The Hotel Montane really knows how to make you feel at home and welcome. Little touches like being handed a complimentary hot wine each evening for après-ski just makes you feel like your in a 5 star hotel rather than a really excellent 3 star.
It's incredibly convenient too as you're just opposite the main gondola station, so there's no reason to be late for first lifts. Unless you're fuelling up on the gorgeous (and pretty extensive) continental breakfast that is.
The owners are very proud of their restaurant, and rightly so as chef Reyna has an impeccable reputation for the quality and variety of his food. The daily menu is delicious and just what you need after a day on the slopes, but you must try the à la carte menu at least once throughout your stay. They also offer a pretty impressive wine list to accompany the gorgeous food.
From the hotel to…
Nearest lift: 20m
Tuition meeting point: 20m (top of lift)
Resort centre: In the centre
About the resort
Arinsal is the perfect place for beginners and families as there are plenty of nursery slopes, a superb British-run ski and board school and plenty of après-ski activities. Even though there's only 63km of pistes, improvers, intermediates and even the advanced will be tested at points. Hop on a bus and head to nearby Arcalis for some fantastic off-piste and even a couloir or two.
Off the mountain, Arinsal is small and friendly with a good choice of restaurants, a few shops and several lively bars to choose from. There are also a smattering of late-night bars and discos for the night owls.
Off-slope activities are easy to get to. Amazing shopping (and virtually tax-free) in the nation's capital, Andorra La Vella is only a 20 minute bus ride away. Alternatively, you could relax in the thermal waters of Caldea, a lush indoor thermal water lagoon with a spa area that's easy to love.
Ski biking is definitely a unique activity to give a go - the equipment is, you guessed it, a mix of a bike and a pair of skis.
Resort altitude: 1450m
Skiing altitude: 1550m to 2560m
Ski area size: Vallnord area 93km
Number of runs: 44
Range of pistes: Very easy 16%, easy 36%, medium 39% & difficult 9%
Lifts: 40 comprising of: 8 magic carpets, 13 drags, 16 chairlifts, 2 gondolas and 1 cable car
Night skiing: No
Cross country trails: 30km
Snowmaking: 45% runs covered
Resort bus: Yes
Food and drink
Half-board meals are the order of the day at Hotel Montane. A continental breakfast is included but a cooked breakfast is available for an extra local charge. The evening meal comes with a choice of three delicious courses to fill you up after a busy day on the slopes.
The hotel also offers a packed lunch service every day to make it easier for you to stay out on the slopes for longer. Christmas is a full-on feast with a five-course traditional Christmas dinner. See the New Year in with a five-course dinner. Both festive meals are included in the price of your holiday.
The 27 rooms at the Montane are comfortable and nicely furnished with lots of lovely hardwood finishes and clean, open spaces. Each room comes with satellite TV, internet connection and an en-suite bathroom with hairdryer, bath or shower. Happily, all of the rooms have mountain views.
The rooms also have tea and coffee making facilities, so you don't have to leave to get your jolt of java or your morning brew.
Official rating: ***
Reception with small lounge area and open fire
Small bar with extensive wine menu
Free Wi-Fi in public areas
Equipment storage available (cost is approx. €30 per week for up to four set of skis or snowboards)
Departure airports: Gatwick, Manchester, East Midlands or Stansted