Clarion Collection Havnekontoret
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TravelPod Member ReviewsClarion Collection Havnekontoret Bergen
Staff at reception are incredibly helpful. Stayed in room 300 which has outstanding views. A must is a visit to the tower.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Bergen
Wouldn't stay anywhere else in Bergen.
I travel to bergen quite a bit for work and am working my way through the hotels there. For a beautiful town with lots of visitors, Bergen is sorely lacking in well appointed, comfortable and modern hotels - until now. The Hotel Havnekontoret (Hotel Harbour Office) is a new hotel located adjacent to the World Heritage Site, Bryggen. I was impressed with the modern renovation of the heritage building. I stayed in a deluxe room (as in the cheapest) and found it to be a large room with very comfortable beds (complete with thick duvets), a sitting area, and a large bathroom with a great shower and heated floors. Flat screen LCD tv and dvd player were nice touches. Other than the thin towels offered in the bathroom, I have absolutely no complaints and, believe me, I do my share of complaining in hotels.
The hotel lobby is very comfortable. I suggest ordering a drink at the front desk (it serves double duty as reception and bar) and sitting in the dome room on the big leather chairs at the front of the hotel. The hotel offers 'free' food every night from 6 - 9pm consisting of one hot item and a relatively large cold buffet filled with cold cuts, various pickled fish items, fruit, bread and mini-chocolate bars. Good enough for a full dinner if you are so inclined, and very convenient for a light nibble before heading out to a real meal. (I suggest the Potaterkjelleren for a great, albeit pricy meal in cozy surroundings). The breakfast was solid - very european. Lots of fruit, bread, meat and fish, with a range of hot items including beans, scrambled eggs, hard and soft boiled eggs and sausage. You can cook your own eggs and bacon on a small griddle if you want a real american style breakfast. A big hit with the tourists I am sure!
I have stayed in many Bergen hotels and found this one to have everything I need and want. It is clean, quiet, friendly and comfortable. It stands high above the grim and loud SAS Norge and most other poor quality, purely functional Bergen hotels like the Bristol Hotel - avoid both of these. The SAS Bryggen is on par with the Havnekontoret, but has none of the style or uniqueness. I have to say though, breakfast at the Bryggen is a little better...
The Havnekontoret is now the only hotel I will ever stay in when travelling to Bergen either for business or leisure.
Very nice and a bit unorganised
We arrived at Bergen as the last stop of our Norway tour. And as we had a bit of an up-down with hotels we decided we want the nicest one we can find.
So we went to every, really every hotel in Bergen with 3 to 4 stars and we liked the Havnekontoret by far most.
The SAS right in the centre was probably the closest in quality but is going through renovation at the moment and had really unfriendly staff, so we skipped that one.
And the Marin is nice, but has a really dreadful sauna area, while the Admiral has nothing except nice views.
So we took the Clarion and we had a very nice time there. The style is very extreme and we well believe that some people might hate it. Very contemporary and different with shiny furniture, a glass door at the bathroom (certainly not everybody's taste) and generally fancy layout.
We loved it but you have to like things like this and be a bit open minded. But it has DVD player and flat screen TV on the room, which is great.
They also have a really great relaxation, sauna, steam bath area which is highly recommended. And breakfast was nice plus waffles in the afternoon and light dinner was included.
We read the complains about making your own eggs in the morning from other tripadvisor members, but to be honest most hotels we used in Norway didn't have any fried eggs or ham, so that is actually not too bad.
Location is great as well and price is Norwegian average for this class of hotel.
The only criticism we had was that the staff seems young and needs more experience.
We had the few odd bugs:
-Our key cards stopped working every afternoon.
-They forgot the waffles ones so we had to complain.
-The sauna turned off while we were in it.
And the worst:
-One night we stayed late in the sauna and the night portiere actually came into the sauna (both of us undressed) and told us that we shouldn't be there. We had told his colleague about us being there so that should never have happened and was quite embarrassing.
But the staff is very friendly and only seems slightly uncoordinated and new. So hopefully they will improve a bit and it could be 5 stars in my review.
For now its 4, as the hotel itself is great.
Take it with a smile and you will have a good time.
Go somewhere else
First impressions :-
Beautiful foyer, well designed and furnished apart from the long sofa facing a wall with a feature fire - not very sociable. The location on the Bryggen is perfect. Overall above average.
We were allocated room 606 (superior room) which had no heating (not recommended for the end of November in Norway). We got a move next door to 608 and the room was beautiful apart from water running from the window ledge onto the floor, the maid dried this up on request.
The bed was very comfortable and the decor was wonderful. The shower/vanity area was something else. We liked the idea of the vanity area being separate from the shower/toilet area. However, to have a see-through door to the toilet is totally unacceptable - this should be addressed and the glass-panelled door changed out to a solid door for privacy (how can you have guests).
