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Visitor reviews for Samoens Ski Resort

Samoens Ratings

Overall: 4.0. Based on 40 votes and 33 reviews. Vote

Snowsure: 4.1

(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) Samoens is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Variety of pistes: 4.5

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

Off-piste: 3.9

(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: 4.7

(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: 4.8

(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 Samoens.

Public Transport: 3.3

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

Accommodation: 4.3

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

Cheap Rooms: 3.1

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

Luxury Hotels: 3.4

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

Ski in/Ski out: 3.2

(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: 3.8

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

Snowmaking: 3.8

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

Snow Grooming: 4.3

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

Shelter: 3.7

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

Nearby options: 4.4

(1) If snow conditions are poor at Samoens, 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: 4.2

(1) Samoens 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: 4.3

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

Crowds/Queues: 3.8

(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: 4.4

(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: 4.6

(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: 4.3

(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: 4.6

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

Advanced: 4.2

(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: 3.0

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

Cross-country: 3.9

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

Luge/Toboggan: 2.9

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

Mountain Dining: 3.9

(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: 4.4

(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: 3.2

(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: 3.4

(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: 3.8

(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: 3.9

(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): 4.1

(1) Overall, Samoens 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): 3.9

(1) Overall, Samoens 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 24, 2004
Ian Hughes from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
My wife and I and our 13 year old son spent half term week in a catered chalet at Samoens. This was our second skiing holiday. We all enjoyed it and were lucky to be there in the first season with the Grand Massif Express cable car in operation which was only a short walk from our chalet and quickly took us up to 1600m. We were a bit disappointed by the lack of green runs; even the green 'Marvel' run at nearby Marillon was long and beautiful but not particularly easy. In Samoens itself, there was only one large green practice slope with the rest all blue, red or black. We all managed the harder slopes with our ESF instructors guidance but struggled a bit when left to our own devices. Samoens is linked by chairlifts and ski runs to 4 other ski centres and is great for anyone with a bit of experience but I would not recommend it to a complete beginner. Needless to say, my son handled the skiing a lot better than my wife and I. The village of Samoens is small and traditional and would not be the best place for anyone looking for wild 'apres-ski' entertainment. There are plenty of good, inexpensive restaurants such as 'La Luisiane' which is good for pasta and pizzas and there is an outdoor skating rink and a small cinema.
March 16, 2004
John Smith from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Spent Mid Term in Samoens this year with a few mates. This is definitely a resort to watch out for.Great skiing and a lovley 'typical' alpine town. Had a fantastic time in a little Irish Pub just opened this winter called Coveys. Its a little off the beaten track but well worth finding. Friendly Irish staff, good music washed down with a nice pint of Guinness...I for one will be back next year!!
February 04, 2005
james wilson from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
A typical family orienated village with a massive ski area as a bonus. A well kept secret, if you want a party time there are plenty of places to go in the alps....if you want exellent all round skiing from beginer to expert especially off piste samoens has it by the bucket load. large enough area that you never seem to have to queue for lifts..Links into the massive flaine area.
March 04, 2005
Steve from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
The Samoens link into the Grand Massif makes this a very large ski area, and the new telecabine from the village makes for quick access to the slopes. But this isn't the Trois Vallees...lifts are older and slower, and it is very lacking in mountian restaurants. But the skiing is wonderful and there is lots of variety, from off-piste to skiing below the treeline. Very few hard blacks. The lifts over to Flaine can be slow at half-term. This is one of the best resorts to get to in the Alps, only 50 minutes from Geneva. And lift passes are good value.
April 08, 2005
Ralph Kent from Ski France France
