Bad Hofgastein is old spa resort in the centre of one of Austria's largest ski areas, the Gastein Valley. The area is famous
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Italy’s Bardonecchia has been named the cheapest family ski resort this winter
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Not a big resort compared to alpine resorts but the place was OK for a couple of days. A very busy and popular place at the heart of winter just after Christmas time. Services are alright however I have to admit that the pricing is unjustifiable. Very expensive lift pass. Buying a daily (or weekend) pass is quite expensive compared to other ski resorts in the Czech Republic and across the borders in Germany Italy and France. The town itself this charming and has a good selection of hotels and restaurants offering perfect value for money.
Quick access to the slopes from various different hotels and chalets within the area. Plenty of different slopes in various different colours and a local ski school too. The variety of shops isn't huge, it's pretty much limited too; restaurants, cafes, bars, ski shops and the occasional Spar. Cafes and restaurants are spread out all over the slopes. So even when your at the top of a mountain your never too far away from a warm drink. Prices in the area are considerably higher than other more populated areas so if you are self catering I would recommend purchasing what you can well before you reach the resort. The area covered by the ski lift passes is very large and you could easily spend a week here without having to ski down the same slopes twice.
Snow cannons never work, and although the temperatures are very low all week, there is no snow and slopes are full of stones. For some reason the slopes are not cleaned at all in the night - in the morning you come to the same mess of moguls from yesterday. I saw the machines parked but no sign of them being put to use. The queues are horrible too, and we heard from people that there has been no water at all in part of the hotels for 3 days.
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