Best and worst accommodations:
Worst: Thon Hotel Stefan, Oslo
Why: Not really a "worst", as they handled the situation well, more of an update, but they closed for renovation after I made a reservation, and my reservation was moved to nearby Thon Hotel Europa instead (I received an e-mail about this in Norwegian, which Google Translate figured out). The Europa was fine.
Philip in Arlington, VA USA 09/04/2013
Best: Vangsgaarden Gjestgiveri (Guest House) in Aurland.
Why: It was best because it was on the fjords. Charming, view, helpful staff, great breakfast, fun fellow travelers, comfortable accomodations. It was worth the cost for us. It was our most expensive night but I would do it again.
Robin WI USA 08/22/2013
Best: Cabinn City, Copenhagen
Why: This hotel was about what I expected: clean, good location, a bit sterile and impersonal, and affordable. It's not particularly charming, but it's a great place to spend a few days. It has a hostel feel without having to share rooms, and the room was actually a bit bigger than I expected. The City location was terrific, near a few big sights and close to the train station for buses and day-trip destinations.
Abby in Seattle, WA USA 08/14/2013
Best: Bethel in Copenhagen
Why: Great location, best price for the city, and a fine breakfast.
Why: We ended up at the Comfort Inn Express in Oslo. This wasn't bad, there just were not many to choose from in our price range in Oslo. We *LOVED* the location and friendly hosts at the Bergen Bed and Breakfast, which you may or may not recommend, I can't remember, but I found it on my own and was very pleased.
Tara in York, PA USA 07/03/2013
Best: Balestrand Hotel. p 320
Why: Good room with view of fjord. Easy walking to anywhere in town. No crowds as we were ahead of tourist season, May 17.
Worst: p 276 Thon Budget Hotel Astoria.
Why: Guide book is honest, but location is good for walking to most places of interest. Night club across the street was noisy one night.
Paul H. Schwan in Munster, IN USA 05/29/2013
Best: Carlton Hotel Guldsmeden (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Why: Copenhagen appeals through its personality and charm. I stayed at a cozy hotel in the city center as my home base. The breakfast buffet has delicious homebaked bread. The hotel is furnished in a contemporary.
H style with a vintage feel; has a relaxed atmos hphere and a delightful staff. Now and again - during sightseeing - I'd use a taxi. Either with a call from the hotel or I flagged one on the street. I enjoyed the visit to the idyllic town of Roskilde with its marvellous Viking Ship museum. On the way to the cathedral - on the crosswalk - I took a little spill and ended up at a friendly local hospital for a few hours. I received good care.
Karin Mallory in Tucson, AZ USA 01/28/2013
Best: Thon Oslo Panorama
Why: rooms were more like apt. fridge, micro, couch, desk, great beds, balcony, heated bathroom floors, super friendly staff, large varied breakfast buffet.
Greg Kiger in St Louis, Mo USA 10/08/2012
Best: Blommenslyst B and B in Odense, Bethel in Nyhavn, Perminalen in Oslo
Why: Blommenslyst: Quiet, beautiful, comfortable. The owner left us breakfast outside our room for us to eat when we wanted. Bethel: Perfect location--right across from the Nyhavn harbor. Quiet, good breakfast. Nice people and atmosphere. Perminalen: Kind of spartan, but great location and price. They made us a sack breakfast because we had to leave early! Great staff.
Julie in Provo, Ut USA 09/06/2012
Best: Walaker Hotel
Why: Beautiful, peaceful setting in the fjords, historical hotel & terrific service. Most of their foods were locally or home made and each night the chef creates a 4 course gourmet dinner. A feast for all the senses!! Sitting on their front porch or in the garden was heaven.
Worst: expensiveness of the hotel & dinner
Why: No other choices for dinner in the village. Remoteness probably adds to the cost of doing business there too.
pam in Hawthorn Woods, il USA 07/20/2012
Best: Academica Hostel, Helsenki
Why: clean, comfortable, efficient, delightful desk clerks
Worst: City Box, Oslo
Why: grubby, scudzy, but very helpful staff
Molly Henderson in Seattle, WA USA 07/19/2012
Best: Freys in Stockholm and also Balestrand Hotel
Why: Great location and service for both.
Rosalie in Albany, NY USA 07/19/2012
Best: Frey's in Stockholm
Why: Great location, clean, well-appointed, very helpful staff. Good value as well.
Norman in Hamden, CT USA 07/17/2012
Best: Thon Bergen Bregge
Why: while we had a back room and there was a concert--it was our first night and we were in bed asleep by 8:00--we were awoken about 9:30 with the drums--but by 11 it was over and quiet--Breakfast was included and was fine and location was super--heck Bruce Springsteen played there a couple of years ago! We also enjoyed a band that was practicing--? maybe-- marching around playing--the hotel couldn't tell us why other than they just did that sometimes!
