Hemsedal is both an unspoiled valley and a village, the latter also referred to as Trøym and Sentrum ('Centre') - but you can also stay at the lift base or higher up in the slopes, a mile or so away. Hemsedal is 90 minutes from Fagernes airport, served by Crystal charter flights. The lift pass also covers smaller Solheisen, up the valley. Sentrum is a bus ride from the lift base (Skisenter) - though there is now a run to the village. It is little more than a small area of low-rise hotels and apartments, shops, a garage, a bank and a couple of cashpoints. There's a developing area of lodgings at the base, with a ski-bus linking all parts, and floodlit paths to/from the centre. You can also stay further up the hill, where there are several areas of more or less ski-in/ski-out lodgings. Hemsedal's slopes pack a lot of variety into a small space. Fast lifts serve a high proportion of the slopes, and practically all drags can be avoided. There can be weekend crowds and queues, but during the week it is quiet. There are three terrain parks and a mini park for kids, plus ski cross, speed ski and giant slalom areas. Snowmaking covers 45% of the slopes; grooming is excellent. The terrain is mainly easy-intermediate, but mileage-hungry piste-bashers will find the runs very limited. There are quite a few red and blue runs to play on, and splendid long green runs - but they get a lot of traffic. There is quite a bit to amuse experts: wide areas of gentler off-piste terrain served by drags, as well as several black pistes. There is floodlit skiing several nights a week. There's a separate, gentle nursery area. The resort caters well for families; the kids' nursery slopes at the base are good. There are 120km of prepared cross-country trails in the valley and forest, and (in late season) 90km at altitude. The best hotel is the Skogstad in Sentrum - comfortable, with a spa; but its bar and nightclub may be noisy at weekends. The Skarsnuten, on the hill, is stylishly modern, and its attached apartments (and its restaurant) satisfied one reporter. The dining choices are OK; the Big Horn at Fjellandsby is a popular steakhouse, and the Lodgen bar and restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine at the Alpin Lodge. In Sentrum, a reporter tips the Hemsedal Cafe - Norwegian pierrade recommended. Après-ski starts at the Skistua at the lift base, which has live music at the weekends. Dancing on the tables happens. The bars and clubs get rowdy at weekends and holidays, but can be very quiet midweek. Off-slope diversions include bowling, tobogganing, ice climbing, snowmobiling and dog sledding - 'pricey but worth it'.
Convenient slope-side lodging
Some quite challenging slopes
Excellent children's nursery slopes
Not much of a village
Exposed upper mountain