We took a taxi from the train station to avoid having to drag luggage through the streets, but this hotel is an easy walk to the harbor and city center without the luggage. Situated on the edge of a small, pretty park (which the taxi driver warned us might be a bit risky to be walking around late in the evening), the hotel is in an attractive older building and appears very well-kept, inside and out.
The staff are very friendly and helpful, although their directions on how to get to the airport bus were confusing and rather misleading (perhaps it was language translation problems). They sent us to the pickup point next to the train station through a "shopping center" parking garage which we would never have recognized as a shopping center without help (just looked like a big, gray, somewhat forbidding building, unlike the rest of Bergen). I think there is an airport bus pickup point nearer the harbor that might also be nearer to the Steens Hotel, worth checking on before you make the walk from the hotel.
The hotel room we had was very clean and neat, with everything we needed, but very small, on the third floor so it was very quiet (no elevators, though). We had to laugh at the bathroom, though, which we had trouble locating, as it was through a mirrored door that was up two steps that were positioned next to the bed as though the steps were a bedside table, which we thought it was until we looked up the side of the mirror enough to notice the door handle.
Easy to see that they had to get really creative to retrofit this old building (1890s) with proper plumbing, as the bathroom, in addition to being up two steps from the bedroom (watch this, could be tricky if you have to get up during the night), was efficiently tiny. It was basically a "wet room" with a drain in the floor and a shower curtain surrounding the shower fixture on one side of the room with the sink, and the toilet on the other side of the room. Shower worked fine, but the wet floor can be a bit slippery (squeegee tool provided).
The breakfast room on the second floor was old-style grand, with rich, dark oak paneling, original wallpaper, a fireplace in one corner, and a splendid, circa-1920s, stained-glass window with traditional hunting motifs showing game birds, wild boar, and hare. The continental breakfast was fine, with a typical selection of cereals, fruit, bread, some ham and cheese, soft-boiled eggs, fruit juice, coffee, tea, etc.
They had a lovely classical musical selection playing in the background, too, which set the mood perfectly until it was marred by another guest, who decided to treat us all to sharing his laptop viewing (and listening) to some birthday party or other (family?) celebration. Very annoying (never have seen someone do that before), and I think one of the hotel staff should have politely asked him to turn down the volume or to view it in his room.
Generally, the hotel was a nice experience, and the prices were reasonable, especially if you have the Fjord Pass (check this out, the savings in room price might be worth purchasing the Fjord Pass just for this).
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- Also Known As:
- Steens Hotel Bergen