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Sponars or Ski Rider?

Discussion in 'Perisher' started by Nightskywatcher, May 14, 2020.

  1. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Anyone stayed at either of these establishments? Recommendations, reviews, complaints?

    Looking at a long weekend in late July (if the season gets going)

    I know it's a little drive to P. What's the traffic like driving up to P at 830am from there? Should we be aiming for earlier?

    How was the food? (Food is super important, possibly more important than skiing :rolleyes:)
     
  2. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  3. Schnitzelnschnapps

    Schnitzelnschnapps Hard Yards

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    We do Ski Rider every year with a bunch of other families with young kids. Food is plentiful, you have 2 options, the huge buffet, or cook your own on the grill in the other room. The meat options in the grill area are always fantastic, they buy huge seriously good cuts of meat, incl. salmon, venison, some nights. You need to book in advance for those nights you want the food from there. The food in the buffet I'd rate a solid 6.5-7. As families we tend to split our tickets across the two rooms, ie some go and cook and bring back the good stuff from the other room, while others get the basics from the buffet, particularly for the kids. The rooms haven't been updated in decades but are warm and comfy, although the beds are pretty tired. No TV's, but who needs them when you're exhausted from skiing. Re Sponars, some of the friends we do Ski Rider with did a weekend there last year I think it was. They weren't very impressed, I think they said the rooms were small and the food very ordinary. Traffic driving up from Ski Rider at 8.30 would be hectic in July. Sometimes it's hard to even get out on the road. Aim for much earlier.
     
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  4. Schnitzelnschnapps

    Schnitzelnschnapps Hard Yards

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    I'm doubtful about doing Ski Rider this year though. The buffet idea makes me nervous in the current Covid climate.
     
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  5. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Dam autocorrect LOL
     
  6. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I stayed at Sponars one weekend about 10 years ago, and my step-relos have stayed there a few times
    we all like it - a bit olde-worlde in a nice way
    is price an issue?
     
    #6 person s, May 14, 2020
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  7. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Potentially. This could be a year of multiple excursions (previously once a year).

    ATM planning for a 4 night and a 7 night trip at different times. Thinking of doing the 4 night off snow (ie: Sponars or Ski RIder) the 7 nights on snow.

    We want it "catered" DBB. Dont want to do Jindabyne.
     
  8. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I thought Sponars is closed?
     
  9. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    According to their website they are taking bookings and planning for a July opening.
     
  10. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sponars for sure. They’re not closed. The owners are still active snowboarding and cycling up there and prolific on social media
     
  11. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ahhh sorry ... Yeah i remember the story now... Asked my wife.
    She met someone at Smiggs hotel that hated sponars.
    The woman in question was pregnant... and one day had to stay at Sponars during the day.
    The hotel virtually closed during the day. No food, bar or anything. Nowhere to get a cup of coffee or tea.
    This woman was stuck there starving. She ended up eating a sandwich from someone at the front desk.
    Sounded like a trip from hell . Old tired rooms and poor food.
    *obviously her impression wouldn't have been helped by the experience and may not be relevant if you're not there during the day.
     
  12. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    What is now Sponars was the servants' quarters of the Hotel Kosciusko before it burnt down. The size of the rooms is commensurate.
     
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  13. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    While I have no recency of experience I do know Sponars has new owners from maybe 3 years ago and they have been progressively renovating.
     
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  14. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Just got this back from Sponars

    This year will be set up differently to last year because of COVID. I’m releasing the current COVID plan next week.
    Every room will have their individual dining area.
     
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  15. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    When it really used to snow..
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  17. Nidecker

    Nidecker One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Actually that's quite clever. If you just used portable dividers in the dining rooms (and required guests to stay at the same table for their whole stay), you would be half way there in terms social distancing.
    At the moment the 10 pax minimum regardless of size / number of rooms at venue etc, is going to be the killer unless its lifted.

    Have to say I'm a little pessimistic given recent events O/S and the behavior of some locals. Cooma (as but one example) last Saturday was unbelievable. Not that I stopped, but you couldn't park in the main street.
     
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  18. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    sponars would cater for older type people.

    Ski rider is for younger type people, more prone to partying.

    Ski rider more like The station terms of service and clientele

    Unsure of Sponars as I haven't personally stayed there.

