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Visitor reviews for Klosters Ski Resort
April 05, 2009
Jack from United Kingdom
Klosters is like a Savile Row suit. It discreetly radiates style, sophistication and a relaxed elegance you'll be hard pushed to find elsewhere. The village looks like a scene from a Swiss chocolate wrapper with intricately-painted, carved wooden chalets huddling together in a valley covered with pines. The sleepy centre, Klosters Platz, harbours a smattering of ski shops, a few cosy bars and the obligatory Swiss watch shops. Unlike St Moritz, 90 minutes down the road, which parades its wealth, Klosters positively shuns the nouveau riche brigade. Even in the best restaurants such as the double-Michelin-starred Walserhof - jeans and fleeces are standard wear
There's plenty to challenge the expert skier in the huge linked Davos Klosters Parsenn ski area, including one of Europe's longest runs: about 17 kilometres top to bottom. The off-piste opportunities to find virgin powder seem limitless, you can still find untracked powder for days in the right spots unlike St Anton or Chamonix, for example, where everything is tracked out in hours after fresh snow. Switzerlands most extensive ski area is also an intermediates paradise. From Platz, the Gotschna cable links to the Parsenn and Strela-Schatzalp ski area of nearby Davos; it's one of the largest connected areas in Europe, so you will not be bored.
Most runs are above the tree-line (although skip the cable car home and take Pine Trail run all the way back to Platz). Surprisingly, it's protected from the wind and are ideal for shaky intermediates looking to build confidence. All this makes it perfect for mixed-ability groups. Experts can perfect wide carving turns, nipping off-piste when they fancy, intermediates can build speed skills and novices can feel chuffed they've tackled their first red.
Aprés-ski is understated and while you will definitely hear other Brits toasting each other after a good day on the slopes, Klosters attracts a mainly Swiss crowd. Head to the romantic Chesa Grischuna for cosy Swiss hospitality at its best; the wooden beams and open fires are a perfect setting for knocking back a Grappa or five.
The hotels Alpina and Verenia bars also attract a relaxed crowd with late-night drinking at the infamous Casa Antica nightclub/piano bar where things get a bit wilder; watch out though, drinks here are expensive. In fact, it's the only time you'll notice that you're in one of the world's ritziest resorts.
Tell anyone you've just popped over to Klosters for a weeks skiing and they'll think you've got a secret trust fund. Or royal connections. After all, Switzerland's most aristocratic resort is Prince Charles's favourite winter hang out.
Overall: 4.2. Based on 9 votes and 5 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 Klosters.
Public Transport: 4.8
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Klosters, (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 Klosters, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.1
(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 Klosters.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.9
(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 Klosters, (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) Klosters is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Klosters relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.8
(1) There are no snow groomers at Klosters, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Klosters 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) Klosters is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.7
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Klosters, 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) Klosters 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: 4.6
(1) The staff at Klosters are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Klosters 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: 4.7
(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: 4.8
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Klosters 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 Klosters, (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: 3.6
(1) Not even a kicker at Klosters, (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 Klosters, (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) Klosters has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.8
(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: 4.6
(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: 4.0
(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): 3.9
(1) Overall, Klosters 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): 3.4
(1) Overall, Klosters 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 18, 2009
Antonios from United Kingdom
Interesting resort; you have to visit it once in your skiing career just because the prince goes there. But I personally struggle to see why he chose this one out of all the others.
Klosters is the little sister of Davos. It is the not so famous but better looking sister. Its main advantage is that it has kept some of its former Alpine charm but this is its disadvantage as well. Several newer buildings stand out in a bad way. When in the village, make sure you stroll around the nicely prepared winter footpaths that link the several different parts of the village; this really transfers you to a foregone era, especially at night. Unfortunately, during daytime the roads are busy with cars and buses heading towards Davos. Don’t expect a vibrant nightlife at Klosters. A small number of bars and even fewer clubs have limited visitors. Restaurants on the other hand are usually full so pre-book your table; no really, you need to book a table a few days in advance. However, the fondue and raclette, and the other local specialties are worth a try. Overall, the village gets a 5/10, not because it is ugly but simply because there are much better alternatives in the Alps (and cheaper as well).
The lift system is probably the single serious drawback of Klosters. The village is quite big (30 min walking from one side to the other) and it has only two lifts that take you to the slopes. The 6-man gondola from Klosters Dorf to Madrisa is effective though and queues are usually small. The large cable railway leading to Parsenn can be a disaster. During busy (and not so busy) periods waiting time can reach up to an hour. But it is good to know that most visitors to Klosters are not fanatic skiers/boarders but more relaxed holidaymakers, so queues are usually at a minimum before 9.30-10.00am. After that you will have to wait until after 11.30-12.00 until the crowds ease off a bit. However, as soon as you are in the mountains, you will hardly ever wait for more that a few minutes. Overall, a 6/10 due to long distances and queues on the main lift to Parsenn.
Skiing/boarding is a different and very nice story. The ski area, or rather areas are huge, with plenty to choose from and everybody is well accommodated. Kloster’s own ski area, Madrisa, is brilliant for beginners/intermediates and families. A big learners area guarantees hustle free learning. Nice gentle blue runs and easy reds (blues with some steeper bits really) are brilliant for some practice as soon as someone is able to link some turns. The single black of this area is more like a red, so it is good for the adventurous beginner/intermediate wannabe. Some excitement for the advanced is to be found off the back of the highest ski lift of the area into unprepared slopes. It is by no means an experts’ paradise but is it a good run for the father who just dropped the family off to the restaurant. So, final verdict for beginners and intermediates is 9/10. It looses a point because there is no run back to the village.
