Grand Hotel Paradiso: a four-star hotel in the family friendly ski resort of Passo Tonale, Italy

Grand Hotel Paradiso

Passo Tonale ski resort is set in the Italian Alps, on the Lombardy/Trentino border. Our little family spent our first Christmas away from home there, at Passo Tonale’s Grand Hotel Paradiso, together with D’s Mum and Dad, and his brother’s family. Crystal Ski invited us to stay for a week at the Grand Hotel Paradiso, one of their 13 hotels in Passo Tonale Ski Resort. They had no editorial control over this feature.

Crystal Ski at Passo Tonale

Grand Hotel Paradiso Passo Tonale Italy

We arrived after a 60cm snowfall

Our hosts, Crystal Ski, offer packages in several of Passo Tonale’s hotels. Grand Hotel Paradiso is the only one where families can just nip downstairs and take advantage of Crystal Ski’s childcare, on the ground floor of the hotel. You can read more about Crystal Ski childcare here.

Sixty cm of snow had fallen just before we arrived. The hotel foyer  gleamed with understated opulence. Sparkling wreaths and giant golden baubles in the foyer made us feel pretty festive, and were a cheery sight after our early start from London. After unloading our cases from Crystal Ski’s coach, we stamped the snow off our boots inside the vestibule, before walking through swooshing automatic doors into the toasty-warm interior.

lobby of Grand Hotel Paradiso

Grand Hotel Paradiso’s lobby

As a family hotel, we found Grand Hotel Paradiso comfortable, and in a good location, right in the centre of the resort. You could ski in to the hotel, and the lifts to the pistes were only a short walk away. The Serodine chairlift was behind the hotel. This gave access to the beginner slopes and linked to the Ponte di Legno gondola. The Paradiso gondola, which whisks you up to the Presena glacier, was a two-minute walk over the road.

Passo Tonale ski resort, Italy

Some of Passo Tonale’s ski slopes, as seen from our balcony

The hotel’s heated locker room was a busy thoroughfare first thing, when everyone kitted themselves out in boots and skis. The rest of the time, the hotel felt spacious, calm and quiet.

locker room at Grand Hotel Paradiso, Passo Tonale, Italy

Paradiso’s heated locker room was busy first thing in the morning. Deserted the rest of the time!

Grand Hotel Paradiso reception

The reception area was spacious and quiet.

Rooms at Grand Hotel Paradiso

Grand Hotel Paradiso offered a range of accommodation, from basic single or twin rooms, up to Princess suites for four. These were set over two floors, with two separate bedrooms, a lounge, two bathrooms and a hot tub. We poked our nose inside one that some friends we made on the trip were staying in. It looked fantastic!

All rooms had their own toilets, and separate bath or shower facilities. We stayed in a deluxe twin room with a balcony, which had phenomenal views across the valley and onto the Adamello mountain range. The children slept on a pull-out double sofa bed at the foot of our own double bed.

Deluxe twin room with balcony at Grand Hotel Paradiso

Deluxe twin room at Grand Hotel Paradiso, Italy

Our double room had an extra double sofa bed for the children

Our room came equipped with a safe, as well as a reasonable amount of storage space. The mini fridge was just big enough to store a few snacks and drinks from the local convenience store (including light, frothy Prosecco, which we picked up for the bargain price of €4).

It was a real treat to pop back to the room at different times during the day, and watch the light playing across the mountains.  The large balcony window framed the scene like a painting.

Sunrise over Passo Tonale, Italy

Sunrise over the mountains

Passo Tonale, Italy

Afternoon sunshine

Sunset at Passo Tonale, Italy

We arrived to a breathtaking sunset.

Restaurant at Grand Hotel Paradiso

Crystal’s ski packages at Paradiso are half board, with breakfast and dinner both served in the hotel restaurant. The hotel restaurant was set on the first floor, with a staircase of curved marble steps leading up to it. Panoramic windows ran along the entire length of the room, so everyone could look out onto the mountains they’d soon be skiing down.

Passo Tonale, Italy

The morning view from Paradiso’s restaurant

When we took our ski trip (Christmas 2017), breakfast and dinner was served as a buffet, which gave plenty of choice. In the morning we tended to fuel up for the day with warm chocolate croissants, a medley of fruit, and scrambled eggs on toasted local bread.

Breakfast buffet at Grand Hotel Paradiso, Passo Tonale

Some of the morning buffet. Cake for breakfast!

Dinner in the restaurant

The evening buffet was full of regional specialities, like beef cheek in red wine with polenta, deer stew or truffle soufflé. Grand Hotel Paradiso provided a separate vegan menu, which you had to ask for. Vegetarians could choose from at least one hot option, and a wide range of salads, including mixed beans, grilled aubergines, quinoa, salad leaves and tomatoes. The cheese board was local fare at its finest. It was heaped with mountain cheese, as well as a gorgonzola, which was colossal at the start of our holiday, and grew smaller and smaller as the week wore on.

gorgonzola

Gorgonzola. It started the week much larger than this!

Mealtimes at Grand Hotel Paradiso

The restaurant served meals at set times, from 7pm in the evening. But mealtimes were more flexible on the first and last day of our stay. On the morning we left, when we had to drag ourselves onto coaches at 6am for the airport transfer, breakfast ran from 4am. And on the first day, dinner was served at 6pm rather than the regular 7pm, so the children could eat and get into bed early after their long journey.

restaurant at Grand Hotel Paradiso, Passo Tonale Italy

Grand Hotel Paradiso’s restaurant was light and airy

Christmas at Passo Tonale

For our Christmas in Passo Tonale, the restaurant served the main Christmas meal in the evening. Everyone dressed up for the occasion, and it was exciting to walk up the curved staircase to the restaurant, where the staff greeted us with glasses of franciacorta, a local fizz which tasted a little like cider. The kids were treated to pink grapefruit juice.

