We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Great location with fantastic service”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Longyearbyen
Washington DC
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great location with fantastic service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2014

I booked this hotel using points as it seemed like a very unique place to stay (world's northernmost full service hotel). The staff here were fantastic helping to book things during the polar nights when I was there. Booked a cave trip, but cave entrance was completely covered in snow so received a full refund.
Breakfast spread was the usual massive cold/hot buffet and I found the food at the hotel bar to be delicious and reasonably priced by Norwegian standards.
Actual hotel property is a bit aged and the rooms weren't too fancy but the Internet was fast. The sauna also came in handy a few times.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank alwaysReady2Fly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

559 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    130
    264
    126
    26
    13
See reviews for
61
220
75
81
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Trstenik, Croatia
Level Contributor
232 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2014

I stayed here for 7 days over the Christmas period.

Check-in had the potential to be a bit of a scrum - as other reviewers have commented - since everyone arrives on a single plane from the mainland and with most people staying across just 2 or 3 hotels, a large queue quickly formed at reception. The hotel didn't seem to respond to this particularly well, i.e. the staffing level on reception didn't increased for the check-in spike. My solution was to go into the bar and relax for an hour or so, before going to an empty reception area an hour or so later.

In keeping with most buildings in Longyearbyen, you take your shoes off on arrival and leave them inside the front door. The location of the entrance hall relative to reception meant that with a queue back to the front door, it was difficult for others coming & going to remove/put on their shoes. I would have marshalled people away from the front door and formed a queue for check-in going into the larger space of the restaurant or even into the large meeting room directly opposite reception, where people could have queued with their luggage in more comfort as well as enjoyed the complimentary coffee & tea that was there.

The removal of shoes isn't mandatory and many of the locals no longer maintain a tradition that goes back to when miners took off their dirty boots upon entry to a property. However, it was rather wonderful to wander about inside all the time in just your socks - it certainly made it feel very much like being at home.

When I did check-in, my Concierge level membership of Carlson Rezidor's loyalty scheme was acknowledged and I was given a Superior Room. I think the main differences between standard and superior rooms are;
- superior rooms are on the upper floor and have better views (although in polar night, this makes no difference).
- superior rooms are more spacious.
- superior rooms are better equipped, including Nespresso machines, bathrobes & slippers.

The room was a decent size, particularly for a Scandinavian hotel (I'm guessing around 25 m2). It had twin beds that wasn't my preference but as it was Christmas and I was travelling on my own, I didn't really mind (especially if it meant a couple were able to have a double room elsewhere). In fact being in a single bed again was quite fun and added to the sense of adventure. The room had a mini-bar, armchair, work desk & chair and a small flat screen TV. The picture wasn't brilliant but this far out and with the weather that was outside, I am amazed there was any picture at all! It was more than watchable and - from memory - channel 16 or 17 was the local Svalbard radio station that broadcast 24 hours a day and had a great repertoire of music.

Despite it being -17'c outside before windchill, the room was always warm and there was a basic temperature control device on the wall, although I didn't really need to alter it throughout the duration of my stay.

The bathroom was compact but well equipped. The shower was over the bath and was the same fitting used by other Radisson properties as the hand-held shower attachment in walk-in showers. At full extension it was still too short for me (I'm 6'4") and so I had to bend down under it. Also, the head was small and the amount of water it dispensed was limited, even though the actual water pressure and temperature was always very good throughout my stay.

There was a note saying that most of the toiletries and bathroom sundries had been removed on the grounds of sustainability but were available from reception if required. There was a dispenser on the wall next to the basin and in the shower for Alpha Mouss. This was described as soap, shower gel and shampoo. Usually this kind of multi-function toiletry is rubbish but I have to say, Alpha Mouss was a revelation. I had brought my own toiletries, having read comments from previous reviews that the only toiletry available was this dispenser on the wall. However, it was more acceptable as shampoo and face wash and shower gel and hand wash. In fact, I am contemplating writing a small book on '101 uses for Alpha Mouss' as the stuff is amazing.