The shower had very low pressure and stopped completely for several minutes. Reception was notified and they acknowledged there was a problem with the sixth floor, it was useable by the next day (still weak).
Breakfast area had comfortable seating areas. The buffet style breakfast was time consuming as having to cook ones own eggs & bacon was unacceptable as there was large queues & too little facilities. Luckily we were not there on business as it would have been impossible to have bacon & fried eggs unless we had got up half an hour earlier. Request for poached eggs was refused with the comment 'only scrambled or boiled were available - or fried if you did them yourself'. We did not come to a hotel to do our own cooking!
A hotel should have 3 basic functions.
1) Comfortable bed - which we had.
2) Efficient shower - no where near the mark.
3) Efficient breakfast area - hopeless, if in a hurry.
This is a very nice, modern hotel that has been marred by a few disfunctional, essential services.
Maybe we should have saved NOK 600 per night and had a standard room with a decent shower!
The adjacent SAS Royal has everything right (and cheaper), unfortunately it was fully booked that weekend or my wife's birthday treat may have been memorable for all the right reasons.
Scottish couple living in Kopervik, Norway
I wanted to write some words about this hotel and my trip. I really, really liked it and it made my trip when staying in Bergen. I took the Norway In a Nutshell tour (the BEST train part is between Myrdal and Flam). The fjords from the ferry are awsome!
OK - to the hotel ....
Service: Very, VERY friendly staff - I had even asked for a Bailey's with coffee and whip cream. They didn't have it on the menu but the kind fellow made it for me. Also they helped me choose what other things to see as well.
Beds: SOFFFFFFFFFFT!!!! I loved them ;-) They were great and comfortable.
Room: The hotel is new so everything was in great condition. I don't know what it will look like 20 years from now but I can most definitely say it is a 4-star and underpriced. They can easily increase it - especially with the decor they have. Hey, and the rooms have the Flat-screen TVs on the walls - so, they have moved into the digital age.
Food: Great - I only ate the breakfast but if you wish, you can cook your own eggs and bacon (which I liked). They also had all sorts of fish too.
Location: Right near Bryggen - so the shopping is VERY close by. A lot of those old buildings are brightly colored and have been there forever.
Overall, I can't say enough about this hotel. Part of me doesn't want to pass the good word along because I may want to visit there again someday and not want to see it booked - ha, ha!
I would say that the only downer was that it doesn't have air-conditioning in the room. Supposedly, it is heated with central air. Since I went last week, it was kinda of warm in the room but nooooo problem - just open a window.
Hmm - another thing - I would bring my own soap as theirs is the dispenser-kind. I guess I am just picky and like my soap to be a bit more personal.
I peeked at the lobbies of the Radisson SAS across from the Clarion - it was dark and stuffy while the other Radisson SAS further in town (near the water fountain) was a throwback to the 60's. I would have been VERY disappointed if I had to stay there!
Let's see, I attempted to eat at a restaurant called Steakers but the service was horrible. I sat there for 15 minutes and no one came. So, I left and found a better place to eat (and more family-oriented) Egons.
Warning: When going to Norway and staying near Bryggen ...
-> Don't wear boots with heels! The roads are cobble-stoned and my poor feet were crying sometimes!
-> A good 80% of the tours STOP with the last day of September! So, keep this in mind that if you go around the 1st of October or so, even though the weather might be good, things are still closed. It is almost like the whole city goes into hibernation. Even on the Norway in a Nutshell tour, there were stops on the train that were actually CLOSED.
-> If you take the bus from the airport, BEWARE the people on the Airport Bus (this takes you straight from the Airport to the Bryggen area hotels there). The hotel told me that they are supposed to charge 9 Euros. I was charged 15 going down and 10 going back :-|
My only regreat is not getting to Oslo to see the Munch paintings and the replica of the Viking ship. Otherwise, I had a great time!
We spent two nights spent here recently, and it was a memorable stay for numerous reasons
First of all, the airport bus dropped us off virtually outside the door (departure just as convenient). We were then pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to a front-facing room overlooking the harbour. The room was decidedly small, but the breathtaking harbour views more than compensated. There was the odd bizarre design decision, such as no hanging rail in the slim wardrobe, but otherwise the room was comfortable and functionally efficient (wall-mounted TV - easy to watch from the bed).
There is a do-it-yourself ethos about the place - you cook your own bacon and eggs at breakfast, you help yourself to coffee from the dispenser any time 24/7, you can make your own waffles in the afternoon if you wish, and you can load your plate from the buffet spread in the evening. This unfussy approach was relaxing, and we liked it.
The fact that an evening meal was included in the price had escaped us, too, so the overall package represented much better value than we had anticipated. The hotel also has a stylish basement conversion with exercise machines and steam room/ sauna facilities that are free to guests. These "freebies" are not well publicised, which is a pity, because they do add value to the stay.
This is a different type of hotel that is ideal for the time-restricted tourist. Overall, it exceeded our expectations!
