Grau Roig Andorra Boutique Hotel & Spa
What We Love
- Direct access to more than 125 miles of ski slope for all levels
- A dedicated "Wine Theatre" lounge holding over 300 bottles
- Deluxe spa for soothing après-ski aches and pains
- Plush, contemporary rooms with mountain views
What To Know
- The nearest airports are Toulouse and Barcelona (both around 2.5 hours away)
- The hotel is just 30 feet from the lifts at Grandvalira ski resort
- Kids are welcome, but there are restrictions, like not being allowed in the spa after 6 p.m.
- Lighting controls in rooms can be frustrating — the light switch for the bathroom is next to the bed
- Big on outdoor sports; little by way of culture or nightlife
- Free WiFi
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Hotel Grau Roig Andorra (the name means “red mountain” in Catalan, and it refers to the area’s spectacular sunsets) has long been known as the jewel of the tiny principality. Surrounded by the Pyrenees, with just 42 sleekly designed rooms, it’s a grown-up getaway, particularly if you like to combine the great outdoors with excellent food and fabulous wine (the cellar was voted one of the best in the Pyrenees by Michelin). The hotel started out as a mountain refuge in 1965 but slowly converted into a luxe retreat. Now, all rooms feature hot tubs and Bvlgari amenities, while Romantic Rooms come with cavernous tubs made from wooden barrels. The main restaurant (and breakfast spot) is La Marmita, an intimate dining room with spacious white cloth-covered tables, stone walls, and the reassuring buzz of conversation. Drinking spots include the Wine Theatre lounge, for private dinners paired with exceptional wines; the Jazz Lounge, a warm, candlelit room for chilling out; and La Vaqueria, a salon-style bar with access to a terrace that looks out at the hills. Of course, every self-respecting mountain hotel needs a good spa, and Grau Roig’s comes with a pool, hot tub, Finnish sauna and hammam, as well as treatment rooms. Slipping into the cooling waters of the indoor pool followed by a massage and a glass of fizz is a perfect way to round off a day on the slopes.
In the Area
Get off the beaten path with the hotel’s highly knowledgeable private guides, who know the region’s best ski spots and hiking routes. Enjoy free wine tastings in the Jazz Lounge (Tuesday and Saturday, subject to availability) hosted by top-flight French and Spanish wineries; blind tastings are also available through master sommelier Leo Rosas. The town of Les Escaldes is named for its hot sulphuric springs. Soak up their restorative powers at the futuristic Caldea Spa. At an altitude higher than 6,500 feet, the Jeremy Pern–designed golf course at Gran Valira Soldeu is the highest in Europe, with a backdrop of craggy peaks and sapphire-blue skies.
How to Get There
My husband and I stayed at Grau Roig in January 2019 in a superior double room with a view of the slopes for 7 nights.
Overall, this is a wonderful, luxurious skiing hotel that ticks a lot of boxes. The room and bathroom were both gorgeous and inviting and had all necessary amenities, the ski room was good (although I could imagine it being a bit too small and crowded in high season) and the hotel was pretty much ski-in/ski-out. Amenity-wise, the only negative was that there was no water kettle in room.
Service was excellent; pro-active and friendly across the board (reception, restaurant, bars). On the morning of our departure, they even dug out our car from underneath a mountain of accumulated snow (thank you!)
Food-wise, we were on half-board which entitled us to order ANYTHING of the normal à la carte menu without an extra surcharge. The half-board option included a surprise amuche bouche (usually a soup), a starter, a main and a dessert. Fondue was also an option. (The fondue has its own menu and isn’t particularly advertised for some reason). Portions were massive and tasty and many of them came lathered in liberal mounds of fresh truffle (again, no extra charge). The kitchen was amenable and open to tweaking portions and doing stuff from outside the menu as well. (I, for example, ordered a dessert from the children's menu one evening and asked for a simple pasta dish with prawns and veggies another evening). So would definitely recommend booking the half-board option as it's fantastic.
We also did the Wine Theatre experience, which was nice but perhaps not strictly necessary since the food was equally good during all the other evenings. It did, however, provide us with the option to be seated downstairs by the wine cellar and have a look around with the friendly sommelier. We were the only couple doing the Wine Theatre experience that evening.
Breakfast was very good. It included delicious freshly squeezed orange juice, bread and pastries, cakes, various Spanish hams, local cheeses, youghurts and cereals, fruits and strawberries, various egg dishes, bacon etc, as well as hot drinks (served to the table) and a DIY bar of cava, red wine and white wine (!). I appreciated the fact that they’d included local touches to the breakfast. The only small niggle was that all the warm dishes were unfortunately pretty cold.
