’s best and specialises in grilled meats – its embers are lit early every morning, in time to provide a variety of smoked meats for breakfast. Don’t miss the home-made desserts.
This sporty, five-star hotel offers guided cycling excursions, ski storage, an indoor pool, spa and gym. After a day in the mountains, reward yourself with a tipple in the Scotch & Wine Bar or a jacuzzi-and-sauna session, before heading for a buffet dinner accompanied by show cooking. Couples can choose between cosy attic doubles or spacious suites with jacuzzis. Families are offered two connected, ensuite rooms, one with a double bed and the other with bright red bunks.
This intimate, couple-run B&B is situated a five-minute drive or 40-minute walk south of Canillo, in the attractive hamlet of Meritxell. It might be a little further away from the ski lifts, but it’s a top choice for families. Book the family room, a chalet-style suite with one double bed and two wooden bunks, plus a crib on request. Downstairs, there’s an outdoor play area and games room with pool, ping-pong and table football. Adults can chill out in the sauna, work out in the gym or kick back in the communal lounge, complete with flat-screen TV.
Helicopter arrivals are welcome at Borda del Pi, a chic, three-bedroom lodge in the mountains above Canillo. Kick your boots off and sip a cold beer by the roaring fireplace. The open kitchen is primed for self-catering – alternatively, the team will hire a chef. There are comfy sofas and a bar on the first floor, plus a large garden with a barbecue and hay-bale seating outside. The centre of Canillo is a ten-minute drive away.