Advanced and expert skiers should really go to the huge area between Klosters and Davos: the Parsenn. This is probably one of the best areas I have ever visited for advanced skiers. It offers an endless amount of long red runs that literally let you explore the mountain; the odd easy black piste will challenge such skiers. Experts should stay off the slopes. The off-piste options in Parsenn are immense. Next to every single piste there are several different off-piste options. However, if you really want to enjoy the powder you can reach miles and miles of untracked snow within a few minutes of walking. For more details hire a local guide or simply follow the tracks (I know, it is not always safe to do so but if you are lucky it may lead you to some magnificent runs). Some nice red runs take you back to the resort. So, it gets a well deserved 10/10 for advanced skiers and 8/10 for experts due to the lack of challenging on-piste skiing.
The others areas of the Davos/Klosters region are also worth visiting, especially that of Pischa. One of the very few areas in the world where pistes are signposted but left unprepared. Unfortunately, the connections in this area, even though efficient and always on time, take a long time, too long. Klosters is connected to Davos only via train. Davos Dorf is closer to Klosters (25min on the train) and it is the starting point for the bus to Pischa which takes another 15-20min to get there. So from the time you leave your accommodation to when you get there it is easily over 1 hour.
Davos Platz, the central train station of Davos is a 30min ride from Klosters. It is directly opposite the base station of Jakobshorn, one more very interesting area to ski in. Highlights of this area are the long and wide redish slopes, a very well designed snow-park with jumps and other goodies, a couple of half-pipes but most of all, the brilliant off-piste routes to Teufi or Muhle. If you go for these allow plenty of time for your return as you need to catch a bus that does’t run too often. You could probably leave that for the end of the day and combine it with a nice meal at a mountain restaurant. If you want a fast way back from this area, a couple of long blue (or probably green) slopes take you down to Davos Platz.
The final area of this region is that of Rinerhorn. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to visit it so I can’t comment on it, but it looks very nice; especially the very long black run from almost the top of this area all the way to the bottom of it. However, it is a long train trip (probably around 1 hour) from Klosters.
Conclusions then: Overall Klosters is a very, very good skiing area. The village is not interesting but the scenery and the skiing option compensate for it. It deserves a 7/10. The lost points are due to the very long distances both within the village and between the areas, the long queues in the main lift to the main ski area and the not very attractive village. Would I go back? Mmm…if friends decide to go there I will definitely follow them and feel happy about it. If I find a very good offer again I will go without a second thought. But, if I’m the one picking the place (which is usually the case) and there are no offers, (well, it is a very posh destination so do not expect recession busting offers) I’d probably go for a different destination.
December 08, 2008
Vicki from United Kingdom
Klosters is fantastic. The new chair lift on Madrisa replacing the Zuggenhutli drag lift has been a great success but it means that more folk have discovered the run. There is little hope of any extra lifts on Madrisa as they are desperately short of money. Instead it has become a children's paradise with all sorts of special activities for the little ones.
Let's hope the early snow augurs well for winter 2008/9 - the Madrisa really needs another good winter after the disaster in 2006-7.
October 20, 2007
Nerys Roberts from United Kingdom
Update on the info below - the bypass tunnel has now been open for a few years and there is hardly any through traffic now. Madrisa, which is my fave mountain (along with Rinerhorn - for the fab sledge run) is getting a new chairlift to replace what I reckon must be the steepest T-bar in the world (Zuegenhuettli) this year, and is getting another new chairlift the year after, that I believe. Hurray!
January 08, 2004
Danny Mann from United Kingdom
Klosters is a pretty village, It will be alot nicer when the Bypass Tunnel is built as on a Friday and Sunday the roads get very busy with people travelling on to the other resorts in the area. The village has a range of ski hire shops and a small supermarket. There are also a number of restaurants and bars. The apres ski is very subdued but plesant.
I have been skiing at Klosters for the last 3 seasons. and love the charm of the place. It comprises 2 mountain areas Madrisa and Gotchna (Which can also be accessed by a mountain train from Davos). The Gondula for Gotchna is split over 2 rides. The first gondula leaves from the center of the village and travels up to a midway point where a smaller gondula takes you up on to the mountain.
The Cable car lift to Madrisa is a short bus journey out of the village. Busses are frequent (About every 8-10 minutes).
Skiing on Madrisa is perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers. There are only a few runs here that would challenge an advanced skiier.
At the cable car lift there is a large self service restaurant and picnic area from which there are 2 T bar lifts. The first takes you up on to gentle blue runs where as the second takes you up further where the runs back down tend to be red. There is a blue run down but it has a step first section that can be tricky and intimidating for begginers. From this top lift it is possible to ski down the back of the mountain. It is possible when there is enough snow in the lower resort to ski from here down to the village.
In Summary Madrisa is perfect for the beginer to intermediate who could spend the whole week happily learning and being challenged. But it lacks the variety to capture the needs of anyone more experienced than intermediate for more than a day or so.
Gotchna however is where it is at once you have got you ski legs. From where the Gondula drops you off are a number of fast reds that lead down to T bars that help you traverse across the mountain towards the longer runs. There are a number of cable cars that take you up to the highest point of the mountain from which there are some great carving pistes and a variety of other slopes. The beauty of Gotchna is that it has slopes facing every direction which allows you to choose the best conditioned pistes. (as the south facing pistes can sometimes get slushy in the afternoons).
There are a number of challenging black runs from the top of Gotchna and at the end of the day a fun run back down to the village. It is also possible to ski in to the Davos resort and catch the train back to klosters.
The night life in Davos is alot more upbeat and has many more hotels, pubs and restaurants than Klosers village. The train linking the 2 takes about 20 minutes.
Like many resorts when the weather is good, the weekends tend to be very busy, but come the start of the new week it sometimes feels like your the only one in the mountains...