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“Warm and cosy atmosphere, family owned.”
Review of Balestrand Hotel

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Balestrand Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Balestrand
Certificate of Excellence
Ghent, Belgium
Level Contributor
60 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Warm and cosy atmosphere, family owned.”
Reviewed June 11, 2014 via mobile

Nice hotel with a magnificent view over the fjord. Beds are fine, bathroom small but clean. Rooms and staircase looks a bit dated and old fashioned. Lobby is a nice place to read or to relax. Family that run the place is very helpfull. Pick up of luggage at the boat terminal. No fresh fruit at breakfast.

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Filip C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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369 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (118)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Newbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2014

We stayed 4 nights at this small quiet family run hotel. It is set right on the fjord with fantastic views from the front facing balcony rooms. Balestrand is a small town with one very large historic hotel (Kvikes hotel) and a small number of smaller hotels. What was nice about this hotel was that it was quiet and peaceful with no large tour groups that you get in the larger hotels.

The family running the hotel were friendly and helpful and the facilities were adequate. There is no evening meal service, but this helps to keep the hotel quiet I guess. Restaurants are very limited in Balestand (see reviews).

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DavH965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 3, 2014

We stayed in Balestrand one night in the middle of the Norway in a Nutshell tour. It was a very worthwhile detour. Although the town is very small, the ferry ride there is beautiful, and the town has great hiking trails. Unni-Marie was very responsive prior to our arrival, and her daughter met us at the harbor to drive our luggage to the hotel. The room was basic, but clean and comfortable. The breakfast was great!

Room Tip: We did not pay extra for a fjord view, because there are plenty of fjord views outside.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ericb2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2014 via mobile

We loved this hotel! The owners were wonderfully helpful with boat, bus and train info as we were doing the Nutshell fjord trip on our own. Breakfast was great, our room was spotless and our view of the fjords from our room was spectacular! The town of Balestrand is so lovely!

Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank wlstone599
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
106 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 209 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2014

My husband and I were in Norway for 10 days and stayed in room 208 at the Balestrand Hotel for 2 nights in May 2014.

The hotel is not open year round - they open up in May. They have their own website with full details. If you let them know when you are coming they will meet you at the ferry dock. It is not very far from the dock to the hotel but it is nice not to have to haul your luggage.

The car was at the dock waiting for us. We had them take our luggage and then walked around the village a bit and then to the hotel.

The proprietress was very nice, friendly and helpful. She answered all of our questions and is extremely knowledgeable of the area and gave us some hiking suggestions. Her teenage daughter does the breakfast in the morning and was also very nice.

The Room:
Spend the few extra bucks and get a balcony room. The view is fantastic looking out over the fjord. You could just sit there and count the ferries going by all day :) The rooms that don't have one face the back toward the mountains.

See pics. Two twin beds together make a queen (this is standard across Europe). Desk, 2 sitting chairs, small wardrobe. No mini bar, electronic safe, air conditioning (none of our Norway hotels had these). Room Darkening Curtains - this is important as the sun does not really go down in the spring / summer. It "set" at 10:30 but was not completely dark - like twilight - and then "rose" again at about 4:30.

Internet: Wifi in the room was super fast compared to what we get in the US

TV: There is no tv or phone in the room. You aren't really traveling all this way to spend your time watching tv anyways, right? There is a tv in the lobby if you find yourself going through withdrawals :)

Balcony: has partitions between rooms and two chairs and a table.

Bathroom: Bathtub and shower

Breakfast: standard for a small European hotel. When you come down they ask if you want hard or soft boiled eggs. Breads, jams, meat, cheese, cereal, muesli, yogurts, coffee, tea. There are 2 grocery stores in town (Coop and Joker) if you need something else.

Hiking: we took trail 7B to Balastolen - it is an intermediate trail with great views and benches and a picnic table at Orrabenken stop. The trail goes up to 435 meters / 1400 feet. The trail head is at the school in town, walkable from the hotel. As it was May there was still snow at 600m so you would need to be properly equipped to do the red expert trails. The hotel has a shoe dryer if yours get all wet while hiking.

Stave Church: St Olaf's church is a wood stave style church built in 1897 is next to the hotel. It has beautiful craftsmanship. You can go in and enter and take a look around as they leave the door open. Volunteer clergy comes into town and provides services on Sundays.

Grave Mound of King Bele - down the road to the right are two grave mounds that date back to 400 AD. There is a statue and a sign explaining it in English.

