Visitor reviews for Samoens Ski Resort
January 24, 2018
Susan Simpson from France
Samoens has recently expanded its accommodation considerably and invested in the lift system. How unfortunate then that they have allowed the ski bus system to deteriorate so badly. Frequency of buses has been reduced. Two lines have been merged so that the trip to the gondola can take three times as long. Worst of all, the buses do not even seem to attempt to run to the timetable shown at every bus stop. The result is skiers are frequently waiting half an hour for a bus. If Samoens wants to keep attracting tourists, it needs to get them to the lift system, which is outside the village, quickly and regularly. Otherwise, they will never fill all the accommodation.
Overall: 3.9. Based on 37 votes and 31 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 Samoens.
Public Transport: 3.4
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Samoens, (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 Samoens, (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: 3.3
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Samoens.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.2
(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 Samoens, (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) Samoens is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Samoens relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.3
(1) There are no snow groomers at Samoens, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Samoens 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) Samoens is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 4.4
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Samoens, 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: 4.1
(1) Samoens 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 Samoens are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Samoens 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: 4.4
(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: 4.6
(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: 4.4
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Samoens 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 Samoens, (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: 2.9
(1) Not even a kicker at Samoens, (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 Samoens, (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) Samoens has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.9
(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: 3.3
(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: 4.1
(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: 3.9
(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): 4.1
(1) Overall, Samoens 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): 4.0
(1) Overall, Samoens 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.
April 15, 2017
Roland Slee from United Kingdom
Samoens is a lovely resort spoilt only by hoards of ignorant British people who refuse the basic common courtesies of even attempting to use a little French in saying 'please' or 'thank you'. I have total support and a complete understanding of the indigenous (French) people and their agents (many of whom are English!) in exploiting them to the full - whether that be over exorbitant property prices or basic service.
January 31, 2017
Caldwell extended family from France
4th visit to Samoens/Morillon over 8 years. Big changes in the last year; becoming quite commercial, extensive expansion especially at 1600 (2 new hotel complexes such a shame, not sure what to expect next year!) However, still trying to maintain some of its charm. Enjoyed every moment spent with family and friends. Be back next year. Hopefully, it will still be keeping its little bout of French charm
January 23, 2016
C roberts from United Kingdom
Just back from a fab trip to Samoens for 4 days. Wasn't too sure about the access to the slopes but the Grand Massif Express gets you up to the ski area in no time at all, coupled with the efficient ski bus system looping the village every 15 mins it was not a problem .Good tip is to hire a locker at the top and go up and down in your comfy shoes. Great link up with Flaine; 2 lifts and you're over. Had a blue sky day in the bowl and with no lift queues anywhere it was a joy. Stayed at the Gai Soliel in Samoens; nice rooms, hospitality etc. Would recommend to anyone. Only downside, as with all ski holidays to France, is the rip off prices on the mountain. It borders on taking the mick sometimes but the convenience of the quick transfers and the great ski area more than make up for paying 4 quid for a coffee. Finally, a mention for Go Massif Transfers. They run their mini buses from Geneva; polite staff and reliable and thanks to our driver who got us to the airport just in time after a crash on the motorway led to a diversion around a longer route.
January 05, 2014
Jo Faithfull from United Kingdom
We have just spent New Year in Samoens; booked through Alps Accommodation. One day, the Sunday before NY was really busy (probably due to fresh snow and a lot of people from Geneva). The next day was also fairly busy and then the rest of the week there wasn't really any queuing to get on the lifts and if there was it was very quick. New Year's day seemed empty. The lift passes were reasonable as were the restaurants to eat out. We have been in the summer and that is fantastic too. It is a 'chocolate box' village and was a better kept secret until the article in the Telegraph. We are going back in March.
March 10, 2013
Martin from France
I have to disagree very strongly with the overall sweeping statements about the area being overwhelmed and too busy with long lift queues.
We have had a chalet in Samoens since 2005 and ski here all season from December to April.
Apart from New Year week and some school holiday periods in February, the resort is pretty much deserted. It can be busier some weekends as day trippers come to ski but midweek it's very quiet.
Just be aware of the busy periods and book accordingly. All resorts are busy at New Year and half-term. Christmas week, much less so.
There are new lifts put in every year.
If you require transfers from Geneva, please look up Go Massif Transfers to Flaine, Morillon, Les Gets, Samoens etc. Very frequent and inexpensive. We have used them for 8 years and highly impressed by the standard of service. Rates vary from shared to private transfer.
You can even book your lift passes online with Grand Massif to prevent queuing at the lift. The season pass is an absolute bargain at around 439 Euro from Decenber to April. That's a 50% discount! 254 Euro for up to 17 yrs.
We love this area and after skiing all over the Alps for 40 years, wouldn't be any place else. Samoens is beautiful both winter and especially in summer having been awarded special French heritage status.
Certainly one of the better kept secrets rather than the average soulless purpose built resorts.
December 17, 2012
Olga Anley from United Kingdom
We love Samoens, winter, spring, summer & autumn - the village has everything during all seasons, and if you are in need of city life, just go into Geneva or Annecy for a change.
Samoens is still a 'proper' village, with outlying farms, farm buildings and one sees plenty of cattle and sheep - there is still some 'history'.
We cannot recommend it highly enough.
January 25, 2012
Mark from France
A very pretty village and the ski area links well with the whole Grand Massif. Can be busy at school holiday times particularlry if tied to ski school - but low season is a dream. The mountain restaurants are excellent. We liked it so much we moved here.
January 16, 2012
The 'Hodgkiss' family from United Kingdom
First day back at work after spending a month in Samoens. Very pretty little village and as it is linked to other ski areas there is plenty to keep you busy on the slopes without the lift queues that I have seen elsewhere. The children enjoyed their ski lessons with ESF and the instructors, Cedric and Pierre, were brilliant. Eating out can be costly but we found a couple of mountain eateries that served good value yummy food. They are 'Mimi's Crepes' at Samoens 1600 and 'Le Grain de Sel' over in Flaine. Looking forward to next year's trip already.
January 05, 2012
Paul from United Kingdom
We've been going to Samoens for 10 years or more. Unfortunately, it has now been ruined by excessive developments, with many new appartments and chalets. The lift system can no longer cope, with long queues at various bottlenecks: last year they needed to use Police to supervise the GM Express! Costs have also gone up significantly, and with regret, we are now looking to go elsewhere in future.