Sölden Resort Reviews
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Visitor reviews for Sölden Ski Resort
January 04, 2014
Sharon from United Kingdom
We have been to Solden twice now, at the end of February 2012 & 2013, and we are about to return, in 7 weeks, for our 3rd visit. We have, in the past, returned to 3 resorts more than once, so that we feel we have explored their full potential before moving on. Other resorts only once, usually because the runs were not as described (too difficult) or the lift system/piste markings were poor, or unreliable snow fall despite the hype about snow cannons (which can only be used then the temperature drops below freezing!).
As we get older we have become more particular about how well the resort meets our needs and the length of time researching them, the accommodation and flights etc has become more of a chore; so we are less likely to move on than we may have been in the past. Solden was on our tick list for many years, but as it had rather a “party” town reputation we had given it a miss, until we met someone that works for a charity that organises rehabilitation holidays for injured service men and women, BLESMA. As the people in this group are all amputees, they use Snowbikes (Skibobs) which we also use due to back and knee injuries that prevent us from skiing these days. All of Austria is Skibob friendly (unlike most of France) and this resort, in particular, is good because of BLESMA returning every winter with a new group of beginners.
The resort is split into two distinct areas, joined by lifts on the mountain and road/free bus in the village.
The free bus that shuttles people from one end to the other gets overcrowded at peak times. You can leave your skis etc at the main ski-hire shop at either lift for a small fee; makes life so much easier!
The most popular part, by far, is the Giggijoch end of the resort, where most of bars and restaurants are and a bubble lift that does have queues early in the morning due to Ski Schools and shear number of properties in the area, plus it’s a nicer part of the mountain range to start the day off in our opinion. To be honest, the queue is quite fast-moving and never took longer than 15 minutes. From day 2 onward, after the weekend, there wasn't a queue. Once you get to the top of this lift the runs fan out with various options, one is to continue upwards to the Glaciers. The comments about the long length of time it takes to get to the glaciers are, in the main, due to a bottle neck, where all the people who came up from the Gaislachkogl end of the resort end up at the same point as you and there is only a chair lift to take you to the next section (rather than a cable car). But once you get through this things speed up a bit. You just have to be patient and accept that it’s a small price to pay for such wonderful views and runs when you get up there, especially the 15 km unbroken run back to the resort - that everyone can ski!
The pisted range is plenty for the average skier, we have still not done all the reds, and I believe the off-piste is good too. The entire lift system is modern and efficient, map and markings are good, snow quality guaranteed. Nearly all runs are above the tree level, so exposed if the weather turns nasty but they are lovely and wide, great for cruising. If you are a timid 2nd week skier, there are lots of gentle blues, most of which are actually on the glacier which is unusual, so even beginners get to ski high-altitude runs rather than the norm where blues are often stuck at the bottom near town!
One minus is that when the weather is bad and the lifts to the glaciers close, the remaining runs near the main lifts do get crowded. The glaciers areas are so extensive that it's not until they close you appreciate just how many people are on the mountains. This happened once on our holiday but we never felt that it was too crowded to ski safely; we just made for a quieter area.
The food in the restaurants is typical Austrian fare, good but not cheap (this is an expensive resort due to snow-sure altitude and mainly German/Russian clientele). The standard of hotels is varied from 5 star to self-catering only, lots of B & B’s, small guest houses etc and from our experience Austria beats other European standards by a long way. The resort is buzzing at night with lots of bars/night clubs. If you want a good night’s sleep, don’t stay in a place on the main road, or at least avoid rooms at the front. It’s a busy road but there are lots of places to choose from off the road that are still near the lifts.
To sum up this place from a 60 year olds’ perspective and 14 years of skiing, it ticks all the boxes. Efficient, modern lift system, guaranteed good quality snow, two glaciers, rolling wide runs with lots of blues and reds. Skibob hire centre and facilities to leave equipment at lift depot. Night life if we want it, good standard of accommodation, convenience of lifts in relation to accommodation. Shops in the town, short transfer from Innsbruck airport, not over-run by English! For now, we think it’s hard to beat, but you never know!
