Home away from home
Realy cozy and cheap place to stay in Longyearbyen - full packed with old black and white pictures of Svalbard and its history. Mary-Ann is the owner of the rigg and does almost everything there: welcoming guests, cooking for them breakfests and dinners, accounting etc. She and her helpers are pretty responsive and well-wishing but do take into consideration their occupancy with other guests so not everytime they will be at your immediate service. Charming restaurant wiht tiny waterfall and small bar - truly the place to have a good time during an evening. As well as the TV-room where the guests gather to watch TV, dive into Internet (20 NOK per hour) and just to chat with each other in very relaxing atmosphere. Breakfast is pretty poor but you will have shared kitchen to cook for yourself if you want. Rooms are simple and compact. Excellent place to stay for couple of nights (but not more, especially if you reserve the cheapest room without bath).
I visited Svalbard over the Easter weekend in 2008. Longyearbard was fantastic. The accommodation was dreadful. Actually that's not fair, the accommodation was OK, the service I received in the accommodation was dreadful.
I've read elsewhere that this a friendly, local site. Not in my experience. I was met when I arrived by a surly woman who I later found out was Mary Ann (the owner) she said,"you're in room 27", gave me the key and disappeared. I was left to find the room myself. Then I had to find the bathroom - nothing in this hostel is in English, its all Norwegian or Russian (very unusual in Norway / Svalbard). The trick is bathroom in Norwegian is "BAD" and its on a bit of cheap plastic stuck to the door about 1cm by 2cm.
The accommodation itself is rather quirky - a very odd stuffed polar bear leaping out of a map with box gloves on in the hallway!
Yes this is the cheapest accommodation but you pay for EVERYTHING. You want water or a cuppa tea - you pay for it.
The surlyness I received when I arrived contined for the week I was there. I hardly ever saw the owner. She was only ever about when the locals were in - probably why she gets got reviews from people who live in Svalbard.
I couldn't find her when it came to check out despite returning to the hostel 4 times during the day. Mary-Ann charged myt credit card directly and overcharged me by about £50. I'm still trying to get this money back.
If were to go to Svalbard again, I'd definately pay the extra to stay at the SAS. It may be expensive but at least you get assured quality there.
Directions: First stop on the bus from the airport.
Easy to lose yourself when there's snow everywhere but Longyearbyen isn't a big place so you'll find it eventually!
A relaxed and cozy Svalbard stay
A different kind of hotel which becomes a second home for many of the guests. A relaxed and cozy athmosphere makes Mary-Ann's Polarrigg the hotel with the most "Svalbard feel" to it in Longyearbyen.
Unique Quality: Kitchen and dining areas where you can prepare your own food, TV-rooms, outdoor bath tub, restaurant and bar. Polarriggen has everything.
Directions: In central Longyearbyen.
feeling the history of Svalbard
have never stayed at this place, but have been liveing in Longyear for 3 years so I know how it is..
Unique Quality: this place ones used to be the home for cole mine workers, Mariann bougth it and made it into a small, quite fantastic place to stay. every part of the rigg has history from how it used to be in old Svalbard, she also has a utside jaqusi where u can have a hot bath and enjoy a drink at the same time in -25 below. One of Mariann spesalties are raw seel and u are served by a waitress in cole mine workers clothes.
Directions: When u get to the airport u need to take a taxi or the bus to get in to town, in the case there are some polarbears in town, ask for the rigg and the driver will take u there.....taxi are not expensive....
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Mary-ann`s Polarrigg Hotel Longyearbyen
Address: Skjaeringa, Postboks 17, Longyearbyen, 9171, Norway
1 Photo of Mary-Ann's PolarriggView Professional Photos
Amenities at Mary-Ann's Polarrigg
- Shuttle Service
- Bar / Lounge
- Free Parking
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