The Polarrigg at Longyearbyen, created by the late Mary-Anne Dahle, is a highly convenient place to stay on Svalbard. It consists of several buildings grouped around a gravel surface, with an old boat and bus that have been converted into bar terraces. They operate a no-shoes policy, given the roads in Svalbard that are covered in mud and glebe; hotel guests are therefore required to leave their footwear in a vestibule near the entrance. Shoehorns are available if you have forgotten your own. We stayed in the so-called Luksusriggen opposite the main building; this was a small but cosy double room that contained a bed, desk and wardrobe and had an en-suite shower and toilet, which, however, did not appear to have any ventilation and therefore became very hot indeed. It was manageable to shave and shower, in any case. The Vinterhagen restaurant, which doubles as the breakfast room in the morning, is a conservatory filled with plants and trees. Breakfast is a buffet on offer in a room that is connected to the conservatory via a miner's tunnel. I had some nice bacon and eggs with a cuppa, as well as delicious brunost. In the evening, the reindeer steak did not disappoint. Vinterhagen also has a bar that stays open until 11pm. Note that I had booked this room a year-and-a-half in advance, which is advisable as they fill up incredibly quickly. I have no complaints about Mary-Anne's and the two nights I stayed here for my birthday. I only wish I could have met her; she seems to have been quite a character.…
Polarrigg is a funky hotel. From the outside it looks like it has been thrown together from driftwood, perched on a heap of gravel. And is surrounded by rusty artefacts from the mining age – appropriate since it is a converted miners’ hostel. There is a variety of accommodation offered, but I can only comment on the single rooms, organized in a long corridor with shared bathrooms dotted about. The rooms are small and basic, but well heated, with blackout curtains and comfy beds. Four negatives affected my stay, two of them really minor: first, the chair in my room collapsed on me. The staff were very helpful in replacing it immediately, but two of them said ‘oh, that chair’, indicating that it had happened before. Second, at breakfast, quite nice standard Scandinavian fare, the oat milk curdled in my coffee. The staff assured me that the milk was fresh, so it must have been the coffee they were using or over-brewing, that became too acidic. But in this case change the coffee or the milk, don’t blame the customer! Third, something inherent to the design of the place and not helped by the fact that flights to and from Oslo sometimes arrive or depart in the middle of the night, so that I was awoken most nights by the clatter of people operating the noisy door locking mechanisms in the corridor outside. Finally, and most alarming, there was a foul stench of sewage that, at various times, pervaded different parts of the building, but especially the area close to the restaurant. This is the kind of thing that would get the place closed down if inspected by the public health department, so the plumbing and waste disposal system absolutely needs to be fixed as soon as possible. I raised this at reception and was told ‘yes we know about it, it affects all of Longyearbyen’. Sorry but that really isn’t good enough. Polarrigg is half the price of a proper hotel, so one should expect what one pays for. But I really didn’t pay for the smell of sewage. I note that hardly any other reviewers have dared mention this, but it is unavoidable. On the plus side, the residents’ lounge with complimentary tea and coffee is spacious, comfortable and characterful, with an attached kitchen for those who prefer to self cater. And although it is located some way out of the centre, the path over the river is very convenient to get there in just 10 minutes.…
There is not many options in this part of the world, but for sure this is a good one, cousy, relax AND COOL. rooms with no toilet or bathroom, as they are on the hall, but this does not stop to be an explorer place! restaurant has game food, very good and tasty, breakfast was very good too. very tiny beds... I enjoy the stay!
Me and my daughter have stayed at Mary-Ann's for 5 days last July. I found the plcae super clean, nicely kept and with all the services you might need: clean and super equipped kitchen, clean and spacious toilets. The room was a bit small but at the end we were there just for sleeping! Breakfast included was great! Super food, fresh and with a quite few choices. The restaurant for dinner is a bit expensive but they serve great food and also plates that I doubt you may find easily elsewhere. Great selection of music! Maybe a few more games for relax time would have been appreciated. I would definetly go back next time we'll visit Svalbard, and we will!!!!
Due to the pilots strike I had an extended stay here, and didn't want to leave! Over my stay I had 2 rooms, both amazing and immculately clean. It's a shared bathroom situation, but there is a good room / bathroom ratio so never had to wait. Bathrooms were cleaned 3-4 times a day so were also spotless. Reception is staffed 24 hours a day and were always extremely helpful and polite. There is a shared 'common room' with lots of sofas / TV which is lovely to chill in if you don't want to be alone in your cabin. There's also a communal kitchen / fridges which I made us of for a couple of meals. The staff also keep the common room stocked with regular complimentary coffee which is a lovely touch. The decor was just awesome Old mining objects and stuffed polar bears fill the quirky interior. And outside id the original miners bus (smoking shelter) and even an old boat! (Great to climb aboard with a drink from the bar! Buffet breakfast was a nice surprise, and set me up for the day right up to dinner. The on-site restaurant Vinterhagen was also amazing, and I have posted a separate review. After seeing most of the other accommodations on offer while I was in Longyearbyen, I definitely chose the best place to stay. Highly recommend.…
I choose this place as I wanted a unique experience while staying in Longyearbyen and it has not disappointed me. The room was small but clean with a nice painting on the wall and everything one might need - bed / desk / chair / cupboard and mirror. The bathroom and shower were outside but 2 were close by - so you could just pick the other one if one was busy. The breakfast was tasty and as one of my dates fall on a public holiday - we even got a cake.
From the moment I arrived, I have loved this place. They held my reservation for 2 years and I was immediately smitten by the helpful, friendly, slightly funky (in a good way) vibe. This place has great food (includes breakfast and the dinner purchased was superb). It's very clean. An easy walk across the pedestrian bridge to town. Shared bathroom = no problem. Comfy bed, good shower.
The atmosphere inside the hostel is superb, even if no-one else is there it is just a wonderful space to be in. The lounge area is just what you need with an assortment of armchairs and a big dining table. Somehow it never felt busy even when the hostel was full. A totally cozy feel! But most important of all is the food. Breakfasts are amazing ! And the houmous that Maggi and Joanna prepare is phenomenal. Just a wonderful start to the day. Cant wait to go back !!
Great breakfast every morning. Perfect bacon & scrambled eggs & a good cup of coffe! Nice staff in the reception. The rooms are functional with a bed that was nice to sleep in. Toilet & shower could have been more up to date. But everything was nice & clean - I enjoyed my stay here!
This could be my 4th time here, and even, with the new administration the place continue being the best place there. Is is not a normal hotel, if you want a full hotel service, don't go there, this is like a big house with family, you share amazing spaces, a beauty living room, a play-room area and meet many wonderful people there. Gabriela, Juanpe, Xenia and many other makes the difference there. With team like them this is getting even better. Thank you for keeping this like it was. See you soon.