Overall: 3.8. Based on 22 votes and 17 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 Sölden.
Public Transport: 3.7
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Sölden, (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 Sölden, (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: 4.4
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Sölden.
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 Sölden, (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) Sölden is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Sölden 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 Sölden, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Sölden 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) Sölden is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.1
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Sölden, 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: 4.2
(1) Sölden 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: 4.1
(1) The staff at Sölden are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Sölden 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: 4.1
(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: 4.3
(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: 4.1
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Sölden 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 Sölden, (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 Sölden, (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 Sölden, (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) Sölden has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.2
(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: 4.0
(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: 3.5
(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: 3.5
(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): 3.8
(1) Overall, Sölden 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): 3.8
(1) Overall, Sölden 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.
December 31, 2012
Mark from United Kingdom
Just back from a week in Solden over Christmas. It was a last minute booking at a chatered chalet.
Convenient flight into Innsbruck and a 1 hour 20 minute transfer to Solden. There are also train links from all major cities.
We stayed about 5 minutes walk from the Giggijoch gondola which was very convenient. It would not be so great if you are not staying that close and need to catch one of the free shuttle buses to get around. The buses run every 10-15 minutes and there are 2 main gondola stations in the village. Shops, bars and restaurants are all along the main street.
Extensive lift system to access a reasonable amount of terrain! There is plenty of terrain accessible by 2 main lifts. Besides the first gondola from the base, it never felt crowded or busy. We never had to queue for more than 5-10 minutes. All new lifts with covers to keep the snow and wind away.
Good variety to cater for everyone. Long wide open groomers, steep black runs and easily accessible off-piste. The main runs to the restaurants get crowded with beginners and lessons. Not many traverses which is good for snowborders.
I would return back to Solden and recommend it to skiers / boarders of all ability levels.
April 10, 2012
Iancu from Romania
Soelden (Sölden) - a large resort with even larger crowds.
There is a significant overcrowding problem in Soelden, at least in late February / early March, which is aggravated by the layout of the slopes. It takes at least four lifts / one hour to reach the glacier, where the skiing conditions are the best. If the weather is poor and skiing at high altitude is not possible, there are very few lower slopes, which become massively overcrowded.
On the plus side, the lift network is mostly new and very fast. There is a great 7+km red slope from Gaislachkogel (3000m) to Solden (1400m), and the ride back up takes only about 20 minutes. The glacier skiing is fantastic: don't miss the World Cup slope at Rettenbach, or the chillout slopes at Tiefenbach where you can also find a great restaurant and sun deck. The views are also great, and on a sunny day the 20 minutes walk to the top of Innere Schwarze Schneid is well worth it. In the morning it's better to use the Gaislachkogl gondola instead of Gigggijoch, as it is significantly less crowded.
The standard ski pass (230 euros this season) only covers the Soelden ski domain (~140km), which is poor value considering that in other resorts you can choose from up to 800km of slopes at the same price.
All in all, it was a positive experience, but next time will choose a less "maintream" resort to avoid overcrowding.
March 27, 2012
David Hodges from United Kingdom
Excellent resort, great variety of pistes, excellent lift system. Just completed 2nd visit. Off-piste is also very good. Tip... Try the Ribs.
January 06, 2012
Paul Rivers from United Kingdom
Review of Solden & Chalethotel Hermann
As is well documented, the resort is well spread out between the Giggijoch and Gaislachkogl gondolas. Both are efficient, although we encountered 15 minute queues at the Giggijoch at peak times. The town is lively, and our grown up children enjoyed the late night clubs on offer, with Fire & Ice being the favoured destination.
