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“Tired and overpriced but with nice views”
Review of Brakanes Hotel

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Brakanes Hotel
Reviewed July 23, 2013

We were impressed when we arrived, the views are stunning. But this did not last long.... our room was very average, for NOK2000 a night, we had no air conditioning and it was HOT! The room smelt musty. The ceiling in the bathroom was in desperate need of a paint and they had no guest amenities other than soap/shampoo on the wall. The service in the restaurant / patio was shocking and we had to get up several times to order things. Food was very average.

Room Tip: Make sure you have a room that faces the fjord
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MeganSvendsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 20, 2013

My wife and I spent five days at the Brakanes Hotel in June. We had stayed here about 10 years ago and it didn't seem that much had changed.

The village of Ulvik is very scenic. We remember on a previous visit one American tourist in the room next to us went out onto her balcony, looked at the view, and exclaimed "I've died and gone to heaven".

The Rica group do special prices for senior citizens and also offer every fifth night free. Most tourists don't know this because the explanatory brochure is in Norwegian (which we understand) This made the Brakanes excellent value for us but other non-Norwegians may miss out.

Parking facilities at the hotel are excellent and free. We parked right outside the front door. The village is small and easy to walk around. The tourist office is about 100M from the hotel. One of the staff does base jumping as a hobby. They can, from July 2013, offer motor boat hire. There is no speed limit on the fjord. Have fun!

Parked by the hotel is a large tour boat which goes to Eidfjord offering a nice fjord trip with
the opportunity to view the new Hardangerfjord bridge from the sea. From Eidfjord it is possible to visit the Hard anger naturesenter (about 5 miles up the valley).

At the top of the valley is Voringfossen which falls into the Norwegian answer to the Grand Canyon. Don't miss a trip there.

The Ulvik area has many nice walks. It is an area in which to relax and unwind far from the pressures of the busy cities. The air and water are clean and the people very friendly.

Our room was nothing special. It was a reasonable size and clean but the bathroom could do with re-modelling. There is a balcony with, as previously mentioned, one of the world's best views when the sun is shining.

The hotel fronts onto the fjord and offers free use of the rowboat. There are changing huts without doors. These have seen better days. The fjord is nice for swimming. It was a bit cold in June at 13C but later in the season it should get up to 16 or 17C which is as warm as the sea gets anywhere in England (in Southern Norway the sea temperature regularly tops 20C).

In Southern Norway jellyfish can be a problem (lions main type--not dangerous but painful) but there was no evidence of any jellyfish in the fjord outside the hotel. The water is nice and clean
and very refreshing. If you stay at this hotel it is worth having a dip.

There is a small indoor pool which we didn't use since we prefer the sea or lakes or rivers which, in Norway, present plenty of swimming opportunities.

The restaurant offers a buffet dinner which is adequate and reasonable value. It does not compare with the superb buffet at the Ullensvang Hotel in Lofthus on Sorfjord but then it is no where near as expensive. You get what you pay for. An A la carte menu is also available.

The staff are very friendly, especially the young men in the restaurant, and the service is excellent. The breakfast, like all Rica breakfasts, was first class.

To sum up, we enjoyed our stay and would visit again but we would like to see some money spent on the hotel to brighten it up a bit. The location is excellent but the hotel is now a little tired.

Room Tip: It is worth paying extra for a fjord facing room is you don't get one automatically since the vi...
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank James F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013

Large hotel beautifully situated on the Hardanger Fjord. Unfortunately this hotel is very expensive even by Norwegian standards. That beings said you must get a room with a fjord view. it is well worth the extra price. The rooms are above average but nothing special. The main drawback is large tour groups!! The food is just OK, but spoiled by the noise from the tour groups.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank orchiddoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Stayed here for a walking week with the wonderful British walking company, HF Holidays. To their credit, this was the company's first time in Ulvik. While our room had the famous view of the fjord and a small balcony, it smelled musty, was dated and not particularly clean. The daily turnover of tour busses full of quick turnaround tourists led us to realize that the hotel doubtless has no real need to cater to repeat travelers. The buffet was basically cafeteria food, just lots of it. During our stay, I broke my ankle, necessitating a stay in the wonderful Voss hospital, where the service was attentive and respectful. Coming back for a few more days at Brakanes, I realized there is little to no accommodation of special needs. Very difficult to avoid stairs, and only one maid offered me a wheelchair (old and dirty) and advice on how to avoid the stairs.

While the pool is small, I was great full for the shower in the spa, as it was the only overhead shower I could get into with my broken ankle.
Don't try to buy drinks or wine at the bar, prices are ruinous!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank CampRedwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2013

The location is stunning, set at the head of Hardanger Fjord. Some have said it is an ugly building, but to us it is a traditional style hotel, quite dramatic as one approaches. Unfortunately the interior and service do not live up to the external standards.
The Brakanes Hotel accommodates coach parties, and the results show. The 'budget' standards mean that the hotel is decorated with old plastic flowers, curtains are worn out and falling apart, bathroom fittings are cheap plastic, and in some cases dangerous [wife cut fingers on wire in detached wash basin plug], plug does not fit the bath and so the bath empties as fast as the tap flows. Decorations are jaded. Coach parties start their very noisy leaving preparations at 6.00 am, and clear the breakfast buffet before full paying guests arrive. Inghams coach party guests even get extra privileges such as tea and coffee facilities in their rooms! - and they pack their lunches from the breakfast buffet which today left full paying guests greatly diminished choices. On complaining at the lack of yoghurt, one friendly member of staff fetched some from a nearby hotel owned by the same company.
The staff are friendly, the food is good. the beds comfortable. Seriously let down by the falling standards of maintenance and service. Particularly galling was the lack of help with luggage which at a nightly charge of over £250 should be the norm.

Room Tip: Pay the extra for a de luxe [Fjord view] room
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Bob D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

Brakanes hotel is a fairly good representative of the infamous Norwegian ugly hotel architecture. If you stay in the hotel, the hotel itself won't spoil the view of the stunning surroundings. The food is more than average. But if you love English roast pork and puddings, this is the place for you. Staff is really friendly, polite and helpful. Rooms are clean and nice.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Bjarte B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

I was here with a colleague in november. We arrived late and called the hotel and asked when the kitchen closed. The woman working the reception took the time to prepare something from that evening dinner for us since the kitchen was already closed, excellent service!

The room was good, clean and had a comfortable bed. The view when I got up the next morning was just simply stunning.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Mikal_v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Brakanes Hotel

Address: Promenade 1, 5730, Norway
Phone Number:
Location: Norway > Western Norway > Hordaland > Hardanger > Ulvik Municipality
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Ulvik Municipality
Price Range: $175 - $293 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Brakanes Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 143
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Brakanes Hotel in Ulvik, Hardanger, is the ideal choice not only for holidays and breaks, but also for conferences, functions and parties. In addition to our well-appointed guest rooms and comfortable, welcoming reception rooms, we also have a separate conference centre for up to 500 people. The hotel enjoys a unique setting in Ulvik by the beautiful Hardangerfjord, surrounded by mountains, orchards, the sparkling sea and an equally sparkling cultural landscape. A fantastic range of activities is also available throughout the year for both groups and individuals. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rica Brakanes Ulvik
Brakanes Hotel Norway

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