Time of year: Late May, 2018.
Purpose of trip: This was an early stop on a nine day tour through Norway and Sweden.
Why we chose this place: Most of our journey on this trip was by train. We were keen to include a section by boat, too, and Bergen lies at the end of a spectacular journey from Stavanger, hugging the west coast of Norway. This was a chance to have a speedy look round a beautiful city on our arrival.
How long we stayed: One night.
Our accommodation: A double room with a stunning view over the harbour, to the shops and restaurants on the other side. A comfy bed boasted the plumpest pillows we’d ever seen, and a stylish collection of velvet cushions. A console table provided a kettle, with a range of teas and coffees. The wet-room style bathroom was cool and contemporary with complimentary toiletries.
Service: Polite and professional from all the staff we talked to (and excellent English, too!)
Location: The Clarion Hotel Admiral is in the centre of things in Bergen, but its waterside position adds a feeling of peace and tranquillity, with the hills beyond providing a stunning backdrop. There are shops, bars, eateries and food stalls within a short stroll, and the train station was an easy fifteen minute walk.
Food: Breakfast is served buffet-style in the hotel’s restaurant, which adjoins a cool bar area equipped with squishy sofas, and free coffee and tea throughout the day for guests. Other meals are available there too. We only needed a quick snack in the evening of our stay, so opted for tasty, filled ciabattas from the bar. A very early start the next day meant we didn’t get to sample the full breakfast menu, but staff left us out a good selection of hot and cold drinks, meats, cheeses, bread and jams.
What we paid: We were guests of the Clarion Hotel Admiral. Similar accommodation at the hotel around the same date is likely to cost around £200 for a standard double, for one night.
Activities close by: If you want a stunning overview of the city before you choose where to explore, the wonderful Fløibanen funicular railway inches up Mount Fløyen to treat you to a panoramic view of Bergen below. If that’s not enough of a treat, there are ice creams, coffee, snacks and gift shops at the top, too. If you have more time (or energy) than we did this time. we’ve heard there are great walks and hikes in the hills around the city.
Back at ground level, we loved strolling round the old wharf area, known as Bryggen, or Tyskebryggen, a higgledy piggledy collection of wooden Hanseatic commercial buildings–from gift and souvenir shops to eateries and coffee shops; all now proudly part of an area boasting Unesco World Heritage Site status. If you’re feeling energetic, you can see the city by Segway, or take it easy on one of the organised bus tours. There are museums, art galleries and shops to take in, too, with a lively set of food stalls by the attractive harbour when we visited,
What empty nesters might really like about this place: Bergen’s smart, stylish and attractive, in a gorgeous location. But it’s more than just a pretty face–there’s a great mix of culture to learn about, and most attractions are within easy reach of each other, so you don’t have to walk miles…if you don’t want to.
What empty nesters might not be so keen on: As sometimes happens in this section, we’re struggling. We loved the hotel, the neighbourhood, the setting, and the options for getting there. We’d go back to this hotel in a heartbeat.
In the interest of disclosure, we received one night’s stay on the promise of writing a review. If we had had criticisms about any aspect of the accommodation or the service, we would have written about it. For more on our disclosure policy, read here.