Ski Canada - Alberta

Sunshine Village Resort Reviews

Ski Canada - Alberta

Sunshine Village Resort Reviews

Visitor reviews for Sunshine Village Ski Resort

Sunshine Village Ratings

Overall: 3.4. Based on 59 votes and 101 reviews. Vote

Access: 3.8

(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 Sunshine Village.

Public Transport: 3.6

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

Scenery: 4.6

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

Accommodation: 3.5

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

Cheap Rooms: 2.8

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

Luxury Hotels: 3.9

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

Ski in/Ski out: 3.5

(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: 3.6

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

Snowsure: 4.5

(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) Sunshine Village is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Snowmaking: 1.7

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

Snow Grooming: 3.9

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

Shelter: 3.3

(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) Sunshine Village 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 Sunshine Village, 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: 4.5

(1) Sunshine Village 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: 4.0

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

Crowds/Queues: 3.7

(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: 4.1

(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.

Variety of pistes: 4.2

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

Beginners: 4.0

(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: 4.3

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

Advanced: 4.0

(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: 3.7

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

Off-piste: 4.0

(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.

Cross-country: 2.2

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

Luge/Toboggan: 1.3

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

Mountain Dining: 2.9

(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: 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: 2.0

(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: 2.5

(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: 2.7

(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: 3.3

(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): 3.5

(1) Overall, Sunshine Village 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): 3.5