Restaurants: We ate at Gekkens both nights as I am a vegan (vegetarian, no dairy or eggs) and it was the only place in town I could get something - steamed veggies, potato, bread, salad. My husband had the salmon dinner which he said was fresh and excellent.

The village is not that large but very scenic. We wandered around in the evenings and took pictures. You can also rent bicycles and go for a ride out of town.

Overall: The hotel is good value for the money. Clean, great view, and friendly owners. We are thinking of coming back next year in May but a week earlier to hit the Balestrand Jazz Festival and will definitely stay here again if we do.

For those not used to traveling in Europe / Norway:
1) Rooms are smaller than in the US
2) Hotel ratings are different - generally a 4 star hotel in Europe would be 3 or 3.5 star in the US
3) Bathrooms usually have a shower or a bathtub but not usually both. If you have a preference check before you book
4) Queen / Double beds are two twins pushed together. The hotel can organize the room two different ways then depending on what is requested
5) Duvets are separate for each person - not one big one. Great if one of you is always hot and the other always cold
6) Pillows are flat - you'll have to double them over to prevent your head from hitting the mattress.
7) Common US breakfast foods are not usually served except maybe at larger chain hotels (oatmeal, pancakes, waffles). Eggs are usually hard boiled or scrambled - not omelettes.
8) In Norway most people speak English very well - so no worries about communications.
9) In Norway food and drink are very expensive compared to the USA. A pint of beer is $10-13, a half liter of soda is $5, a glass of wine is $13 to $17. Entrees in an average restaurant run $25. Things are about half price at the grocery store. If you're on a budget breakfast is included, get groceries and make sandwiches for lunch and then eat dinner out.
10) European public transit is very nice, clean, pleasant and efficient. If the schedule says 12:02 the train leaves at 12:02 so don't run late as it will already be gone!

Have a great time on your trip!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NYC-Canuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anacortes, Washington
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2014 via mobile

Nice, clean, basic room. Nothing fancy, but I felt it was a very good value. My room was very clean and comfortable.

The family that runs the hotel is about as friendly as you can find. On check in, I was advised of everything I would find within walking distance and provided with a map. Guests were met at the boat landing, and luggage was transported to the hotel. The walk to the hotel takes only a few minutes, and was nice after a day riding in trains and a boat.

I was looking forward to some quiet down time, so this was the perfect place for me. The hotel (and town) were nice and quiet. I enjoyed walking around town, and had the best sleep of my trip here.

Do yourself a favor and book a fjord side room - the view from the balcony is amazing. I sat and watched porpoises in the fjord in front of the hotel!

Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank MVJollyMon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai
Level Contributor
33 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2014

We had read great reviews about this friendly, family run hotel, so this is where we chose to stay when we stopped overnight at Balestrand on a tour of the Sognefjord in September last year. We had paid extra for a room with a view of the fjord, and not only is this worthwhile, it is probably the only reason to stay at this hotel. From the balcony of a very uninspiring looking low-rise block you get a magnificent view of this arm of the Sognefjord and the mountains and the unending skyscape. Very dramatic (or peaceful depending on the weather) and always beautiful.

The hotel itself is very basic. The rooms are small and have simple furniture and fittings. No wifi, no fridge or kettle. But there is a computer with internet in the lovely lounge-cum-library on the ground floor with big picture windows – the best area in the hotel to relax apart from our balcony. Breakfast was adequate (we were not informed of the eggs-to-order option that was available so I had to make do with hard-boiled eggs while my husband discovered it just in time to get a nice omelette). There is no restaurant in the hotel so you have to go to the restaurants at the pier (mostly closed at this season) or to another hotel to dine . We were too tired so just bought some food and wine from the supermarket and had a relaxed meal on our balcony. Even at night, the view and the overall atmosphere was stunning.

We had read about the friendly hospitality of our host couple who run this hotel, but we did not experience it ourselves. While the gentleman gave us the information we asked for regarding visits in the area, he was a bit dour and his wife was mainly absent. But they did allow us a late check out and they did pick up and drop off our luggage at the pier which is part of their service and much appreciated as it’s a bit of a walk to the hotel with luggage.

All in all, the stunning balcony view compensated for the average-ness of our overall experience.

Room Tip: Definitely pay for a fjord-view room ... otherwise its not worth it.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AgeOfAquarius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balestrand Hotel

Property: Balestrand Hotel
Address: Kong Beles veg 41, Balestrand 6899, Norway
Location: Norway > Western Norway > Sogn og Fjordane > Balestrand
Amenities:
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Balestrand
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:1 star — Balestrand Hotel 1*
Number of rooms: 30
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