When looking at the hotel website, you get the impression that there are various restaurants, which is perhaps a bit misleading. Instead, there is one large area divided into three completely different sections (“restaurants”), with their own very distinct styles, but all with the same menu. We were seated in the more casual section for the first few days and were then moved to the more upscale section for the other evenings. The restaurant appeared to be very popular with non-resident skiers at lunch time, and would probably require a table reservation.
The wine menu deserves its own mention, as it is definitely one of the stars of the hotel. It was massive and extremely reasonably priced, including very competitively priced champagnes.
Location-wise, the hotel is pretty much stuck on its own without any village, other restaurants or similar close by. So come prepared (with snacks, drinks etc.). The hotel did, however, have very reasonable costs for water etc. (For example, a large bottle of San Pellegrino was 3 euros, if I remember correctly). Its location does mean that in case of a snow-in and bad/too snowy weather (as was the case for us for half of our holiday) you’ll be pretty much stuck in the hotel with only a few slopes since you’re reliant on a few lifts to take you out of the valley. We rented a car from Barcelona airport and drove up (through France on the way up and through Andorra la Vella and Spain on the way back) without any problems. Sixt provided us with snow chains, but the weather was good on both driving days, so we didn’t have to use them.
We rented skis from the Pic Negre XIII shop, which is located in the same building as the hotel. Service was perhaps a bit slow and inefficient, but very friendly. Ski passes were purchased from the hotel reception.
We also had massages, which were fine. The massage rooms are separated from the rest of the spa only by curtains so if you're looking for a relaxing and calming experience, I'd suggest going in the evening when children are not allowed. Otherwise it'll feel and sound more like you're in a waterpark than a spa.
If you have issues with accessibility, I'd think twice before staying at the hotel. The hotel is accessed through a set of very steep and slippery stairs, and there are a number of stairs scattered throughout the hotel as well.
However, even though we loved the hotel there were, unfortunately, a few issues which prevent us from returning. One, there is very little (if any) sound isolation between rooms as well as between rooms and hallway, which is completely unacceptable in a hotel of this standard and cost. We could hear what TV programme our neighbour to the right was watching every evening, and another evening we heard our neighbours to the left having an argument (and when I say “heard” I mean that we heard every single word as though they were in the same room with us. And they were not yelling.). So bring earplugs.
Second, the hotel advertises itself as luxurious and romantic. However, this isn’t really mirrored in the guests which, to over 50%, consisted of large family groups of a million babies, children and teens, running around and being very, very loud at all times of the day, night and evening and everywhere (restaurant, hallways, the otherwise lovely bar by the ski room). We’d booked thinking we’d have a lovely, quiet and romantic time so this was anything but pleasant. To make matters worse, many of the parents seemed to think it completely okay for their children to use the hallways as their personal play/scream ground. If these two issues could be resolved, Grau Roig would have been absolute perfection.
Finally, Grandvalira, as a ski resort, did unfortunately not wow us. Lifts and technology were older than in similar large resorts in Austria, France or Italy, the slopes were to a large extent geared towards beginners and the food in the restaurants (excluding Grau Roig's restaurant) was, without fail, atrociously bad.
A perfect 5* ski break in this outstanding hotel. It gets better and better. This is my 14th year staying in this wonderful resort and hotel. The rooms have been beautifully refurbished and are exquisite as has the restaurant. This is a little bit of heaven with the ski lifts literally outside of the front door. Locker rooms are beautiful and integrated into the hotel. No noisy laddish Apres Ski... just a delicious meal, fine wines and wonderful helpful staff.
Great vibe, amazing location. Pricey, but worth the service, and the food is normally included in their half board pricing option. Good attitude in the service staff. The rental service adjacent to the hotel has good attitude but is slow.
Unless very unhappy, I reserve my reviews for places and people that have exceeded our expectations and gone out of their way to make our stay as enjoyable as possible. Of all those, Grau Roig was the best!
Where to start?
Location - a true ski in/out in a great setting. At the heart of an excellent ski area with all facilities to hand
Welcome - As soon as we arrived, the concierge greeted us, took responsibility for our luggage and parked our car. The receptionist also made us feel welcome and took responsibility for arranging all ski matters for us - lessons/guide booked while we had lunch, ski passes over breakfast.
Facilities - our room was a delight, the restaurant fabulous (best 1/2 board we’ve ever experienced), ski hire next door (and skis delivered to our personal locker), spa great......
Staff - so helpful and friendly and made us feel very much at home.
Hard to imagine skiing anywhere else!
The Reception at the was warm, very friendly and efficient. We had a room with a hot tube and view to the ski slopes. The room was excellent and clean. The only remark is that the heating system is slow when it comes to heating the room in the morning. The service in the Restaurant was very professional and efficient. The menu is large and contains many fish and meat dishes. The food was excellent. The breakfast buffet is very varied, fresh and excellent. Do not miss this Place when in Andorra