The skiing is extensive, and in good conditions, the runs back to the town are enjoyable, although the red run 9 crosses busy nursery slopes, 2 T-Bars and bizarrely two roads! The area above Giggijoch has good blue run skiing with plenty of variation on the routes down. As has been commentated elsewhere, there is a strange habit of placing piste markers in the middle of the piste (as on Black 14 from Hainbachjoch), which is a hazardous practice when visibility is poor.
The glacier skiing is excellent, although it takes the best part of an hour to get up to the top lift station from the town, and queues were such a problem on a sunny mid-morning that we baled out – the Einzeiger chairlift is a particular bottleneck, as there is no other route up to the cross-valley Gletscherexpress gondola. Once up on the glacier, the views are outstanding, and we found typically excellent snow conditions, and there is an enjoyable black run (where the World Cup Tour starts every year apparently) on the Rettenbach Glacier. There is an enormous but functional self service restaurant at the bottom of the Tiefenbach Glacier with a large variety of food on offer and sundecks which will no doubt be very popular in sunny conditions. Beware though, that there is only one route back from the larger Tiefenbach Glacier, which is a six-person chairlift, so queues will be common mid to late afternoon.
The lift system, apart from the couple of bottlenecks mentioned, works well, and most key lifts are either gondolas or detachable chairs with hoods. A special mentioned must however go to T-Bar KarlesKogl on the upper part of the Rettenbach Glacier, which is only open in the Autumn, but with the drop off to one side must be a hair-raising experience!
There appeared to be plenty of off-piste opportunities in the right conditions, although the snow base was early-season in nature with rocky terrain close to the surface at the time of our visit.
The restaurants we tried were generally very good and typically good value. A particular favourite was the small Stabele Schirmbar at the base of the Stabele chairlift (accessible via Red 11, Blue 30 or Blue 6) which served enormous burgers, although capacity inside is limited.
For an additional 10 Euros (payable only when buying a 6 day pass) a day in Obergurgl/Hochgurgl can be enjoyed – accessible via a free ski bus service. Despite its reputation, the snow in Obergurgl was less good, and had clearly suffered from wind blown conditions, being on the East side of the valley during a predominantly North Westerly weather pattern. Nevertheless a great time was had with lunch at the Superb Hohe Mut Alm and a live band at the Nederhutte.
For some of its constraints, we enjoyed Solden and it seems to provide enough variety to offer something for everyone.
December 06, 2011
John bird from United Kingdom
My wife and I visited Solden late March 2011. we stayed in a B&B near the new Gaislachkogel lift. The new lift is a big improvement and in two hits you go from 1300m to over 3000m. The red runs and the off-piste from the top are fantastic. A true leg burner from top to bottom.
There are some great little mountain huts in the Gasilachalm area and in this sunny area well worth a stop for lunch.
Rettenbach gletscher and the Salomon Station is a great stop for coffee up stairs, nice, relaxed and quiet.
For a bit of apres-ski try Philips bar just above the town. There is a new lift that can take you their from town or you can ski their at the end of the day. Although I do miss, after a few beers at Philips Bar trying to to get on the single chair lift with skies off and trying to run off the bottom of the lift in ski boots. More difficult than skiing.
This is a fun resort with some great runs and if you are able to let the skies run. Just point them!
Don't forget to challenge yourself to do the BIG 3 circuit. 3 peaks over 3000m and one of them you have to hike up the last 50 m vertical to the top. Well worth it for the view. Although your lungs will know you are at altitude.
My wife was impressed with the resort and we have booked again for Jan 2012. So make the effort and try it for yourself.
November 21, 2011
Laslo from Netherlands
Just came back from Solden (Sölden) – despite that there was no fresh snow we had a blast on the glacier and the terrain park. So I cannot give any solid review of the mountain and terrain itself – but slopes are always nicely groomed, well maintained and always lots of space on the glacier for some killer runs. Nothing new I guess here.