    Had the opposite review of Donza from a mate, pregnant with a young'n and loved it.
     
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  19. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    While im not that "old", myself, wife and 2 adult kids are there for a skiing holiday, not a party holiday with a side of skiing.
     
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  20. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Staying the **** at home. Ski Pass: Gold

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    My experience of Ski Rider was anything but this. Staying in school holidays, mostly family groups. Sure some hung out in the bar, but when the bar closed, that was it for the night. I stayed there 3 years running with the kids and never had any rowdy neighbours or disturbed sleep.

    @Nightskywatcher in a normal season, the traffic is bumper to bumper past Skirider by 8.30. We caught the shuttle some days and tried to be on the 7.40am one. You'd probably need to be on the road before 8.

    In a normal season.

    Anybody's guess what the traffic will be like this year.
     
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  21. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Have you stayed outside of school holidays?

    I think the vibe at every accommodation provider is different during school holidays.
     
  22. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    When you say normal season, is that School Holidays or August peak?

    I'm looking for the weekend after school holidays fri-tues.
     
  23. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Staying the **** at home. Ski Pass: Gold

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    No, I mean any year that's not actually or potentially affected by Covid-19. I.e. any year before 2020.

    But as I disclaimed, I've only stayed at Skirider during the July school holidays.

    There was traditionally a bit of a lull after the July holidays until the first week or so of August. But that hasn't been so noticeable for the last 2 or 3 years.

    OTOH this year, all bets are off. I suspect that even if there is a ski season this year (I don't expect) that most non-addicted peeps will be saving their pennies, so numbers could be way down. But then I could be seriously mistaken.
     
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  24. OlCol

    OlCol Hard Yards

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    Ski Rider has a station resort like feel, was always crowded with families or groups, can be noisy on weekends. Sponars quiet and more spacious common areas as not as many punters. Lots of stairs at sponars made luggage a pain.
    Sponars wins IMO as it's closer to the ski fields and it has a heated indoor pool. From memory the costs were much the same.
    Sponars did have very good spring deals.
    With Covid-19 restrictions, I can see that most of these observations may not be valid.
     
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  25. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    I stayed at Sponar’s the winter before last with my youngest. The new owners had just taken over. As we were only there for one night we didn’t get a chance to check out the pool. Internet is almost non-existent and there is NO mobile phone coverage. They have a shuttle bus that runs up to Perisher. Meals were pretty average, but they do have a bar and the place is full of character. I have to say I quite liked it. For accommodation within the National Park that has parking, the price was also very good.
     
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  26. Billy_Buttons

    Billy_Buttons Que Sera, Sera Ski Pass: Gold

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    Why are you even considering lodge style accommodation, rather than freestanding self-contained in Jindabyne in this doubtful season?
     
  27. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Both are hotels not lodge style.
     
  28. Billy_Buttons

    Billy_Buttons Que Sera, Sera Ski Pass: Gold

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    Still has central entry areas etc.
     
  29. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    So do hotels generally!
     
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  30. Billy_Buttons

    Billy_Buttons Que Sera, Sera Ski Pass: Gold

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    As per my post above asking why not self-contained accommodation where you don't mix with anybody else whatsoever.
     
  31. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Maybe because Airbnb is currently banned?

    hotels as such (are not)

    Or cause they want a holiday not have to cook breakfast etc.

    And they want to stay as close to on hill as they can afford?
     
  32. Billy_Buttons

    Billy_Buttons Que Sera, Sera Ski Pass: Gold

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    Crazy rules. Want people to SD, yet ban SC accommodation.
     
  33. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes, more what OzGirl is saying. We have done the self cater in Jindabyne and it becomes not a holiday.

    That's why a lot of my questions have been around food! We have stayed for the last few years at Perisher Manor and can't fault the food or location, so easy and unrushed in the morning, but you do pay for it. The family rooms there are great, the 2bed rooms, not so great. But I'm not there to sleep.

    Considering my options. Money is always a driver, but so is value and convenience.
     
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  34. Kash

    Kash Addicted

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    Im sure you've considered this, but on snow accom is far more affordable at Thredbo. The term on snow does mean a little less when you are down at 1360m vs 1700m though as less likely to be snow at the base.

