Ride in to summer 2020
The Hotel Xalet (pronounced chalet) Besoli is tucked away off the main road and about a ten minute stroll (700m) from the Arinsal gondola and village centre. The Besoli team create a real homely and cosy atmosphere at an exceptional value for money.
The hotel bar area is a great socialising space for après-ski drinks and relaxing after dinner banter. The roaring open fire on cold winter nights creates a lovely atmosphere.
For convenience, equipment can be stored in rented lockers at the top of the gondola lift, this can be arranged with your Neilson team on arrival.
Nearest ski lift: 700m
Tuition meeting point: 700m (top of lift)
Resort centre: 600m
Depending on weather conditions, coaches cannot always reach the hotel's front door. It may be necessary to walk with your luggage from the main road to the hotel which is about 250m.
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.
Area size: 63km
Resort altitude: 1475m
Skiing altitude: 1550m to 2560m
Number of runs: 42
Range of runs: 12% green, 38% blue, 38% red and 12% black
Lifts: 15 drags, 12 chairs, 2 gondolas and 1 cable car
Night skiing: No
Cross country trails: n/a
Snowmaking: 29% of runs covered
Resort bus: Yes
The half board meals are just what you need on a ski holiday. The buffet breakfast has a good range to choose from and the three-course set-menu evening meal allows for a choice of three starters and three mains which include delicious local dishes. Your Christmas and New Year Gala meals are included.
The 33 bright and spacious bedrooms can sleep up to four people. Each comes with a balcony, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, mini-safe and bathroom with a hairdryer, shower, bath and wc.
Official rating: ***
Ski and board lockers
Departure airports: Birmingham, Bristol, Gatwick, Manchester or Stansted
Departure day: Sunday
Arrival airport: Lleida (in Spain)
Flight duration: 2 hours 5 minutes to 2 hours 35 minutes
Transfer time: approx. 2 hours 45 minutes