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Reviewed March 12, 2015

My boyfriend and me spent 7 nights at Bed an Books in Tromso. Bed and Books has 2 houses which are about 1 km away from eachother. One is called "The Writer's Home" the other "The Fisherman's Home".

WRITER'S HOME
First we spent 4 nights at the Writer's Home. We had a room (#2) with 2 seperate beds, as we wished when we booked. The beds were a little narrow (about 75cm) but comfortable. There was a little radiator on the wall which worked really fine. The bathroom upstairs was nice. There was enough space, the shower was modern. There was a washingmachine and a tumble dryer which we didnt use. The bathroom downstairs was a little smaller but still modern. The kitchen was spacious. Sadly there was only 1 sponge, 1 washcloth and 1 towel - never being replaced for at least 3 days (on our 3rd day, we asked for a new towel and finally got one). There were couple of people living in this house an using the kitchen - we expected at least 1 or 2 new towels per day. The house was not dirty but also not that clean. All in all, we liked our stay at the Writer's Home, it matched our expectations.

FISHERMAN'S HOME
Couple of days later, we stayed at the Fisherman's Home. We were disappointed. Our room was ok, bigger than the room we had at the Writer's Home, but the floor was a little dirty. The main lamp was hanging about 1,5m above the ground. It is supposed to be adjustable in height, but after 3 minutes, the lamp was hanging in the lowest setting again. Luckily there were 3 other lamps which worked fine. The double bed was 1,5m and really soft. There were 2 toilets: one in the entrance area where it was bloody cold (my boyfriend couldnt use it because he had too long legs. There was not enough space between the toilet and the wall). The other toilet was in a small room next to the kitchen. In the shower it didnt smell good - it's in the basement and there are no windows. There is no privacy in the showers as the one has a more or less transparent door and the other has a colorful shower-curtain, which cannot be closed because there would be no more light. At least the door to the 2 showers and the 3 sinks could be locked.
The kitchen had a sticky floor and it was dirty. The freezer was full of ice and the drawers in it full of crusts. There was again 1 worn out sponge, 1 washingcloth and 1 towel. For the whole 4 days of our stay the same - and it was already there when we came!!! The pans had to be heavily cleaned before use, but with what should we clean it? We wanted to make 2 pizzas, but in the oven were only 2 backing trays - one more or less useable and not that dirty, the other sticky and with burned food. Again: What should we clean it with? There was also no backing paper! That really disappointed us and made us feel really unconfortable. At least the view out of the window in our room (# 1) was nice.

All in all, we think the cleanness really leaves to desire and could be much better, if the staff would clean a bit more. Our freezer at home doesnt even look like that if we dont clean it for 1 year. The towels, sponges in the kitchens should be replaced daily, that should go without saying and wouldnt be much work.

Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank dive_lionfish_bla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 6, 2015 via mobile

As cute as it gets, people are charming. Really one to recommend.
I'm going through Tromsø again in a few days and have booked it there again.

It felt a bit weird thinking I would meet no one the day I arrived because I was after the office hours but it was completely ok.

Walk in and you feel at home!

Date of stay: March 2015
Trip type: Travelled solo
2  Thank Maximesw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 23, 2015

We asked for the room with a balcony. One night I woke my partner to show her the strongest display of the northern lights we had seen.

We stayed at the Fishermans hut, the views as I said I were amazing, but also out the back you can see the bay and views of Tromsø. The place has a bit of a share dorm feel about it, but your room is like a reading sanctuary.

I liked the way the kitchen was divided by different guests and that left over food was passed on, like oats.

One thing which I didn't like as much was the bathroom arrangements. There has been some remodelling to try to accommodate more people, but a bit more money needs to be put into the bathroom, the showers aren't as private as I would have liked them to feel. Also, the toilets are just a bit odd. One is spacious with a door that won't lock, right next to the kitchen where it doesn't feel so private. One is downstairs and I felt like I had to climb on top of it to use it. I understand that these things cost big money to change and the rate here is reasonable. To remodel would surely up the cost, but at the same time they are the things that make the BnB lose some appeal.

Nevertheless, I would stay here again and recommend it.

Additionally, there are good washing facilities for clothes, and these aren't so easy to come by in Norway. Not too far from the bus drop off, we carried 20 kg backpacks about 1.5 km here.

Right near museums, the pizza restaurant next door is accessible but expensive. Better to go down the street to a supermarket and use the kitchen upstairs. Kitchen has all you need. We cooked often.