    No way we are rich enough for the family on snow experience for Perisher at July-August $900-1k per night, hence we do Thredbo instead. 5 of us.
     
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  35. Schnitzelnschnapps

    Schnitzelnschnapps Hard Yards

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    The main building is separate from most of the accommodation at Ski Rider. We always find August very full. I've never seen any partying going on, if it is it is in the main building and shut down at a reasonable hour, the hotel rooms are almost always totally peaceful. We had a domestic incident in the room next door to ours 2 or 3 years ago, a drunk boyfriend kept threatening his girlfriend, the hotel manager came over and tried to shut it down, it started up again so I called the police (luckily emergency phone works there in the valley, generally reception there is sketchy.) Police came and sorted him out. This reminds me say, the walls are very thin at Ski Rider.
     
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  36. Val Desire

    Val Desire Hard Yards

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    I concur with both Scnitzelnschnapps's reviews.
    Did annual trips to SkiRider for lots of years with kids (were small, now hulking teenagers). All good & great value. I don't do snow driving at all so like the Skirider shuttle bus. I travelled with Port Stephens Coaches all inclusive trips staying at Skirider.
    Have also stayed at Swagman chalet - good food, lovely hosts and kids loved the daily trips on the oversnow transport. Love the Man, and Perisher manor too!
    Let's all hope we get the chance to do it this year
     
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  37. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Have you looked at Sun Deck? I find them very reasona by priced for on snow and the do half board.
     
  38. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes, they are high on my list as an option. Starting to look seriously. How are the rooms and food?
     
  39. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Food is Fab.

    Rooms are fine too.

    I have taken a LOT of people ther (ie groups of 40 pax multiple times.)

    And recommended it to @sara777 and friends. Everyone has been super happy.
     
  40. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    "On-snow" accommodation at Thredbo, catch the ski-tube up to Perisher each morning. Going against the general flow of traffic, so that should be fine - sounds good! :D :p
     
  41. Peanut

    Peanut One of Us

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    I did one of the Port Stephens Coaches trips last year. I thought it was great value and was very happy with the accommodation. The room decor was a little dated, but it was comfortable and warm, which was all I really cared about. I’m looking at staying there again this year. Probably some time in early September.

    One of my kids picked up a random ski glove that didn’t belong to them at Smigs on our trip last year, and we didn’t realise until we were hanging up everything that night. I made sure the glove was dried out, then asked the tour guide the next morning if he knew of anyone from our group who had lost a glove. We managed to locate a relieved parent and child, who were very grateful that we had dried the glove and reunited them with it. Being the owner of a child who has a habit of losing gloves/mittens at the snow and not ever having found any, I was glad to do my bit to help someone else out.
     
  42. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I've now settled on the Sundeck for this season. Just waiting for confirmation, they say they have availability if they open. Yes it "costs" a little more, but the convenience this year outweighs everything else. If we get constraints at P Quad or V8 in the morning, then you are already up the mountain and can access other lifts to get places.
     
  43. JG

    JG Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    I stayed at Swagman two seasons ago, with low expectations going in, having seen the lodge back in the 90’s. Rooms were still below average (as per 90’s), but hospitality was amazing! John would do personal drop off’s and pickups morning and night in the oversnow (we just called after a few apre’s for a pickup), the open fire and small bar lounge area was cosy and friendly.
    Now to the point... the food was “the best I have had in the mountains”...Breakfast was essentially a la carte , dinner was option of two mains, we complemented the beef fillet so well that the the chef personally brought out 3 more pork belly as well.
     
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  44. JG

    JG Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    Classic location - Cliff is a great host...
     
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  45. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    He has been great with responses and info so far.
     
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  46. Kash

    Kash Addicted

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    Yeah - made the "on-snow" accom point too! The ski tube is a pretty crappy way to commute tbh - give me a gondola from my front door that takes me 500m vertical any day.
     
  47. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Don't like mud on your ski boots ? LOL
     
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  48. Kash

    Kash Addicted

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    As a snowboarder, I dont like ski boots full stop ;)
     
  49. Schnitzelnschnapps

    Schnitzelnschnapps Hard Yards

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    Aaand no Ski Rider happening at all this year. How are the other accomms going?
     
  50. Nightskywatcher

    Nightskywatcher One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Sponars are opening, many others on snow have announced intention.