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Solden - any fans?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm looking into next year's skiing (still hopeful!), and while originally keen on Serfhaus I couldn't find any reasonably priced accommodation for 6 of us in a 3 bed apartment...
So I stumbled upon Solden, which I'd previously dismissed as full of rad dudes on 'boards. Then I realised that I don't mind that at all, and that there was plenty of places to stay, there's loads of bars and restaurants and it's linked by skibus to Obergurgl.
So any thoughts, hints, tips etc? Good skiing? Good mountain food? Good bars with an array of choice that isn't just oompahbigbassdrum apres music?
Don't tell me to go to Saalbach - been there 3 years out of the last 4! And we'll be driving, which may or may not make life easier.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@Leonard Smalls, it's been posted a few times on other posts, but I think no mention of Solden is complete without this classic review of Solden (or as the poster called it Soldin) from a few years back.... Madeye-Smiley https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=1441482&highlight=soldin#1441482
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We can always rely on Alastair Pink for highlighting that fsntastic review! wink Very Happy
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Personally, I like Solden, I know it doesn't have the best reputation but don't let that put you off!

Don't expect it to be like Saalbach, like you we have been to Saalbach regularly over the past few years, there is no real 'centre' of village to focus on. Things are spread out along the main Otztal road, with groupings around the 2 lifts. You will be able to find whatever you want, Michelin star standard at the ICE Q or many simple Pizza restaurants. Down to earth chatting bars, oommpah Apres, Clubs, 'cool' bars, 'dancing' bar etc etc.

Skiing is nice, above the Giggijoch are lovely wide open slopes, above Gaisloch tend to be steeper, up on the glacier is nice on sunny day. most of the skiing is above the treeline, so isn't the greatest on cloudy days, same for Obergurgl, which is 15 minute drive. Parking is easy and free at all of the lifts, plus the pass covers all areas in the valley. HochOetz is nice day trip.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Az wer goin in janwary it mite not be to bnagin and as wer al lcodgers not much falyriki n shaggin burds.
But we like wide, and we like steep - just the lack of tree-lined skiing to convince the others of...
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Only been once but I enjoyed it.
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I've been once and had a good time. The village isn't the prettiest but plenty bars and restaurants to enjoy. Slopes above the treeline in the main so that may be an issue.
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Stayed in the village once. The main street is an ugly, traffic-blighted strip, full of drunks staggering, pissing, yelling and vomiting. Yuk.
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mitcva wrote:
Stayed in the village once. The main street is an ugly, traffic-blighted strip, full of drunks staggering, pissing, yelling and vomiting. Yuk.

That could describe most places with significant numbers of tourists.
Val d-Isere and Whistler certainly both have areas where disgusting people do those things, if you're awake after midnight.

I like Sölden.
  • They have one of the longest seasons - I usually get my end-of-season session there.
  • The glaciers are very extensive and aren't the usual boring flat stuff.
  • It has a couple of excellent hotels.
  • It's an easy drive from Munich.

I'm only considered "rad" if I don't take my helmet off, as then you can't tell I'm an old codger.
At season end it's a bit of a race course for snowboarders:


I've been maybe 10 times but always at season end.
There are some lively places then still, but they're few and far between and the "folk dancing" places appear
closed, although I've not been up late enough to know better perhaps.
The choice of pistes and food is limited in May...
  • On-mountain cafes open then don't sell stuff I'd eat - the fancier places have not been open/ accessible when I've been up there.
  • The cafe at the bottom of the Rettenbach main slope is run by a cranky bloke who plays grandad music and serves good cakes and tolerable coffee.
  • I've never been able to ride down to the village in May (unlike Ishgl...) but sometimes the middle-mountain is open and you can download.
    Otherwise there are busses up to the Rettenbach/ Tiefenbach galcier bases, but driving is my usual choice (the road is free if you have a lift pass)

If you drive from Munich you can avoid buying a Vignette if you use the Fern Pass route.
Traffic around Munich and flight times mean sometimes I stop around Garmisch-Partenkirchen on the way out. There's a cafe on the Fern Pass which serves an edible rosti.

