Soldeu has a lively après-ski scene, fuelled by Southern European sunshine, affordable alcohol and plenty of rowdy bars and pulsing nightclubs.
Fat Albert's (tel: +376 851 765; www.fat-albertssoldeu.com) is one of the most popular thanks to its live bands. It is located in one of the oldest surviving buildings in the village - an old cattle shed behind the Hotel Himalaya.
The Aspen Bar (tel: +376 851 974), in the resort centre, is another long standing favourite, with a lively atmosphere, big screen TVs and a great choice of drinks.
Although the bars are open all day and are busy as soon as the lifts close, serious partying typically starts at around 2300 (or 0100 for clubs) and lasts until 0300 (or 0400 for clubs).
There is a good range of restaurants in Soldeu, the majority of which are typically relaxed and affordable.
The Merlot Restaurant (tel: +376 370 002) is a popular choice, tucked away down a back street, it offers international cuisine to a good standard and has an extensive menu of local wines.
Restaurant Taverna de la iaia (tel: +376 851 321; www.facebook.com/tavernaiaiasoldeu) is a friendly tapas restaurant with joint English and Spanish management and a reputation for high quality cuisine at reasonable prices.
For a special dining experience, try the rustic La Llar de L'artesa (tel: +376 851 078), located about 2.5km (1.5 miles) up the road from the resort centre. With its open fire place in the corner, it’s like dining in a museum of Andorran heritage.
There are plenty of choices for fast food and pizza of course; Pizzeria L'Avet (tel: +376 739 325) is one of the most popular.
Beyond the slopes
As it continues its rapid expansion and diversification in to a year round resort, the range of things to do off the slopes in Soldeu and its neighbouring Grandvalira resort continues to grow.
As far as indoor activities go, the Sport Wellness Mountain Spa (tel: +376 870 510; www.sportwellness.ad) in Soldeu itself offers a swimming pool and spa complex that is the ideal spot to relax and be pampered. Meanwhile there’s a sports centre with an indoor ice rink in nearby Canillo. The complex also houses squash courts and a medium-sized indoor pool.
The usual ski resort activities of snowshoeing, snowmobiling and dog sledding are also available in the Grandvalira region. More adventurous visitors may want to try archery, rifle shooting, paintballing and paragliding. While over in Pas de La Casa, there's an ice-driving circuit visitors can tackle in either a car or a kart.
Soldeu has exceptionally good services for children, particularly on the slopes. As well as being designed to a high standard, its main distinction against the standard European ski resort offering is the resort’s staff, who are (in the vast majority of cases) both friendly and professional, with many speaking English as a first language.
A non-ski nursery in the resort accepts children aged from two to four. Special ski school classes, indoor facilities and play in a specially designed snow garden are also offered to children aged three and older - these facilities can be found at Espiolets on the mountain, reached by gondola from Soldeu.
Andorra's duty-free status makes it a budget shopper's mecca, particularly for normally highly taxed items such as alcohol, tobacco and perfume. Consumer electronics and fashion clothing are also widely available.
There is only a limited selection of shops in Soldeu, but many people make the short trip to the provincial capital La Vella to visit the wide-ranging shopping facilities, including its numerous department stores.
Book in for a day (or more) of professional pampering at the spectacular Caldea spa (tel: +376 800 999; www.caldea.com/) in nearby La Vella. Treatments here include chocotherapy (treatments involving being liberally smeared with chocolate), a range of massage packages and a thermal circuit.
There are some attractive, centrally located hotels in Soldeu, which, along with a range of modern apartments built in a traditional stone-clad style, create a rustic feel to the resort. There are also some chalets, though the choice isn't huge.
Hotel Vall Esquí
This modern, clean, 4-star hotel is on the outskirts of the resort, but it’s just a short walk to the centre. It features a good restaurant, relaxing spa, underground parking and games room. The quieter rooms are at the back and there’s a free shuttle to the gondola station.Address: , Crta General de França 16, Canillo, AD 100
Telephone: +376 851 546
Sport Hotels Resort & Spa
Rated 4-star, this cosy hotel in the village centre is right next to the gondola. It's all about luxury here, especially in the wonderful spa.Address: , Carretera General, Soldeu, AD 100
Telephone: +376 870 550
A 3-star hotel near the top of the village, Hotel Naudi has its own restaurant and bar and is decorated in a traditional style.Address: , Carretera General, Soldeu, AD 100
Telephone: +376 739 300
Boasting an enviable location just 50m (164ft) from the slopes, guests at Hotel Bruxelles are also allowed to leave their equipment overnight in lockers at the base of the gondola – making their commute even easier. The hotel is perhaps not the best choice for light sleepers however, due to thin walls and noisy nearby bars.Address: , Carretera General, Soldeu, AD 100
Telephone: +376 851 010
Hotel Roc de Sant Miquel
This partly British-run hotel is not only affordable but has a good restaurant too, and is just a short walk from the main gondola station.Address: , Carretera General, Soldeu, AD 100
Telephone: +376 346 791
Hotel del Clos
Located in El Tarter, the Alpine-style Hotel del Clos is a decent budget stay near the foot of the slopes with well-appointed rooms, an open air terrace and on-site restaurant.Address: , Ctra. General nº2, Placeta del Tartar, El Tarter, AD 100
Telephone: +376 753 500
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