Worst: Wake Up Copenhagen
Why: while the hotel was new--the rooms very small--we lucked out and got 2 rooms --which was fine for 2 people--the worst thing about it was the location--we had 10 people--3 seniors and 2 toddlers and the hike from the train station to the hotel with luggage on a cobblestone path that you share with bike riders it was a little much--it was a clean neat hotel and if your traveling with a light backpack it would probably worth the hike--when we left we ended up hiring a cab to take luggage and toddlers to the train! After everything we did in Copenhagen the hike back to the hotel with tired children was not enjoyable--also with no breakfast and nothing close by we had to hike to get that. Not particularly child friendly
Sandy Bell in Sky Valley, Ca USA 07/08/2012
Best: Villa Hortensia in Tallinn
Why: I would highly recommend this villa as a place to stay during a visit to Tallinn. I was impressed with the friendliness of the owner, Jaan Parn, and his efforts to see to it that our two night stay was a good one. He showed us to our rooms and explained how the keys worked to them and to the courtyard gate if we had to get back to the villa after the gates were locked for the night. We liked that this villa was located in a courtyard which was quiet at night. That helped us get a good night's sleep after a busy day of sightseeing. Although breakfast wasn't provided with the room, there was a bakery and coffee shop in the courtyard where we could get a good one. This was a great place for my family of four to stay.
Gary Hoffman in Baldwin, WI USA 06/08/2012
Best: Queens Hotel in Stockholm
Why: If you're looking for a hotel with large rooms and large bathrooms in a quiet area of the city, this place is for you. This hotel has been renovated, but it's refreshing to have a room where you can spread out and there's a lot of charm to the place. You will also find that there are plenty of good restaurants and bars near the hotel. You will just not "hear" the late night noise - even with the hotel windows open! We also enjoyed the breakfast that was provided each morning, too. And wait until you ride on the hotel elevator. Quite an experience, but fun.
Gary Hoffman in Baldwin, WI USA 06/08/2012
Best: Pension Vestergade 44 (Aeroskobing)
Why: Susanna was just lovely, and the room and the house were charming.
Worst: Best Western Katajanokka (Helsinki)
Why: Nothing wrong with this hotel at all; it's just not in an ideal location for tourists. There's nothing in the neighborhood, and although it's within walking distance of the center, the last thing I wanted to do after a long day of sightseeing and then going back to the hotel was to go back to the center to get dinner or relax over a glass of wine. Unless you are okay with being mostly restricted to the hotel restaurant as your only nearby dinner option, better to stay in the center.
Lane Galloway in Seattle, WA USA 06/08/2012
Best: Coch's Pensjenet in Oslo
Why: This hotel is located in a great location. Streetcar line that rings the city, very active pedestrian way.
Norman Lee in Afton, MH USA 04/18/2012
Best: Balestrand Hotel
Why: I LOVED this place! Probably my favorite hotel I've ever stayed in...gorgeous view, and such a lovely family-run feeling to it.
Rachel Wisdom in St. Louis, MO USA 11/18/2011
Best: Thon Hotel Panorama, Oslo
Why: I got one of the rooms that was like a studio apartment, only without a kitchen. It had a balcony, even a couch and coffee table, and I got it at a special Internet-only rate for three-day stays.
Worst: None were noticeably bad
Why: I was a bit disappointed in the Cabinn City in Denmark, because its website seemed to indicate that it had an onsite laundromat, which proved not to be the case. However, I had an interesting experience at the laundromat that was several blocks away: the Zimbabwe women's BMX team was there washing clothes.
Karen in Minneapolis, MN USA 11/04/2011
Best: Hotel Hilda - Kalmar
Why: Modern and spacious rooms, great location
Peter in Vancouver, Canada 10/06/2011
Best: Scandic Grand Marina, Helsinki
Why: Great location, breakfast, free bikes, internet.
Sam Pelligra, MD in Greensboro, NC USA 09/19/2011
Best: Stalheim Hotel, Noway
Why: Wonderful place, but some travelers may expect more than the scenery. Unless they are hikers, let them know that the scenery and s serene place to stop for the night on the Nutshell tour is worth the time and cost.
Keith Wood in Lawrence, KS USA 09/16/2011
Best: Oslo Budget Hotel
Why: Although the price was slightly higher than quoted in the Snapshot book, they did give us the 10% discount (with the Rick Steves book), which made it the most affordable place we found at 540 NOK . Internet was available for free.
