This hotel, like every other hotel we stayed in or checked out in Norway is distinctly lacking in luxe. I just don't think it's the nature of this country.
This one is in an historic building at the end of the tourist/historic district known as Bryggen. It's slightly removed from the centre of town if that's an issue for you. It has been renovated with a modern slant. The decor is dark and dramatic - not my personal taste. The rooms themselves are a nice size with sitting area. The bathroom, unfortunately, is one little step up from the room which can be treacherous for older (or, perhaps, younger, tipsy) guests. The rooms are functional with wall mounted flat screens. There are no American style electrical outlets here or in any other hotel we stayed in in Norway. There's a combo tub/shower if you have mobility issues. Whereas the other Clarion hotels laudably had only wall mounted squeeze dispensers for the soap/shampoo, this one had both these and the wasteful individual shampoo, conditioner bottles which I consider to be extremely Eco-unfriendly.
There's a fridge with minibar but no safe in the rooms. This didn't seem to be an issue here - there's an extremely low crime rate in Norway- but don't expect to be able to leave your diamonds in the room.
This hotel provides a complimentary typical Norwegian buffet breakfast and a buffet dinner. Both are outstanding. There's an Eritrean chef who not only produces excellent food but is also extremely accommodating. He provided me with hot milk for breakfast and anything else he could do.
There's a minimally stocked fitness room with treadmills and free weights.
The staff here and almost everywhere else we stayed in Norway are extremely laid back. This is not a formal country. I thought the fellow, who, I believe, is the front desk manager, came off as a bit flip and dismissive. When we checked in, I inquired about parking. He said they had a few spots, they were already taken, but that we could park in the public garage across the way. His directions were sketchy, at best, so I had to return to find out exactly where it was. Also at check in, I asked him if they had any lower rates than the room rate which we'd booked - this request paid off at the hotel we'd stayed at in Stavanger - and he practically laughed me out of the hotel saying they were extremely full and were charging even more to walk-ins. Factual, perhaps, but slightly lacking in sensitivity. One day, I approached him to ask what time was checkout. Without skipping a beat he said: "This man was here before you". And, then, realizing how ridiculous his response was, he said 12:00 o'clock. These are indeed small points but they all contribute to one's overall impression of a hotel.
When I was checking out, I asked the clerk how much the hotel parking cost. She said NOK 100 per day. The city parking was NOK 200. I asked how one could arrange to get a hotel spot. She said you must reserve in advance. Considering that I was paying double in the city lot and double what is a hefty amount to begin with, I pointed out that nothing was mentioned on their website about their parking and that since I'd booked our room several months in advance, I'd probably have scored a spot. I suggested that they change their website. She said she'd pass on the suggestion. So annoyed was I at what I saw as a major oversight on the part of the hotel, I asked to speak to the manager. Out came a lovely charming lady. When I expressed my disappointment that their website had omitted their parking arrangements, she said that they only have four spaces and that they do NOT accept advance reservations for them. They are apparently allocated on a first come first serve basis at the time of check-in. She did mention, in the presence of the clerk who had originally told me that they did accept reservations and was modifying her claim by saying that you could only "request" a spot when you booked, that the staff weren't all up to speed on the parking policy. But she said it in a very pleasant way. And she inquired as to our experience at the hotel and our impression of Norway. All in all, this manager's attitude completely made up for any deficiencies.
In summary, this is a typical, above average hotel for its price range with ample rooms and wonderful meal service. And a delightful manager.
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- Also Known As:
- Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Hotel Bergen
- Clarion Collection Bergen
- Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret
- Clarion Bergen