The BIG summer sale
The Xalet Verdu (pronounced Chalet Verdu) is a great little hotel that's big on service and small on expense. Its location is ideal as its just a short walk from the centre of the village where you'll find a wide selection of bars, restaurants, nightclubs and shops, not to mention the main gondola so you can get up on the slopes easily.
Head to the bar and lounge for a few relaxing drinks after a day on the mountain. It becomes a real focal point and has a great, laid-back vibe. The bedrooms are classically-furnished, a good size and most have pretty special views of the surrounding mountains.
Nearest ski lift: 300m
Tuition meeting point: 300m (top of lift)
Resort centre: 150m
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 63km
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
The half board meal here offer up a buffet style breakfast and three-course evening meal with a choice of main. There's also a weekly speciality buffet to look forward to. A Christmas Gala dinner is included on Christmas Eve and a normal evening meal will be served on Christmas Day. A New Year Gala meal is also included.
The rooms in the Verdu are fairly traditionally styled with great mountain views. The twin and triple rooms (with two or three single beds) all have satellite TV and a bathroom with over-bath shower and a hairdryer. The rooms also have tea and coffee making facilities, so you don't have to leave to get your early morning cuppa.
Official rating: ***
Small lounge area
Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
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