Reviews of Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre

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  3.64 of 5  (14 reviews)
5 stars:
(3)
4 stars:
(7)
3 stars:
(1)
2 stars:
(2)
1 star:
(1)
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jkehoe
Reviews: 1
    4 of 5,  "Great staff, great snow"  06/12/2012 @ 19:24
Times Visited
6-15 Times
Review Detail
I used to go to Milton Keynes slope however since trying Hemel Hempstead, there is no going back.

HH in my view has much better snow, thicker and more staff keeping it in check, shovelling and taking care of it.

There are 2 slopes, one main one which i believe is a tad longer than MK and a nursery slope for those not ready to use the lifts on the main.

You can get some pretty good runs, however watch out as the skiers tend to carve patterns into the slope causing a few mounds, good if you want to jump, not so good for a blunt stop (like hitting a wall!)

There is a variety of activities which take place. They have freestyle events so you can try some tricks and sometimes they have guest professionals on the slope to teach and have fun with. They have signings in the Snow and Rock shop on the ground floor. Got myself some wicked posters/stickers/autographs wehey!

The shop itself is great, everything you need but if you just want to buy some budget gloves etc for the slope, you can do so at reception upstairs.

Restaurant/Bar has great service, trained staff, good menu with a variety and reasonably priced. Alcohol is also served and a good view of the slopes and a freezing balcony outside for an even better viewpoint.

Keep an eye out for deals on the website, subscribe to their newsletter and Facebook to be sure you get in there quick.

All in all, a great experience. I find the boards/skis/boots to be in good condition when hiring, however my snowboard boots don't fit in the their board bindings very well but that's my fault for not having my own board!

Can be a bit pricey if you having a day out after fuel, lift pass, food/drink etc but something I highly recommend with friends.

If you want long fast runs, this probably isn't the place for you, you need the mountains, but if you want to try and practice some basics, get some speed, few jumps then it's great. Maybe even film each other with a decent camera like a Go Pro to see where your mistakes are being made and rectify them immediately. Works for me

I'll be continuing to go back :)
Strengths
Maintained snow
Great friendly staff
Long enough slope
Great restaurant/bar
Weaknesses
A little pricey
Can get too busy at times
Similar Slopes Visited
Milton Keynes
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Adzm00
Reviews: 1
London
    4 of 5,  "Good snow, friendly staff, easy access from London"  15/10/2012 @ 11:37
Price Per Hour
£20-28 weekday/end non member
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Last weekend was my first ever visit to Hemel Snow Centre having been going to Milton Keynes for regularly for the past year, I decided to give HH a try when I spotted a day pass offer for the place via Groupon. 3 of us ended up going, and it cost a total of £108 for 8 hours (9am – 5pm) for the 3 of us. Getting their was quick and easy, we drove from east London around 8.30, it took about 45 minutes to get there (would be little over an hour later in the day) and there was lots of free car parking

The facility itself is quite nice and new looking, in the snow reception (first floor) there are fast track printing machines, a Costa coffee machine (pay by card or cash) for your morning wake up, ski/board equipment desk, small lockers (£1 but you get it back) with room to fit in a couple of backpacks, shoes etc. and several (about 10-15) large cubicles to change in. I feel they probably should have had a few more of these cubicles but it isn’t a big deal.

The slope is divided into the main slope and nursery, the main slope is served by two lifts, one fast (for experts only the sign says) and the other slower lift is quite often manned by one of the staff helping those out who are having trouble. The one thing I noticed straight away is how the sledging is on the nursery slope, keeping it well out of the way of those who want more space for ski/boarding which I wish they would have done at MK.

At the bottom of the slope is a little hut which sells tea, coffee, hot chocolate and mulled wine with some benches, this is very nice to have a quick warming drink with space to put your board. Also is nice to have if you need to make any minor adjustments (I did) to your board, or just to give yourself a quick 5 min sit down.

The snow quality here is much better than MK too, it was much thicker and felt instantly better against my board. Only later in the day did it become moguled and a bit icy in the centre of the slope, but this made for a good environment for me to start practicing jumping. The staff were also regularly shovelling new snow on the lift route as at time the rubber mats under the snow were visible, I caught an edge on one at the top of the lift and bailed, a staff member was quick to ask if I was ok, and got to shovelling snow on to the area straight away.

My only real issue is that it did get a bit busy at times, and some people seemed at an insufficient level to be using the slope (although I did notice one group was asked to leave). There were plenty of skiers using the slope and I do find them frustrating when queuing for the lift and they are constantly knocking your board with their skis. Please skiers, just back off a bit.

When it came to lunch time, we went upstairs and got a sunday roast which is served buffet style and cost £6.95. The three of us managed to have a couple of drinks, and a roast each for just under £30, so pretty reasonable value when they could so easily rip you off.

All in all it's a great indoor slope and I will be going back, chances are I will be making this my new regular rather than MK.
Strengths
Fast track tickets
Coffee machine
Drinks hut/seating
Good value for money
Good snow quality
Fast lift
Weaknesses
Busy at times
Bigger changing rooms
Similar Slopes Visited
Milton Keynes
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jt2201
Reviews: 1
London
    4 of 5,  "Great place to brush up on turns!"  14/01/2012 @ 11:27
Price Per Hour
£20
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Went to the Snow Centre last Sat with a group of 5 friends. We booked a lift pass which cost us £39 for two hours.