Smoking has been an ongoing problem: hard to avoid in some accommodation and restaurants. That's been getting better, and they tell me as
of 2020 (when I could not go) that it's no longer a problem. It may still be a problem outdoors.
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mitcva wrote:
Stayed in the village once. The main street is an ugly, traffic-blighted strip, full of drunks staggering, pissing, yelling and vomiting. Yuk.


We've been to Solden a few times and think it's far from ugly. We enjoy the town and the skiing and have yet to witness the "staggering, pissing, yelling and vomiting" - and that also included a lads' trip for a week. The "traffic-blighted strip" makes it sound like the M25... (which it isn't).

And, as mentioned above, Hochoetz (down the valley) is worth a visit - as is Obergurgl.
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To be fair to Solden, it gets a fairly good write-up from the stripper community:

https://dancersintstripclubreviews.wordpress.com/2019/12/22/austrian-alps-solden-strip-club-review/
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@mitcva, Interesting digression into a critique of the world's financial systems somewhere in that blog, with a baffling "bio" at the bottom. Clearly my takeaway - strippers are complex beings.
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I don't think its particularly ugly but not as attractive as most Austrian ski resorts and it does get a lot of through traffic. The main issue I had with it is that its situated in a valley with much of the accommodation being up steep hills either side.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The first time I went to Solden I stayed up in Hoch Solden with my family ...
There were about 4 or 5 hotels up there and nothing else so night life was non existent.
But my kids were 6 & 11 so night life was not a priority.
But even then, we were the last to go to bed in the whole dorf.
We did escape one night by taxi and went to the "sledging night", the taxi ride back up the hill was the most exciting ride of the week.
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Hoch Solden is like Hochgurgl, extremely small and isolated. Good for halfboard stays. Bring a book and a Netflix player, you'll rest a lot there. Basically Obergurgl is more or less the same.
Been to Solden and Obergurgl twice and always mentioned that I think it's the best place to start skiing or get back on the horse, late November till April.
Wide pistes, decent food but nothing really challenging and steep. Best for those wanting an early winter season extra trip to get the ski legs back, but can't make it to the PSB in Tignes
The town is spread more or less like Ischgl but with less venues. There's a small river running parallel to the main road with wooden pedestrian bridges. Many good places to eat at reasonable prices, traditional or modern meat house close to our hotel, Die Berge Lifestyle (good location and breakfast, the open air roof pool is colddddd)
You can easily avoid the very few strip bars on the main road.
I remember 3 apres ski bars very close to the Giggijoch down station, crowded and happy around 16:00: Kuckuck., Schirmbar plus Fire and Ice. The last two were still crowded and fun around later.
Sole drawback: no really challenging on piste, compared to EK for example
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Corky wrote:
The main issue I had with it is that its situated in a valley with much of the accommodation being up steep hills either side.


Sorry - I couldn't disagree more. Surely 90%+ of the accommodation is on the valley floor, on the flat... wink
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Took my wife there, I left the boards behind and skiied with her. Terrain is perfectly fine for cruising intermediates. We would go again. Loved it all from apres bars dancing with the Dutch to more sophisticated dinners and drinks. The public spa down the valley is worth the drive. Obergurgl is just lovely, also great for families. Spotted nice ski touring routes too. Drive from munich is easy enough and there's a nice lake with a Bavarian Gasthof just off the main road. In spring stop there for lunch overlooking the lake.

Underrated resort.
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savaloy joy's entertaining Soldin thread.
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LittleBullet wrote:
The public spa down the valley is worth the drive.
You mean the Aqua Dome or the town pool? The town pool is pretty fancy with spa-like facilities across multiple floors and a funky pool. Some of the guest houses give you free access to that.
The place which is a fair way "down the valley" is the Aqua Dome, which looks interesting but I'm not sure if it's not Butlins in disguise, albeit at European prices. Anyone been?

