I stayed in one of the apartments rather than an ordinary room; given they were the same price I thought I could make use of the cooking facilities to save a few pounds as I was there for two nights.
This was a positive for me given how expensive eating out in Longyearbyen can be, but the trade off appeared to have been the sleeping arrangements. The bedroom consists of a bunk bed, and that was it. No bedsit table, just a bunk bed, I did improvise and use a dining chair as a bedside table, but it wasn't ideal.
The living room did have a sofa bed which I didn't use, and perhaps should have, but for what they were they I did get two very good nights sleep. The apartment itself was spacious and clean, and apart from room service knocking on my door at 8am on the first morning, I was pretty happy.
The other slight obscurity about the apartments was their location. I believe the normal rooms are within the same building as the bar and restaurant, however the apartments are slightly off to the side. It's only a stones throw away, and in September the very short walk wasn't an issue, but in the middle of a freezing cold December day with snow blowing in all directions, this could be more of a problem.
The view out of my window was of a road. I'm pretty sure the hotel rooms overlooked the fjord, whereas the apartments were slightly set back. I didn't spend much time looking out of the window, but it would have been nice to overlook the fjord. I don't want to sound too critical of the room, it was okay, but nothing more. It's highly unlikely I will return to Longyearbyen, but in hindsight I wish I'd booked a room rather than an apartment, and would pass this advice onto anybody considering visiting.
Unfortunately I didn't eat in the restaurant to comment, but the breakfast was very good and the hotel also has a small pub/bar which sold decent 'pub' food (pizzas, burgers etc). The bar was quite had a friendly atmosphere, not too overcrowded, but not completely void of people either.
Having previously also stayed in the Spitsbergen Hotel which I was very impressed with, if I were to return to Longyearbyen I would probably opt for the Radisson Blu again, although taking the hotel room rather than the apartment. Longyearbyen isn't big, but it's on top of most of what there is to visit, the staff were friendly and service orientated, and it came off as a genuinely friendly place to stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stay at the world's northernmost full service hotel in the heart of Longyearbyen. From your table at Restaurant Nansen you can enjoy the panoramic view towards the majestic mountain Hiorthfjellet accompanied by an excellent Arctic menu and a good selection of wines. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen Hotel Longyearbyen
- Radisson Longyearbyen
- Longyearbyen Radisson
- Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen Svalbard