I have been to Milton Keynes before and must say that the snow was much better here.

The centre itself is in the middle of a houseing estate and as we got the train (£12 return from Euston) and then a cab which cost £6. When we arrived we printed our tickets from the machine so no queing at all, signed the book and away we were!

Did have to queue for about 20 mins to get my board/boots and was a bit surprised that I wasn't asked if I was goofy/regular - the guy said that all boards were set up at 15 degrees so they could be used on their foot - didn't think that this was too helpful as I have always been goofy - he soon changed my bindings though.

Plenty of space on the slope from 1-2pm but from 2-3 it got very busy as we were queing for a good 5 mins per time to use the button lift.

Would def go again.
Strengths
Quick ticket machine
You get your £1 from your lockers
Didn't check our tickets once so literally could have walked in, hired board/boots and stayed there all day for free!
Great snow
Comfy boots
Weaknesses
Only Snow & Rock shop there
Queue time for equipment
Do not automatically ask you how you would like your board set up
Staff are crap - 3 young people just sitting at the top of the sloap messy around
Similar Slopes Visited
Milton Keynes
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Mridgeway07
Reviews: 1
Hertfordshire
    1 of 5,  "Disgusting Customer Service at Hemel Snow Centre"  17/10/2011 @ 17:02
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Price Per Hour
£49
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Unfortunately the experience I have had with Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre has not been a pleasant one. I have attempted more than 10 times to arrange for a party of 16 adults to attend for lessons or recreational passes. I first started this failed feat in September 2011 (with more than a month till the actual date of the event), the first contact I had was with a lady which didn’t know about the organisation of groups and would get someone to call me back, 4 days later and no call I tried again. This time another lady answered and said I would not be allowed to have recreational lift passes and only lessons for a group booking which is wrong, according to their website both is available. I attempted more than 5 times more to speak to a person who could help me book my event at the end of October, Sadly no-one wanted to know nor help me make a booking for over £400 and we kept being told it was kids only lessons on Saturdays, even though again if you try to book online it is available for all users.

Considering this was going to be a large booking worth over £400 of predominantly experienced skiers and snowboarders (only 6 for lessons), we would have also visited the bar for food and drinks after to celebrate (another £200 guaranteed spend) I cannot understand the sheer incompetence of the staff at this site who did not want to help me place a booking in excess of £600 for a couple of hours on a Saturday. Apparently the Hemel Snow centre would rather give out incorrect information about availability and not contact you to help you for a party!

I would avoid at all costs if you are thinking of making a booking for a party and go to Milton Keynes instead! They were very helpful and actually wanted to take my £600! Surprising after still checking Hemel snow centre is still offering availability for the date I wanted and have not sold out..... I wonder why!

As a further note for readers the difference in cost for lessons between Hemel and Milton Keynes is huge! MK offers a 1 hour lesson for £25, Hemel offers a 1.5 hour lesson for £49, I have had skiing and boarding lessons at MK several times and they are excellent so if you can spare an extra 20-30min journey I would travel a little bit further for excellent service.
Weaknesses
Bad Customer Service
Similar Slopes Visited
Milton Keynes
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Big Ed
Reviews: 1
Somerset
    4 of 5,  "First time at Hemel Hempstead after many trips to Milton Keynes."  10/10/2011 @ 12:18
Price Per Hour
£38 for 2 hours.
Times Visited
Just Once
Review Detail
Having been to Milton Keynes several times over the years, I was keen to try out Hemel as it is about 45 minutes nearer to me and as it's a long journey from Somerset anyway, that was quite important.

The first thing that struck me on arrival was that the complex itself is tiny compared to MK, but that it was all slope and clearly a dedicated ski and board place. As I'm not really interested in bad food and going shopping this wasn't a problem for me.

The next thing I noticed was that I could just park up without getting fleeced for a parking ticket. Also, I was forced to go during a peak period and there were still plenty of parking spaces to choose from.

The check-in process was quick and simple (I used the fast track machines and avoided the queue).

The main changing area was of ample size and there were changing rooms available. I'm 6'2" and 14 stone and had plenty of room in the cubicle for me, my 167 wide board, large equipment bag and all my other stuff - so most other people should be fine too.

Once in the fridge itself it was immediately apparent how much newer and in better nick the place was compared to MK.

I never queued more than a minute or so for the button lifts, and the slope did not seem to be "over sold" which I have felt to be the case at MK before. I'm only intermediate level and still felt I had plenty of space to throw wider turns if I needed to.

The snow actually felt a lot more like real snow, and not some strange talcum powder! This was the biggest plus for me and was a joy to ride on. Also, I didn't find a single patch of hard ice. I had been to MK only a week before, and ice patches were everywhere.

I only spoke to two members of staff whilst I was there, and they were both friendly and helpful. I shared a joke with the guy on the lift duty, which must be a boring job so props to him.

I've nothing against MK, and don't deny the indoor snow fun it has provided me over the years - but I found HH to be better in every way for the boarder who only wants to go and board.
Strengths
Overall condition of facilities,
Quality of snow,
For my ability the slope was varied and interesting to ride.
Free parking,
Coin return lockers,
Friendly staff.
Weaknesses
If you were to bring non-boarding friends or family they'd get bored quickly.
Similar Slopes Visited
Milton Keynes.
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