At 1,500 metres above sea level in the Andorran Pyrenees, Arinsal is primed for outdoor activities – from skiing in the winter to mountain biking in the summer. One of Andorra‘s premier ski and snowboarding areas, Arinsal is part of the Vallnord Pal-Arinsal area. When the snow melts, it’s transformed into one of Europe’s largest bike resorts, with downhill and cross-country tracks to suit all experience levels. Here’s our rundown of the finest places to stay in Arinsal, all bookable with Culture Trip.
This traditional Andorran stone hotel offers affordable, pet-friendly accommodation, just a five-minute walk from the Pal-Arinsal resort cable car. Rooms range from standard doubles to two-bedroom apartments, all with mountain-facing balconies. Kick back on the sun terrace with a cold beer on sunny days – or hunker down inside by the fireplace when storms blow through the valley. There’s also a canteen-style bar and restaurant, serving buffet breakfasts and set-menu dinners – vegetarians and vegans are well catered for here.
Sporty types will love Hotel Palomé. It’s known for its fitness packages, including HIIT, yoga and Pilates sessions with the in-house personal trainer, as well as massages and nutrition advice. Couples can order champagne and candles for the room and take a luxury picnic into the mountains. It occupies a quieter spot in the village of Erts, a two-minute drive or 15-minute walk from Arinsal.
For a family break in Arinsal, this expansive spa resort covers all the bases. Not only are there connecting rooms for those with kids, but there’s also a wealth of facilities on site – including a four-lane bowling alley, outdoor and indoor swimming pools, plus a kids’ club. With four restaurants and bars to choose from – including the white tablecloth Louis XV – you’ll be spoilt for choice. The Arinsal cable car is only 150m away, making it easy to reach when you’re coaxing along little ones with sore feet.
Will your kids light up at the sound of TheJungle Book-themed rooms? Book Hotel Spa Diana Parc, the five-star sibling hotel to the Princesa Parc. It’s located in the same complex, therefore sharing the same family-friendly amenities. During the summer months, it’s a popular haunt with cyclists, drawn to the hotel’s recommended routes, bike storage and wellness centre. Once you sink into that jacuzzi, you won’t want to get out.
For ski-in, ski-out, it doesn’t get much better than the Ushuaia Mountain Hotel. It’s situated right next to the Vallnord ski lift, meaning you can be out of your ski boots and into the sauna in minutes. Book an ultra-modern Mountain Premium Room for ample storage space, a terrace overlooking the slopes and a welcome pack of cava and chocolates. Start the day with a buffet breakfast in the Tasters bar – where a dinner is also served – and finish it with cold beers, street food and live music in the Off Piste Gastro Bar.
The outdoor jacuzzi looking up at the Pic de Coma Pedrosa is one of the key highlights at the Patagonia Atiram Hotel. It will be calling you as you finish a day on the mountain. All of the rooms come with a kitchenette, including a hob, fridge-freezer and microwave. Upgrade to an apartment – sleeping six – for more comprehensive cooking facilities. You can access the slopes via the neighbouring ski lift, and cruise back down a blue run that finishes beside the hotel.
These well-serviced apartments are among the best self-catering accommodations in Arinsal. Expect minimalist Scandi-style rooms sleeping up to six people. Fully equipped kitchens with Nespresso machines come as standard and, for an extra fee, there’s access to secure parking and a gym. The nearest ski lift is situated directly behind the complex, and a hiking trail into the Comapedrosa Natural Park starts just 800m away.
Hungry skiers flock from across Arinsal to dine at the restaurant inside Hotel Montané. Chef and owner Fiona Dean interprets Mediterranean cuisine with originality – the steak is well worth ordering. Beyond the food, you’ll find cosy alpine-style rooms with mountain view balconies, plus generous storage space for skiing and biking equipment. Ask the helpful staff to help you organise gear rental, private ski lessons and lift passes. Free parking is available across the road.
At Hotel Micolau, the stone walls and wooden beams of one of Arinsal’s oldest buildings alternate with bright pops of colour. Rooms are pared back, but you won’t spend much time in them anyway – the ski lift is a one-minute walk away. Families should book the two-room studio that sleeps four. A continental breakfast is included with your stay, but we recommend ordering the full English for an extra fee. After all, you need those calories for getting up the mountain. Finish the day with après-ski drinks in the bar.
Cow print wall art, lampshades and cushions abound at Hotel Mu, a wellness boutique hotel in the village of Ordino, a 15-minute drive east of Arinsal. Soak your tired limbs in the outdoor hot tub before enjoying a cold beer on the terrace, overlooking the snow-capped peaks. There’s also a sauna inside for stormier days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner – plus snacks – are served in the smart, black-and-white restaurant. Whilst you’re not within walking distance to the slopes, a free shuttle bus regularly departs from reception.