Tignes Resort Reviews
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Visitor reviews for Tignes Ski Resort
December 17, 2016
Reg Rea from France
The bad reviews about investment in ski lifts in Tignes are not fully justified. As usual, it depends. Most of the complaints seem to come from people staying in Les Brevieres, which is the lowest resort. In common with those staying in the beautiful new station at Tignes 1800 (Kalinda Village) these folks are going to be over-exposed to the outdated Marais lift which putters slowly up to the Aiguee Percee. There is no doubt that this is the worst aspect of skiing in Tignes and should be addressed as a matter of urgency. However, the rest of the lifts are pretty good in my opinion and I have not experienced the hyper-crowding reported, even in busy periods like New Year. Yes, I would recommend avoiding the busiest periods if you can but there has been a lot of investment over the years. The main lifts from Tignes le Lac have been invested in and are much better. The bubble lift from Tignes 1800 to the Marais plateau is great (pity about the Marais lift that comes next). Once you are up in the mountains the pistes are not crowded and the off-piste is great. Sensible skiers time passing through the busier connections linking Tignes and Val d'Isere at less busy times, but even these connections are much quicker than they used to be. I can't comment on the magnificent facilities in Austria but most of those stations are tiny compared with Tignes and it is one of the most reliable resorts when it comes to having snow either early or later.
Overall: 4.1. Based on 67 votes and 90 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 Tignes.
Public Transport: 4.0
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Tignes, (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 Tignes, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.8
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.1
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Tignes.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.6
(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 Tignes, (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) Tignes is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Tignes relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.5
(1) There are no snow groomers at Tignes, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Tignes 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) Tignes is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.8
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Tignes, 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: 4.7
(1) Tignes 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: 4.2
(1) The staff at Tignes are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Tignes 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: 4.5
(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: 4.7
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Tignes 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 Tignes, (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: 4.3
(1) Not even a kicker at Tignes, (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 Tignes, (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) Tignes has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.1
(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: 4.5
(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: 3.3
(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: 4.2
(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, Tignes 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): 3.9
(1) Overall, Tignes 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.
November 16, 2016
Dan from United Kingdom
Snow, snow and more snow with more on the way.
The best pre-season skiing for a decade and Tignes is one of the only resorts open and enjoying it!
November 06, 2016
Ronan from United Kingdom
Response to submission made by another reviewer (from the UK).
He clearly doesn't have enough skill or experience to ski the conditions of Espace Killy. If he returns when he has he may enjoy it.
[note from the editor: post edited for the sake of relevance and anonymity]
February 23, 2016
joe from United Kingdom
I have read the previous reviews and I believe that people are in some ways missing the point. In terms of skiing the Espace Killy is as good as anywhere. This is especially so off-piste. In terms of lift system it is light years behind most resorts of comparable size.
If you visit Saalbach or Ischgl in Austria you rarely queue and have the luxury of heated and covered fast chairs. In Tignes and Val that is the exception rather than the rule. Above Tignes there are four old slow chairs all serving the area around the Aguille Percee.
The access to the Tignes boarder cross is via an ancient drag with huge queues. This doesn't happen in many other resorts but then again their skiing isn't as good.
Tignes and Val attract visitors due to the excellent slopes and snow. They don't invest in the lift system as other resorts do and this is the trade off.
There are far better, more efficient lift systems elsewhere but few other places with the same quality of slope and snow.
December 21, 2015
Bogusman from United Kingdom
Like another reviewer, I am nonplussed by the reviews that say the lift system is outdated. I have skied in Tignes and/or Val d'Isere about 15 times in the last decade. Off the top of my head I can think of two old non-detachable chairs in Tignes: Marais and Grand Huit. Rosset, on the nursery slope in Lac, has been upgraded this year. There may be a couple of others but they are in a small minority.
It 's true that Marais is slow and long. And if you stay in Brev you will probably be on Marais more than most, but that's one reason why Brev is cheaper than the rest of the area. If it bothers you that much just take the slow Brevieres chair (oh yes, forgot that one :-)) up to the bus stop at Boisses. Or take Aiguille Rouge and ski down into Lac to start your day. I guarantee that once you have done that you needn't use another slow lift all day.
December 18, 2015
beek smill from France
Tignes is ideal for good skiers who want little more than to ski. e.g.young teens. The area is v open so there's no feeling of claustrophobia esp when the sun goes down. As the centre ville
is over 2000m, you spend less time in lifts and hence ski more.
My lads appreciate this the most.
November 16, 2015
Phin from United Kingdom
I don't get these recent reviews. Where are all the ancient drag lifts referred to. To my knowledge there is a drag in Breviere on the beginners slope (quite appropriate), and if I recall a drag in Lac up the beginners slope. Plus I think a couple of others out of the top of Val Claret. There are, however, a huge number of high speed lifts elsewhere. I would agree that the lifts out of Breviere are not that good. Bubble ok but then you are either onto horribly long chair up to 'eye of the needle' or equally slow but slightly less long to get to Le Lac. These are the ones that need replacing.