Grand Hotel Paradiso in Passo Tonale, Italy

Everyone dressed up for Christmas dinner in Grand Hotel Paradiso’s restaurant

Traditional Italian food

Grand Hotel Paradiso’s Christmas meal was a merry feast. Arranged in a beautiful display were salads with aubergine and grilled vegetables; speck, rocket and orange; couscous, rice or beans. These starters were followed by a choice of main courses, like cannelloni with ricotta, mushroom risotto, pork cheek with apple sauce, and potatoes with rosemary.

Christmas desserts at Grand Hotel Paradiso

The Christmas desserts were plentiful

It was the desserts that were most impressive. A stomach-groaning range of around thirty different cakes and sweets were lined up to choose from, including panettone: with fruit, pistachio, chocolate or cream; flans, soufflés and mousses in flavours of coffee, chocolate and vanilla; and sponge cake drenched in chocolate. I wish I could have sampled them all…..

pannetone in Grand Hotel Paradiso

Grand Hotel Paradiso offered several types of pannetone at Christmas

Christmas desserts at Grand Hotel Paradiso

I tried cream-filled pannetone for the first time

Christmas desserts at Grand Hotel Paradiso

The sponge cake drenched in chocolate looked very tempting

You can read some tips on spending Christmas at a ski resort with kids here.

Spa and bars at Grand Hotel Paradiso

For an extra €50 per room per week, or €15 per person per day (prices correct in 2017), guests could access Grand Hotel Paradiso’s spa. This included a wellness centre with a hot tub, a Finnish sauna, aromatherapy suites, a fitness centre and a small grotto-style pool.

hotel pool at Grand Hotel Paradiso

The hotel pool

wellness room at Grand Hotel Paradiso

Guests could book couples massages in the wellness rooms

Like most ski resort spas, the facilities were busy on the ‘snow days’, when heavy snowfall made skiing tricky and most people stayed indoors. If you went towards the end of the day during dinner hours, you could end up almost having the place to yourself. From 5-8pm, under-12s weren’t allowed in to the spa.

Three different bars provided a bit of aprés ski entertainment. Ombrella, at the foot of the slopes next to the hotel, served the scrummiest thick hot chocolate and warm, spiced wine. It stayed open until late afternoon. Inside the hotel, the movie-themed, quiet Lounge Bar usually had a handful of customers at lunchtime eating paninis fresh from the counter. And the lively Vinae Franciacorta hotel bar was set out in the style of a cosy wine cellar, with delicious local tipples on offer.

Lounge Bar at Grand Hotel Paradiso

The movie-themed Loune Bar at Grand Hotel Paradiso was usually quiet

Verdict

Grand Hotel Paradiso was a comfortable place for a family ski trip. Its wood and stone decor was fresh and polished rather than cosy and intimate, but the staff more than made up the warmth quotient. Most of them went out of their way to be helpful and charming, even down to noticing our daughter’s cough one morning, and offering to make her a special honey drink. With the exceptional Crystal Ski childcare on the ground floor, which made our stay SO much easier, it was a place we’d definitely return to as a family.

This Passo Tonale hotel isn’t suitable for people with reduced mobility, and it was pitched at a particular demographic: families, with children ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers. There were very few older skiiers there, unless they came as part of a large family group, like ours. Because of this, D’s parents said they wouldn’t choose the hotel on one of the own ski trips without the rest of the family. But for a trip with extended family, where people ranged from five to 75, I felt that Grand Hotel Paradiso was a good choice.

Grand Hotel Paradiso, Passo Tonale

Grand Hotel Paradiso was twinkly and atmospheric in the snowy night

How to get to Passo Tonale Italy

There are six airports within three hours’ drive of Passo Tonale, including Bolzano, Brescia, Innsbruck Airport, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa and Verona, which we flew to from London Gatwick.

Grand Hotel Paradiso is in the middle of Passo Tonale. Address: Via Case Sparse del Tonale, 51, 25056 Ponte di Legno BS, Italy

You can see more of Grand Hotel Paradiso in this video:

Ski packages to Passo Tonale and the Grand Hotel Paradiso are available from Crystal Ski. We travelled as guests of Crystal Ski. All views are my own.

  • Passo Tonale
    Crystal Ski Kids Club at Passo Tonale, Italy

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6 Comments

  1. February 13, 2018 / 9:16 am

    That looks amazing! I grew up skiing in Montana and would love to take my kids. Looks like it’s well worth the extra bit for the spa access as well!

    • Nell
      Author
      February 14, 2018 / 9:03 pm

      Yes, the spa was very nice.

  2. February 23, 2018 / 1:53 pm

    I loved hearing about your trip, Nell. The hotel looks fab – great to have one close to the slopes – and those views are amazing! Boo to the guests who didn’t fancy traditional fare: that’s what makes a holiday for me, trying regional specialities! Good to hear how attentive the staff were, noticing your daughter’s cough – that’s very impressive.

    • Nell
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 8:26 pm

      Yes, the woman who offered us help was lovely.

  3. Ryan
    April 15, 2019 / 11:51 am

    How busy was the restaurant when it first opens (at 7pm)? We would have to get our kids fed and off to bed by 8pm really otherwise the grumps will set in. Feasible do you think?

    • Nell
      Author
      April 22, 2019 / 8:40 pm

      If it’s still the same setup as when we stayed there, if you arrived on the dot at 7, you could definitely be out by 8. It was busy, but it was buffet service, so there was no waiting for serving staff to take your order etc. Hope you enjoy your stay!

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