- Reviews: 14
Spitsbergen Hotel: Very relaxed
The hotel was originally built as accommodation and representational area for employees at the Mining Company; Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani. Effort has been made in preserving its special history and combining it with modern hotel facilities.
When we were there, most of the guests were Norwegian and everyone shared tips and stories.
The atmosphere is very casual and laid-back. Guests walking around in thick woolen socks and fleece-pants, making waffles in the lounge, picking a book from the library and read in front of the fire.
- Reviews: 22
Svalbard Lodge: Nice Appartments in Centre of Town
Svalbard Lodge is brilliant for mid to long stay as it allows you to cook your own food, saving a lot of money on eating out each night.
It is not the cheapest accommodation in Longyearbyen but it is one of the most central. You wont get the same atmosphere like you would in a guesthouse, as we never saw our neighbours, but we did not find this a problem.
The only down side is the bar that it sits upon. This got very loud on a Firday and Saturday night, but if you can't cope just go down and join in.
It is run by the Snow Scooter hire place
- Reviews: 2054
Radisson: The finest hotel in Longyearbyen
Radisson SAS Longyearbyen is the finest and most expensive hotel in Svalbard. It's located at the end of the walking street.
- Reviews: 2175
several hotels...: Weekend offers
There are three main hotels in Longyearbyen, and occasionally they offer weekend packages. The smaller guest houses do not really offer packages as such, but there are off-season offers that are considerably cheaper than during the main season.
The packages from Spitsbergen Hotel http://www.rica.no/index.cfm?oa=hotel.display&con=585 , Radisson Polar Hotel http://www.radissonsas.com/g_no_sk_brand_lyrzh
and Fangstmannshotellet of Basecamp Spitsbergen http://www.basecampexplorer.com/svalbard/About/no are advertised online, in newspapers, by event organisers, by tour operators and by airlines.
There are a number of events that draw crowds as well as weekend offers and spin-off advertisements: the Polar Jazz festival, the pre-Christmas food festival, Christmas and New Year's, Mid-Winter and other more or less important festivals and events.
Sports and activity offers are often linked to flight and accommodation discounts. You just need to watch out and be ready to jump at the occasion.
- Reviews: 2175
Longyearbyen camping: Camping site near the airport
I have never stayed here and I do not intend to. The camping site is far out of town and in a dusty, desolate site - in my opinion. It makes sense, however, if you are on an expedition/trek/tented hike of Svalbard and that this is your starting and finshing point near the airport. You can just walk up to the airport from this site.
It is a designated campground with a small service building with washing water, drinking water, toilet etc.
The web site gives all necessary info and gives booking info etc.
Close to the airport, and as some flights take place at night the location might cause you to wake up around midnight and again at 3:30 and 5...
In principle, this site is in a polar bear risk area, but as many persons normally are present and the airport is nearby, the risk is limited. There are gun rules laid down for the camping site. Basically, no loaded guns on site.
The airport tower provides polar bear watch 24 hrs.
- Reviews: 2175
All accommodation: Generally on accommodation in Longyearbyen:
There are four categories of accommodation for visitors to Longyearbyen:
1) Guesthouses, the cheapest available accommodation in Longyearbyen. There are two of them located at Nybyen section of town; Nybyen Guesthouse 102 and Spitsbergen Guesthouse.
2) Cheaper hotel/pension: there is only one in this category - Mary-Ann's Polarrigg at Sjøområdet/Skjæringa part of town.
3) Hotels; of which there are three: Radisson, Funken, and Basecamp. Overpriced.
4) Flats for rent; various categories, good for several persons and for long-term stays.
In addition, there is a camping site between Hotellneset harbour area and the airport.
All accommodation in Longyearbyen is overpriced. Transport cost of goods counts for the main excuse. Check if breakfast and perhaps lunch packet (if going hiking) is included in the price.
All booking can be done by internet, and the best portal is the main Svalbard tourism portal www.svalbard.net
There are high and low-season periods. The high season starts late January and ends in August.
Some accommodation is closed during low season; parts of the guest houses and hotels are shut down.