Samoens is a very charming typically French ski resort, a year round town which thankfully has yet to be blighted by the 'brits on tour' brigade that have invaded VdI and parts of the 3 vallees. It has recently benefitted from the investment in the Grand Massif express, which supercedes the old bubble at Vercland, meaning you get from the outskirts of Samoens to Samoens 1600 in about 10 minutes. That said, as the lift is about 1km outside of the centre of Samoens, you still will need a car or be prepared to wait for the ski-bus - this isn't really a package holiday type of place. I've heard a lot of people say the Grand Massif is a 'beginners' resort - I'd disagree with this - I'd say is a 'progressing intermediate' resort with plenty of easily accessible large powder fields for those who are ready for it. It is not, as other reviewers have said, that geared up for complete newbies - the beginners slope at Morillon is serviced by a drag lift, which can be tricky for boarders who are learning, meaning that the nursery green at Samoens is your only real option. It is also true that unlike some other resorts, the Grand Massif is not littered with mountain restaurants and the like. I think its quite a serious ski domain in as much as people who come here come to ski / board firstly, eat second. I prefer it that way, the mountain is less spoiled, the standard of skiing quite good. Nightlife is also pretty subdued, so if you're looking for a week on the raz, Samoens probably won't keep you entertained. John & Shane run a nice bar at Samoens (Coveys) and a restaurant at Verchaix (Caribou), there is also La Clarine Bar, and there are loads of other really good places to eat in Samoens too, but no real clubs to speak of (unless you count the awful Tomawack at Morillon / Verchaix).
July 28, 2005
Mark Kelly from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Samoens is one of the prettiest villages on France's skiing circuit. Its strict conservation policy means that it has none of the ugly purpose-built high rises that spoil many of the modern resorts. Samoens has a community and life of its own, so visitors can enjoy a true flavour of Frances - particularly in its many good restaurants and bars. The skiing is abundant and varied. Linked to Flaine, Morillon, Les Carroz and Sixt, Samoens offers a vast domain of runs - from challenging blacks to gentle nursery slopes. For those with insatiable appetites, Les Gets and the Portes de Soleil can be reached in under 40 minutes by car. Although Samoens itself is at a modest 820 metres, a brand new gondola - linked in to the whole of the Grand Massif - whisks skiers to the slopes at 1600 metres in 8 minutes. The ski school (ESF) is excellent and has responded to demand by providing English-speaking instructors. The village runs a nursery where children of all ages can be safely left under the guidance of trained nursery staff. And the best news of all, Samoens is a mere 50 minute transfer by road form Geneva airport. Nearest resorts Morillon, Flaine. Les Gets, Morzine/Avoriaz.
December 05, 2005
al foster from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
On the Samoens side of the Grand Massif the best place to stay for access to and from the slopes, is Morillon 1100. It is a mixture of old and new with its own nursery slopes and bluse and red runs linking to Les Carroz and Samoens and the on to Flaine. The village is 10 minutes drive from old Morillon village and 15 minutes from Samoens. The main drawback with Samoens is that there are no pistes down to the village so a lift, bus or car has to be used at the start and end of the day. Morillon 1100, also called Les Hauts des Esserts does not have these problems.
December 06, 2005
Simon J Price from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Great place for those who want fantastic skiing, little queuing and good non-rip-off restaurants. The fact is it's a place without the rowdies but with the french charm. There are night clubs in Flaine if you feel the need. The off-piste is good, the piste is so extensive that you will struggle to cover it all in a week. There is a 17km run, Le Cascade from Flaine to Sixt (blue) with a great refuge at Lac de Gers on the way (book in advance) but if you prefer the fast way down, Styx is a black run to blow you away. All my children (3) have learnt to ski here so the nursery slopes etc are excellent and improved recently at Samoens 1600. Ski passes are about 2/3rds Val etc £250 for a season ticket before mid-Dec. Come but if you don't it'll be quieter so I don't mind.
February 01, 2006
Anne Wilson from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Samoens - a very pretty medieval village with old church square, stone fountains, a garden with alpine flowers from around the world which rises above the village....(more Summer than Winter). The skiing links into the Flaine circuit, covering the villages of Sixt, Les Carroz, Morillon and Flaine. Excellent skiing for all levels. I hear there is great off-piste but so far have been too sissy to try. Wonderful blue run down to Sixt on Les Cascades, which runs for apparently 14K - through wonderful national park - once you are on it no turning back, no lifts etc. There is a restaurant who will send a snowmobile to collect you if you phone them - as yet untried... Some good restaurants in town - for families with kids, or more grown up food as required. Our favourites, Le Bois du Lune - has a super cocktail bar or Le Monde L'Envers. Mountain restaurants are a bit scarce, although Le (La) Vieille above Morillon, is very charming hut but quite tiny - so early booking required. Menu limited but cosy atmosphere inside with old wood burning stove and tiny windows.....night life - there are a couple of great bars, Covey's being one and how many do you actually need? Have spent many an hour reviewing the meaning of life over a vin chaud in the Bar de Savoie... Outside Samoens, 5 mins away, a tiny hamlet called Vallon with old farms, a chapel but that's for another time....
January 31, 2008
Thomas from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Samoens is the most beautiful and enchanting ski destination we have ever tried and we've skied everywhere in the last 25 years!! With both the Sunday Telegraph and Times describing it as the "next big thing" we loved it so much we went back in August where the 20 waterfalls pouring off the mountains at Sixt blew us away with their beauty and the white water rafting, paragliding, mountain biking and bustling village were all fantastic. The skiing was superb and the apres great with the whole town seemingly out on the streets drinking vin chaud in the early evening. We're now seriously contemplating buying an apartment in a small swish new development right by the new gondola station being built by 4 British guys who have also fallen in love with the place - the website is megachalet.com!! Enjoy!