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Visitor reviews for Ischgl Ski Resort
January 22, 2017
Jerald from Ireland
The town is seedy, especially at night and strangely is filled with almost all males (it's not until you are made aware of this do you actually see it). We asked some locals why this is and they can't explain it.. they say it is just the way it is. I've spent many, many years in various different resorts in Austria as well as other European snow destinations and was shocked by the attitude, in general, from staff and workers there. Ischgl has, by a large margin, the most obnoxious & rudest staff and workers I have ever encountered. If you are planning on going to Ischgl don't even think about apres ski up the mountain; you get kicked off the mountain every day at 4pm by a loud "achtung" automated voice which warns you repeatedly (every 5 minutes, or less) that the lifts are closing and to leave the mountain immediately. It resembles something like an air attack warning and during this time staff will swipe any drinks which are on tables even if there's an inch or two of beer left in them (Idalp).
As of 2017, there is a new law in Ischgl which forbids anybody in snowboard boots, ski boots, carrying skis or boards after 8pm. Don't be fooled, this law is actually enforced and you will find countless police patrolling the streets at this time stopping people from walking back to their accommodation in boots or with boards/skis, forcing them to get a taxi instead. On two occasions our group of almost 20 people had tables which we reserved in advance taken from us (!) only to find upon arriving at the restaurant that no table was available. I genuinely suspect some wealthy individuals arrived beforehand and slipped the waiter a few hundred Euros in order to get a table even though none was available. While I have no doubt ski resorts like to make the majority of their money during the high season Ischgl takes the biscuit; vastly inflated drink & food prices though some value can be found off the beaten track. 115 Euros for a litre bottle of Jagermeister when across the road you can buy the same bottle in the shop for 20 Euros. Bottles of champagne for 55,000 Euros and amazingly people are stupid enough to actually buy them as evidenced by the large empty bottles pinned to the ceiling of a certain establishment in the town. Ischgl simply feels like one big money grab. It wouldn't be so bad if the staff were friendly and welcoming but as I said, the rudest most obnoxious people I have even encountered in any resort on the planet. Some folks from our group were complete beginners and attended ski school and out of the total beginner class of 9 just 2 were left at the end of the week. Most in the class were told they should drop out and were "useless". Another was told her boots were too loose and when the ski instructor (a very large man) tightened them she lost all feeling in her feet. Even though she complained he said this is the way it was meant to be. The individual suffered on and later went to a doctor where she was told she had damaged nerves in her feet. We complained to the ski school but got zero satisfaction. Beginners in the class who fell were not told how to get up nor were they helped. I fully agree with the previous reviewer who eloquently puts it "beautiful skiing area being exploited by pure commercialism". Most of the group I was with had previously been to Ischgl 2-3 times in the past. After this year we will not be returning again.
Overall: 4.2. Based on 37 votes and 29 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Ischgl.
Public Transport: 3.9
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Ischgl, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Ischgl, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.0
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.9
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Ischgl.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.1
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Ischgl, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Ischgl is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Ischgl relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.9
(1) There are no snow groomers at Ischgl, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Ischgl are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Ischgl is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.6
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Ischgl, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.6
(1) Ischgl usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.3
(1) The staff at Ischgl are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Ischgl are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.3
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.9
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.7
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Ischgl has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Ischgl, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 4.5
(1) Not even a kicker at Ischgl, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Ischgl, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Ischgl has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.6
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 4.1
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.8
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 4.3
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.0
(1) Overall, Ischgl is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 4.4
(1) Overall, Ischgl is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
March 29, 2016
steve from Austria
I went to Ischgl from St Anton to visit friends. A friend booked an appartment in her name. We collected keys from the main hotel and my friend was told that it was ok that just her name was on the registration. Next morning I want a 5 day pass and am asked for my guest card and don't have one. No problem I tell them that I will pay for a non discounted pass (witnessed by 2 people). On the third day I am escorted from the lift entrance to the lift office like a criminal and told to go and get a guest card. We are staying in Mattun 7 or 8 km away and virtually a day would have been lost just sorting out the comedy of errors. I could not get back to St Anton fast enough. Ischgl is seedy in places with no alpine village atmosphere at all. Such a beautiful skiing area being exploited by pure commercialism...
