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“Nice stay in prison.”

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Clarion Collection Hotel Bilan
Ranked #1 of 18 Hotels in Karlstad
Certificate of Excellence
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Nice stay in prison.”
Reviewed October 9, 2012

This hotel is in the central parts of Karlstad,it was a prison before and it´s rebuilt in an nice way.
The room was clean and fresh,nice furnitures,wi-fi and a big restroom.
A warm welcoming atmosphere,photos from the old prison on the walls and a museum in the basementfloor.
The concept offering coffe almost all day and a generous evening-buffet is a hit.Tasty food,salads and deserts and a ecological breakfast,could not be better.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vresros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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511 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    314
    153
    32
    7
    5
See reviews for
69
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Clarion Collection Bilan for 3 nights and had a very enjoyable stay. We received a warm welcome upon arrival and because we were celebrating an anniversary, the personnel had placed a nice welcome basket in our room, which was a really sweet touch and very much appreciated.

The bed wasn't huge, but it was comfortable. The bathroom was spotless and very modern. The room had really high beamed ceilings and two large windows. There was a desk with a chair and an armchair. There were at least 15 channels on the flatscreen TV.

Both the breakfast and dinner were wonderful! The buffet was constantly replenished, and the kitchen/serving staff were friendly and kept all the tables cleared. There's afternoon coffee/tea with cake every afternoon and fruit available all day. The dinner was a very tasty hot entree and a nice variety of salads every day, along with a dessert.

Each time we met the cleaning personnel in the hall they greeted us and asked how we had slept. Our room was very nicely cleaned every day.

The hotel is a very short walk to the city center and very easy to get to by car or train. You can park for free in the lot next door (you can get a permit from the reception desk) or park in the hotel's lot for SEK 75 per day. We opted for the free parking :)

Karlstad was a really nice city. People were friendly and the city was pretty. In the summer you can take water busses which are a nice way to see the city from a different angle. At the tourist office (in the library) you can buy a 1 or 3 day pass that is good for both the regular busses and the water busses. We didn't use the regular busses because the city is so good for walking.

Hope this review was helpful :). Enjoy your trip to Karlstad!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Marcella H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
202 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 308 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2012

This is in all fairness a decent 3 star hotel. Ok, maybe they haven't got slippers and maybe you can hear traffic noise in some of the rooms, but come on - it's in the center of the city!

I have stayed in this hotel 5-6 times and find it very nice and convenient. Like stated, in the center, free parking (!), fairly modern. It's not a 5 star wanna-be, and it delivers as expected (and better) for a 3 star, and that's why I rate it "Average". A little improvement here and there, and they'll soon be touching the "Very Good" rating from me.

I have tried both the breakfast buffet and the evening buffet and at that price it's quite all right. Off course you can find better food in the city, but not at that price. And there are lots of healthy choices too.

I see other reviewers comment about the service. I'd say it's usually ok, never bad, but not top either. You don't feel special when you walk in the door, nor when you leave. They lack that little extra.

I'm very picky about beds, and the beds I have slept in in this hotel were actually very nice.

And I do recommend a trip in the basement to see the prison museum and the prison cells, just as they were when the prison shut down in the fifties. I do believe it is possible to spend the night in one of them, if you got the nerve… Rumors have it the hotel is haunted, so maybe you'll have a special and memorable night.


The Bilan hotel is all in all a good alternative, not fancy but fair. Much like the city itself…


If this review in any way was helpful, I appreciate the feedback so pls hit the Yes button if you think so.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Leon_Norway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm
Level Contributor
37 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2012

I was quite disappointed with my stay at this hotel. The room was very small, almost cramped, and there were no doubt that this is a former prison! As the hotel is surrounded by busy streets you didn´t want to open the window which made the experience a bit claustrophobic. The room was a bit noisy even with the window closed and as the doubel bed was pretty narrow the sleep quality wasn´t very good. The hotel is slightly outside of the city centre and there are many hotels more centrally located. Dinner was included by paying 10 euro extra but the buffé was pretty bland, it´s better to go to a restaruant and have a proper meal. There were many organic products though, also in the breakfast buffé which was OK. The staff compensated for the pitfalls by being friendly and helpful, and the common areas are more spacious and OK decorated. This is not enough to make me come back though.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NinaPaqariq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2012

I was really excited to stay at the Bilan; those positive vibes were shot down in under five minutes. Our reception at the desk was chilly at best; the room (reserved as "Double Bed Superior") was small by NYC standards, and not remotely like any of the photos on their site. Low ceilings, very tiny windows mounted high on the wall, only 3' of space on either side of the bed, an itty bitty desk more suited to a college dorm room, and no place (nor space) to set out a suitcase while you unpack or re-pack. Poor lighting only made what was a depressing room more so.

This was, without question, the most uncomfortable room I've been in ever, in any country (that says a lot since I travel heavily for work).

We moved to a new hotel the next day (Scandic Karlstad City), and couldn't have been more pleased (see my review there).

Room Tip: Try the Scandic Karlstad City or the Elite--both much better choices.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PaperQueen_Mpls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunne, Sweden
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2012

Spent a very enjoyable 24 hrs at this hotel. Afternoon tea on arrival..just what one needs after a car journey, and a buffe in the evening, plus breakfast- all included in the price. Wonderful not to have to think where to go to eat. The hotel is an old prison, so we took a visit down into the cellar where there are still a few cells and a museum, very interesting if you like that kind of thing. Staff very helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble. Within walking distance to the town centre which was very convenient.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Leiona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
46 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2012

To stay at Clarion hotel Bilan in Karlstad is a nice and interesting experience. The hotel is an old prison, built 1847. The architecture is inspired by buildings from Greece and Italy. In the 91 cells in the building thousands of prisoners have served their sentence during the 121 years the prison was active as the county prison for Värmland. The prison was closed in 1968. The cells are rebuilt to 68 nice hotel rooms and there is a museum in the basement, where you can learn more about the history of the prison. As a hotel guest you have free parking, afternoon coffee and breakfast buffet.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ombudsmannen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clarion Collection Hotel Bilan

Property: Clarion Collection Hotel Bilan
Address: 3 Karlbergsgatan, Karlstad 652 24, Sweden
Location: Sweden > Varmland County > Karlstad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Karlstad
#1 Romantic Hotel in Karlstad
#1 Business Hotel in Karlstad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Clarion Collection Hotel Bilan 3.5*
Number of rooms: 73
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Clarion Karlstad
Karlstad Clarion
Clarion Collection Karlstad

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