Since I've skied all my life, I've also visited quite a lot of ski locations-mainly in Italy. But Val Gardena is by far the most beautiful of them all.
First, the three little towns-or villages- Ortisei, Selva and St.Cristina are beautiful, just like in a fairytale. I couldn't tell which is the most charming.
In Ortisei you have the pool complex, the old town-pedestrian area and lots of little shops. As for the skiing, from Ortisei you can climb to the Alpe di Suisi which is, for me, the best area in Val Gardena to ski on.The slopes are numerous, wide, neat and not crowded at all. There were some points where me and my boyfriend were the only ones skiing! Recommendation- The Mount Piz hotel and restaurant- nice, cosy, helpful staff and..I don't know why, but had kind of the best vibe.
From St.Cristina you can connect to Sella Ronda complex of ski slopes, which is, for me, overrated. The slopes are narrow, a lot of walking with skis on your shoulder is required and very crowded. But, if you go to Val Gardena, you must make at least one round of Sella Ronda. It lasts around 3-4 hours.
In Selva there are more fancy shops and hotels.
As for the apres sci, there are a couple of bars, but work only from 4-7p.m. The delis and all the shops as well. So, you have to rearrange your time very carefully and plan everything because after the skiing you have only 2-3 h to shop the souvenirs, have a drink at the bar and buy the groceries.
And the restaurants are open only from 12-3 and again from 5,6-8,9. So, if you wanna have a lunch at 2-tough luck :-)
Also, they have a tourist info in St.Cristina which supposedly works 24/7, but doesn't really. The gas station as well.
And all the hotels have wellnesses only for the hotel guests. But in Ortisei there is the pool complex with sauna and indoor and outdoor pool.
All in all, beautiful, charming, people polite, talk a bit strange but that's their dialect, wonderful skiing and- what else can you ask for?
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC