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

April 23, 2010
BanffAddict from Ski Australia Australia
Sunshine (Sunshine Village) gets the best snow out of all the Banff resorts and it stays good for a few days. We're heading into the end of the season now and the cover is still good. Terrain, overall, is better and good terrain is much easier to access at nearby Lake Louise. But for those with avalanche gear and don't mind a bit of trekking, Delirium Dive offers the best in-bounds terrain out of all Banff ski resorts. Regarding buses and bus prices, people on vacation don't need to worry about bus prices - bus is free with the multi-day tri-area (Lake Louise, Sunshine, Norquay) lift pass that you get.
October 25, 2010
Adrian from Ski Canada Canada
Y'all don't want to ride at Sunshine... There is all sorts of rocks, trees, cliffs and deep DEEP snow which is hard to walk through. You won't have any fun of there. ;)
January 28, 2011
Christine Scarlett from Ski Canada Canada
Nice enough resort, but there are serious safety concerns and a lack of expert terrain open this season. Sunshine (Sunshine Village) management fired their mountain manager, avalanche forecaster, senior ski patroller and lift operations supervisor over reprimanding the owner's son for breaking ski hill rules, and the law. Since then, they have fired the junior patroller on scene (for refusing to write a letter of apology to the owners) the assistant avalanche forecaster and the paramedic. The ski bus service no longer picks up at most hotels. Definitely come to Banff, ski at Lake Louise (full ski bus service) and enjoy the best that the area has to offer. Sunshine will have a good product again in a few seasons, when they have the experienced staff to open the steep terrain. [Editor's note: comments from a member of the resort staff have been added to create a balanced perspective on this review.] "South Side Chutes opened this week, and the Shoulder is open as well, so the only expert terrain NOT open is Delirium Dive and Wild West. In any year, those sections are subject to intermittent closures, based on conditions. In one recent year, the Dive didn’t open until March". "This item provides false information on the cause for the dismissals, merely repeating unsubstantiated rumour". "The junior patroller was not 'fired' - he was laid off, and could be rehired at some point. And the cause for his lay off is incorrect i.e. it was not for refusing to write an apology".
January 28, 2011
BC13 from Ski United States United States
News of the recent firings of many experienced operations managers (Director of lift operations, Dir of mountain operations, Dir of ski patrol) along with the termination of some of the most senior and experienced ski patrollers has caused me to cancel my scheduled family vacation to Sunshine Village. I will instead be skiing at Lake Louise, where management has taken steps to retain its highly skilled workers who provide the public and enjoyable and safe skiing experience. I can not trust my family's safety to a CEO who terminates skilled and experienced employees for voicing unpopular positions that need to be heard by the CEO. Those responsible for a safe skiing experience should not be "Yes" men or women. I am just thankful the wonderful town of Banff has Norquay and nearby Lake Louse to offer it's guests. [Editor's note: comments from a member of the resort staff have been added to create a balanced perspective on this review.] "The employees were terminated for just cause, not for voicing 'unpopular positions'". "These notes also suggest all experience has been stripped out of safety patrol and senior management in operations. This is also completely untrue". "There is no evidence presented that Lake Louise has taken steps to retain its highly skilled workers."
February 13, 2011
Brad L from Ski Canada Canada
My wife and I will finish out this year skiing at Sunshine Village only because we have season passes. I will be avoiding Sunshine village in the future due to the extreme arrogance of the owners (Scurfields). I am disgusted at the lack of class shown by the management of Sunshine Village in the way they treat their staff, Yes they have good snow but it is very hard to understand and get over the arrogance, the customers come first not the owners. The trails at Lake Louise are better, the snow at Sunshine is better most of the time. The wife and I were thinking about changing locations to Lake Louise or buying a place in Panorama. We will not be returning to Sunshine Village.
February 15, 2011
Richie from Ski Canada Canada
Sunshine continues to disappoint. We've been taking trips to the Rockies every couple of years for the past 30. Sunshine has been a stop simply for the Dive and a few other steeper slopes. That's fine, we have fun in the okanagan resorts too, despite a lack of challenging terrain. What's not fine is demoralized staff, bad food and this recent spat with patrol. We've had several interactions with the snow safety and patrol members and have always found the experience to be informative, friendly and completely justified (this last was in regards to a slight speeding altercation, our bad :) ). Doing some digging on our trip last week we asked around. Officially everything is fine as staff are freaked out to talk for being "laid off", as the mountain PR guy below has plugged, is a very real threat. Unofficially, everyone supports those staff who got canned because they enforced completely appropriate safety measures. Well, we as a group of families made a decision- out with Sunshine and in with Louise and Norquay. Sorry Sunshine but you've lost the vibe. Too bad. Snow-forecast, please publish this. It's true.
February 15, 2011
Mediator from Ski Australia Australia
Just a note to all those people complaining about lack or parking and modernisation of lifts etc.; please keep in mind that Sunshine Village is within a National Park (and subject to Parks Canada Rules and Regulations) and one of their main concerns is not infringing on nature any more than absolutely necessary. To expand on the car park would be to knock down more trees and take away more land from the park, is that really worth it just for a little bit more convenience on your part? And Maybe you should all read into how much work it was to put in the new Strawberry Lift before you start complaining there. Personally, I think Sunshine is doing a great job with what they have got, even though there have been some setbacks, it is a great hill and everyone should try it at least once.
February 24, 2011
HF Owens from Ski Canada Canada
Stayed at the Sunshine Inn (Sunshine Village) at end of Jan. Nice building in a fantastic setting but food not great and overall, not value for money considering all that is available in Banff. Patrol issues seem to have prevented getting stuff open after a good snowfall. Overall, place seems to suffer from a so-so staff engagement and does not really have a culture of excellence when it comes to customer experience. Back-country access good from ski area but too bad you have to pay so much just to get up there and do some trekking around.
March 02, 2011
mj from Ski Canada Canada
2 x fries 1 x chicken strips (3 of them WTF)!!! 1 x small diet pepsi (from the fountain not bottle) 1 x coffee season pass discount 20% $20 DOLLARS !!!!! What part of fries pepsi or coffee cost twenty fricken dollars? Be warned if you have a family you are trying to feed for 5 days !!!
March 02, 2011
gasmask from Ski Canada Canada
Wild West & Delerium Dive, would be epic right now. Due to the loss of the guys who helped get those new areas open to off-piste in-bound skiers, SSV will be struggling to open that area again within the next 5 years. (struggling is a gross understatement) That area won't open again.