- Reviews: 3
Longyearbyen Campsite: Cold, but comfy campground
Svalbard campsite is a good, basic campsite for those who want a real (or, sort of real) Artic survival experience. Warning - it is cold, even in summer. When we were there, the sun shone on the first "day", then it rained most of the time (so much for a desert environment) but the rain was relatively light. In mid July, the outside temperature was around 5oC, and that is COLD to most people. We hired a nice big tent (2.8 m tall tee-pee, 4 m base) - it was wonderfully roomy, but not warm. We also hired "American army" sleeping bags - narrow at the base, with a kind of hood - to reduce our luggage. There were bicycles for hire too - at 100 NOK's per day, cheaper than in town (200 NOKs) but most not in a very good condition. Mine was fine, but the guys complained about theirs. The walk to town is long (4 km) although we did it several times just to enjoy the atmosphere. You can also take a taxi to town - around 90 NOKs, warm, and worth it if you're in a hurry. The showers were mostly nice and warm, but needed forward planning to buy a shower token for 10 NOKs.
It was wonderful to meet the variety of characters who frequent the campsite. The cooking room has hot plates, and a good variety of cooking utensils. The fewest people I ever saw there was around 2, and it was often pumping with 20 or 30. People may also leave unwanted food behind, and so a great variety of basic stuff like oil and spices were available (some however, only named in Russian). It was amazingly international. It's also just next to the airport (although the path is not very user-friendly, or visible from the airport at 01h00). I recommend taking tea and coffee and thermoses for comfort, as well as back-up toilet paper. Air mattresses may be hired, but quality not guaranteed - I recommend taking your own, for both comfort and warmth. Note also that due to the sensitivity of the artic vegetation, you're not allowed to camp on it (a wierd rule to foreigners) so don't expect any comfort or warmth from this source. There was a lot of loose soil in our tent (my husband thought it a lot like copy toner) because the ground mat didn't cover everything - a lightweight additional groundmat would have helped.
- Reviews: 222
Radisson SAS Polar Hotel: Expensive Accommodations in the Artic
To travel to Svalbard, the only route is from Oslo to Longyearbyen. Accommodations in Longyearbyen are very sparse as most operate only during the tourist season of June/July/August so prices are very expensive. The Radisson was adquate however it is not considered a luxury hotel despite the $150/night room rate.
- Reviews: 2509
12 days on the ship - and I loved every single day!!!
If you take the Professor as a hotel/accomodation - let me tell you my impressions:
We had booked the smallest and cheapest cabin: 3 beds (1 bunk bed and a single bed), but we even had a sink in our cabin, a sofa, a wardrobe and a desk. I must admit that it was small, but most of the time we spent outside or on the bridge, so we did not really need a larger cabin!
The toilets and the shower cabins were just a few steps across the corridor and were as clean as you could possibly hope for.
The restaurant was small, actually there were two small restaurant rooms with the kitchen in the middle. The food was excellent (and I mean excellent) and we were served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Besides that there was always coffee, tea or hot soups available for us - and the bar was high quality!
You could even have your laundry done on the boat!!
The staff (mostly Russian) was very nice and helpful - so that is why this was the greatest experience ever!!!
- Reviews: 2509
Guesthouse 102 in Longyearbyen
This place used to be a miners' home - now it is a guesthouse with single, double and dormitory rooms. It has been renovated in the 1990s, so the standard is very nice. The showers and rooms are clean, there is a shared TV room and a kitchen for self catering.
Breakfast (very yummy!) and linnens/towels are included in the price.
Very helpful staff, clean and most reasonable, although Svalbard/Spitsbergen is very expensive!
The shared dormitories have both men and women mixed - (I still feel sorry for the guy who had to put up with us three ladies....)!
- Reviews: 2175
Mary-Ann's Polarrigg: Good life in the barracks... Polarriggen
This is a guest house in a workers' barracks, and making a point out of it. It is located in the least attractive area of Longyearbyen - by far! A unique concept, that's the starter. It is located in the industrial part of Longyearbyen, Skjæringa, within easy walking distance to the main shopping street, restaurants etc. Very convenient, in fact. Polarriggen is slightly more expensive than the two guesthouses up in Nybyen, but less expensive than the hotels of Longyearbyen. Different from the guest houses at Nybyen, breakfast is not included and at NOK 95 extra it suddenly becomes more expensive than you first thought... But do add the breakfast if you can afford it, it is a good and hassle-free start of the day. Then, there is a self-catering service kitchen, fridge and freezer for free usage as well, so no need to complain... In fact, the in-house/in-barracks services make this place a big step beyond the Nybyen guest houses; a TV corner, library, self-catering kitchen, coaches, good relaxing chairs, a late-night bar, an exotic restaurant that serves Thai home-made food and an Arctic menu. An old bus is parked next to Polarriggen and you can step right into it for a drink - it has been turned into a fairly primitive bar. Next to it is a wood-fired hot tub. It costs a small fortune to fire it up - NOK 2500, but between 8 persons it will be defendable - or? Additionally, the deck doubles as outdoor undressing and bar area, too.
