Warning: This post contains pictures of the Northern Lights that might trigger you to book a flight to Norway ;)
When I was looking for hotels for our trip to Lofoten, Lofoten Suite Hotel was the first one that caught my eye. I definitely have a soft spot for boutique hotels which might originates from having lived in overpriced and tiny student dorms since moving to Norway...
Lofoten Suite Hotel is situated right in the centre of Svolvær, next to the big market square with a view on the harbour. Thus, it took us only 2 minutes to get to the hotel as we arrived by Hurtigruten cruise ship. The airport is about 15 minutes away.
Restaurants, shops, supermarkets and the tourist office are all situated within a 5 minute walk from the hotel. On the first floor of the hotel you can even find two restaurants: DuVerden and Bacalao. DuVerden is a bit more pricey and chic and you can find whale meat and all sorts of fish and sea food on the menu. Bacalao on the other hand is a cosy pub where you can get all kinds of sandwiches, salads, burgers and sea food.
We ate dinner at Bacalao during our stay and were absolutely satisfied! I had a delicious chicken sandwich with fries and salad for 170NOK (ca. $20) which is pretty cheap considering that we're talking about Norway and about a restaurant that is situated right in the town's centre.
The hotel offers suites with 1 to 3 bedrooms and cheaper double rooms in shared suites. We chose the latter but since we didn't have any neighbours, we had the suite all to ourselves.
It was equipped with a tea-kitchen with stove, fridge and kettle to cook simple meals and make tea or coffee and also had a big living room with kitchen table, chairs, sofas and tv. In a shared suite you have the bedroom and bathroom all for yourself (and can of course lock the bedroom separately) and share kitchen and living room with other guests.
The suite itself was really big with huge window fronts and access to two balconies: one from the living room and one from the bedroom. We had a wonderful view on the church of Svolvær and the mountains, as well as the harbour and I'll come back to this later but let me just say, taking pictures from the Northern Lights in pyjamas on the balcony was just so much fun!
The rooms were furnished with cosy chairs and sofas, colourful cushions and wallpapers and pictures with motives typical to the region. I absolutely loved the colourful look of the suite - it just made me happy right after getting up!
We were informed that the reception is not staffed around the clock upon booking the room so we called the hotel in the afternoon of our arrival day to confirm our check-in time after already having informed them about the approximate time via email earlier. We were told to come to the restaurant DuVerden in the same building upon arrival and met a lovely waitress there who handed us our key cards and explained everything.
The reception is usually staffed in the mornings but if you have questions or issues during other times of the day, you can call the staff pretty much around the clock. You can find the phone number at the reception area, in your suite and even in the elevator so don't worry about not being able to reach someone in case you have an issue!
After checking in and having a look around, we decided to go on a short evening stroll around Svolvær. It's such a beautiful town, even when it's dark!
Lofoten Suite Hotel itself did not serve breakfast which, as we booked breakfast there, I didn't know before arrival. Breakfast was served at Scandic Hotel Svolvær at the other end of the harbour. Of course we could have just made breakfast in the suite but what is a holiday without a nice breakfast buffet?!
Although I was a little bit disappointed about not knowing that breakfast was served somewhere else earlier, the breakfast itself was fabulous, as were the views at the harbour on our early morning walk to Scandic Hotel. Don't worry though, from January 2016 onwards, breakfast will be served at DuVerden restaurant in the same building as Lofoten Suite Hotel!
Breakfast included everything from French chocolate croissants to Norwegian bread and rolls, eggs, sausages, bacon, all sorts of cereal, yoghurt, cheese, jam and fruits. I could have sat and stuffed my face there for hours and would have probably done so if we didn't have to pick up our rental car. Also, the views from and the breakfast room at Scandic Hotel itself were just gorgeous and there even was a fireplace I wish I could have sat and read a book at for hours.
We had a little issue with breakfast though that got solved really quickly. Upon arrival to Lofoten Suite Hotel we payed the bill without paying much attention to it and only discovered later that we payed for two breakfasts at Scandic Hotel. As we had planned to take the early morning speedboat to get to Bodø on our departure day, we only booked one breakfast and planned to eat something on the boat. However we were accidentally charged two breakfasts.
We went to the reception at Loftoten Suite Hotel after breakfast the following morning and were offered to either be refunded or to be given a "matpakke" as Norwegians say, so a breakfast on the go basically. Of course we chose the latter and found our matpakke in the fridge of our suite the next morning. It consisted of four sandwiches for each one of us (salami for the boyfriend - cheese and veggies for me), as well as a yoghurt and orange juice each and was not only breakfast but also lasted me till lunch!
The highlights of staying at Lofoten Suite Hotel were definitely the views on the harbour and mountains and the Northern Lights! Now the hotel doesn't have any influence on the Northern Lights of course but what better way is there to watch the lights than being snuggled up in bed?
When we stayed in Svolvær, we luckily had really good weather so that we were able to see the Northern Lights at night. And oh boy, what a show they delivered! Up to that point, I hadn't seen purple lights before so our nights in Lofoten were really special!
The best thing was that we didn't even had to get dressed and head somewhere with less street lighting. I could just put my tripod on the balcony while wearing pyjamas, press the button, head inside again and wait for the picture to be finished while looking at the lights from inside! Where else can you do that??
It was definitely a magical experience to see such strong Northern Lights above the mountains of Svolvær, the town's church and the harbour! I've never seen a show like that in Tromsø before so I'll probably always remember Lofoten for this!
Would I recommend Lofoten Suite Hotel? Definitely! It's the perfect hotel for anyone visiting Svolvær for a couple of nights - whether you're a couple or a group. The kitchen in the suites makes it possible to prepare breakfast and cook yourself so you'll spend a whole lot of money if you don't have to eat out.
Plus, the hotel is located perfectly in the centre of town with everything you could possibly need or want to visit close by. The rooms are spacious and beautiful, as well as clean and comfy. Last but not least, the staff is super friendly and helpful so I can't see any reasons not to stay there!
Prices range from about $115 a night for a double room in a shared suite to about $170 for a one bedroom suite and about $230 for a two bedroom one. Breakfast can be added for about $22.
What are you looking for in hotels? Could you imagine to stay at Lofoten Suite Hotel?
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*Snow in Tromso was offered a discounted rate at Lofoten Suite Hotel in exchange for a review. My opinions are my own though.