Visitor reviews for Engelberg Ski Resort
November 30, 2018
Alison from Switzerland
Engelberg is easy to access by train; a day trip from Zurich is easy. It also has a long season and reliable snow, partly due to the glacier and that the slopes are north facing and/or otherwise in the shade for much of the day (but therefore can be cold). Lift infrastructure is more modern than Andermatt.
Yes, there are a lot of Asian tourists, although I've seen this many other places in Switzerland (including Zermatt); summer and winter. There was a new cable car in winter 2015/16, now 16 mins and direct to Stand without a change half way (so bear in mind when reading old reviews). Many tourists still take the old train. So if you're on the lifts around 9am at the weekend, it's really ok and no worse than other big resorts across the Alps, in my view.
Queues can be big to buy the ski passes, so recommend you get these online before you go: load them onto your Swiss Pass o keep an old Engelberg lift pass for this. Otherwise, there are some automatic machines outside, but you can't get your Snow n Rail discount this way.
Once on the mountain, the main ski area has reasonably long slopes, and nearly all red/black in the main ski area. The area is split into two parts, connected by a horizontal chair lift, which is a bit annoying, and getting to/from this lift is not easy for a beginner. If you're a beginner, Engelberg is not a great resort. The purported blue run in the main ski area (right hand side of the map) is actually quite tricky, undulating from steep to flat (only a blue on average really), and frequently off-camber. The runs on the glacier are probably a better bet, being wide and consistent gradients, even if some red. There is, however, a very tame area of drag lifts on a lower part of the mountain (access by the mountain train), and a smaller ski area across the other side of town. I've never tried these, but they looked quiet.
Overall: 3.8. Based on 20 votes and 19 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 Engelberg.
Public Transport: 4.6
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Engelberg, (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 Engelberg, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.7
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.2
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Engelberg.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.7
(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 Engelberg, (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) Engelberg is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Engelberg relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.1
(1) There are no snow groomers at Engelberg, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Engelberg 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) Engelberg is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.1
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Engelberg, 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: 4.3
(1) Engelberg 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: 3.8
(1) The staff at Engelberg are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Engelberg 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: 4.0
(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: 4.4
(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: 3.8
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Engelberg 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 Engelberg, (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: 2.5
(1) Not even a kicker at Engelberg, (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 Engelberg, (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) Engelberg has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.0
(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: 3.9
(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: 4.2
(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: 3.5
(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): 3.4
(1) Overall, Engelberg 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): 3.0
(1) Overall, Engelberg 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.
February 08, 2017
Mikhail from Switzerland
The problem with Engelberg is that many of the users of the lifts are not actually skiers. They are tourists from China and Indonesia who ride the express out of town to take pictures at the top of the mountain. Obviously, Engelberg caters to these tourists at the expense of skiers. The consequence is that you often have to wait over 60-90 minutes at the base to get-up the mountain. And, it is not a pleasant wait as the lift facilities are not designed to support such long waits. At the end of the day, it is extremely frustrating for skiers. Engelberg is a lovely resort. But, the lift tickets are extremely over-priced. And, no resort is worth the wait that is required at the base. For that reason, I would not recommend this mountain. Even locals go elsewhere.
January 27, 2016
Jamie from United States
Loved Engelberg but, like another reviewer, I was appalled by what we called the 'Asian invasion.' All these non-skiers trying to get up the top of the Titlis was beyond crazy. They all were bunched together with their tour guides, jostling in an immense lift queue just to have lunch at the top restaurant; while you're trying to go to the top to ski. I will go elsewhere because of this heavy non-skier tourist traffic.
March 11, 2014
Sarah from United Kingdom
Just had a long weekend in Engelberg (7-9 March). Good train links from Zermatt and stayed at the Angel's Lodge which was comfy, in a good location and had an outdoor hot tub. We are 2 middle aged advanced, but by no means expert skiers who are getting more and more into off-piste, though to be fair this trip was booked so late in the day we had limited choices of resorts within the 2 hour radius of Zermatt airport and basically had to plump for Engelberg as the best available. We had 2.5 days there.
The downsides: it's been said before, but the lift queues were awful first thing on Sat morning. The weather was good and there was still some fresh snow to be skied from a dump midweek. Happily, we had an instructor who could by-pass the queue at the bottom. There are no ski school only queues up the mountain, however, so we were stuck in the queues with everyone else.
