Review of Hemsedal

4th December 2006 by Chris Parker 

We visited Hemsedal for a week in January 2006 and found it very good. We have 2 children 5 & 8 and the short flight to Fagernes combined with a 2 hour transfer works very well. We stayed at the Skogstad Hotel, which is in the centre and is supposed to be the best hotel. It is rated as 4*, but 3* is more realistic. We had a family room with 2 beds and a deck with 2 additional beds. The rooms are small but comfortable. The steps to the deck are very steep and are unsuitable for kids. The rooms are on the top floor and generally away from the music from the disco, which can be loud at the weekends. Food was a buffet and the quality and amounts were fine. Drink is very expensive but that is normal for Norway. The hotel had a pool and spa, which is being refurbished 2006/7. The pool area was very slippery, badly lit and children should not be left unattended. Hopefully this will improve.
The ski bus is regular and is free. The journey is about 5-10 minutes.
The ski area is massive with a long green run which winds down the mountain. There is a large number of blue and red runs, along with a boarding park, so those of all abilities have lots to do. There are very few queues during the week, although expect it to be busier at the weekend. The children’s area is also large with a variety of runs from absolute beginners to those looking for something more challenging. Instructors speak good English and our 8 year old went up the mountain in a small group of 4. Our daughter had a more mixed experienced as they joined groups together due to lack of numbers.
For the very experienced there is off piste, but you should take care as several people died this year.
The temperature can get very cold , minus 20 with the wind chill, so very thick gear, including head gear is recommended.
There are a number of mountain restaurants; all are clean. However the quality of the food is mediocre at best and expensive. Hotels tend to allow people to raid the breakfast buffet to make packed lunches.
There are other activities such as dog sledding etc.
If you are looking for a family holiday or something a little different, Hemsedal is great. The scenery is stunning, the people friendly, there are virtually no queues and great snow. This year the only direct flight to Fagernes is the Neilson charter ex Gatwick. If you stay in a hotel, go for half board. Eating out is very expensive; meal for 4 with drink is easily £100, pizza about £60!

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We visited Hemsedal for a week in January 2006 and…

Chris Parker 4 Dec 2006