We stayed here for 3 days / 2 nights and had a wonderful time. Balestrand is a sleepy, charming little town in a heart-stoppingly beautiful landscape. So calm and peaceful, so relaxing. We took a decent length day hike up in the mountains (picked up a simple trail map at the tourist office and got some basic advice from the guy there) which was one of the highlights of our trip through the fjords - just lovely. Many of the hiking trails start from the elementary school up in the hills above the town - was quite something to see the kids having recess, exploring in the woods unsupervised, the kind of thing that's long disappeared at home.
Anyway, so back to the hotel. The manager, Jon, is friendly, and it's worth asking for advice - he pointed out a place to stop on our drive up to Geiranger that we would have blasted right past otherwise, where you can walk out on a steel bridge over a fast-moving creek. The common areas are in a charming, old house with antiques and family mementoes lying about. The views from all around are just stunning.
The rooms are in a modern addition to the home, and as others have described, they are pretty sterile. This is where they could have improved things - a little Scandinavian design sense could have rendered the modern part a lot more attractive while still being minimalist and simple. It's worth getting the fjord side room with a balcony so that you look at the stunning landscape instead of the non-stunning room.
We opted for the breakfast + dinner meal plan - I think it's a good thing to do, because the food is good, and there seemed to be few to no restaurants around in town. However, if you're picky, it's not a menu system; dinner is whatever dinner is. Basic, good homestyle cooking. May depend on who is cooking - for us, a young Baltic woman (who lives nearby - her daughter along with another girl staying at the hotel provided our daughter with some much-needed non-adult company for a few days) was cooking, and her food was simple but tasty.
We would stay here again - I sure hope we make it back to this part of Norway.
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- Also Known As:
- Midtnes Hotel Balestrand