Visitor reviews for Hemsedal Ski Resort
November 27, 2014
Chris Cook from United Kingdom
We spent a week skiing in Hemsedel with Crystal in late Jan 2014. The flight was an easy 1 hour 20 mins from Gatwick and the transfer an hour and a half through picture postcard landscape.
We had a three bedroom apartment for two couples at Panorama, half way up the mountain and with a small easy piste passing 50 metres from the apartment. It was nearly ski in ski out.
The apartment had spectacular views over the pistes to the valley below. We were self-catering so had to be well organised with the food shopping, but a combination of expeditions via the ski bus and daily visits to the well-stocked shop at the Alpin Lodge, to pop basics in the back pack, did the trick. The rep also organised a food welcome pack which was a great touch.
As four older adults, a pitcher of beer for ‘after-ski’ watching some great live bands for an hour or two, was plenty. Then back home and into the sauna. Drink is very expensive in Norwegian bars, but so it is in the Alps. However, low strength beer, in the supermarkets, is similar to UK. With some duty free gin from Gatwick we were sorted. It was also possible to walk up to the beautiful hotel for a £9 pint, or a posh meal with spectacular views.
The skiing was perfect for four cautious skiers, plenty of easy long wide greens with good elevation. The piste map shows a green from the top of the highest mountain ‘Totten’, but I would say this was a challenging blue, near red, in parts down to mid station, having said that there is plenty of good easy skiing from the top of the 8 chair express lift, from mid-station down. The pistes were nearly empty during the week, very wide in parts and lift queues were rare, in all very relaxing skiing.
We were lucky with the snow, when we arrived they had three weeks of heavy snow previously and we had several inches of snow every night and light flurries during the day. The last three days was knee high champagne powder. The temperature was -10 to -15, which is manageable with the right kit. The ski gear was easy to hire as there was a shop, ten minutes’ walk up to the Skarsnuten Hotel.
Crystal Holidays were very good with an excellent resort rep, offering lots of exciting non-skiing options such as dog sledging etc. Having done these trips before in Finland and being on a tight budget we did not partake, but there was plenty to keep non-skiers amused. Being out of town and up the mountain meant that one had to be savvy with the ski bus timetable, but as we were at home every evening it was not an issue.
With a late flight on the Sunday we were able to ski in the morning which was a bonus and in all, by avoiding partying the night away, this was an excellent value for money ski holiday. A good resort, great skiing and great people.
Overall: 4.0. Based on 10 votes and 5 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Hemsedal.
Public Transport: 3.4
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Hemsedal, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Hemsedal, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.8
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.2
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Hemsedal.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.3
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Hemsedal, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Hemsedal is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Hemsedal relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.3
(1) There are no snow groomers at Hemsedal, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Hemsedal are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Hemsedal is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 2.7
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Hemsedal, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.2
(1) Hemsedal usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.0
(1) The staff at Hemsedal are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Hemsedal are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.4
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.6
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.1
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Hemsedal has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Hemsedal, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 4.6
(1) Not even a kicker at Hemsedal, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Hemsedal, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Hemsedal has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.1
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 3.4
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.9
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.2
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.6
(1) Overall, Hemsedal is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.1
(1) Overall, Hemsedal is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
April 06, 2011
Peter Smith from United Kingdom
We have been going to Hemsedal for the last 17 years. On average we ski for three to four weeks a year in Hemsedal. We have two young boys now aged 13 and 14 who enjoy the whole slopes, which are quiet, uncrowded and provide a really enjoyable ski experience.
Over the years I have skied in many different countries, 10 so far and still counting. I can honestly say, if you want quite slopes, very few lift queues and plenty of vertical, then this is a great place to go. If you want the steep and deep I can think of better places, but for a family holiday without the stresses of trying to keep everyone happy this is in my view, as good as it gets.
Beware very cold January and February, although we have had -36c in March.
This year we went at Christmas and are going again over Easter (last two weeks of April) and can be certain of snow, even that late in the season.
February 01, 2006
Nick Russill from United Kingdom
Hemsedal is a beautiful, quiet resort and certainly has enough terrain to entertain three intrepid snowboarders for a week. If you drive from Oslo, it can take longer than the suggested 3.5 hours. It took us 5 hours, but that was through heavy snow with frozen roads. Snow tyres are a must!
Accomodation in the resort is good value. Food and booze are typically Norwegian (£7 for a beer) so stock up at the duty free before you leave. There are only about 3 places to eat out and these are nothing special.
Otherwise, great panoramic views, lots of off-piste terrain and interesting through-the-tree runs. The tops can be somewhat exposed, so beware of dumps of snow suddenly disappearing in strong winds!
Defintely a change from the Alps.
January 17, 2006
Henki Sven Hyborg from United Kingdom
Hemsedal is more steep and dangerous than you think fellas! The slopes are good for family and all that, but if you get too far from the slopes to find powder snow, be carefull. Me and two mates was caught on a mountain side... Huge drops everywhere. We had to be picked up by a helicopter as it got to dangerous. Ask the skipatrol before going off pisting! The mountains are majestic and dangerous. Please take my advice. 2 people have died the last two seasons by avalanches.
Anyway, Hemsedal is a terrific place. It is offering top quality skiing both on and outside the marked slopes. The nightlife is tremendous and not to miss. Especially the afterski at hemsedal cafe in the city. Also, I recommend going between February and the end of April. End of February to end of March is the prime time. Excellent snow and shining sun!
June 28, 2005
Ben Nyberg from United Kingdom
Hemsedal Resort Profile - Hemsedal's idyllic mountain location amidst the Hallingdal Valley has established this resort as Norway's premiere ski and snowboard destination. The ski area boasts one of the highest and consistent snowfall levels in Europe offering Snow Sure conditions from early November until early May. Hemsedal Village posses an alpine charm all its own with an unhurried, relaxed atmosphere within a natural unspoilt setting. With average lift queue times of 2-3 minutes you will be skiing or boarding your way down wide open expanses of snow covered mountain.