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

April 23, 2010
jason from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
The Cairngorm is a good resort .But when I was there in Feb the railway had a breakdown and there were a lot of people there so the queues were massive. Had one run and gave up and went and asked for my money back. I just wish they would invest in some chair lifts and get rid of some of them old T-bars & button lifts so when the railway's not working you can get back to the top quickly. Been skiing many years and been to a lot of places. Cairngorm is the one place I have been where, if they have had a lot of snow, it takes 3-4 days to dig the train out and get the resort open again (the money they must lose). Reading all these reviews the same things keep popping up. Sort it out Cairngorm.
April 18, 2010
Gman from Ski Afghanistan Afghanistan
People should shut up and stop complaining. Cairngorm does the best it can on limited money and can offer great conditions on its day.
April 01, 2010
pm from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I agree with some previous posters in that if you check the forecast in advance, you can get some fantastic ski-ing at Cairngorm. OK, I live in Inverness, so it's a lot easier for me to make a quick decision as to when to go, but I was up 3 times in March and it was brilliant. One other day, I turned up and they told us they were bombing the mountain to encourage avalanches, as there was too much snow! That day, we just got back in the car and drove to the Lecht. The conditions were good but I find the Lecht quite boring. On a good day (and we've had plenty during March) Cairngorm is excellent. If only they had some chairlifts (the West Wall poma is a bit of an endurance test when the wind is blowing)
March 24, 2010
Eleanor from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Have you noticed that the negative comments have died down apart from 1 comment from a guy who hasn't been in the last 12 months. I live in Wrexham N.Wales, and went to Cairngorm for the weekend Feb 20-21st. We had an amazing weekend. Skiing from the top of the mountain to the lower carpark. There was a shuttle bus running throughout the day from the lower carpark back up to the funicular. From the weather reports I saw on the news in Jan and early Feb I am not surprised they were struggling with 2m of snow in one night in places etc. The only problem we had was when the funicular went down for an hour on the Sunday, other than that the pistes were world class with blue skies. We enjoyed it so much we're going to Cairngorm again this weekend. A great cheap skiing weekend. I highly recommend it.
March 05, 2010
lewis from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Haven't been to the Cairngorm ski resort (ha ha) since last year. We got there at 0900hrs and had to park in the lower car park and waited 1hr for the bus to come from the depot then two turned up at once. When I joked about it to the guy who was managing the queue he then called me a w--ker. Now that's what I call good PR (or not!) I have entered the charity kilt ski tomorrow and I am dreading it after spending all this year skiing at the Lecht where everything is more organised and the staff are very friendly. All I would like to say is if my experience this time is the same as my last then I won't be back. Last thing is I think one of the reviewers must work for the organizers. It's the only resort I know of that when there's too much snow you can't get skiing (now that's a joke).
February 27, 2010
David Warner from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I agree with another comment below. What I would recommend is not to travel to Cairngorm for a sustained ski holiday as they are not geared up for it. If you are lucky and have money to waste go for it. The resort is great for the locals who can check out the weather before travelling up there. The management do not update weather and ski run info properly. They don't go out at night to clear the roads so it is the next morning before they update the website properly. Not any good if travelling from afar for a day or two. I am from Edinburgh and would not recommend the place. For all those holiday makers keep your money and go abroad until management finally listen to paying customers. Sorry to everyone that likes the place but Cairngorm really is not geared up for travellers. Go abroad where service is everything.
February 24, 2010
Simon, Edinburgh from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
We were up at Cairngorm on Fri 19th Feb. The snow was in great condition, although hill cloud meant the top of the mountain was very misty. We arrived at 8:20 and got into the top car park, 40 min wait for ski hire but queues on the funicular were a max of 5 mins. Had a great day, really impressed with the funicular railway. It looks like the snow will last to May at Cairngorm.
February 23, 2010
mike from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
We had an excellent day at Cairngorm. Beautiful weather and snow to rival French Alps. Resort management let themselves down as usual - having paid £60 for 2 people for a days skiing, they announced they had no piste maps! Frequent list breakdowns and closures did not help impressions.
February 23, 2010
izzy from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I think people who complain about the Cairngorm should check online for a weather report and to see if the roads are open before coming hundreds of miles and then moaning. I am from the Highlands and always check before travelling and we are just grateful to have got so much snow as we haven't had it this good for many years. I just hope it lasts 'till well into summer then we won't have to go to Xscape to ski.
February 17, 2010
Di from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Having always skied in the US, France and Austria, we finally made it this weekend up to Scotland to ski. Having now experienced both the Lecht and the Cairngorms, I agree that the organisation is a little below par in the latter; by the time the snow ploughs had cleared the roads and we waited about an hour to catch the bus from the overflow car park, we could only get to ski for half the day. However, we were impressed with the conditions and the runs when we finally got to ski. My sons headed for the freestyle areas (a little small and lacking in kickers, but they managed) and loved the 'rollers'. We had to drag them off the runs at the end of the day! With a little bit more organisation and a little bit more investment (oh, and the right snow conditions of course) this (Cairngorm) would be a resort to rival many we have been to. I think we'll definitely be back - although we'd have to keep an eye on conditions first...