Just returned from our 2nd visit to the Solineu apartments in La Molina for a week of skiing.
Comparing both visits -
Pros - Lovely apartments, spacious and well equipped (no kettle though so boil in a saucepan or bring your own). TV and DVD player with a library of DVD's to borrow from reception at no cost. Staff very nice and friendly. Car park included in cost although can a little tricky getting in and out if not confident about driving.
Cons - The rooms are incredibly noisy due to the floors being terracotta tile. After last year we paid extra for a room on the top floor so that we could avoid having anyone above us. We had been unfortunate to have the noisiest family above us in 2010 who enjoyed it seemed dropping marbles along the floor at all times of the day and night which became torturous by the end of the week, along with dragging chairs constantly. The down pipe from the shower and toilet also must have passed the head of our bed as the noise of the water passing by our heads every time the toilet was flushed or the shower used became really annoying also. We did complain to reception who had a word with them - there was a slight improvement but only slight, and I doubt it would have been noise free as noise in the building travels.
Each apartment has a dining table and chair and on the tiled floor, every time a chair is pulled out the scrape of the chair on the tiles travels to other apartments.This year (same as last year) we could hear chairs scraping all the time and I think this was from the apartment below us. I imagine if you are lucky and have adults that they would notice this and carefully place a chair, but on both visits I think we had children in the offending rooms and so could do nothing but listen to the constant load scraping of the chairs - This year we were saved from sleeping next to the water down pipe thank goodness (benefit of being on the top floor).
On our first night the corridors were filled with excited and screaming children and whilst we put up with it there was obviously some very unhappy people who chose to come out and try to get them to be quiet. It helped but as the floors in the rooms are all tiled, the noise travels and it was still noisy even after his attempt.
This year however, there was a dreadful smell in our apartment in the bathroom a really nasty drain smell, the type you can get sometimes in Europe. We bought some toilet cleaner to leave in overnight and while out in the day which helped, but despite this it was still smelly and we couldn't get rid of it. We didn't mention this to reception as we felt we had no chance of being moved having previously queried the fact that there were only single beds in the apartment when we had expected a double in the main room and had not been offered a change as the other apartments were bigger than the one we had paid for.
Ah yes.....also, the radiators were cold and there was a huge amount or air in the system rising up from below. My husband cleared the air from the radiators on a daily basis so that we could have some heating.
Another thing which was the same as last year - get in the shower as soon as you come in from the slopes. The pressure is great, and the water beautifully hot. However, it does not last and at some point (sorry, can't tell you when) the hot water runs out and you will be in for a tepid unpleasant shower. We tried to shower once after dinner at about 7p.m by which time the water was tepid. When we went to bed at 10p.m my husband commented that it still was not hot.
After the first day the excited children settled but be warned that the chairs will still scrape and you will be woken each morning if someone in an apartment above or below (possibly neighbouring also) gets up early. You will only need an alarm if you want to get up before others. Do not stay hear if you like to lie in or go to bed early - it is a ski resort after all and so I guess you shouldn't be lying in bed anyway, but definitely worth knowing :-)
There is a spa area with a sauna steam room and something else I think. Last year it smelt very drainy in the area and when I went to have a look it did not look that inviting with bits floating on the water of a small pool inside the door. It seems it was the place that the kids were using more so than the adults for some apres ski fun. This year it smelt a little better although more chlorinated but did not go in to see if it was any more inviting than in 2010, so am unable to comment other than to say that the entrance looked clean.
We didn't eat in the hotels own pasta restaurant as last year it was pretty bad with my food arriving cold and my daughter being ill afterwards, but it looks inviting. The restaurants either side of the hotel though are excellent....
Don't book ski's at the hotel as you will have to walk to the slopes with them. Instead if you walk down to the lift Alp 2500 there is a ski hire shop within metres of the chair lift. On both occasions they were very helpful indeed and it is possible to leave ski's and boots overnight after skiing so no having to walk in ski boots or carry skis - lovely! Not sure if the prices are the same so if cheaper the hire at the hotel then perhaps you won't mind the walk with equipment.
I'm not generally a really fussy person, but these do have to be the noisiest apartments I have ever stayed in, would I stay again? Possibly as there is little choice in La Molina and the rooms are a good size and generally clean.
If you are going with the family I reckon you will be pleased enough with the apartments, but if you hate constant noise early morning or evening then you may the place frustrating.
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