The Central has a big spa with a pool; Vaya has a well maintained spa (steam room, sauna, relaxation areas) but no pool.
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Solden is good for intermediates.

Decent, but lowclass, apres.

Younger crowd.

Like St Anton for poor people.
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Whitegold wrote:
Solden is good for intermediates.

Decent, but lowclass, apres.

Younger crowd.

Like St Anton for poor people.


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Quote:


LittleBullet wrote:
The public spa down the valley is worth the drive.
You mean the Aqua Dome or the town pool? The town pool is pretty fancy with spa-like facilities across multiple floors and a funky pool. Some of the guest houses give you free access to that.
The place which is a fair way "down the valley" is the Aqua Dome, which looks interesting but I'm not sure if it's not Butlins in disguise, albeit at European prices. Anyone been?

The Central has a big spa with a pool; Vaya has a well maintained spa (steam room, sauna, relaxation areas) but no pool.



https://www.soelden.com/winter/off-the-beaten-ski-slopes-in-soelden/aqua-dome-tirol-therme-laengenfeld.html


Abolutley worth the drive and price, out B&B gave us discounted tickets. The spa area has child free and of very high standard. Expect lots of saunas (including ones with the guy waving a fan for 15minutes to really cook you), plunge pools, relaxation zones and lots of naked people.

The seperate swimming pool area does have children, hardly a Butlins and clothed.

The Germanic regions (DE, AU, CH) know how to do public services and particularly wellness centers.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
philwig wrote:

The place which is a fair way "down the valley" is the Aqua Dome, which looks interesting but I'm not sure if it's not Butlins in disguise, albeit at European prices. Anyone been?



Second this. In fact, it was so good, I actually thought I'd come back just for the spa sometime. They have a hotel onsite. Multiple really nice outdoor heated pools framed with views of the mountain, some with soft music and lights, some with salt water. Really nice to watch the alpenglow and sunset on the mountains there.

Nice warm indoor pools and excellent eyes wide shut wellness downstairs, again really well designed so some of the outdoor courtyards frame views of the mountain.

Was not cheap at about 50 euro for the visit but worth every cent.
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Re the resort - great late season destination, fair bit of skiing, snow on the glaciers good even in later afternoon t-shirt weather in April, Obergurgl nearby for some more reserved atmosphere. Solden resort has good apres and a vibrant young clientele. No charm whatsoever though and some of the people we encountered were complete c-you-next-tuesdays, perhaps a consequence of having to deal with the steady stream of spoilt young drunken visitors

Incidentally it looked like both Solden and Obergurgl had huge skiable off piste areas although conditions weren't great when I was there
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Thanks both.

In late April/ early May sometimes the Tiefenbach gets a bit sticky, although sometimes you can still ride fresh lines on piste all day if you're lucky. The Rettenbach side is better when it's warm. Pistes 33/34 are well shaded and although my German is limited to beer I think that area's known as "the fridge"
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Of all the Ski resorts I've been to, Solden is the No.1 for me that i hated! I can't overemphasise that.

My trip 2 years ago started with a messed up booking by Austrian Airlines. I got a flight by BA for free in the end to Salzburg and got the longest taxi to get to the resort. I just thought the town was pig ugly as soon as i got there. I mean all i could see was stripper joints. As for the bars, 'as said above' its just full of German and Dutch wee wee heads puking everywhere. I remember going to a bar called Schirmbar. I only went there as the group i was with wanted to see it. I then found myself going to a more civilised Irish bar at the other end of town called Chris & co's which was excellent. Well it had the footy on anyway.