March 31, 2015
Mateusz from Poland
I am skiing in Ischgl for already 2 days and what I can say about this ski resort is that this place is crap. Price of ski pass is too high (we got 5 day one) and what you get in return? Only two ski lifts are working over there and slopes are not prepared at all. Some might say that this is because of weather but this day (just got back to hotel) was pretty sunny and weather was not that bad as stuff (ed?) would say. For too many people it is difficult to get to the bottom of the mountain by skiing. What makes slopes really crowded: people literally were standing in the middle of the slopes and resting over there. Otherwise, some could loose their legs. What I want to say is that this place is not worth money. Tomorrow we are driving to Switzerland because we can use our ski passes over there and get better prepared and much longer slopes than the crap that they offer out here.
February 26, 2013
John from United Kingdom
Just returned having visited Ischgl for the first time in over ten years. I read some of the reviews before I went and thought the resort must have changed as some of the reviews did not match with my memory. Myself, my wife and two teenage children visited at half-term and had a fantastic holiday.
I agree with previous reviewers that it is not for extreme skiers but then it never has been and has never marketed itself in that way. For a half-term once a year ski holiday it was perfect. Massive plus points are: perfectly groomed runs. A fantastically efficient lift system that, even at half-term, coped superbly. Apart from at the start of the day the longest wait was three or four minutes, on many occasions there was no wait at all. Apart from one chair lift all chairs are high speed and the majority have covers, a god send at minus 17. Some even have heated seats. Good quality and good value mountain restaurants serving a variety of food at a sensible price, all with clean well appointed toilets, something my wife and daughter would love to be exported to France.
On the skiing front there is more than enough for most on piste with a good variety of runs. On the minus side there isn't much in the way of steep slopes and the off-piste is skied out very quickly.
To answer some of the points raised by others, I have skied all over France including the 3 valleys, Espace Killy and Chamonix and I didn't notice any reduction in the ability of skiers here than in any of those resorts. Also, on the whole, the slopes were no more crowded and I didn't see an accident all week.
The resort has one major issue, the runs back to the valley. We followed local advice and called in at a restaurant at 4.00 as the lifts closed, had a drink then skied down. The slopes were virtually deserted. However, on the last day we skied down with the crowds and it was chaos. Most of the runs down are icy and in places narrow, if you are anything other that a good confident skier then I would imagine they can be frightening. Parts of the runs, in particular just above the mid stations and the last pitch into the resort resembled a battle field with bodies strewn all over. My advice is if you have to go down with the crowd and are a beginner or early intermediate then take the gondolas back down, it just isn't worth the risk. But don't let that put you off, if you are after a place that gives you the all around experience of good hotels, good skiing, especially for a family, and good mountain restaurants then this place is perfect. We have already booked for next year.
July 02, 2012
Mia from New Zealand
Hopfgarten is a beautiful ski resort. I skied here twenty years ago and it was amazing. It is well linked to other resorts so there is a big range of places to ski. A great place to ski.
March 14, 2012
Tirolerhund from United Kingdom
To another reviewer: your comments about the quality of snow and off-piste in the Rockies is valid. The problem for us Brits is the distance and jet lag (8 hours) is generally too much, especially for 4 or 7 day trips.
If you want it really steep and deep in the Alps and with top comfort go and ski the Arlberg area, but stay in Lech or Zurs rather than St Anton. The off-piste is simply awesome throughout the whole area, especially off the back of Valluga and Albona. Enjoy!
Personally I'm back to Ischgl this weekend for some more cruising, with a few blacks off the Palinkopf and Greitspitz which offer enough challenge for most, and the best apres-ski in the Alps! St Anton eat your heart out!
March 08, 2012
RB from United States
To another reviewer: you sound like a skier after my own heart. I, too, go skiing mainly for the skiing. You make excellent points about lack of challenge at Ischgl but I have to admit as I get older, it is nice to have the amenities also. An ideal area would offer both. That's where I think the Rockies have the edge over the Alps. OK, the verticals aren't quite as large there as in the Alps but the snow is better (20 meters last year in Utah) and most of the skiing is below tree line. I can't overemphasize the value of the latter. Trees give character to the slopes and offer an endless array of lines. Anyone who has skied Moran Woods or Saratoga Bowl at Jackson Hole after a big dump understands what I am saying. Also, trees provide the shadows and contrast needed to ski on cloudy or snowy days. There is nothing quite like being able to ski the trees when the falling snow fills in your tracks behind you. Snowy (or even just cloudy) days in the Alps relegate skiers to feeling their way from marker to marker down groomed pistes, or worse yet, waiting out the weather in the lodge. That's not how I want to spend my precious vacation days!
