Review of Pila

2nd January 2009 by Adrian Singleton 

My wife and I stayed in Pila in late January 2008.

We travelled with Crystal and their rep in the resort was excellent, sorting out any concerns immediately and effectively without any fuss.(My wife mislaid the vouchers for the ski passes.) Having only ever skied together for the last previous 4 seasons in Bulgaria we were pleasantly surprised to find that Pila has the hands free passes which only require you to place them in a pocket and forget them; no more dropped gloves or problems with bent passes.

The lift system was excellent and virtually queue free except weekends and then only a 5 minute wait. No drag lifts in sight, easily accessible chairlifts or walk on belts for beginners.
The snow conditions couldn’t have been better, clear blue skies during the day with light snowfall at night, in combination with the excellent piste grooming and no crowds. You could cruise the slopes comfortably and safely.

The Scuola di Ski di Pila was extremely well run with group sizes of around 6-8; you felt you were getting your money’s worth of individual teaching.
Whilst Pila has no major difficult runs for expert skiers, for intermediates like my wife and I the ski area is excellent with enough challenging runs to help you improve your technique without feeling as though you are getting out of our depth.

We stayed at the Chalet Des Alpes, a small family run Hotel as you just enter Pila at the side of the nursery slopes. Excellent food and friendly staff and when not misty, what views! On clear days from your balcony, depending on which side of the hotel your room faces you can see all the way to Mont Blanc or the Matterhorn, and at night the valley is lit up with the lights from Aosta Town.
This hotel, like most in Pila, is definitely ski in/out. You come up the steps from the ski locker room straight onto the sledge area but you can ski down the hill to 1 chairlift or the moving carpet which takes you up to the gondola exit and another chairlift to access the rest of the resort.

Pila is certainly not for those wishing for discos or nightclubs but for a very good family ski holiday or a couples/friends looking for good skiing and relaxing evenings to unwind in a bar, Pila can not be beaten.
And if you wish a day or afternoon off from skiing you can always travel the gondola down into Aosta to the beautiful old Roman town with Roman ruins and cobbled streets, for a spot of sightseeing or shopping.
For those looking for a bargain, next to the gondola in Aosta is a large hypermarket but remember the gondola closes at 5 pm and taxis back up to Pila are not cheap.

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