The room had very good sustainability credentials; all the lamps had low energy bulbs of a decent power, so the room wasn't too dim. In addition, there was a motion sensor in the ceiling that turned off the lights after something like 15 minutes of no movement. Then upon sensing movement, the sensor instantly returned the room back to its previous state of illumination. This was the first time I had seen this in any Carlson Rezidor property and it was a great idea; if you fell asleep, the lights in the room would be turned off. If you woke up, maybe to pop to the bathroom, the lights were turned back on. It may be a unique installation here in response to the months of polar day, so that the lights aren't on unnecessarily when it is light outside. However, it is something that would work in any hotel and I would love to see it installed across the Radisson Blu estate as a minimum.

On the downside, I can appreciate the comments of other reviewers that the hotel in general and rooms in particular are a bit tired and need refreshing/updating. The decor is a bit tired, the doors still have old-fashioned physical keys (rather than magnetic keycards or the fantastic RFID proximity cards being rolled out in many Radisson properties) and the furniture has seen better days. However, it was satisfactory and functional - one can't compare a room here to a room elsewhere because Longyearbyen is so remote. A room here needs to operate only at the utility function level; as another reviewer said, the TV picture may not be brilliant but who comes all this way to watch TV?! Having said that, simply saying 'this is the northernmost hotel in the world' shouldn't be an excuse for a poorly equipped or decorated room, particularly when the majority of the other hotel & guesthouse accommodation is much more utilitarian. In other words, being just a bit better than the rest may make you the best but do you want to be 'just a bit better'.

In my opinion, there are some simple changes that the hotel could make to the rooms that would align them more with other Carlson Rezidor properties and - more importantly - guests' expectations from a Radisson Blu property. These would include;

- more storage space. There was plenty of hanging space but no drawer space, only a couple of open shelves in the bedside table unit and at one end of the open wardrobe. People coming here, in polar night in particular, will have no end of clothing and there was not sufficient space to store it all.
- a more durable work chair. There was a decent sized desk to work at but the chair was something from the function/meeting room stock, being far too small to sit at for any length of time. Also, the arms were detachable and every time you tried to pull the chair in when you sat down, the arms came away in your hand.
- better bedding. The pillows/pillow cases and duvet/duvet case were synthetic - polyester? - and not cotton. This meant that whilst the duvet was very warm and cosy, it got very sweaty and in the morning you found yourself and the bedding damp with sweat.

The breakfast buffet was good, with a decent selection of cereal, breads & pastries, cold meats & cheeses and hot items. The chicken meatballs and mini sausages were particularly good. On a couple of mornings some of the hot items had run out although I'm not sure if this was poor planning or an actual lack of stock, as most things have to be brought in from the mainland. One observation on breakfast is that you do everything yourself; nobody will bring you coffee, you have to go across to the coffee urn and pour yourself some. The servers are there mainly to clear place settings. Once you've got used to this it is fine and the fact that there was complimentary tea & coffee on demand almost all the time was rather nice.

I ate in both Nansen and Barentz restaurant/bars and have reviewed these separately on here.

The staff were excellent throughout my stay. Most were young but spoke very good English and there were always professional, friendly and helpful. It was very good to see Radisson's 'Yes I Can!' ethos delivered this far north and in such a remote location.

There is a great gift shop adjacent to the reception area, selling a range of souvenirs, as well as more functional clothing and accessories, such as neck gaiters that are almost essential up here.

I used the hotel's laundry a couple of times. The service was satisfactory and prompt, if a little on the expensive side but then what else are you going to do when you're running out of clothes and there is no other option. You have to take your laundry to reception and pick up from there (it isn't returned to your room) but that wasn't an issue. Being able to get your laundry done in such a remote location was a massive plus and one of the key USPs for the hotel over other types of accommodation; would you really want to be washing your own base layer in a communal washing dryer (bearing in mind it can't be tumble dried) and that's assuming you know where the supermarket is to go and get some detergent?!

There is a shuttle bus from the airport to Longyearbyen centre that drops passengers off at the main accommodation venues; it is NOK60/approx £6 each way but it does get somewhat crowded when the plane is full and you can be waiting around for 20 minutes or so for the driver to collect everyone's fares. The alternative is to book a taxi that costs NOK150/approx £15 - if you share a taxi with one other person, it ends up about the same cost as the bus but is quicker and more spacious. I booked the taxi coming back having taken the bus on the way in and it was definitely the better choice.