Worth a visit, the owner was nice too.

Room tip: Ask for the one with the balcony on top of the bathroom with views to the bay.
Date of stay: January 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
3  Thank Alisdair H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 8, 2015 via mobile

Bed and Books is convenient and good value accommodation. There are two houses in Tromsø - we stayed at Fisherman's Hut. I don't know the other one or quality of it.

There are four rooms with shared bathrooms. The showers are small and open to the larger bathroom - think dormitory. Over two nights and three days we never saw anyone else in the bathroom so it's not a problem.

The bedrooms are nicely decorated and the beds are very soft and cosy. Importantly for the winter months, they're toasty and warm!

There's a common area upstairs where you can keep food and cook.

The Fisherman's Hut is a bit further out of the centre than the other house. It takes about 10-15 mins to walk in. We were there in subzero temperatures and never found the walk a problem.

Overall, I'd recommend this place for a good value stay. Just make sure you're comfortable with a bathroom others could be in.

Date of stay: February 2015
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank eljefe707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 26, 2015

I stayed at the Writer's home for two nights and the Fisherman's home for one night in order to get a taste for each. This is the best advice I can offer.

Writer's Home: The Writer's Home is about a five-minute walk from the Fisherman's Home but has a more "urban feel." The rooms have been updated more recently and the whole home radiates with warmth and comfort. The Writer's Home, in a way, is more "activity-based," wherein the house itself is an experience. You can spend time writing on the walls in chalk, filling out the guestbook and reading old passages, exploring the books in the library, playing games, playing the piano (though hopefully not at night), watching movies, adding pins to the wall-sized map, etc. I was content to just look through the rooms in my spare time. And the decor is absolutely beautiful. The upstairs shower was fantastic and the bathrooms were very clean.

Cons: Not very scenic. Beds could use a few more pillows (they only seem to provide you with one, I dug up another in the closet). Light bulb burnt out in my room but the hardware cabinet was locked so I couldn't replace it. In addition, I wanted to stay in Bed and Books in order to meet fellow travelers. As luck, would have it, all the other rooms were booked out by about 5 girls there for a bachelorette weekend (?) who didn't seem to have much time for socializing. I also had chosen an upstairs bedroom in hopes that others would have the common sense to keep partying/dinner to the dining room, kitchen, library, esp. since that's where one of their bedrooms was located. Instead the other five guests chose to spend the night talking, watching TV, and ordering in dinner to the upstairs lounge area. To be fair, they did try to keep it quiet, but the walls are paper thin, so any noise is likely to keep you up, especially when travelers often have an early start in the morning. Not much can be done about this of course, but just be aware that you could end up with quite a noisy house.

Fisherman's Home: The view from Fisherman's Home is unbelievably beautiful—I instantly fell in love with the old boathouse out back. I'd say the views make up for the "warmth" that the Writer's Home lacks. The rooms are a bit cold and don't seem to be heated as well. The bathrooms are also much more out of date and could use some updating—there's a bathroom basically in the kitchen which I've never seen before. Things could get awkward. Couches in the lounge area are very cozy. The kitchen doesn't have a microwave and the house doesn't have a TV, unlike WH. I think I'd likely choose the WH over FH, UNLESS Room 1 was available. Definitely the best room out of the two houses as it has a balcony facing over the water and is beautifully decorated (I stayed in Room 2 which was big, but a bit gloomier). There isn't as much to do in this house, but it's nice to be able to sit and look out over the water. As luck would have it, the house ended up being pretty much empty when I was there.

Other comments: On both houses, it would be helpful if the walkway/staircases were shovelled out better, especially at WH. The stairs were packed down into an icy ramp of snow which was very difficult to navigate with luggage, and even without. Even with yak traks and 23 years of experience living in the snow belt of Canada, it was pretty messy. Having a phone for a cab in the house would be great too, as it's difficult to get one at the houses if you don't have a SIM card.

Check-in was also confusing as I was dealing with three different people who didn't seem to be in contact with each other. Upon payment, I was told I would have to pay again when I switched houses, even though it was clearly listed on my bill I just paid. Not sure if it was just a language issue, but eventually it was sorted out.

Overall, I had a great stay, especially for the price which can't be beat. I would definitely stay here again if I ever come back to Tromso!

Room tip: Out of the two homes, room number 1 in the Fisherman's Home is the best. Second to that, I loved Room 3 in the Writer's Home.
Date of stay: January 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank morningsglory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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