Visitor reviews for Cairngorm Ski Resort

Cairngorm Ratings

Overall: 3.2. Based on 30 votes and 87 reviews. Vote

Snowsure: 2.7

(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) Cairngorm is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Variety of pistes: 3.3

(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Cairngorm has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.

Off-piste: 3.0

(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.

Scenery: 4.0

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Access: 3.7

(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 Cairngorm.

Public Transport: 3.8

(1) There are no buses or taxis to Cairngorm, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.

Accommodation: 3.9

(1) No places to stay in/near Cairngorm, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.

Cheap Rooms: 3.6

(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.

Luxury Hotels: 3.8

(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Cairngorm.

Ski in/Ski out: 1.9

(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.

Childcare: 2.3

(1) There are no child care facilities at Cairngorm, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowmaking: 2.6

(1) Cairngorm relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.

Snow Grooming: 3.5

(1) There are no snow groomers at Cairngorm, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Cairngorm are groomed daily.

Shelter: 1.9

(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) Cairngorm is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.

Nearby options: 2.3

(1) If snow conditions are poor at Cairngorm, 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) Cairngorm 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: 3.6

(1) The staff at Cairngorm are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Cairngorm are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

Crowds/Queues: 2.5

(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: 3.6

(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: 4.1

(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.

Beginners: 3.5

(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.

Intermediates: 3.6

(1) No intermediate terrain at Cairngorm, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 2.9

(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: 3.1

(1) Not even a kicker at Cairngorm, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.

Cross-country: 3.0

(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Cairngorm, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.

Luge/Toboggan: 1.8

(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Cairngorm has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.

Mountain Dining: 3.1

(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.

Eating: 3.2

(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.

Apres-Ski: 3.1

(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.

Entertainment: 3.6

(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: 4.0

(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: 2.7

(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): 3.0

(1) Overall, Cairngorm 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): 2.9

(1) Overall, Cairngorm 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.

Show all 35 ratings

February 18, 2012
Iain from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
RE - Rob from Southampton. I live in Scotland and have has some of my best days skiing even after doing 5 seasons in Chamonix. You are obviously an idiot if you expected any snow as there has been virtually none all winter here. DO YOUR RESEARCH! Please ignore this person and go to Cairngorm: it's brilliant (when there is snow!!)
February 16, 2012
Barry from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Spent a day on very busy ice and rocks trying to get down very narrow runs. Some lifts had a queue to join a queue to join a queue! Got to the bottom cafe at about 3.30pm to be told there was no food left (despite there being some food on display which was apparently reserved?), then drinks vending machine was covered up and we were sort of rushed out having spent £2 + on a vending machine hot choc. Over £30 for a lift pass and zero facilities when you come off the dangerous slopes.
February 10, 2012
Jack from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Had a terrific 4 days over the weekend on Cairngorm. The weather was fantastic and the snow conditions were superb. There was limited snow cover but I could see that they were making fabulous use of what snow they did have. I also noticed that they had put a tremendous amount of effort into their 'mini shred' areas which was producing a lot of fun for many people. Unfortunately, my wife took a bit of a tumble and as a result had to be seen by the ski patrol. They were fantastic, very kind, helpful and reassuring which was just what my wife needed. All in all, I had a fantastic time on Cairngorm and I would recommend it highly to anyone wishing to sample Scottish skiing, we have sampled all the ski resorts in Scotland and for us Cairngorm wins every time. Cannot wait to go back!
January 03, 2012
Rob - Southampton from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Just got back from a long weekend away in Scotland. We planned to ski New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. We booked a hotel in Fort William as we planned to ski on the Nevis range but weather was pure rain and that resort was closed. We travelled 2-hrs to Cairngorm as their website and automated telephone service suggested there were around 10-runs open. When we got there, we paid £23 each (supposed half day rate) to ski one pathetic, hole ridden, cut up slope that was covered in ski schools and had one T-bar running - the lift broke, so rather than fix it they just closed the slope. No refund, no apology, nada. Seriously do not go there if you've ever skied at a decent resort. This is a classic case of rip off Britain - it's as if they think that because they have some snow and a bit of rope on a hill they can charge the European prices for a lift pass ... I might be wrong but I didn't see a chair lift there for when the resort is 'fully open'. I'm obviously disgruntled and my opinion has been made from poor weather, however, there was nothing that inspired me to consider returning there even if they could guarantee the weather. I'd say the Bulgarian resorts are better and that's putting up with the notorious thieves that work their slopes.
August 26, 2011
tommy from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Great, great mountain with mostly very friendly staff...with one exception of a very incredibly rude tow operator...blasting heavy metal music from his operations hut......and being abusive towards my partner for struggling with the tow, full refund was given for that day of snowboarding as a full complaint was maid to the operations manager. However that did not ruin our time at the Cairngorms, would definitely recommend the Mackenzie hotel, family run by a lovely couple!, going back this season definitely!
March 21, 2011
john from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Spent a couple of days on Cairngorm over weekend of 18th-19th. Snow and weather were great. Skiing was fantastic. If windy then several lifts are closed and so bottom lifts are packed. Avoid problems by getting to the car park before 8.30 to find a space and take cash to buy your lift pass at cash desk - no queues. If staying at Aviemore you could do much worse than stay at the Cairngorm Hotel - great, friendly place with possibly the best big cooked breakfast ever!
March 06, 2011
RICE from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
We, as a family, have been coming to Aviemore for years skiing. We can honestly say it is one of the best places to ski in Scotland. Runs are well groomed, food and facilities excellent, and most of all the staff very helpful and friendly. Stayed at the Scandinavian village, where everything was spot on. Thank you for making it a very enjoyable experience.
February 28, 2011
Mike from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I have been to Cairngorm 6 times this year, firstly to get training from School of Snowsports (excellent by the way) then as an intermediate on my own. I love it, great mountain feel, some fab green and blue runs that can be strung together to make a long one (4km from top to bottom apparently) and friendly lift staff on the whole. Great coffee too! Down sides? Cairngorm can get very busy especially at weekends and then the lift queues are a bit of a nightmare frankly. Not sure what can be done but very frustrating! My advice on any day is get there early (like 8.15) for decent parking spot and some crowd free early runs.
February 13, 2011
The bandit from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I went to Aviemore, Cairngorm, January and it was icy. They had groomed the runs but the wind turned them to ice in no time at all I took a fall and smashed my face on some rocks which where hiding and popping out of the ice (on a blue run) lucky I had a helmet on as it could of been a hospital job like the guy who was air lifted off the day before with a broken hip. Take care when you are up there enjoying yourself on a good day it is awesome. Have fun. The Bandit
January 18, 2011
Neil from Ski Djibouti Djibouti
Been up Cairngorm 3 times this winter, once in November when they had only just opened and there was virtually no snow and you could hardly see 20ft in front of you, once in December when is was perfect bluebird and amazing snow, and once in January when it was misty, slushy and icy. All 3 were amazing fun days! Who cares if conditions are not so good or the organisation isn't the best, you're getting to ride a good mountain pretty much on your doorstep for virtually no money! Not so sure about this whole leash for snowboards idea tho...