I skied the whole resort withing 1 day easy and just didn't find a run or anything that made me happy. The bars and restaurants on the slopes are just crap. I just couldn't find one to get served or sit anywhere and felt everyone was rude. The one huge thing that really bugged me was the whole James Bond promotion at the resort. Yes Bond had been filmed there but just for a tiny area of it. I have been to may other Bond locations and they don't advertise it at all. I'm even a James Bond fan as well, but i was like 'give it a rest'.

I really did make every attempt to find just one thing i enjoyed. The only thing i found was the Irish bar at the far end of the street to try and cheer me up. As each day went on i felt sadder and sadder and seriously loathed the place.

I then said goodbye to the group i was with after 4 day of a weeks holiday. The thought of binning my ski pass that had another few days left and then getting a bus, then train and then paying for a flight back to London was killing me. I was basically chucking money away and it was a very long journey to get home too.

I was so happy to get to Luton airport in the end. Can you believe that. rolling eyes

This is the best part though. I got indoors and saw my wife. I told her how gutted i was. 1 week later i left on my own as i said i had to make things right and cheer myself up. So i flew to my trusty resort that i love 'Tignes' (been 5 times). I skied the best runs ever on some of my favourite black runs. I partied at La Folie douce early afternoons. I then had to watch the Austrian mens Ski team and the Swedish female ski team as they was all in an accommodation with just one other person. Me! Toofy Grin I had become friends with them and was well looked after. I felt like i was part of the teams. It saved my skiing to be honest and if you asked me to got to Solden again, offer me £10,000 and i would still say no chance.

Just thought i would share my experience though. I still feel i need people to listen to me and get the weight off my chest about that trip wink
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@Ultra, So come on then, spit it out, did you like the place or not? Toofy Grin
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I may be just a touch put off now...
Perhaps somewhere without a reputation for puking drunks might be better - Silvretta Montafon perhaps!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Ultra wrote:
Of all the Ski resorts I've been to, Solden is the No.1 for me that i hated! I can't overemphasise that.

My trip 2 years ago started with a messed up booking by Austrian Airlines. I got a flight by BA for free in the end to Salzburg and got the longest taxi to get to the resort. I just thought the town was pig ugly as soon as i got there. I mean all i could see was stripper joints. As for the bars, 'as said above' its just full of German and Dutch wee wee heads puking everywhere. I remember going to a bar called Schirmbar. I only went there as the group i was with wanted to see it. I then found myself going to a more civilised Irish bar at the other end of town called Chris & co's which was excellent. Well it had the footy on anyway.

I skied the whole resort withing 1 day easy and just didn't find a run or anything that made me happy.

I then said goodbye to the group i was with after 4 day of a weeks holiday. The thought of binning my ski pass that had another few days left and then getting a bus, then train and then paying for a flight back to London was killing me. I was basically chucking money away and it was a very long journey to get home too.

I was so happy to get to Luton airport in the end. Can you believe that. rolling eyes


Is this a real post? Would a serious skier really say bye bye to the Alps, forego skiing to be massively out of pocket and travel home as Billy No Mates? Puzzled

Why sit in the house when you could be up a mountain? Puzzled

Or, if the skiing was as "easy" as described, why not put the proposed curtailment travel expenses towards the cost of a guide and get yourself off piste? Puzzled
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@Ultra, while Sölden is not my favourite resort, I think there is actually quite a lot of decent skiing there, especially off piste. Last time I was there I was with an Austrian who knows the place well. We ended up doing some quite hairy runs down to the road that runs up to the glacier (I forget where exactly). Great stuff.
Sorry, but if Sölden is pig ugly, what does that make places like Tignes, Val Thorens etc?
Anyway I expect that the whole apres thing will look totally different in the coming years. The shift to quieter / more high class is being forced on us like it or not!
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Leonard Smalls wrote:
I may be just a touch put off now...
Perhaps somewhere without a reputation for puking drunks might be better - Silvretta Montafon perhaps!

