Schuss down the pistes of Vallnord Pal-Arinsal to La Massana, Andorra’s lesser-known ski resort. Book one of these hotels for your next winter holiday.
Located high in the Andorran Pyrenees, La Massana is the gateway to the Vallnord ski area. Whilst it is not quite as well known as the Grandvalira ski area, there are still plenty of beginner and intermediate-friendly slopes to explore. Finish your day with a cold après beer and tapas, while you bask on your hotel sun terrace.
Hotel Magic La Massana provides an unfussy, value-for-money option if you’re skiing in Vallnord. It’s located just 100m (300ft) from the cable car serving the popular Pal section. It’s also certified as a cyclists’ hotel, so if you’re exploring Andorra on two wheels, you’ll have access to bike washing and repair facilities as well as the expertise of several specialist stores in La Massana. On-site relaxation amenities include an Irish bar on the ground floor, a heated indoor pool and a gym.
If Hotel Magic La Massana is fully booked, fear not. Located just over the road and owned by the same company is alpine-style Hotel Magic Ski. Accommodations range in size from double rooms to quintuple suites, featuring lots of dark woods and autumnal colours. Most have mountain views. The cable car to Vallnord’s Pal area departs from the building itself, and there’s plenty of storage space for your gear. Breakfast and dinner are buffet affairs with an enormous range of options.
Just a 10-minute drive north of La Massana, you’ll find Hotel Spa Diana Parc in the friendly village of Arinsal. Perfectly placed for skiing in the Pal-Arinsal section of Vallnord, it’s also ideal for an all-inclusive break. On the premises are a piano bar, spa, pool, three-lane bowling alley, kids’ club and a fine dining restaurant with a serious wine offering. The themed family rooms are great fun, featuring colourful walls plastered with scenes from The Jungle Book.
Situated 2km (1.2mi) south of the Pal cable car station in La Massana, Abba’s Xalet Suites Hotel offers elegant accommodation in two château-style buildings. Rooms housed in the Xalet building sleep up to three and overlook the pool and garden, or the pretty neighbouring town of Aldosa-Anyos. Suites occupy the other building and can accommodate up to four. You’ll have use of paddle courts, e-bikes and a climate-controlled pool, plus you can bring your pet along, too.
If you’re accessing the Vallnord slopes from Arinsal, Hotel Comapedrosa is a hard-to-beat budget option. It offers 27 compact double and triple rooms, an on-site eatery serving hearty local fare – try the raclette – and a boisterous taverna that’s one of Arinsal’s most popular after-dark hangouts. If you’re too tired to party, head to the lounge to watch TV, read or shoot some pool. The main Arinsal gondola is a three-minute walk from reception.
Nature lovers will find an impeccable retreat in the Babot, a rustic chalet on a hilltop above the village of Ordino. Book the Adventure package, which includes two nights bed and breakfast, a snowboarding or dog-sledding session, a bottle of cava in the room and a gourmet meal plus wine. Wood-dominated rooms and suites sleep up to five weary explorers, and all have balcony views over the valley and mountains. La Massana is a 10-minute drive from here.
The classy Andorra Park Hotel sits on the outskirts of the Andorran capital of La Vella, a 10-minute drive from La Massana. Even amidst the intense competition, its experience offering stands out. All-inclusive packages are themed – from touring La Vella in a motorbike sidecar to dog-mushing expeditions through snow-silenced forests. Back at base, take a cocktail in the Library Bar before choosing from three on-site restaurants for dinner. Mountain views come as standard in all the faultlessly modern suites and duplexes.
The four-star Spa Princesa Parc is situated in the same leisure park as the Spa Diana Parc, in the resort village of Arinsal. Like its neighbour, it’s the perfect spot for a family skiing holiday. The cable car to the Arinsal slopes is a few steps from reception. Inside the complex itself, you’ll find kids’ activities, a retro bowling bar and a spa offering beauty treatments. The opulent Louis XV restaurant has one of Andorra’s best wine lists, plus there’s live music in the piano bar every evening.
If big resorts aren’t your thing, try B&B La Lluna, a small, homely base just off La Massana’s main street. Housed in a traditional Andorran chalet, it consists of three individually decorated bedrooms with access to shared bathrooms. There are two additional suites that sleep up to six adults, with chunky vaulted ceilings and wrap-around mountain views. Shared spaces comprise a snug lounge with an open fireplace, self-catering kitchen, dining room and a tranquil garden. Groups of up to 14 can hire out the entire chalet.