Nice surprise, dinner buffet included
This hotel should rank far higher in the chart, especially as we were told on check-in that our room rate included a breakfast buffet, afternoon waffles, 24 hour tea and coffee and a dinner buffet. It may have been a special promotion, as Expedia only includes the breakfast buffet, but it was very welcome considering the eye-watering prices in the restaurants of Bergen. The hotel itself was lovely, and as I requested a room with a view, was given one on the side of the hotel facing the harbour. Would highly recommend this one, especially if the meal deal is included.
We stayed here for two nights in July and the hotel is in the perfect location, very close to the water and markets. The hotel is very clean, which is great, but unfortunately that is really the only good point I have to write about the hotel.
The staff mean well, but are very unexperienced. I wouldn't be shocked to learn that the interior designer was Prince's wardrobe stylist!! Not my taste by a long mile, but some people may like it! We paid approx $500 Aus a night and had no view at all, just an ugly office block.
Overall our stay was fine, I just think that for that kind of money you can get a lot better. It is a new hotel and hopefully it improves with time and that they invest in a coffee machine :-)
My stay at Hotel Clarion Collection did not start off well. Somewhere between the travel agent and the hotel my booking was lost. This is despite having a confirmation number and a booking reference. Hence, please be wary of the booking system. The staff were very helpful in trying to find me a room elsewhere, since they were fully booked. When I finally stayed at the hotel, I had the most wonderful view of the mountains and the harbour. Hence, I can fully recommend room 506. I would have liked the windows to be bigger, but the view made up for this. The room is well (maybe over) decorated. The shower was excellent, but the glass partition between the bedroom and the shower room may not appeal to everyone. Breakfast was very good, but it is the first time I have had to cook my own bacon. I could not find good coffee anywhere in Bergen, and it was no different at the hotel. Overall, the staff and the location make this a very good hotel.
Brilliant situation in beautiful Bergen
The hotel couldn't be better located - the very beautiful Tall Ship Statsraad Lehmkuh is moored right opposite and Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen, which has UNESCO World Heritage Site status, is next door.
The Havnekontoret is brand new only opened in May 2006 and is housed in what was the old harbour offices. It's a historic building and the conversion is meticulous, retaining a particularly impressive central stairway. The main reception area includes striking chandeliers and some very brave colour co-ordination.
Rooms are equally strong in terms of design and style but they are minute - TVs are flat screen and on the wall, which is just as well, and the wardrobes and bathrooms have sliding doors, again to make best use of space.
Beds are comfortable, the hotel was pretty busy despite being just opened but we weren't disturbed at all. Towels (like many in Northern European hotels) were sized for very small people and agaiin like many other places tolietries weren't in plentiful supply - one (very stylish) dispenser for hair, soap and shower gel. For a couple of nights it was fine and not expensive for a 4 star. Ask for a room on the road and you'll get a good view I reckon, one on the back and it's an office block courtyard. It'll never be a great hotel because of the room size but more than adequate for most needs and Bergen itself is so beautiful that everything else pales into insignificance against the splendour of scenery.
I've given the Havnekontoret 4 because everything is so new - in another couple of years when some of the furniture and bold colours get knocked about a bit it'll have more of a feel of a 3.
TripAdvisor Reviews Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Bergen
Travel Blogs from Bergen
The 8am wakeup alarm Bob set on his phone did not work. We woke up at 9am (we did not got to sleep until past 2am, could not sleep). Made breakfast which ended at 9:30. The breakfast in this hotel was actually not as good as the hotel in Oslo. It has similar stuff, but much less choice i cereals, milk, etc. We went out to explore after breakfast.< …
Did not go to bed till about 2am and could not sleep. Very worried about JJ ....
Got up at 5:30am and finished packing. Had breakfast at 6:30 then headed towards the train station shortly after 7. The weather was cooperating, no rain. It was less than 10 minutes walk to the train station, even with dragging 2 heavy pieces of luggage.
Well that was lucky.
Despite its reputation Bergen was dry all day.
Which was just as well as walking 6 hours in the rain would have been tedious.
Managed to see (in no particular order):
- Hansetic Museum and Schotstuene Museum
- Bryggen (again)
- Bergen Cathedral
- Railway station (interesting but not really a …
You'll be pleased to know that we both slept like babies in the upgraded facilities. Nothing like waking up, opening the windows to see another beautiful Norwegian Coastal town with houses facing towards the sea. Everyone has water views. Meanwhile, on the ship, the elderly passengers, including us had a sedentary day drinking tea and watching the …
... aimed at the tourists.
Just a little further down from the fish market is Old Bryggen, a UNESCO world heritage sight. The homes here are large-timber homes built so long ago that a lot of them are pretty crooked. Furthermore, the alleyways in between them are made of wooden planks. And we wonder why cities like this burnt so easily! Fortunately, these survived all of the other fires that burnt down nearby ...