But what I do wish to share is the horrible food been served at the Rettenbach/Tiefenbach Glacier restaurant. Even the schiwasser tastes bad? So forget simple pasta or a bowl of chips. Tasteless, cold and overpriced. We eventually went to the “coffee lounge” at the stadium where they serve an eatable goulash soup or a simple slice op pizza. Nothing fancy but the atmosphere is good, great coffee and nice staff. And we never had a problem getting a good seat.
Oh and if I can give a tip – book your stay at Panoramablick Solden. Brand new accommodation – flat screen tv’s – good beds – nice showers - spick and span and absolutely lovely people/owners. Reasonable priced. An absolute recommendation if you wish stay close to Solden village.
April 21, 2011
Asca from Luxembourg
Went to Sölden in mid-April 2011.
What to say? Great weather, great skiing, great accommodation (self-catered chalet in Bodenegg, Ventertal, 5km from town).
If you are into skiing or boarding until your legs burn, this is the place.
Of course, you don't have the food and atmosphere you'd get in the Italian Dolomites. But you can't beat the skiing and the facilities.
Plus, it's a lot cheaper than Italy or France.
A must, especially for glacier skiing late in the season.
If three skiing areas (Tiefenbach, Rettenbach and Giggijoch) are not enough, you have Obergurgl and Vent within 10km and Pitztal Glacier one hour away.
Will be back for more at the beginning of the season in Nov 2011
Will do it again. And again
April 08, 2011
C Tang from United Kingdom
We visited Solden in late Mar-2011 as it provided the high altitude in the late season. Luckily for us, it snowed the week before we arrived and we had gorgeous sunshine for the entire week! We stayed in Hotel Erhart which is just slightly out of the town (6-7 mins casual walk) but it was very close to the spanking new Gaislachkogel gondola (5 mins walk). It was bliss as there are escalators to take you up & down the gondola, and we always walked straight into the gondola without queuing. All the hotels / buses are located at the other end of town so the rush & queue is on the main Giggijoch gondola (avoid this if you can). There is an Intersport underneath the Gaislachkogel gondola for your ski/board/boots storage (Euro 2 for ski/board and Euro 2 for boots per day). Apres ski at the end of the day is best at the Giggijoch end as the bar options are better & much sunnier. The Solden area offers 3 mountains, and the runs are well maintained and VERY WIDE. The pistes are suitable for all levels and perfect for novices who may feel intimidated on narrow crowded runs (the Solden pistes are completely opposite to this!). There are a few black runs which will give the advanced skiers/boarders the extra thrill, but also suitable for novices as they are so wide and so well groomed. Hochgurgl and Obergurgl is a short taxi ride away (or catch the free bus) which is worth a day trip costing an extra Euro10 if you bought a 6 day pass. Restaurants on the mountains was excellent with a huge choice of spacious modern restaurants and a couple of smaller "local" types which was very pleasant. Meal price was decent (Goulash soup + bread ~Euro 5) and drinks was between 3.0-3.5 Euro. Would I recommend this resort? A definite yes, and I would return to this resort (I am already checking the 2012 holidays in Solden!!).
February 25, 2010
Paul from Australia
I went to Sölden at the end of Jan 2009. I have not boarded any French resorts but I have visited other resorts in Austria, Switzerland and Germany and now am getting quite a good look at the Rockies, the surrounding areas and the west coast (Whistler) in Canada.
Japan will get a look one day but on the whole I like Sölden the best!! Yes, I did have some real good luck with the snow while I was there and not so good luck with the Rockies so far. Kicking Horse after a dump would be second (very good terrain). Whistler, while as big as Sölden, (maybe bigger though I do not think so) I like alot but because of the crowds it does not take long before new fallen snow gets shredded to pieces. I have another year left in Canada but I am longing to go back to Sölden. Its huge, has awesome terrain and it's easy to find untracked powder 2 days after snowfall. I hear that helisking in Canada is the best in the world but until I get rich my top 5 resorts (very close between some of them) are