The Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira, A Family-Friendly Design Hotel

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When I saw that our hotel was set in a Spanish mini-mall, I was not exactly thrilled.  After all, I was expecting a 5-star design hotel. Once we were through the revolving doors, however, the Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira was full of surprises.  A luxury hotel that was a design hotel and also very family-friendly? Now, if only more hotels could achieve that balance, I would be a happy family traveller.

Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira

The Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira

We chose Val de Neu because of its location and its amenities. OK, those reasons were what attracted my husband. As for me, I also liked having a contemporary design hotel after years of traditional ski lodges.  A member of a small group of Spanish hotels, the Hotel Val de Neu ticked most of our boxes.  We really liked it!

The Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira
The entrance to the Val de Neu inside the mini-mall threw us for a loop.

I’ve created a story on Steller about the Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira which has proved pretty popular with over 9000 views.  Check out how gorgeous this hotel is!

Location

Hotel Val de Neu is part of a small complex on the Val de Ruda in the Baqueira section located at 1500 meters.  There are two other hotels, a Haagen-Daz store, a little supermarket, a handful of ski rental stores and boutiques and an apres-ski joint. The whole bit was covered and heated like a little mini-mall which was why I was surprised when I first saw it.

Basically Val de Ruda is only this little complex and a group of apartment-style ski lodges on the other side of the street.

The great part about the apres ski?  Parents could hang out with a drink while the children were messing around in the mini-mall nearby.  No  need to hire a babysitter.  On Saturday night, the bar had live music as well.

après ski in baqueira in Spain
I have to admit that ordinarily I would find this many children hellish. Spanish kids tend to be better behaved than their English counterparts though.

The hotel is located right near the ski gondola and the place where you buy your ski pass. The hotel Val de Neu has lockers near the gondola as well.  You don’t need to cart your skis and boots on the 5 minutes it talks to walk the 50 yards to the gondola.  If you have children, you know that 5 minute walk can feel like an eternity when they are tired and whiny.  At the lockers, the staff hand out cereal bars for snacks which I found a thoughtful touch.

If you drive (and I strongly urge you to do so), there is a hotel car park right underneath the building.

Amenities

There is a kids’ club at the Hotel Val de Neu. It’s got a climbing frame, some PS3 games and lots of arts and crafts. There is also a small pool (more like a giant bathtub) which was pretty crowded with crazy kids jumping in the water.  My son also complained that the water was not heated.  I know, I know.  We were there for Easter and the kids’ club organised a Easter Egg Hunt in which many of the kids at the hotel participated.  The language of chocolate spoke to all kids, even my too-cool-for-kids-clubs kids.

The Spa at the hotel is available for over-16’s only and has treatment rooms, soaking areas and relaxing areas. As you would expect from my spa-loving self, I had a massage which was pretty good.

The Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira
A hot tub with a view.

You have to pay €40 extra to enter the Spa area which I thought was annoying.  On the other hand, the Spa had a great selection of whirlpool baths, including an outdoor one, which was perfect for soothing away aching muscles.  I’ve read that many of the hotels in the area charge for using their spa even for their hotel guests.

There is a tiny gym which I did see people using.  If you are skiing, however, I would have thought it was exercise enough!

Rooms

Our room was a duplex.  The downstairs area has a sofa which turned into a large bed for the children.  Upstairs is the open-plan bedroom and bathroom.  When the sofa bed is opened though, you don’t have much room to navigate the downstairs area.  As you would expect from a luxury hotel, both beds were very comfortable.

We noted that there is a connecting door to the next room.  Larger families would find the layout very convenient.  While we only had a large walk-in shower, I know there are bathrooms with bathtubs so if your children need a bathtub you should specifically request it.

The upstairs roof was pitched with dormer windows (and blackout blinds which would be necessary because the Spanish sleep late).  You really got the sense of being in a little chalet which presumably was the idea of dormer windows.

Restaurants

The hotel has four restaurants – El Bistro for casual  meals, El Bosque for fine dining, La Fondue if you miss your Alps melted cheese experience and a restaurant for children.

The Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira
A quick lunch at the casual bistro.

My children felt the kiddie buffet was beneath their dignity but I stopped by for a look.   It was basically a converted conference room with a buffet of usual children’s favourites.  What did I find funny?  The kiddie buffet was served early as per the usual custom.  Early in Spanish dinner time meant 8pm-10pm.    The children were pretty young – 7 and under – I would say.  When my kids were aged 7 and under they were in bed fast asleep by 8pm.

The Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira
Yes, you can have sweets for the kids laid out stylishly.

We had lunch at El Bistro and dinner at El Bosque both of which were excellent. El Bosque let us have a kiddie menu at our table for my daughter.

The Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira
My son ordered steak at El Bosque.

Overall Assessment

Service at the hotel was excellent.  All the staff spoke English ranging from excellent to passable.  We don’t speak Spanish but had no problems communicating.

The Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira
You don’t have to crane your neck trying to flag down a waiter!