Roberta in McBride, WA USA 09/12/2011
Best: Skansen Pensjonat, Bergen and Flam Campground
Why: We loved the personal attention at Skansen - easy check-in, room had a beautiful view just as she said in her e-mail when we reserved. We flew in, took the bus, got off at the fish market & walked right to the hotel. Yes, there's a hill, but it's worth it. At Flam we had a roomy camping cabin, large areas to wash your dishes, bathrooms were cleaned frequently, free internet, helpful staff regarding activities and times to ride the Flam railway when it wouldn't be full from the large Cruise ships.
Nelda Eitreim in Garretson, SD USA 08/22/2011
Best: Oslo: Thon Hotel Europa
Why: As your book says, hotels in Oslo have great rates in the summer. I stayed 4 nights here in July, and paid about $85 per night including tax and fine breakfast (a great price in in an otherwise expensive city). This hotel is very comfortable and has a fantastic location on a quiet street a couple blocks from the National Gallery. There is free use of two computers in the lobby with free coffee/tea. And the hotel is a block from the last stop of the airport bus. Please add this hotel in your book
Bill Miller in Chicago, IL USA 08/20/2011
Best: Gustav Vasa Hotel in Stockholm; Thon Europa in Oslo; Balestrand Hotel
Why: The Gustav Vasa Hotel has a spacious room, helpful staff, and we liked the location. The Thon Europa in Oslo had the best breakfast buffet on our trip. Balestrand Hotel has nice quiet rooms, a very pleasant common area, great views, and a helpful staff. Just a very comfortable place to stay for a couple of nights.
Worst: Tie between Citybox in Bergen and the Stavanger B&B
Why: Citybox is a good concept but the place is not maintained very well. Think dormitory at a university that's had its maintenance budget cut. There were holes in the walls and bathroom door, the beds were particularly comfortable, and no breakfast is included.
All the guidebooks praise the Stavanger B&B, but I fail to see what the fuss is about. Our room was tiny, the shower down the hall had no place to hang a towel, and the breakfast buffet was nothing special. Highly overrated.
Steve Macfarlane in Carmichael, CA USA 08/07/2011
Best: The absolute favorite was Hotel Bema in Stockholm. We also liked Thon hotels in Bergen and Oslo.
Why: Hotel Bema did not feel like a hotel/pension but rather like a really cool European apartment with lots of sunlight and shiny hardwood floors. And you cannot beat the location!
We really liked Thon hotels in Norway, Thon Bergen Brygge in Bergen and Thon City Cecil in Oslo. They were very nice, clean, comfy and had the best breakfast buffets we encountered in Scandinavia.
Irena in Cleveland, USA 07/29/2011
Best: Gekkens Room for Rent in Balestrand, NO
Why: Good homey rooms and very good meals. I had the salmon plate both evenings.
Why: All accommodations were OK to excellent. We stayed at hostels and guest rooms.
Greg Mansfield in Washington, NC USA 07/03/2011
Best: Scandic Marina in Helsinki
Why: Location...Location...Location! Quiet hotel adjacent to Viking cruise terminal and close proximity to market square, cathedrals and suomenlinna ferry. Though, few restaurants nearby; greater attention to business vs leisure customers.
Worst: "Avoid Meriton Old Town hotel in Tallinn like the plague!"
Why: we booked this hotel nearly 60 days prior to our arrival. we booked this hotel given the location and recommendation per Rick Steve’s guidebook (within the Old City and close proximity to the cruise ship terminal). subsequently, we attempted to book their airport pickup service (via 4-emails and 2-faxes to hotel) however to no avail (no response from hotel). finally, we requested airport pickup service via booking.com and booking.com confirmed accordingly. upon arrival at airport, no airport pickup service was present and we had to find alternate transportation (airport bus to outside the Old City and then walk uphill ˝-mile into the Old City with suitcases to hotel). upon arrival at hotel, we were informed there were no rooms available, being bumped by a tour group and being relocated to a sister hotel on the opposite side of town (outside the Old City and away from the cruise ship terminal; however they paid for the taxi to their sister hotel and upgraded our room at my request). other non-tour group travelers were also bumped accordingly (and many on numerous hotel review websites). there is no excuse for this type of conduct! we are experienced travelers (our 16th trip to Europe, most of which included 99 out of 100 score hotel recommendations per Rick Steves) and would not recommend this hotel to anyone (except perhaps a tour group)! And be warned as we got the impression this happens alot, as the Meriton Old Town hotel is beautiful but small, reigning guests in to the Meriton hotel franchise, and they must know they have loads of empty rooms in the other meriton hotel to put guests in as it's so unappealing, especially if you've already paid!
richard kruse in la jolla, ca USA 06/16/2011
Worst: Rica Hotel Kungsgatan
Why: although true - central but characterless...I would add more - -positive note very clean...but negatively - - there is no concierge type service - hotel staff could not provide directions, restaurant recommendations, and if you needed to iron something you had to do it out of a hallway closet ...
Lynn Porterfield in Ridgewood, NJ USA 04/11/2011