(1) Overall, Sunshine Village 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 15, 2008
Glen from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I don't think I've ever read so much rubbish in my life! Sunshine is excellently varied, with something for everyone, just seems some people are very hard to please! Sure, there are some flatter sections, but you find me a mountain that hasn't got that! The general bowl shape of the place collects a huge amount of snow, and even a relatively small snowfall makes it a superb place to ride. There are nice gentle warm-up runs, to the truly heart-stopping Delirium Dive! I didn't queue for a single lift at Sunshine for the 5 days I rode there, and I personally find Banff Avenue (the ski-out run for those who don't know) an excellent way to end the day. I'm a snowboarder, and didn't have to stop once on the way down. Anyone that heads to Banff MUST make sure they visit Sunshine.
February 18, 2008
Bill Turgott from Ski Canada Canada
Sunshine Village is proposing blasting more of Banff National Park, one of UNESCO's world heritage sites, to make room for more parking. Sunshine Village is also trying to discontinue their bus service, wanting local hotels and government to foot the bill, stating that the ski hill brings guests to town so the town and hotels should pay for this. Sunshine Village has forgotten to mention the millions the government of Canada gives them to advertise all over the world. This is disgusting, Sunshine Village should be encouraging more guests to use the bus to alleviate the parking congestion, keeping the National Park in it's current condition.
February 20, 2008
Markark from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Just returned from a great weekend at Sunshine. This was supposed to be a busy weekend but I didn't wait more than 2 mins in line. Goats Eye has great snow, fantastic and challenging skiing amongst the trees was a new experience and not one that you get in European resorts. The staff were so friendly and the food was great value (compared with France!). The runs into Sunshine village were a bit tame but provide something for everyone. In short - a great place to ski.
February 25, 2008
joe from Ski Canada Canada
I love sunshines snow report. Past 24hrs 0cm. Past 15 days 73cm. Because snow that fell two weeks ago matters.
March 15, 2008
Ryan from Ski Canada Canada
Obviously this Joe character doesn't know much about Sunshine Village. Snow that fell 2 weeks ago DOES matter at Sunshine, but probably not at most other hills. The reasons being... 1) best snow quality in Canada, dry & light, does not settle down fast or much 2) 90% of the people at SV ride 20% of the terrain so you can ALWAYS find fresh pow lines and get away from the punters. Remember, their vertical drop numbers include the gondola/ski-out so expect more like 800-1600 ft descents. Great terrain though. You can make each mountain your own snow-park and really get away from the crowds. 150+ days ridden at SV and I still find new stuff every week. They get more snow than Lake Louise, but not as much as their BC counterparts. At least it NEVER rains at SV... okay... maybe 1 day out of their whole season which is Nov.10-May.20. For a visitor, or beginner, Sunshine can be a very frustrating day due to the layout of the terrain (spread over a few mountains) with lots of hidden flat spots. If you know where everything is it may be one of the best resorts in Western Canada... if you don't, you might have the worst day of your life. On weekends you are guaranteed to see massive crowds (Whistler style) but on the plus side, the other 4-5 days of the week are COMPLETELY dead with 0 people in the lift lines. Can be flat light or white out sometimes, but is often snowing lightly above treeline making the name SV a little bit of a fib. That's ok though, many choices for lifts here to get into different weather systems. Snow over here, sun over there, pow here, crowds not here. The people that reviewed that Sunshine is flat obviously don't ride the challenging terrain. It's hilarious these "reviewers" even bother. Go check out The Garbage Chutes of a variety (about 100) mid-sized pow drops. Delirium Dive may be the most challenging inbounds lift accessed terrain in North America. Flat? Maybe between certain areas, but you can go hang out there while I rip the fresh pow all day long! Closer, super easy to get a ride, and consistent conditions. That bus pass is a joke that someone mentioned... they expect locals to pay $700 per season JUST FOR THE BUS on top of our $1000 pass. What a joke.
March 29, 2008
Banff_Skier from Ski Canada Canada
Regarding the bus service in Banff, as far as I understand, Banff / Lake Louise is the only ski resort in the world where the resorts pay 100% of the costs. At all other resorts: the town, province/state, government, hotels, municipality, tourism leveys, etc. pay for all or part of transportation. The Alberta government is making millions a year in hotel tax; why not use it to improve the guest experience? And don't you think the hotels will sell more rooms, if you can get to a resort from Banff for a couple of bucks? Hey, when I was in Salt Lake, I took a public bus for a couple of bucks to Alta/Snowbird. Whistler has public transportation too. Hey, in Europe it is part of the town too. It sucks that Banff is at a competitive disadvantage to other resorts. Besides, ski resorts should be in the ski business, not the transportation business; and they should not have to bear 100% of the cost that benefits the entire community. We are all in it together, hey? I live in Banff, and know tons of locals who would benefit from having public transport to the ski resorts. Pay a couple of bucks, and make it to the mountain and back in time for work. If you are working a minimum wage job, having cheap public transport makes a huge difference. It also would be good in the end for the destination -- happy staff who can afford to ski or ride more, better customer service -- and better staff attracted to the destination. And to those of you who says Sunshine lacks tough terrain, look into the Z entrance from Galaxy Ridge in Delirium Dive, or hike up into South Side Chutes, or huck madetory air through the choke in Englers through Wild West, or do the pillow drops though Hayes Hill in Delirium, or just look at the map to the entrance to Silver City (99.9% of skiers/snowboarders would never even think to even attempt; every line in Silver City has no fall zones),etc., etc., then tell me Sunshine doesn't have the toughest terrain "inbounds" in North America. Louise is awesome, but the tough terrain is right in front of you. Sunshine: it is also there, but takes some knowledge and work to get to. I have skied everywhere from Jackson Hole, Whistler, Alta, Park City, Aspen, Vail, Fernie, Jasper, Kicking Horse, Blackcomb, Deer Valley, Steamboat, Revelstoke, Snowbird, and so many more, and in my mind there are only two resorts that have terrain that can match what is in all of Banff/Lake Louise. And Jackson Hole isn't one of them. I've lived in Banff/Lake Louise the last 13 years, and the least I have skied during that time is 53 days in a season. Most is 153.
September 04, 2008
Bill Cuningham from Ski Canada Canada
Most overrated ski hill in Canada.
October 19, 2008
Osama Bin Laden from Ski Afghanistan Afghanistan
Delirium Dive, Wild West or the chutes on Goat's Eye - any steeper and you'd have to bring a parachute. LOL the Dive makes anything at Norquay look tame and short.
November 16, 2008
bling blong from Ski Canada Canada
Ski Revelstoke if you want real mountains.
November 26, 2008
Smarty from Ski Canada Canada
Sunshine rocks! Loads of soft snow, open till late May. People that are on here complaining about Sunshine are clearly WAY better than the rest of us. They are so incredibly good at their sport that they really should just stay out of the resorts all together. If Delerium Dive and Silver City aren't challenging enough for you, go rent a helicopter and go backcountry. C-YA! Same goes for everyone complaining about the lines at Sunshine.. There really are no lines - maybe 5 minutes during spring break. Can't wait 5 minutes? Go heli-ski and get your negative vibes off my mountain! As for comparing with Louise... there is no comparison. Louise might be a bit warmer, but it gets very icy, not a great place to learn. Louise has no accommodations on the hill. NONE. This year Louise closed a full month before Sunshine did. I rode Sunshine mid May this year on a sick powder day. I stayed at the Inn in the village and woke up to a foot and a half of fresh. Louise was closed. Go Sunshine!