Overall, this is a good hotel. If it was anywhere else it would probably score 3 circles but the remoteness and sheer brutality of its location - and the fact that it can offer a full-service guest offering in such a place - scores it 4 circles.

With a little TLC and capital investment, it could become a 5 circle property and the best in Longyearbyen.

If my memory serves me correctly, the building itself was originally the USA team hotel for the Lillehammer Winter Olympics in 1994. After the event ended, the hotel was resited here. This would make it 20 years old and this is evident in the comments about the overall condition. To be fair, back in 1994 tourism to Svalbard was near unheard of and so the demand wouldn't have warranted the additional investment. However, as Svalbard now has a firm footprint as a premium tourist destination, the demand has increased and it is appropriate that there is a hotel that caters for visitors who don't want to stay in a B&B or communal guesthouse.

Some small improvements to the specification of the rooms would bring the property into line with the Radisson Blu destination brand standards. Until then, it is a great place to stay when exploring this most magical of places.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Propaganda_Machine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nederweert, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
143 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

I have choose this hotel because the location, when arrived my room had 2 separated beds, a standard room, I went back to the front desk and complained about it, the lady asked me to wait 30min for clean another room. What was my surprise that she gaves me a upgrade to a Superior room, so I have started with right foot. The pub inside the Hotel is Fantastic, I neve ever have a so friendly staff working together in one single place. They are very receptive, friendly and helpful, I had a lot of fun staying in the pub and thanks to them I could watch the Northern Lights. They also have a good selection of beers and food.
The hotel staff also very friendly, I just did not give a 5 points because they never called me to watch the Northern lights, I saw it twice thanks to the guy (Chicco) in the Hotel's pub and later on when I decide to go out based on forecasts.
So, doesn't matter if you put your name in the list...
Beside that, everything was superb!

Room Tip: Room 232 had a good view of mountain and Northern lights...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Russa0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2013

I stayed in the hotel in December during the long polar night. I found the staff to be mostly friendly and helpful and one member attempted to stop me getting eaten by a polar bear by advising me against going to a particular area-always helpful advice!

This is the third Raddison Blu I have stayed at (the others were in Oslo and Copenhagen). I have to agree with other posters that the rooms are not up to four star standard and were considerably less impressive than the other two Blu's I stayed at. Of particular note was the shower. It is one of the two-way tap systems that is attached to bath taps and you press or puill something to direct the water into the shower. No four star hotel should have such a system. The shower head was so tiny that it didn't cover my body at all. It contrasted very poorly with the shower in the budget airport hotel at Oslo I'd just stayed in. Also I had no idea what to press or pull to get the water into the shower (it is the end of the water tap itself though not evident) I had to go to reception to ask-why not have a little card explaining.

Please also beware-I am not sure if this applies to all rooms but the bathroom pat if put across to hot comes out absolutely boiling-it is a profound scalding risk for youngsters. There is a mini bar fridge which had hardly anything in it. There was tea and coffee but only one or two tea bags and coffee sachets. I got my own tea and milk and used the sizeable fridge.


There was a good selection of food for breakfast. Given that when I went it was polar night and pitch dark all the time I would have preferred the hotel to put the lights up in the morning to at least signify this was the morning rather than a romantic meal at 8pm! They had the same very low lighting which can make it harder to wake up (though that may just be me). One slight moan was the lack of labels on the jugs and urns. I tried to use the wretched Nespresso machine for coffee and had to ask how to use it. It failed to work for me, but the lady (who was helpful) said there is an urn of coffee on the end-I would not have known as it had no label. A very small point but worth making.

In terms of things to do. The airship museum is closed out of season but I went to the small but very interesting Svalbard Museum-it's just behind the hotel and there is a tourist information desk there also. I also went to the most northerly church in the World. It is well worth the trip. The hotel has an excellent street map they will give you-the church is marked on that. Also marked is a polar bear sign up near the airport. A slight word of warning-when I said to the receptionist I was heading off to it she said that there had been some bear activity around there as there are few houses. Therefore, I chickened out. I highly recommend booking Svalbard Husky and when they take you out to the dogs they drive past the other polar bear sign. They will stop and take photos (see attached). Finally, if you walk up from the hotel you come to the main "downtown" area (such as it is). There is a supermarket and post office. If you wish to buy spirits or beer in the supermarket (but not wine) you need a passport or boarding card. Wine however can be bought without. Finally, I recommend lunch in "Svalbar" a cosy bar just up from the supermarket and a mulled wine in the Trappers Hotel, a little further on.