The rooms are guest house style, shared bathrooms and toilets.
There is a newly built section called Luksusriggen, too - the price jumps to NOK 2000 for a double there, that's the double of a regular Polarriggen room, so it has to have something going for it....
This guest house is located in a long row of construction workers' barracks - 120 meters long. The rooms and all services are arranged along the corridor running along this barracks. The facade/looks wouldn't be permitted any other place than on Svalbard, it looks unfinished by design, crude and haphazard. But then, enter the mid section and you will find yourself in a winter garden restaurant and bar area. Exotic plants, a waterfall/fountain, odd pieces of art and Svalbard mining detritus....
Don't be shocked if you hit a polar bear with boxing gloves in the corridor! no worries, it is stuffed, the maximum of kitch seen at Svalbard.
- Reviews: 2175
Spitsbergen Funken Hotel: Functional
Never stayed, but used some of the facilities, and heard from others.
This hotel is among the three top ones in Longyearbyen. It takes its name from "funksjonærmessa", the "Functionaries canteen" during the minin heydays. The workers ate down at today's Lompen Senteres, now Kafe Busen.
So this is upmarket, but nothing extraordinary in terms of facilities and standards.
Good views from the rooms turned to the valley, nice bar, interesting snow cave bar - in season!
- Reviews: 2175
Basecamp Spitsbergen: Basic it isn't
If I had loads of money, this is where I would have stayed. Alas, I do not, but I have had a good look, and tried some of the facilities. Very nice breakfast (at The Travellers Club room) and the reception area is very nice and staffed by friendly people.
Their restaurant (separate entrance from the accommodation section) is very good. I made a tip on this restaurant a couple of years back and it still holds water.
The Cognachemsen skylight loft has a very good view (skylight windows!) where drinks, good stories and philosphical thoughts are shared.... Ask in the reception.
16 rooms, 40 beds.
They have an extensive and very high quality activity program for guests.
Easily the most expensive accommodation in Longyearbyen, it is both very rustic, simple and built around an environment-friendly concept. In fact it is the only environment-friendly design hotel in Longyearbyen. Built on the concept of a trapper's hut, it still comes with all amenities needed. On pair with a good 4-star hotel, I would think.
They do also have outlying accommodation, a oat frozen in the sea ice in Tempelfjorden from November to the end of May, a trappers' hut and the old radio station Isfjord Radio where they take people on overnights or day tours.
- Reviews: 2175
Radisson SAS Polar Hotel: Posh near the Pole
Just visited for the day - conference, food, drink. It is a nice place for such activities, and the polar proximity and pragmatic Svalbard culture call for moderate levels of dressing up.
This building like any other in Longyearbyen is built on pillars stuck into the permafrost. Moreover, this hotel was prefabricated on the mainland, used as the temporary US Olympic Committee headquarters and hotel during the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994. After the Olympics it was taken apart and brought to Svalbard. Recycled!
It's the only near-5-star accommodation in Svalbard, unless you count in sleeping outside under a starry sky. However, I recon Basecamp is a better choice.
It has all the regular amenities of this class hotels, business facilities etc..
The Barentz Bar has a great view toward Hjortfjellet Mountain on the other side of the Advent Fjord, and so does the Nansen Restaurant. The restaurant is the closest you can get to an international culinary experience in town (apart form the "Classic Pizza" place!). Very good, very expensive.
Uniquely, they have a lockable cabinet for your gun in the entrance area while you are there.
- Reviews: 2175
Several of them....: Flexible accommodation....
Due to the seasonal fluctuations your preferred hotel may be in operation only parts of the year....
The main hotels, Svalbard Polar Hotel (Radisson SAS), Spitsbergen Funken Hotel and Svalbard Basecamp are all open year round, while the smaller, guest house-like places are likely to close down in the autumn until well past mid-winter, when they gradually open again. The ample availability of barracks make them flexible in the number of beds they can provide, too. Check carefully your options and ensure their availability before setting out for Svalbard.
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