As I mentioned in previous posts, been to Solden twice, each time with a teenager son/daughter. Never saw the puking drunks mentioned above, maybe because we skied till closing time then 1 to 2 hours in an apres ski bar. Then shower back in a hotel and then out for a decent meal, no rambling around.
OTH, i always met them in St. Anton from 20:00 till later on. And I still plan to ski there every winter, since I can always avoid them and enjoy the mountain.
I don't think that particular review is correct, for all the above mentioned reasons. My beef with Solden is that it's not challenging enough on piste, as opposed to Tignes or Arlberg for example
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[quote="Bergmeister"]
Ultra wrote:
Is this a real post? Would a serious skier really say bye bye to the Alps, forego skiing to be massively out of pocket and travel home as Billy No Mates? Puzzled

Why sit in the house when you could be up a mountain? Puzzled

Or, if the skiing was as "easy" as described, why not put the proposed curtailment travel expenses towards the cost of a guide and get yourself off piste? Puzzled


If you ignored the Skiing and mountain part of it and was on a holiday that you hated so much after 3 days and you felt like you was in prison. Well what would you do. Yes i did think about spending money on guides etc. I just wanted to get out of the place. First time i have ever done that.
As explained 1 week later i was in Tignes. I could have paid for ski guides etc in Solden. That money went towards getting to France instead. Hand on heart, i still know i did exactly the right thing. As a piece of mind fo me now, i pay extra and do my researches big time on making sure i pick the right resorts. I've skied many places. Getting 1 bad one out of lots wasn't too bad i guess.

Corky wrote:
@Ultra, So come on then, spit it out, did you like the place or not? Toofy Grin
rofl 'er no' Toofy Grin
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@Ultra, so where else, other than Tignes, have you been?
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Steilhang wrote:
@Ultra, so where else, other than Tignes, have you been?


Well obviously Val D etc as its part of Espace Killy. Soll, Ischgl, Squaw Valley in the US, Meribell, Les Menuises and lots of places in Normay. I say Norway as i was in the military and did a lot of training there and skiied lots of unknown areas. I've done a bit in Austria in my early years but cant remember the names of them now (edit. I was around 13 at the time...Im now 4Cool That's why i was surprised i didn't like Solden as i like Austria.

In fact come to think of it, Solden doesn't look like Austria. Well not what i'm used to.
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I guess it feels like a bit of an overreaction when its just easier to avoid the knobs and do your own thing but when you've got the hump you've got the hump and no amount of what other people would do can change that. Never been to Solden but tempted to check it out if I ever get a Tirol Card because usually a resort for partying knobbers leaves some room for good off piste sniping.
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I went in Januaury and loved it. Nice range of skiiing some great views, Obergurgl a short bus ride away and covered on the ticket so ample skiing for a week. There was a lot of umpa apres about if thats your bag, its not mine. There was also clubbing and titty bars, agin if thats your bag, its not mine. I go away to ski eat and have a few drinks and I loved it.
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Is it just me who thinks the stories of loads of people getting on it after a hard day on the slopes...actually sounds brilliant?
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Pastorius,

"It" being the lap dancing! Very Happy Very Happy
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I've only felt like that once Ultra, and that was in flaine. I hated the place from the first day then I got ill, the group off piste lessons were shlte and I weren't a happy camper. I ditched the lessons and just went on my own hit the park and my mates joined me the day after as the lessons got worse. The last couple of days were much better. Generally it's not really the resort it's probably you, I don't mean to be rude you had a bad time and sometimes a little thing can bring your experience down and hate a resort. I'd never go back to flaine but would rather be there than no snowboarding at all. Solden is an all round good package we had a blast there, would I go back, probably though haven't yet.
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To be fair though, Flaine is a bit rubbish... Decent enough skiing, but otherwise characterless - I also had my worst ever mountain food there, a bowl of mush masquerading as soup that tasted lightly of stale dishwater and nowt else for 8 Euro!
That's why I'd stay in Samoens or Morrillon...
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