Would I stay in the hotel again? Yes, my stay was perfectly fine, the hotel and room clean and the staff were helpful. If able, I would give this hotel a "good" rather than "very good", though baulk at giving a hotel in such an amazing location an "average" rating.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fivestarcomfort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
44 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2013

We arrived at this hotel at at about 1.30am but could not get into the foyer. We had to queue in the open air for over twenty minutes. Luckily it was a beautiful dry and bright night (no darkness in June). The reason was that there was only one staff member on duty allocating rooms for everyone who had come on that flight. Also, there was no help up or down flights of stairs with luggage. On departure day, many people are witing in the hotel public rooms and there is insufficient seating to accommodate everyone so sitting on the floor was a necessary option. If you did manage to find an armchair or setee, no dozing or lying down was allowed. the staff were unfriendly in the extreme. We did inform Radisson of our experience but did not receive any response. Spitzbergen is an unique destination and the museum at Longyearbyen is well worth a visit.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KRBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorset, England
Level Contributor
35 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2013

We arrived at midnight, although it was still light, and inspite of there being quite a crowd of us in transit for a circumnavigation cruise, we were quickly allocated our room. The reception staff were still smiling even when it got round to 3.0am.
The first thing I had to do was visit the bar to have an Arctic beer in the most northern pub in the world. What a cozy place it is, must be amazing in the snow.
Our room in the annexe was huge with all amenities, a very comfy bed, and black-out curtains. Spotlessly clean.
I had breakfast early so that I could have a good walk-about in the wild frontier 'city' of Longyearbyen. There was everything that I could have wished for, with fresh bread and pastries, a good range of cooked food, and plenty of local fishy-things.
Altogether a very pleasant stay, somewhat unexpected in such a Polar outpost, and a credit to their ability to cope in difficult conditions.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ski_Wrinkley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Georgia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2013

The RBPH is a nice hotel for its location. The hotel is blended into the city and has spectacular views. We stayed only one night before catching a cruise ship. They have approx. 80 rooms.The hotel has good food through a full service restaurant and pub. The beds were comfortable and they do their best to keep rooms dark in the summer when the sun never sets. The staff was friendly and helpful. In keeping with old norwegian tradition be prepared to remove your shoes before entering the hotel. It appeared that all adventures to explore Longyearbyen begin and end here. Their location is minutes from the airport, docks and a small walk across the street to shops and museums. When venturing out on your own stay within the boundries of the city center and you will feel safe from the serious danger of polar bears. If we ever get back to the polar circle I would stay here again.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Patrick A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Longyearbyen hotels
0.3 mi away
Svalbard Hotel
Svalbard Hotel
#1 of 3 in Longyearbyen
4.5 of 5 bubbles 319 reviews
0.7 mi away
Spitsbergen Hotel
Spitsbergen Hotel
#3 of 3 in Longyearbyen
4.0 of 5 bubbles 315 reviews
1.5 mi away
Coal Miners’ Cabins
Coal Miners’ Cabins
#2 of 3 in Longyearbyen
4.0 of 5 bubbles 243 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.2 mi away
Mary-Ann's Polarrigg
Mary-Ann's Polarrigg
#2 of 6 in Longyearbyen
3.5 of 5 bubbles 114 reviews
0.3 mi away
Basecamp Hotel
Basecamp Hotel
#1 of 3 in Longyearbyen
4.5 of 5 bubbles 237 reviews
1.6 mi away
Guest House 102
Guest House 102
#1 of 6 in Longyearbyen
4.5 of 5 bubbles 319 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen

Property: Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen
Address: Road 500, Longyearbyen 9171, Norway
Phone Number:
Location: Norway > Svalbard > Spitsbergen > Longyearbyen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Longyearbyen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen 4*
Number of rooms: 95
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Agoda, Priceline and TripOnline SA so you can book your Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen Hotel Longyearbyen
Radisson Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen Radisson
Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen Svalbard

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing