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Visitor reviews for Villars Ski Resort
January 03, 2018
jo from Switzerland
Only 90 mins for Geneva by road or train, Villars is the ideal resort for everyone. Especially beginners and families with enough range of slopes for more advanced skiers to enjoy. Excellent snow making facilities, a wide variety of hotels, B&Bs, hostels and even boarding school rentals have contributed to make Villars the great resort it is. For beginners the trip to Bretaye (the main ski area) on the little red train is simply magical. Intermediate skiers can access the slopes via one of two telecabines. The new excellent link to Diablerets has increased opportunities for getting directly to less crowded slopes. Alternative entertainment includes the new pool and spa, ice rink, large kids play areas, sledging runs in the village of two stops up on the train (Col de Soud), not to mention the skidoo ride to Solalex refuge for a wonderful never to be forgotten evening meal. The only downside is the abysmal parking situation which is really frustrating for getting around town in the Christmas/new year week. Definitely worth a visit.
Overall: 4.1. Based on 37 votes and 66 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 Villars.
Public Transport: 4.7
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Villars, (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 Villars, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.2
(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 Villars.
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 Villars, (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) Villars is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Villars relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.2
(1) There are no snow groomers at Villars, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Villars 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) Villars is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 4.0
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Villars, 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: 3.9
(1) Villars 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: 4.5
(1) The staff at Villars are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Villars 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: 4.8
(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: 4.2
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Villars 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 Villars, (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: 3.5
(1) Not even a kicker at Villars, (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 Villars, (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) Villars 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: 4.6
(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: 4.5
(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: 3.8
(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): 3.7
(1) Overall, Villars 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): 3.6
(1) Overall, Villars 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 23, 2017
David from United Kingdom
Another great season, with new lifts providing another upgrade. Despite the poor snow across Europe Villars managed to have more or less a full season of good conditions.
August 09, 2016
David from United Kingdom
Building work well advanced to replace T-bar and button lift with new chairlifts on run over to Les Diabrelets. Excellent news.
March 06, 2016
David from United Kingdom
I also spend the season in Villars and fully agree with another reviewer. Villars is on the up: new snow making, new telecabine planned for link at Iseanau, new leisure centre in town with pool/wellness. Villars will never be a hustle and bustle resort with the negatives of that but rather a really nice Swiss town with great views etc. You are also covered on most passes for Leysin and the Glacier 3000. There is the odd T bar that could be a chairlift but I am sure this will come as well. Also pretty much snowsure since new snow making machines.
February 23, 2016
Ian from United Kingdom
Not sure where another reviewer (posting 12th January 2016) gets his facts. I spend 3 months every winter in Villars. This is a thriving and very popular resort and the recent additional multi million pound snow cannon investment is indicative of commitment. Suggest he checks how many hotels are in the town and the next time the Barboleuse lift is closed he drives up to Alp des Chaux to see how windy it is above the lift station.
January 12, 2016
Gregory from United Kingdom
Villars is a dying resort, not helped by the town planners and the greedy lift operators who operate the lifts for money not tourism. You won't see them pisting at night, it costs too much.. Some of the runs will only open at weekends and often the lifts will close midweek when it's quiet to save manpower and electricity. They will claim high winds stop the Barboleuse cable car or that the Petit Chammossaire lift is frozen, but that's all a load of bull. The bankrupt hotel, by the main cable car, has been empty for seven years and the commune won't help anyone fix it up.
There were eight hotels here, now there are only three.
The whole are needs some new governance to revitalise the town, not the wine growers from Ollon who are currently in charge.
December 27, 2015
Paul Meyer from United Kingdom
I know it's a little late but we've been really busy here in Villars since the 19/12/15. As you've probably gathered from all your friends who are not skiing this year and want to pile you with tales of snowless it's a little thin on the ground at present and in some resorts as green as Brian May! But no, not in Villars, we have skied everyday and made trips to the fabulous Glacier 3000 where we enjoyed fabulous conditions in what felt like fresh powder and this coupled with Caribbean conditions has seen us both bronzed and well exercised. As with every year in Villars the food and entertainment is reliable and although not Ibiza you can always find somewhere to stimulate the eardrums. No Fun Police this year, unfortunately, which is disappointing but, as per Mr Murphy, is on thoroughly good form! So another Chrimbo gone by in Villars and here's to the 2016 season. Hoping for good snow and a lovely bottle of Louis's Ollon!
April 14, 2015
DAVID H from Switzerland
A great season in Villars, thanks to some excellent work from the piste team. All runs open right until last day of the season.
January 04, 2015
Paul Meyer from United Kingdom
So this is the scoop. Whilst other well known and well heeled resorts mountain biked the opening weekend of December, it saw us ski perfectly
groomed and acceptable runs in Villars while basking in what can only be described as "Caribbean" conditions. A 2 week stay saw us sample many of the fantastic eateries in resort (apart from one which will remain nameless) and some fantastic Chrimbo dinner at my old mate "Ollie Murphys'" who adds more character to Villars than Micky Mouse at Disney Land. It's this charm which brings us back time after time along with the anticipation of bumping into some of my other favourite characters including my bestie Fun Police Pammy who this year was noticeably absent. God bless you Villars and we look forward to seeing you in April.
July 09, 2014
David H from United Kingdom
Speaking to workmen, up at Bretaye, looks like many more snow making machines are being installed.