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All reviewshistoric hoteldining roomold buildingbreakfast and dinnernew wingnewmarket holidaysseafoodcoach partiespublic roomsolder partlarge balconykaiser wilhelm iiold worldbuffet stylehot dishessalmonfjord view
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Reviewed July 8, 2009

Was looking forward to the stay at this grand hotel, needless to say Im shocked over how such a beautiful hotel could have such lousy staff. The staff speaks polish and merly a few words in english! (some didnt even speak norwegian) I even overheard people getting told to go to bed at 12:00 by the staff!!! The food was also a huge dissapointment. Not recomended at all. Stayed at 2 other Hotels on the west coast, and both were great. Advice: Stay away.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank hognet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HappycustomerSogn, Manager at Kviknes Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 16, 2009

Dear Sir or Madam,
I am sorry you had a bad experience in our hotel. Even though we have international staff; because of very low unemployment in Norway it is impossible to recruit norwegian staff; they are all trained that good service is most important. In our historic building walls are not sound isulated. If we have lively guests, they may be asked to show consideration towards other guests at midnight. Our headchef takes great pride in serving homemade food based on local products and I am sorry you did not like it.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 19, 2009

The view from nearly everywhere in this fine old grand hotel is unsurpassed. The hotel has great charm and beauty (at least the older part of this two-part hotel does) and the food is good. What this hotel lacks is some level of sophistication in their service. For example, there is no elevator in the original building but there is also no staff to help with bags ... which you basically have to drag up a large flight of carpeted stairs. The staff is mostly 20-somethings who come up from other countries to work at Kvikne's for the Summer months. The gift shop isn't open at all; someone from the front desk has to open it. There were power problems while we were there and it took forever to fix them. That said, all the 20-something staff were very nice and as accomodating as they could be, under the circumstances. For example, the place was advertised as having free WiFi ... but we couldn't seem to get connected. We had to ask 3 different front desk people before we finally found one that knew that the WiFi was only available in the main lobby and could not be accessed more than about 25 feet from the bar.

We stayed in the older part of the hotel which is lovely from the outside and has a view that is unparalleled ... but really needs help on the inside -- the appointments and furnishings are in bad need of updating above the first floor. The first floor common areas are lovely though -- all the public rooms are beautifully furnished with many antiques and beautiful artwork.

Food is good and the service in the dining room is accomodating. They are known for their smorgasbord which we thought was pretty good (although not the best we've had). All and all, we'd stay here again and definitely recommend it ... it's a great overnight stop if you're doing the "Norway in a Nutshell" tour. We just wish they'd spruce it up a bit, though ... and hire some professional hotel people.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank maggiesmagic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 4, 2008

I recently stayed at Kvikne’s Hotel in Balestrand. As a Norwegian from Oslo area being visited by three German friends on motorcycles, I included Balestrand and Kvikne’s Hotel in our ”Over the Mountains and Far Away Motorcycle Tour”.
First, I am a bit puzzled about the variety of the reviews on this site, and of course, I wonder why some of the reviews ar so very negative. Is it envy from low-budget guests who hate to see that others have the means to stay in the historical part? Or is it the general Norwegian price level? I must admit - it is rather expensive in Norway – especially alcohol.
Personally, I have stayed several times over the years at Kvikne’s Hotel. My first visit in 93 or 94 made a great impression on me. I am particularly interested in art, architecture and history. The old building is a very rare example of a huge wooden building of the so-called Swiss-style, an individual architectural style developed in Norway. I do understand that the annex from the sixties is a strange and a not very pretty compliment to the original building. But I strongly believe that without this annex, Kvikne’s Hotel wouldn’t exist at all – and that probably goes for the old building too.
My friends and I decided to stay in the old building. A nice room with balcony, quite ok standard, although with a little peculiar washstand-in-the-room-and-toilet-and-bathtub-in-the-bathroom-solution, but what the heck. The view over the Sognefjord is breathtaking, convincingly confirmed by my German friends. And to have this balcony with view, in front of your room, definitively is well worth the price. Normally I do not spend much time in my hotel room, but here there are several reasons for it. The view, the air, silent and clear, ferries out on the fjord, faithfully striving to connect people, as they always have and always will do, the gentle breeze fresh and clean. We were also blessed with summer temperatures in the shift August/September, and you can imagine it: To wake up in sunshine, walk out on the balcony and sit outside in 22 degrees C, watching this beautiful scenery. It’s soul massage of the nirvana kind.
For evening dining we chose the set menu of the day, price kr 555,-. As a starter we got a delicious smoked elk filet salad followed by a surprisingly fresh course – a glass of champagne with blueberries in it and red currant berries beside. The main course was sautéed wolfish with a tasty flavoured sauce – and a little disappointingly with boiled potatoes. The fish itself was perfect, but my opinion it could be more vegetables, and for heavens sake: Be a little more creative chef – use something else than boiled potatoes to a whitefish course. The caramel pudding for dessert was quite ok. All in all – it was worth it, but chef - please don’t serve me boiled potatoes again.
The wine list is quite impressive. We had an excellent Chianti Fontodi (kr 523,-) and an (of course) a German white wine Herrnberg Riesling (kr517,-), the last one a little to sweet for my personal taste. I have checked the wine prices of Kvikne’s Hotel with those of the Norwegian Wine Monopoly (Vinmonopolet), and found the more expensive wines (kr 500,- +) sympathetically priced about 2-2,5 x list price and the cheaper 3-3,5x which is normal among hotels and restaurants i Norway.
Among the interiors of Kvikne’s Hotel, the ”middle hall” in the historical building with fantastic wood carved furniture Old Norse dragon style is quite unique.
Then to the little town Balestrand: There are a lot to do. But you have to do it yourself. You can walk along the main street and watch the traditional Norwegian wooden buildings from the last part of the 19th century – the Swiss style – often combined with drakestil – dragon style roof decorations. The German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II loved Balestrand and visited it as often as he had a chance. He anchored up in the fjord with a couple of warships, and visited his friend, the painter Hans Dahl, whose red and white house dragon style is a 4-5-minutes walk from Kvikne’s. And – would you believe it – if you have been a guest in this hotel, you may very well have been seated in the very chair the Kaiser Wilhelm II sat when he received the message that World War I broke out!
In addition it’s the fjord and a lot of mountains around it. Bathing? Rowing? Climbing? Bicycling? Playing cards on the balcony? Have a drive with the car to look at old churches and wild scenery? It’s all there. But you will have to move your [--]. If you are searching for a slick, international, impersonal luxury hotel – go to Dubai, Oslo or New York.
Kvikne’s Hotel is a part of the Norwegian Heritage, and I’m proud to share it with my friends, Norwegian or foreign.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with friends
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4  Thank MortenJessheim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 30, 2008

