Review of Saas-Fee
Visited 11-18 March 2017. We had a great ski holiday, good snow and 6 days of very warm weather. The snow held up well except at village level. Some helpful comments below, I hope. We are experienced skiers.
We purchased what we thought was a ski pass which covered the 3 Saas ski areas only to discover that it did not cover Saas-Grund; we could not upgrade the pass and were expected to pay for a full day ticket if we wanted to ski Saas-Grund. Why Saas-Grund is not covered is beyond me, so make sure you buy the pass you want. As a result we did not ski Saas-Grund.
The place is eye-wateringly expensive - £350 for a six day lift ticket for uplift that has barely set foot in the 21st Century! We accept it is Switzerland and expensive for everything you buy, but it’s not value for money.
The uplift is stuck in the 20th century with the exception of the new Spielbodenbahn Gondola and a 6 man chair at Marenia. The amusingly named Alpin Express is very slow, surely it could go faster? Getting around is hard work with lots of walking to get to lifts, particularly through tunnels. Cable cars, of which there are several, are not my favourite type of ski uplift.
The skiing is enjoyable although it can be a bit stop/start in places where you ski along tracks to the next downhill section (notably in Saas-Almagell). The black/red home run (11 a & b) from Langfluh late in the day is not much fun on tired legs, especially if you have to negotiate skiers who perhaps should not be going this way. We spent a day in Saas-Almagell; it was worth a visit, especially if you fancy an easier day’s skiing. The bus connections were good.
Information and piste marking seems to be an alien concept in Saas-Fee with hardly any signposts and no large scale maps at the top of lifts so you can plan your route. All the pistes are excitingly named with numbers!
The refurbished Eispavillion is worth a visit and quite an experience to walk around in the depths of a glacier viewing various ice sculptures.
On the mountain there are lots of photo opportunities and activities (downhill, slaloms etc) under the name of the Adrenalin Cup. The photos and videos of your activities can be accessed online for free. This was a good fun initiative.
There is a very nice modern bar & terrace at the top of Plattjen which specialises in Rosti. On a hot sunny day it’s a great place to stop. We saw chamois, choughs & bearded vultures whilst there. The new self service restaurant complex at the top of the Morenia lift was excellent - this was definitely 21st century.
The village is quite lively near the slopes in the early evening with several bars but apart from the old barns dotted about, it did not leave a lasting impression on us. As for being car free - we found the electric cars a bit of a nuisance, especially as they do not seem to have a horn to warn you of their presence.
We stayed in Hotel Alphubel at the far end of the village near the car park. If you are looking for a very friendly, child welcoming, family run, reasonably priced hotel then it is to be recommended. They provided a taxi service to/from the main lifts and had free lockers for your gear by the slopes.
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FredTrott 4 Apr 2017
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