On-piste skiing is relatively hard above midstation; steep narrow reds that got skied into bumps early on in the day. The run back down to the village was a nice cruise. Beginners areas are poorly linked into the main ski area. It's not a resort for those who want cruisy on-piste skiing
The plus side: off-piste. You can see why it deserves this reputation from the tracks all over the mountain.
We had a half day off-piste instruction (well, guiding really) and got to sample what Engelberg is really about, and finished our morning doing the Laub, Despite the warmth, the shady side still felt soft and fluffy and was not completely tracked out. A real highlight. Did it again on the Sunday, and thankfully the queues at the bottom were not half as bad.
The town is nice though more "towny" in architecture. It is not plagued by traffic and there are nice restaurants and bars. Be warned though, at the weekend you need to book! We had an excellent dinner at the Ski Lodge.
The views and scenery are amazing. There are some good mountain restaurants with table service. I recommend the Berghaus Jochpass in particular.
Would I go again? Yes, possibly, but it depends on the snow and the availability of guides for exploring the area properly.
February 12, 2013
Mike Davis from Switzerland
I think Engleberg needs to decide if it is a ski resort or a destination for Chinese mountain collectors. Ridiculous queues on the first lift from town and on each of the next 2 cable cars as you try to get up Titlis. At the top you have a 5 storey climb past the "Magic Glacier Cave" and gift shops and restaurants. At last you reach the slopes. You then have the choice to ski down 1 short piste and a snow path before you join the ancient 4 man back.
Forget using cable cars as they are full of day trippers. Could ski down 1 more level and join the 2 man which is something that you normally see in Eastern Europe. Every lift is above the piste at the bottom and below at the top, you will develop world class triceps from poling.
The off-piste is truly wonderful but make each run lasts as you will be looking at a long wait before you can get back to the top.
Engleberg needs to spend some of its huge lift fee on installing some modern lifts. It cannot last forever on Chinese tourists and off-piste skiers.
Will not return and it's only 55 minutes from home.
March 27, 2012
Mark Wood from United Kingdom
Loved it. Some great challenging runs. Loads of off-piste and good restaurants in the village. Will be going again.
January 22, 2012
Steve Burton from United Kingdom
Skied for a few days in Engelberg over new year 2011/12. The resort is easy to get to from any of the main Swiss airports with a regular 1-hourly train service out of Lucern. The village is lovely, very compact and has plenty of ski hire shops, restaurants and bars. There are half a dozen ski bus routes connecting various parts of Engelberg with the Titlis and Brunni lifts (although they do stop for an hour midday). Mountain restauarants are ok (Trubsee is very good).
I think I'd describe Engelberg as a 'reluctant ski resort'. The skiing is very disjointed - Glacier, or up and down Stand, or up and down Jochpass, or isolated Gerschnialp drags, or down to the village on Titlis side, or a few short runs on Brunni. The lifts are efficient though, except for the enormous queues at the Titlis base gondola between 9-11am and the ridiculous Untertrübsee-Obertrübsee 24 people/hour cablecar (what's that all about?!). Everything shuts as soon as there is much wind and pistes are slow to open after any significant snow fall (avalanche risk and what seemed like a shortage of piste bashers).
Overall, Engelberg is ok for a weekend in good weather and/or you like off-piste, but much more than that could get very frustrating.
January 07, 2012
Bella from Switzerland
A convenient one hour train ride up the mountain from Luzerne (so 2 hrs from Zurich or Basel) I love Engelberg. I went there ten Saturdays in a row last season - almost invariably fine weather. If the high runs are closed due to weather, then it is easy to hire x-country skis near the train station in the village, and walk the 5 minutes to the x-country course, for a lovely 2 hour circuit workout up and down the valley - complete with a hot shower at the rec centre on return.
November 08, 2011
Tricky from United Kingdom
Engelberg is a throw back to a time when ski resorts were populated with skiers not wannabee millionaires. It's a skiers resort, has an excellent snow record and some of the best off-piste in the Alps. Best time to be there is the beginning of the week when it quietens after a busy weekend. A guide is essential if you haven't been here before. Easily my favorite resort in Europe.
December 28, 2010
Pookie from Sweden
Anyone who thinks that this (Engelberg) is some sort of undiscovered off-piste paradise is in for a shock. Was here last week and the place was tracked out by 10am: big queues for tickets and the lift from town. Not quite what I was expecting as I had heard this place was quiet. Lots and lots of people on fat skis - nice town though.