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 19, 2009
stuart from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I am situated at the base of the Cairngorm resort and the problem is that the weather plays such a major role that reference to resort forecasts are vital. The price of a day pass does seem high, but, strangely, if it's sunny and there is plenty of powder it seems ok.
February 11, 2009
genghis from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Got our real winter sports back at Cairngorm this season. Waist deep powder, loads of off-piste and often in the sunshine. Cairngorm is starting to look like better value than going to Europe at this rate. Let it snow.
February 02, 2009
ALEX V from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Had a great 4 four days up at Cairngorm. The team up there have certainly done a fantastic job getting the runs ready. Typical January weather and very unpredictable but had a great time with really nice soft snow on the upper to mid zone and could board all the way down to the base station. On the odd day of high winds and lift closures at Cairngorm we always stay at the Hilton in Aviemore where it's always a pleasant stay with plenty to do. Can't wait for another trip at the end of Feb/early March. Cheers Alex
January 28, 2009
Chris from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Just back from a great Saturday of boarding at Cairngorm. The sun was shining, top to mid mountain was packed power (which was great). The only problem was that the runs from mid station down were a bit icy. Apart from paying £29 for a days lift pass, which I think is rather steep, it was a great day.
January 27, 2009
Dave M from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Great effort this season at Cairngorm to get as many of the runs prepared as possible. I was lucky enough to get up there at the beginning of December and on 2 other days since. I check out the Cairngorm website fairly often and there have been many good days skiing already this year. As usual the weather plays an important part. Consider this, I was out golfing on Sunday up the coast (40-50 miles from Cairngorm); sunny, warm at times (relatively) and windy, then on Monday a great days skiing available on Cairngorm (should of taken a 'sicky' and gone). Not quite the snow, sun and sea you can get abroad, but come on it's January and Scotland.
November 23, 2008
Nodge from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
In response to Peter's comment. Sorry Peter, I'm somewhat confused - are you tripping out your nut? That half meter of powder you're talking about - did that go right up your nose?
November 20, 2008
davec from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Cairngorm; overpriced and unfriendly, a lot of old skiers in tweed. Get tae Glencoe.
November 10, 2008
Peter Balfour from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I have been to this great little ski resort many times when I was a boy and in recent years. Sometimes I have been skiing on a small patch of snow and sometimes I have had 1/2 metre of fresh powder; but I am always grateful for what there is and I have a good time. For those that think the prices are too expensive I suggest you save your money and walk up.
February 02, 2008
aileen mcdonald from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Expensive for what you get. Would not sell a half-day morning ticket (sold them last year) so paid full price for two hours on the slope. The Lecht is cheaper with easier parking, but smaller.
January 18, 2007
ivan westworth from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Good when it's got a decent covering of snow. Lots of rocks so don't take a good board. If you consider the price!!! and what you get for your money!!!Europe seems the better choice.