This is a spectacular location well worth the effort to get to, in a peaceful and quiet setting. Not a lot of shopping or restaurant selections, but that is not why you are here. The hotel is clean, elegant, strikingly beautiful, and historic with a superb staff and excellent meals in the large dining room. My teen daughters thought this was the most serene place they have ever been and the most beautiful (excepting Kauai).

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank bedouin08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 25, 2008

My wife and I have visited Norway almost every year since 1969; and we have stayed at Kviknes Hotel at Balestrand on virtually every occasion. Norway has been our favourite holiday destination for almost 40 years now. Balestrand's situation between the mountains and the beautiful Sognfjord is unsurpassed. The food, for an establishment which has to cater for a broad diversity of tastes, is of excellent quality; but the most outstanding feature about the hotel is the warmth of the welcome which we have always received from from Sigurd Kivkne and the members of his family who work in the business, matched only by the warmth of the welcome which we received in the years gone by from his parents. Nothing ever seems to be too much trouble for them. They are hoteliers who have inherited a great tradition; and whilst staying in Norway has never been cheap, we have never once come away from the hotel feeling that we have not had more than our money's worth out of our stay there.

It was accordingly with some surprise that we noticed a couple of negative comments amongst the generally very favourable reviews from your members. Down the years we have been privileged to stay in the old wooden part of the hotel, as well as the more modern block which was built in the 1960s. The main wooden building is absolutely superb; and although when we first went to Norway there were a number of such hotels, Kviknes is now one of a kind. When the new wing was built, it was very much at the cutting edge of 1960s design; and whereas it is perhaps not such a beautiful building in relation to modern tastes, we can say from our own experience that the Kvikne family have a constant programme of renovation of the rooms and bathrooms in that building, which has always been maintained to a solid quality standard. The rooms are probably best described as functional, with good quality furniture and modern bathrooms. The views from the rooms on both sides of the building are excellent, with a view on one side of the beautiful village and on the other of the bustling fjord and the Dragsvik peninsula. Given the fact that the new wing is now some 40 years old, it is of some architectural interest in its own right.

With regard to the food, the breakfast at Kviknes Hotel has always been outstanding; and the quality of the buffet dinner in the evening is really beyond compare, with many hot and cold dishes available. However, if even this begins to pall during a long stay, the chefs can provide a fabulous selection of a la carte dishes which we have often enjoyed. The hotel also boasts a fine cellar; and Sigurd Kvikne has a most extensive knowledge of the wines he offers. The only two drawbacks are the drink-driving laws in Norway, and the cost of alcohol there; but those are matters to be laid at the door of the Government, and the variety of wines and beers on offer matches anything we have found elsewhere.

Unfortunately we have not been able to visit the hotel this year, as we have retired to France; but there is no doubt that we will return again as soon as we have the opportunity to do so.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank NorwayLovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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