The new year is already in full flow and we can’t believe where the time has gone! Our team have been living in our resorts since the end of November so there’s been plenty of time to settle in and find their way around their beautiful new homes.
Jeni, Olivia and Ella are your Andorra experts, here solely for your benefit and to make sure your trip is just perfect. Their passion and experience in making holidays special is second to none. They are out, hitting the slopes, bars and restaurants every day to ensure there’s no stone uncovered, and we can tell you anything you need to know! Here are some questions we asked the team earlier this week…
Now that you have been living here for just over two months, what are you loving most about Andorra so far?
Ella; It may sound cliché, but I’m loving everything! Andorra is a great place to live. It’s small enough that you really know the area but big enough that there’s always something or somewhere new to explore. The people here are also really friendly and there’s a real family feel to life in resort. Catalan food is amazing too which helps, plus there are so many restaurants in Grandvalira, I don’t think I’d ever be able to visit them all! It’s a great mix of Spanish, English and French language here too, so I can practice new languages without getting overly confused! All in all, I love living in Andorra – how could you not love waking up to the mountains every day?
Olivia; I love the fact that my job involves skiing every day and being up on the mountain! It means that my skiing ability is improving, and I am becoming more confident in myself. As well as this, all the people that work in Arinsal are incredibly friendly and would go out of their way to make sure you are taken care of. Everyone seems to work together as one big team to make sure the season is the best it can be.
Jeni; I love everything about Andorra, it’s such a safe and clean place. I am still amazed waking up every day in the beauty of the mountains. This is my third season living in Arinsal and it’s starting to feel like there’s no where else I am supposed to live! Discovering the different sectors this year through my job with Andorra Resorts is a huge highlight.
If you weren’t here in Andorra working with Andorra Resorts, what would you be doing?
Ella; I previously worked in marketing at a tour operator before moving on to work for the UK’s largest independent travel agency, again in marketing. My previous roles saw me doing everything from making TV adverts to writing copy for brochures to looking after the company’s social media channels – something which has come in useful whilst working for Andorra Resorts. So, in short, at home I would be working in travel marketing. There’s something so special about working in the travel industry because you, quite literally, get to witness people’s dreams come true every day. I’m so lucky to work in an industry I absolutely love!
Olivia; I have done ski seasons prior to working for Andorra Resorts as I love life on the mountain! Therefore, I would most likely have gone to another ski resort and looked for a similar role in tourism and hospitality as I enjoy working in customer service. Before being a resort representative for Andorra Resorts, I have also worked in digital advertising doing project management and running social media campaigns.
Jeni; I have to say that if I wasn´t working with Andorra Resorts, I would still have to be here in Andorra! Luckily, this feels like the best job in the world, so I feel very blessed every single day. I have worked all over Europe and Australia in travel and tourism and customer service roles, so I would be working with people, trying to enhance their trip in some way.
When you’re not on the mountain, where are we likely to find you?
Ella; Probably out and about in resort! I love heading to Paddy’s or Underground in Pas de la Casa after a day on the slopes as their food is so good. Or you’ll find me in Aspen in Soldeu village having a drink with friends. My friend has a dog called Nemo and I love to take him out for walks too – not having my dogs here is one of the only downsides to living abroad. Other than that, you’ll find me at home resting my ski legs, watching Netflix or reading a good book.
Olivia; Enjoying the various après options around resort! There will always be people in the different bars enjoying the discount offers on the food and drink, playing table football or pool, or singing along to karaoke. When people aren’t on the mountain, everyone loves to socialise!
Jeni; This year the only place I really want to be is the mountain! But a very close second would be inside the Hotel Princesa Park spa. A little insider tip I have learnt is that if you go in the daytime you will have the whole place to yourself and its absolute bliss! For some reason they seem to have the best coffee here too, so I always have one after. Unless you want to really spoil yourself and have a cocktail in the Aquarium bar while you watch the tropical fish swim beneath your glass.
Give us an example of your perfect day in Andorra.
Ella; Wow, tough question! There are so many perfect days to be had in Grandvalira. Can I have two?!
One day would be skiing from Soldeu to El Tarter, Encamp, Canillo and Peretol. Peretol has a new skiable area this year and the Solanelles XL blue run is one of my favourite runs of the season so far – it’s really long so you really get chance to practice your turns and just have fun on the piste for a while without the need for another chairlift ride. The Rossinyol blue run in Canillo is another slope I love – it was even voted as one of Europe’s most scenic runs, which isn’t hard to believe once you’ve skied it! I’d stop off for après at Iqos in El Tarter or for a mojito at Veuve Clicquot bar in Soldeu, then head for dinner at Cort de la Popaire in Soldeu village, possibly one of my favourite restaurants ever.
On another day I’d ski Pas de la Casa and Grau Roig. Grau Roig is arguably one of the most stunning areas of Grandvalira and there are always some new ‘wow’ moments every time I visit – the views from the top of the Llac del Cubil chairlift never get old. I’d stop off for lunch at Refugi del Llac de Pessons Restaurant, accessible via the Cami de Pessons run, another of my favourite runs in Grandvalira. The views are incredible and so far, the snow conditions have been great. Then I’d carry on into Pas de la Casa, taking the red Llac run into the town centre as the piste is so scenic and I love the way it veers back on itself as you head down the slope. Then I’d head for après at Pas 83 and have dinner at Bo & Gola – the food there is incredible!
Olivia; An idea of a perfect day for me would be in my hometown of Arinsal. My favourite run here must be the red Tub Estadi which you can take from the top of the El Coll drag lift. The views of the mountain from the top of this run are phenomenal and are a great photo opportunity! This run starts off quite wide for you to practice your turns if you are getting your ski legs back, and then ends with a gradual halfpipe towards the bottom for your adrenaline seekers. After a long morning of skiing, Refugi is always a favourite to end up in for lunch – their tandoori chicken curry washed down with a Bailey’s hot chocolate is always my go to!
Jeni; As a snowboarder, I find early starts on the mountains can be a little hard packed before the morning sun. My perfect day would be a little lie in and breakfast at Coffee Mountain in Arinsal, and then a day in Arcalis. I even love the drive there, like a route to Narnia! I know the resort well so I can spend some time leisurely sliding around, there´s a great mix of runs, from a super long green run with breath-taking views, to the wildness of the freeride area! I would stop on the way back for a late daytime three-course menu from Gaspers in Ordino and then a few well-deserved beers. To be honest, every day is a perfect day in Andorra. If you have anything to ask our team, get in touch with us today, or come and visit them and ask them in person. We can’t wait to meet you in our resorts soon.