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Saas Fee

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buggybored Wed 19-Nov-14 22:00:18

We are in Saas Fee for Christmas week (first ever ski holiday for any of us...), staying at the Alphubel. Any tips/recommendations for non-ski activities, ski hire, restaurants etc. We have pre-booked lessons with Optimum. And does anything especially Christmassy happen at, well, Christmas?!

LIZS Thu 20-Nov-14 07:26:25

The Alphuebel will have their own activities , including music and fireworks but a Swiss Christmas can be pretty low key as they celebrate New Year more. The town swimming pool is very nice, you can toboggan down form the Hannig gondola. If you are beginners you will mainly be in the town for lunch, the best mountain restaurant I can think of is off a red run. The Alphuebel's sister hotel, Waldesruh (where you leave skis) and its associated No. 1 snow bar are fine as is one almost opposite the large Intersport ski shop in town, kind of perched over a gully ! There is a ski hire shop near the Waldesruh, adjacent to the hotel Ambassador iirc so you don't have far to carry them and can return with problems. Rates tend not to vary much. Have fun !

buggybored Thu 20-Nov-14 19:45:56

Thanks so much Lizs. I've read about a rotating restaurant on the mountain (near an ice grotto?) is it possible to get there by chairlift or similar without skiing?

LIZS Thu 20-Nov-14 20:22:46

You have to take a couple of underground funiculars (Alpin Express) , allow an hour or so to get up there as skiers will use it. It is at high altitude so cold and air thinner. Ice palace not that special tbh. On a clear day it is lovely but don't bother in cloud, wind or heavy snow.

slalomsuki Fri 21-Nov-14 12:52:02

They do a great fireworks display on the slope leading back to the bottom on Christmas Eve. Wrap up warm though as it's very cold at Christmas time.

Skiing is varied but beginners slopes are up high apart from the nursery slope in town. Make sure you go to the rotating restaurant at the top of the funicular even if it's just for hot chocolate.

Après ski bars are lively and friendly but in town. Shops are great but some very expensive ones.

machair Fri 21-Nov-14 20:22:42

be sure to try strudel and custard. There's also a delicious soup- gersten souppe?? When we were there, we had a go on a sort of a cart on rails on which you go really fast downhill and round corners (can't remember name) which was great fun. Remember it's high altitude so stay well hydrated and try to rest the first couple of days. Lovely place.

alicemalice Fri 21-Nov-14 20:25:19

The town is beautiful. I loved the Alphubel, in fact I think I went on LIZS' recommendation! It's not a swanky hotel or anything but the food and atmosphere was lovely.

buggybored Sat 22-Nov-14 20:36:22

Hoorah, people who've actually stayed at the Alphubel! Did your kids enjoy the kids' activities? Mine are 7 and 9 so am hoping it's not just very little 'uns - usually v relaxed about hols but am feeling under some pressure as first Xmas away from home! And how long would you allow to get from hotel to ski school in the morning (I'm beginning to regret booking with Optimum who start earlier than Swiss ski school...) and v dumb question about getting to this revolving restaurant, we will only have ski passes for the nursery slopes - is it possible just to rock up and buy a return ticket to go and have lunch there? Thank you

LIZS Sat 22-Nov-14 20:49:36

The hotel run an electro bus shuttle to the slopes between 8.30/9am and 10am ish ( they may do earlier on request), at lunchtime to drop/collect kids and at about 4pm. It is about a 15-20 minute walk , in normal shoes though not skiboots which you leave at the Waldesruh. You can buy single trip tickets for the revolving restaurant. The activities like pizza making, sled races , circus etc are suitable for most kids up to about 12 and the evening entertainments are for all, with younger kids having largely gone to bed but don't mention that on MN as kids often are left unsupervised in rooms, and there is a games room next to the restaurant. We went on recommendation, have been summer and winter --many times--and have recommended it. Accommodation is pretty basic but the food hot and plentiful and balcony views great.

buggybored Sat 22-Nov-14 23:08:47

Thanks so much. We don't need swanky accommodation just plentiful food for hollow legs and Christmassy feeling so sounds perfect!

lampygirl Sun 14-Dec-14 18:01:10

We'll also be out there Christmas week. You may find that you need a more extensive lift pass than just the nursery slopes depending on how quickly the kids progress in lessons. My first week skiing (no formal lessons, as OH's mum was a great teacher) I was up the mountain on day 3 and managed a red on the glacier (flatter than below the mid-station) by the end of the week. Took the gondola down though. You can buy day passes on the nursery slopes each day incase you feel you want to explore further later in the week.

I'd recommend the sledging run, particularly in the evenings on either a Tuesday or Thursday (only runs once but has 2 days incase of bad weather on one of the dates) great fun. It's not included on the lift pass though, you need to buy a ticket each run at night from the Hannig gondola station.

snowgirl1 Mon 29-Dec-14 17:26:06

Hey, buggybored we also were at the Alphubel Christmas week - it was great for kids wasn't it? Just wishing we'd had another week to enjoy all that powder that's fallen....

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