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“Great manageress” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Clarion Collection Havnekontoret

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Clarion Collection Havnekontoret
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Slottsgaten 1, Bergen 5003, Norway (Vågen)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 42 Hotels in Bergen
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
522 helpful votes 522 helpful votes
“Great manageress”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013 via mobile

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.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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639 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Hillsborough, California
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

Awkward check-in with young inexperienced staff who also had to handle bar orders, strange but true. Have seen that in small boutique hotels, but this one is fairly large and since there is often but one attendant at the desk, this can create a back-up both for people checking in, out or with questions as well as for those trying to get bar service. The room was adequate but dim to dark, with those low wattage bulbs that make it hard to determine if you are putting on black socks or blue. It had clearly been remodeled but in a strange way with odd/mod touches; it was adequate but nothing special. Ice machines were either off (floor 3) or on and nonfunctional (but noisily grinding away) on floors 2 and 4; didn't check the other floors; glad we weren't next to one as you could hear the noise down the hall; informed the desk, they already knew of the issue but nothing was done about during our stay. Breakfast was basic but one can eat as much as one wants; some were taking full advantage of this and probably of the "dinner" buffet, which was also of marginal steam-table type quality; decided to forgo the "free" and opt for some of the restaurants around town. Hotel has great bones (check out the back staircase and sitting area) so may have been a great hotel at some point in time but not anymore.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Terceira, Portugal
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
187 helpful votes 187 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

Unfortunately I chose to stay at the very new Clarion No 13 which, for several reasons, did not satisfy me very much.
I discovered that there was another Clarion, the Havnekontoret, and I immediately went to have a look at it. Being the owner of a travel agency since almost 20 years, I am an expert.
This hotel is a REALLY nice one in the 4* segment! It used to be the old harbour office in Bergen. It is a historic, wonderful building full of charm and character! The lobby is marvellous, a superb mix "old traditional // modern". The huge chandelier hanging on the ceiling in the lobby might be the biggest one in Bergen - wonderful!
The staff at reception did not know that I am a travel expert. But they treated me in a great way, showing me around in every part of the hotel. I loved the lobby, the restaurant, all the public areas, the generous staircase, the pretty rooms (book a harbour view, it is a must!!).
I liked this hotel a lot in every way, and on top of that it has the best location you could imagine!
If you visit Bergen I think that Bryggen is by far the most beautiful sight. This hotel is right next to it. Wonderful location, superb views on the harbour and Mount Floyen is close as well.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

This is a great hotel. Good location right next door to the old port. Very attractive lobby and welcoming, friendly, helpful staff. Nice rooms but no real view.Go up to the tower for fantasic views over Bergen. The inclusions are endless, breakfast, WiFi, 24 Hour coffee/tea, afternoon waffles and a basic but very good buffet dinner which will save you spending a fortune in the nearby restaurants. It's a quick walk to all the tourists spots. Very highly recommended

Room Tip: Don't stay in the room there is a lot to see in Bergen
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Strasbourg, France
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

Stayed here 2 nights. At first sight it seemed horribly expensive, but when you look for the prices of other accommodation in Bergen, when you add a good breakfast, evening dinner and being in the heart of Bryggen, the room prices are more than correct. Bonus: there is a pancake self-service in the afternoon.
The negative point: we had to make the children’s bed ourselves.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

Havnekontoret is my home 3 times a year and has been since its opened. I choose always Havnekontoret of many obvious reasons;
The best beds and linnen, quiet A/C so I sleep like home.
Healthy breakfastbuffet and eveningfood so I dont need expensive restaurants.
Very close distance to shopping and fitnesswalk at Fløyen, with the best view.
In the middle of all attractions/sights.
The staff, at reception, kitchen, director.. All of them do the best to make you feel comfortable.
And offcourse, the hotel is delicatly styled and just being there makes you relaxed.

Go there, and feel like home!

Room Tip: I always ask for superior rooms, fronting the harbour east and city center.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, CA
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

My wife and I stayed 4 nights at this hotel and we were delighted. With due respect, I have to disagree about some of the complaints posted in August 19 by one reviewer. First, You DON'T have to stand in line to cook your own breakfast. There is the normal Scandinavian (i.e., excellent) breakfast buffet with meats, cheeses, bread, cereal, yogurt, etc. You MAY cook your own bacon and eggs, but there is plenty of other stuff to eat that is right there. That includes scrambled and soft boiled eggs already sitting for you. Nobody has to return their dishes to the trolley. Some people around me did. In one case the guy staffing the dining room seemed to be annoyed that those people were doing his job.

No if you want to have complimentary pancakes from 3-6 pm, you do have to pour the batter on the grill and turn them over yourself. Oh, and they also serve a free, light dinner buffet, which is really nice given the cost of eating out every night in Norway.

Obviously I haven't seen all the rooms, but ours on the 4th floor looking toward the south was roomy and tasteful. Correct, there was not doorman. I didn't really worry about it, as the front desk is a couple meters away from the elevator easily accommodates several people with large bags. I'm in my 60s and it didn't occur to me that I needed help.

Finally, about the desk staff... the one thing that I noticed about them other than that they were professional and helpful, was that they seem to all be good looking. I guess that isn't hard to do in Norway. But the male and female staff were great.

We stayed at some really nice hotels in Norway. This was definitely one of them.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clarion Collection Havnekontoret

Address: Slottsgaten 1, Bergen 5003, Norway
Location: Norway > Western Norway > Hordaland > Bergen > Vågen
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Bergen
#1 Romantic Hotel in Bergen
#1 Family Hotel in Bergen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Clarion Collection Havnekontoret 3.5*
Number of rooms: 116
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Also Known As:
Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Hotel Bergen
Clarion Collection Bergen
Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret
Clarion Bergen

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