The WiFi was excellent.  It reached the rooms, the spa and restaurants well.  Ironically?  The one place we did not have good WiFi was our upstairs loft bedroom.  Very annoying but it did stop us from playing with our electronics late into the night.

There were lots of thoughtful little touches.  For example, when our taxi service didn’t show up a couple of times, the hotel driver took us to our destinations.  Every afternoon, bottles of water and little sweet treats were left in our room.  When we left, they gave us bottles of water and snacks for the kids for the transfer to the airport.

Other Hotel Options in Baqueira

There were two other hotels that were part of this complex on the Val de Ruda.  The AC Baqueira is part of the Marriott chain and is likewise 5-star.  It doesn’t have the same large spa complex though that Val de Neu does. The 4-star Himalaia, the third hotel, is likewise contemporary in style.  I personally would not pick either hotel over the Hotel Val de Neu.

A look at family-friendly ski hotels in Baqueira Spain

Tanau, another part of Baqueira, is higher up the mountain.  Located at 1700 meters, Tanau peers over the Val de Ruda hotels and the rest of the valley.  Although Tanau has its own set of villas and a couple of hotels, restaurants and stores,  this hamlet is equally tiny and has its own ski lift.  It is marginally famous for having the villa of the Spanish royal family.  The Melia Royal Tanau is the 5-star family-friendly hotel.  Ironically, I don’t find it as convenient because of it’s lack of mini-mall setting.

The Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira
The road that runs through Tanau. Yeah, that’s it.

Chalet Eira is owned by a British couple and is popular with English-speakers.  They also have their own ski school located on the premises, the Baqueira British Ski School.  A quick look in the hotel convinced us that it was a little piece of Britain transplanted into the Spanish Pyrenees.

Other hotels in Val de Neu in Baqueira
The Eira calls itself a style-hotel. Not sure how that is different from a design hotel.

The Chalet Eira rates are half-board so you don’t actually need to have any interaction with the locals if you so wish. When we went next door to the fabulous little restaurant, Tanau Sabor, we found lots of English people having their Chicken Tikka Masala curry fix.  In addition to the hotel rooms, they have several self-catering 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.

Our Opinion of the Hotels in Baqueira

We didn’t know much about the Baqueira-Beret resort before we went skiing there over Easter. We loved the resort, however, and plan on returning next year.  So, we made a point of checking out all of our hotel options for a future trip.

You can stay elsewhere in the Val d’Aran and still ski at Baqueira-Beret.  With children in tow, I am not a fan of this idea.  When my kids get tired, it’s like when the battery on my iPhone dies. It goes red for a few minutes, you can quickly plug it in or it’s kaput in short order.  My kids seem to have a very little gap from tired to cranky annoying dead-tired. I need to order downtime for them quickly for all of our sanities.

We’ve decided that we love the Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira for all the reasons that we first picked – a luxury, family-friendly design ski hotel in a great location.  We also love the hotel for some more reasons that we did not know until we got to experience it – excellent and friendly service, the churros, and, yes, the convenience of a mini-mall.  The American is strong within me, I fear.

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21 thoughts on “The Hotel Val de Neu in Baqueira, A Family-Friendly Design Hotel”

  1. Sounds like a great stay – I can see why Hotel Val de Neu has appeals especially for traveling with a family. I love that they took such good care of you; I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a hotel in a shopping mall before, but sounds like it put you close to everything, so why not!!

    1. Me either. I guess it’s sensible to have everything covered when it’s cold and snowy outside. Lot less shovelling and slipping on ice.

  2. I absolutely love skiing but have only had one lesson in my whole life and can basically get down the slope in one piece but hardly gracefully >< As a result, I think I'd like to hang in that spa a lot and secretly, I want to hang out in that kids room too!

  3. A hotel in a shopping mall… I too would have some concerns, but I guess it worked out pretty well as the hotel looks great. I have never been to Spain and this would be an option for me when I do visit. I like the look of the hotel. And yes, definitely would love to spend some time in the hot tub.

  4. It seems you had a great stay. I agree paying £40 for using spa facility inside the hotel where you are staying is annoying, but I think the outdoor pool helped you to forget about all problems

  5. The area looks lovely and the hotel seems like a great choice to stay. I like that it is both family friendly but still still maintains an adults only respite in the day spa for relaxing.

  6. The hotel looks super comfortable and the food looked amazing. What a great place to soak away your stress in that spa area! Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration!

  7. The hot tub with the view looks really amazing! And the lunch wrap looks delicious.. Very convenient the hotel is located close to the gondola, walking in ski shoes isn’t comfortable at all;-)

    1. Walking in ski boots is the worst! My husband had a pair made to fit and he loves them. But the rental ones just leave me bruised.

      1. I know! I bought new shoes this year and the first 2 days I was in so much pain. After that I think the nerves pretty much just died or gave up complaining because I wouldn’t take the shoes off anyway… Ah well, the offers you have to make to go skiing;-)

  8. There is a restaurant in Singapore that uses the same ‘press for a waiter’ system, and I have to say I really prefer it! I feel less stressed without a waiter having to watch over me all the time, and I’m sure they prefer doing other things without worrying about missing someone’s flagging.

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