Andorra is the capital of active lifestyle in Europe. Every trip we’ve taken no matter the season its hard to stay in the hotel because the mountains are constantly calling: hiking, cycling, running, trekking and skiing are to be had in abundance.
Thankfully the mountains are so steep and majestic, one is never more than a few minutes away from complete immersion in nature. Andorra’s local chain known as sport hotels started actually as a ski equipment vendor, but over the years added apartments, spas, shops and restaurants. Following the lead of Europe’s best ski centers it is now one of the most revered places to stay and Sport Hermitage in Soldeu is their 5 star pride and joy.
We were anxious to visit this hotel years ago when we spotted it in a hotel guide book somewhere along our travels. The wood and stone lodge looked luxurious and relaxing with Jacuzzis and pools overlooking alpine slopes in the background was a blissful selling point.
Andorra is not too difficult to navigate as there are just a few main roads in the country. We arrived to the town of Soldeu and the Sport Hotel complex is easily visible from the street. A doorman sprung into action, tagging our bags and parking the car. We were given a nice upgrade and the room was made ready for us much earlier than the check in time.
Because of the mountain layout the hotel is longer than it is wide. Also the lobby is the top floor and rooms are all underneath.
Since it is built into the mountain all 120 rooms face the gorgeous ski slopes of Grandvalira which just beckon the adrenaline rush to get started. In summertime the attached golf course is an equally visual stimulus.
The room was the essence of cozy. It had thick carpeting, drapes, furniture and nice heating. The bathroom had beautiful stone and top-quality fixtures. The amenities were Aqua Di Parma, an amazing Italian brand I’ve only seen in a handful of elite properties. Nespresso and some delectable chocolates were left as a courtesy, all the trimmings of high European good life.
There is a fantastic porch area outside the room to take in the view, but on chillier days (or any day really) one must get down to the 3 level spa. This is an experience within an experience.
The Spa has two central pools with dozens of massage jets and water therapy spots. There is an upper level with Jacuzzis and a middle level with 5 types of sauna, steam or otherwise thermal rooms. The floor to ceiling windows for 3 floors draw the mountain right into the room while tiles and artwork adorn the rest.
The hotel’s philosophy is that of one integrated experience. This is why there are four restaurants, grand fireplace and bar areas, a connected rental shop and the town’s central Gondola lift all in one place.
The daily breakfast is hosted in the main restaurant where we also had dinner service. The variety and quality of foods was like a who’s who of top Spanish and French breakfast cuisine.
As we booked half board it was a little upsetting that they could not accommodate our meal request for lunchtime, but dinner was nevertheless extravagant in all the best ways.
As someone who savors every moment on the mountain I can have, but craving world class amenities, food, wellbeing and relaxation a two-minute walk from the lifts I can’t imagine a more perfect hotel in a true cathedral of nature.