March 08, 2012
JC from Singapore
To another reviewer:
Some of your points are indeed valid, Tignes and Val have fantastic skiing. I have been skiing for 30 years now since I was a kid. I learned to ski in France and went there year in year out for more than 15 years. However, I discovered Austria, and nowadays I don't bother with France for all of the reasons another reviewer mentioned. I am a fanatical skier, I am up early, I ski all day off-piste with guides wherever the snow is best, but I also enjoy a beer, I don't like cold spag Bol from rude French waiters, and I like to go out in the evening too.
[note from editor: text edited for the sake of relevance]
February 27, 2012
RB from United States
Just returned from a week skiing holiday in Ischgl. We normally ski in the Rockies and it has been over a decade since I last skied in Europe. My observations about Ischgl and comparisons to my experience in the U.S.:
Lift system is unparalleled. Nothing like it in the U.S. All chairs are detachable, high-speed and many accommodate 6 or more people. All have plexiglass bubbles and some even have heated seats and conveyor systems to ease entry.
On mountain restaurants and many and quite good. Still tough to find a seat at lunchtime, though (see comment below about crowds).
Town of Ischgl is very charming and also quite lively. Apres-ski doesn't involve a drive into town like at many U.S. ski areas. Good, reasonably priced restaurants abound. Fun bars are everywhere.
Scenery in Austria, like in most of the Alps, is stunning. Jagged peaks as far as the eye can see.. Huge vertical relief between peaks and valleys. The U.S, has a few areas that can compare, but not many.
Snow: The Alps have had a great year (unlike most of the U.S.), so no issue here in 2012 However, to be fair, conditions in the Alps are far less dependable, on average than in the Rockies. Nine years out of ten, you will be better off going to Utah or Wyoming than France or Austria.
Terrain: Most of the terrain in Ischgl was beginner to intermediate. Very little expert terrain, at least compared to my favourites: Jackson Hole and Snowbird. Also, all of the good skiing is above tree line. This means no tree skiing and, as importantly, very poor visibility in cloudy conditions. On the former point, I was dismayed to find that tree skiing is sometimes prohibited in Europe due to questionable environmental concerns (how can it be more harmful to ski through the trees than over fragile Artic tundra?).
Crowds: Isghl made Vail look deserted. Lift system can handle holiday traffic ok (excepting 30-minute lines on gondolas out of town), but that just puts masses of people on the pistes. At times reminded me of skiing in Vermont. The good news is that Ischgl's skiers don't seem to venture off-piste, leaving untouched or lightly skied powder days after a storm. The bad news is that skiing off-piste is dangerous to impossible when light is flat, meaning you are stuck negotiating a limited number of boring marked runs with hordes of other skiers.
Bottom Line: If you are a serious skier who looks for steep terrain, tree skiing, and powder, you are better off heading to the Rockies than skiing in Ischgl or other European resorts. If you prefer comfort, ambiance, scenery, and after-ski variety, head for the Alps. Or, better still, mix it up and try both.
February 14, 2012
Victor from Estonia
@Tirolerhund, no i am not a sale rep from Val/Tignes. Just a guy who understands skiing in a different way than you.
I do agree with most things you say - food, drinks, accomodation, hospitality - it is all cheaper or better in Ischgl than Val/Tignes. But once again - I go skiing for the skiing itself. Nothing else matters to me. A miserable flat in an ugly appartment block in Tignes is perfectly fine by me - I never go to hotels when I go skiing. I have my comfort at home and if I wanted to have the same during my holiday then I can just stay home. Also, I ski hard all day and then I am in bed by 10 pm and it does not make a difference to me if I am in a 4 star hotel or an ugly flat. The only skiing-related comment you make is about queues in Val/Tignes during half-term - well, the solution for me is simple - I do not go there at half-term. Maybe I am just lucky that I am not one of those people who take their holidays when 95% of Europe's population does.