March 25, 2015
Daniel from Denmark
Been skiing for 20 years (age 22), and I've spent many weeks in Tignes in the last 3 years. I've been staying with UCPA twice, and rented a studio apartment back in new year 14/15.
I see some who question the quality of the slopes etc but I must add to this that every single slope is almost twice as wide as regular ones in other resorts. Having to groom all of them, everywhere, would crave manpower for two resorts, and most of the slopes are actually usually in really good condition, overall. The issues happen after heavy snow falls (which occur quite often), where the slopes leading to the various town areas quickly show signs of moguls due to the heavy traffic. Lifts taking you from town will also be quite crowded in high-season but the queues move quickly and the lifts, in the upper areas, such as Le Lac and Val Claret are top notch and very efficient. I think that Tignes has some of the most well thought-through lift system out there; it just works and it's always easy to get from one end of the resort to another without having to take 5-6 lifts. That means it's easy to plan meeting points within 15-20 minutes no matter where you are, which is really nice.
Now, speaking more to the pros out there. Tignes is known for its appeal to those who like to take it outside the slopes, doing some hiking and off-piste. There are guided tours and instruction for those who want it. The truly great thing about Tignes is that the place is so huge, even in high-season there simply aren't enough people to track down all backcountry routes, and you can always, always, find fresh powder if you just reach out a few meters further than the last skier. I have never been there (spent around 8 weeks total) without being able to find absolutely great powder every time. If you can see it, you can reach and ski it!
Besides all this, there's a great sporty atmosphere around the upper towns and on the slopes, some great parks with an occasionally open half-pipe and two medium-sized snow parks on the same run close to each other which saves a lot of time not having to use more than one chairlift to access both.
If you chose to have the big ski pass for Espace Killy then Val d'Isère also features some great skiing. The steepness is generally a bit steeper, and features tree-skiing for the bad weather days, which do happen. It must be said that when it's cloudy or snowy then it's impossible to see anything in Tignes due to the lack of trees and the place being so big and open. On the other hand, when the sun shines then the whole place lights up like no other resort.
Transportation wise, the resort excels with ski busses traveling from the lowest town areas to the upper ones, free of charge. The resort has very few transport slopes, which is good news for boarders and people who like to spend time skiing rather than just trying to get from A to B.
To sum it all up, here are some pros and cons:
- Big resort with appeal to novices as well as experts.
- High altitude ensures good snow conditions even in low-season.
- Great and efficient lift layout throughout the resort.
- Possibility for skiing in Val d'Isère too.
- Always great possibilities for off piste and hiking.
- Many good snow parks.
- Good after-skiing; lovely city with much life.
- Good variety of accommodation.
- Poor visibility in bad weather due to few trees (can be sealed (ed: do you mean to say "dealt?) with by skiing in Val d'Isère).
- For many people it is not the most charming resort (I personally like it).
- Some slopes are not always groomed.
- After snow fall moguls appear quickly due to the amount of people.
- Airport transfer is somewhat expensive, but that goes for most nearby resorts.
Hope you find it helpful!
March 18, 2015
Lenny from United Kingdom
I've been skiing for 25 years all over the world and have just come back from skiing Tignes and the Espace Killy ski area for the first time. We went in low season and I have to say how disappointed I was with the outdated lift system, especially on the Les Brevieres side, with the fixed chairlifts which crack the back of the legs before taking you up the mountain at a snail's pace. Even though it was low season the ineffective lift system was the cause for many delays throughout the whole area.
The condition of the pistes was an absolute disgrace with very little grooming, even on main pistes being groomed only once in the week and when I say "once" I mean that half of the piste was groomed. This can vary between the top, bottom or side of the piste whichever they seemed bothered to do.
This whole area needs major investment in the lift system and in some more piste bashers as it was, at times, like a third world resort!
I will not be returning to this ski area until it resembles something like a ski area which has some pride. Come on Espace Killy, sort it out!
February 22, 2015
john from United Kingdom
Returned to Espace Killy for the first time in seven years.
I stayed at Les Bervieres in wonderful apartments. The village, itself, is small but with good restaurants and bars and a good if small supermarket.
I have skied in Austria, Italy and the three valleys for the last few years and the resorts I skied have left Tignes and Val behind. I can only ski at half-term and therefore, acknowledge that it will be busy but the lift system cannot cope. There are too many surface drags and old slow chairs that cause huge queues.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to ski low season then it is still a good place to visit but in high season you spend as much if not more time queuing than you do skiing.
I feel the resort is living of its reputation whereas others are investing in the lift system.
Finally, even by French standards, the price for food up the mountain is ridiculous.