My girlfriend and i visited the Grand Summit Hotel in mid-March for a ten day snowboarding holiday.
The hotel is huge, but was fairly empty throughout most of our stay. We had a superior suite, which was really big but slightly dated. It had a fold down bed, sofa, breakfast table, coffee table, along with a microwave, fridge freezer, oven and sink all located in the main living space. There was plenty of crockery, cooking utensils etc. and by the smells in the hallway it seemed that most people took the opportunity to cook in their rooms. We strangely had our tv updated from what looked like a ten year old tv to a modern 40 inch lcd tv while we there, without requesting it. Unfortunately the bathroom was fairly small, especially the bath, which was a bit annoying when you just wanted to soak your aching muscles. Sometimes there also wasn't much hot water, although we had a note put under our door apologising for this, as there had been a small problem with the water heating. Overall though we were quite happy with our room despite the long walk to the room through the extreme heat of the hotel. (You could comfortably walk around the hotel wearing just shorts and a t-shirt - it was that warm. It was therefore almost unbearable wearing snowboarding gear.)
We used the restaurant only once for breakfast. I had the all you can eat breakfast which was good, and cost about $12. As we ate out most days for lunch and dinner we decided to get stuff from the supermarket for breakfast so we didn't end up spending loads. There are a few small shops in Sunday River for food, but it is much cheaper to use the supermarket in Bethel if you have transport. (I think there was also a free shuttle from the hotel to Bethel as well, although as we had a car i am not completely sure how frequent or convenient this was). The restaurant prices for dinner and lunch seemed about the same as most places in town, unlike most hotel restaurants which seem to charge more.
Our room did not seem to be the quietest place in the hotel if you like to sleep in, although this was due to the number of skiers jumping around in their ski boots from about 7am, even though the lifts do not operate until 830am. Towards the end of our stay the Nova Scotia school break brought a lot of children to the resort, which meant it became very difficult to access the free computer in reception, and of course made the slopes more busy.
The hotel is located to the far left of the ski resort but has easy access to the trails, and has a ski in/out area located at the back of the hotel. There is a medium sized outdoor swimming pool with a jacuzzi, and a gym none of which we got around to using.
The resort itself was the quietest North American resort i have been to. Rarely did we have to queue for lifts, and only on Saturday did we ever queue for more than five minutes, and this was only if you used the main lift located at the resort centre, The Chondola. There is a quite good selection of trails, and a variety of small, medium and large jumps, rails, boxes, half pipes etc.. The only thing the resort is lacking is a few longer trails for people who enjoy skiing/boarding fast. There are a number of places to eat at the various base stations of of which were pretty good, but expect to pay about $20 for two.
We visited a number of restaurants during our stay. Our Favourite was Cho Sun, a Japanese/Korean restaurant in Bethel, which had a vast variety of meals which were a welcome change to the rest of the restaurants. The Phoenix and Gringo Harry's are were also pretty good, serving typical American food and portion sizes, both of which were in Sunday River resort itself.
Overall we really enjoyed our stay. The resort is not up to the standards of places like Whistler and so it lacks as many restaurants/bars and the sheer number of trails, although because of this there are much fewer people and it is a more relaxed resort.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Summit Resort At Sunday River Bethel, Maine