Please sign in to post.

Review Balestrand Hotel

The Balestrand hotel has changed ownership in 2022. Norwegian rap star (oh, and son of Kviknes hotel owner) KJARTAN LAURITZEN, purchased the hotel from his aunt. We stayed here at Rick Steve’s recommendation, as did most of the guests we met during our 3 day visit. While the rooms are indeed basic, the fjord side views are lovely and the price is a good value for the area. Here’s the rub: no one was ever at the reception desk without us having to first call them on the phone to come from their house. The French wine they sold us for $38 bucks tasted like bad, fizzy soda pop, and the promised 7 am coffee was only brewed after another guest called at 7:25 am. We were trying to catch a ferry at 7:50 for the suggested visit to Vik. After being out all day, we came back to our room - untouched by hotelier hands - wet towels where we left them, beds unmade, you get the picture. Now we understand why the towel trolley was left blocking the hall during our entire stay. This is a self-service hotel. A brief Google search revealed an article (
by the new owner saying his target cliental was not “older foreign tourists” but young people who liked music, good food, and good wine. I’ve already mentioned the wine. There is no food - not even a breakfast croissant in a town where nothing opens before 10 am. We have had a great few days in Balestrand but I would not recommend my friends stay here as the future of this place remains in question until Per Kviknes (aka Kjartan-Lauritzen) decides whether he wants to be a rap musician or a hotelier.

Posted by
1582 posts

That is such a shame. It was such a delightful place to stay when I was there in 2016.

Posted by
24062 posts

That's a shame, but those due to travel soon should be aware that the housekeeping comments could currently apply to many European hotels. A lot of mine greeted me at check-in with news that they would not be servicing my room unless specifically asked to do so. The Premier Inn Holborn is (apparently) so short-staffed at the moment that it cannot manage to remove trash from guest rooms even when asked to do so more than once.

Posted by
13090 posts

Don't expect daily housekeeping anywhere anymore except perhaps at five star hotels. Since the pandemic, every hotel I have visited, and it is a few dozen, have had problems with finding staff for housekeeping. Everyone is shorthanded.

If you need new towels or supplies, you can always ask at reception.

For those looking for a hotel on the Norway in a Nutshell tour, I can recommend the Fretheim in Flam. Splurge on the buffet dinner.

Posted by
8628 posts

And I can recommend the grand Hotel Kviknes -- delightful to splash out for a fjord-view room in the old building , but I imagine the views are also nice in the boring new building -- and you are still then part of the grand hotel, take your breakfast there, etc .

Posted by
13 posts

Sorry to hear this. When we stayed in Balestrand, we noticed a few bnbs operated by homeowners. So if staying in a large hotel isn't your cup o' tea, consider a bnb.

Posted by
5 posts

For what it is worth, we are comfortable with hotels (small or large), bnbs air bnbs, etc. We have done a lot of traveling. And the cleanliness issues were an issue from when we arrived. The point is the rooms were not cleaned; daily or any time. We were totally on our own. I guess we should have brought sleeping bags. :)

Posted by
6520 posts

Thank you very much for the hotel information! We’re starting to plan our Norway trip for this year, and this is helpful.

Maybe rap stars don’t make good hoteliers, and vice versa.