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Date: Jan 14th - Jan 19th
Our holiday: Myself and my partner. Mid 30's. Both good Intermediate skiers, looking for somewhere that was "not France" and not the Alps. Picked the flights first, then the resort, then the accomodation.
Basics : Flew RyanAir Manchester to Treviso, north of Venice. Picked up a hire car and drove about 90 miles ish to get to Arabba. Sat Nav took me via Cortina and a 2100m mountain pass which was very nearly a disaster (visibility was about 10 foot, the wind was about force 10 and the temperature was about -25. Plus i couldn't figure out how to fit the snow chains and the windscreen wipers froze to the window. How we didn't crash or die is still a mystery to me). After waking the landlady up at 1am to let us in I then discovered that this is not the best way to get to Arabba... "when sat navs attack" again.
Lift system : Very good. Arabba is right on the Sella Ronda circuit, but also has good links to its own ski area and to the Marmolada glacier. Mostly chair lifts or bubbles. I didn't use a single drag lift in all all my time there.
The terrain : Brilliant variety of skiing... something for everyone. Harder stuff seems to be around Arabba itself. Lots of long blue cruising, short sharp reds and a few decent blacks. Didn't notice many runs getting too mogully. Spectacular scenary, really stunning. Cortina area excellent for beginners.
The snow : I was lucky. Snowed for an entire day just as we arrived (hence the hair raising drive up), then clear for the 5 days i was skiing. Three of the days were your classic "clear blue sky" days. Got myself a stylish goggle tan.
Off-piste : Apart from nipping off to the side of the piste and/or cutting between pistes I didn't do any of this.
The resort : I loved it. Not somewhere I would recommend if you are a lover of apres-ski or nightlife, as the apres-ski extended to a few quiet(ish) bars and there was no nightlife of note. However, this doesn't bother me and what you do get (friendly people, nice scenery, decent food, good prices, great skiing) is exactly what i was looking for.
Food : Ate lunch in the mountain restaurants... nothing particular to report. They all seem to sell the same kind of things (Italian/German fayre) and are all priced reasonably and similarly. As for Arabba in the evening.. Mikeys Grill (pricey, but fantastic food. 80 euro for 2 courses). Bar Al Table (Awful food, stay away. The worst risotto I've ever tasted. Only bad thing about the whole holiday). The German gaff right in the centre (reasonably priced and decent food). 7 sass (pizza place - huge selection, good prices).
Drinks : No french style "happy hours", but a couple of good bars/huts near the base of the three lifts on the Marmolada side of Arabba. Also "Peters" bar right in the centre seems to be the hub of apres-ski activity. Bombardino's... a revelation. Advocaat and brandy (i think). A wonderful apres-ski drink. In fact, a wonderful anytime drink.
Accommodation : Stayed in Garni Erica (link above). Nothing fancy, but exactly what i want when i'm skiing. Friendly, cosy, warm, nice and clean, ski room, good breakfasts, centre of town etc etc.
Costs: Flights were ¬£60 each (we took skis, boots and hold luggage). Garni was 38euro pppn. Lift pass was 168euro each (5 days, Dolomiti Superski). Eating out in the evening was usually about 25-30euro for 2 people including some wine. Mountain restaurants not that pricey - 4euros for some pizza, 5 euros a panini, 2euro hor chocolate etc etc.
Conclusion: Awesome. I absolutely loved it. Easily my new favourite skiing holiday I've had. Everything about it was brilliant. The resort, the skiing, the weather, the variety. Fantastic. Did the Sella Ronda Circuit , the Saaslong world cup downhill run and the Marmolada glacier. Day trip to Cortina. Need to go back as didn't manage to fit in the Hidden Valley, Cinque Torri or Ortisei.
Arabba Resort Report Feedback Thread
Ian Hopkinson - Contains extended scenes of peril - Me & Mrs H