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“Would have been great without the noise”

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Clarion Collection Hotel With
Ranked #1 of 18 Hotels in Tromso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 16 March 2010

I'm going to try and split this review in to a review of the Hotel and a review of Tromso and trips. If you only care about the hotel then only read the 1st bit.
So Hotel First... We (3 of us) stayed in Room 603 on the top floor of the Hotel. The room was reasonably sized and had a fantastic view of the harbour. We hadn't booked a room on the 6th floor. They upgraded us for free (at my sister's request prior to arrival) because it was my birthday.

The negatives: As another reviewer has mentioned they are refurbishing the bathrooms and so there is loud drilling noise daily any time from 9am-5pm supposedly. However, we were woken at 7.30AM!!!! on our departure morning by the noise of builders erecting scaffholding pretty much under our window. If we hadn't been leaving that day we'd have complained but as we were going I didn't see the point. Like the other reviewer we also hadn't been pre-warned.

The two single beds in our room were VERY soft and I found mine uncomfortable. The fold out sofa bed was pretty creaky and also uncomfortable.

These are the only two negative things I have to report. Staff were friendly and helpful (eg providing restaurant recommendations etc), the whole hotel was clean, the food was good (breakfast and dinner) and the free waffles and hot drinks were great. I can't stress enough what a bonus it was having food included. I knew Norway would be expensive but be warned - It's MONSTROUSLY expensive. £8 for a tiny sandwich and £7.50 for a Vodka & tonic. You do get a good hairdryer, trouser press, mini bar including snacks and basic toiletries in the room. Obviously the food and drink in the mini bar is extortionate.

Other things I liked were the lounges and the sauna and steam room. I'll try & attach photos. Another bonus is the hotel's location right on the waterfront and only 50 yrds from the Rica Hotel. This is where many companies collect you from for the trips. The main shopping street and heart of the town is right behind the hotel.

Trips:
We went on 2 lights chasing trips. The first was with Guide Gunnar and the second with Ivar from Natur i Nord. We booked well in advance. Both men were friendly and knowledgeable. Gunnar in particular was incredibly helpful before our arrival in Tromso. We had a snowball's chance in hell of seeing the lights as the weather was terrible and It is crushing getting on the bus knowing that you're in for 7 hours of sitting on a bus in the slamming rain. I tell you this because I was NOT prepared for the disappointment of not seeing the lights. Paying £90 to drive around in the dark isn't funny. However, I'd still pre-book if I were to go back because both tours were full even in such bad weather so I imagine we'd have had no chance trying to book them while we were there especially if the skies had been clear. If you do go out with Natur i Nord then I recommend the "Lights Tour with Dinner". It's probably £20 more but the food was lovely. Meats, cheeses, fish and salad beautifully presented followed by chocolate cake.

We also went Dog Sledding with Lyngsfjord Adventure. You spend about 3 hours sledding. You go in pairs with one of you driving and the other sitting down. You have 5 friendly but boisterous dogs pulling you. I found that you did need to be fit and healthy to drive the sled. I am 30 and reasonably mobile and I was struggling by the end. I fell off twice and nearly broke my neck but it is worth doing. My Mum who is in her 60s really loved it and she didn't find it difficult at all! If one of you wants to drive and the other doesn't then that's fine - but the person driving had better be strong. One tip here: Don't wear bulky clothes. They make you wear their all in one survival suits. We went wearing ski gear and had to pretty much strip down to our thermals to get the suit on.

We also booked Reindeer sledding at the Friluftsentre. We were looking forward to this most of all but it was cancelled because of the rain. The lady said she thinks their season may be over now and that it's been an awful year (too warm).

Boat trip - we went on a boat trip to Finstness (I've probably mis-spelled that) on a Hurtigruten catamaran. It's about £45-£50 and takes about an hour and 15 each way. The scenery is gorgeous - at least I'm sure it was behind the awful weather. You can just walk down and get on the boat. No need to pre-book.

In conclusion we did not have a good holiday due mainly to the awful weather and the no-show of the lights. Tromso/Norway is wonderful though and worth a visit despite the prices and the CRUEL CRUEL weather. I would also stay at this Hotel again despite the noise.

  • Stayed: March 2010
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6  Thank Striker54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelWith, General Manager at Clarion Collection Hotel With, responded to this reviewResponded 21 September 2010

As we never before have given feedback on reviews on TripAdvisor, and that we have started again with the renovation of the bathrooms, we feel that it is necessary to post a general comment to the reviews regarding the noise from the renovation.

The reviews are very understandable, as these guests have stayed with us at the time when the noise was at its highest. We were (and still are) trying to warn guest prior to arrival, but there is almost impossible to reach everyone as the bookings come from several different channels. The guest that have written the reviews here, were not warned beforehand and their reaction is very understandable.

From February to May we were renovating the bathrooms of the 2nd and 3rd floor. For the summer period we had a break from the work. We have now started again with the 4th, the 5th and the 6th Floor. The work will continue until the end of November, and there will be noise at the hotel during this period. The extent of the noise will vary, some days there will be extensive noise due to drilling in the tiles (especially in the starting period of every floor) and some days one will hardly notice any work. The drilling hours are from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. There can also be other noise from 7.30am to 9am, but not to the extent of the drilling. Normally the work stops at 1pm on Fridays and there will be no work on Saturdays and Sundays.

If you are planning to book accommodation at Hotel With it is necessary for us to point out that one can experience noise as long as the renovation is going on. If you are coming for a relaxing time during the week (Monday to Friday) it might be better to find another hotel until the renovation is finished, and instead come back to stay with us when we can offer a relaxing atmosphere along with new bathrooms in all our rooms. Are you coming for business and are out most of the day, you will not be as much affected by the renovation. Of course we want as many guests as possible to stay with us, but have realised that it is not suited for all type of travellers to stay with us during the renovation.

Inger Helen Hjemvoll
General Manager

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Reviewed 10 March 2010

Unfortunately we did not have a very good experience at this Hotel despite reading all the glowing reports on Trip Advisor we felt we were dealt a raw deal.

Firstly we were given room 313 which had a broken bed, the bed sank in the middle and had apparently three soft mattresses on top so goodness knows what the condition of the bed was underneath. Anyway, the following morning after explaining to reception we were given room 307 which did have a better bed. It had a glorious view of the harbour and we were happy.

We heard the most dreadful drilling, hammer drill sounding like an industrial pneumatic drill from 9.15 in the morning and on enquiring discovered that they were renovating all the bathrooms on the second floor and the work would continue from 9.15am to 4pm every day except Saturday and Sunday and it would be going on for weeks. When I said that I felt it was unacceptable and that we were on holiday and wanted to rest we were told that people had been told when they booked about the renovations. I explained that we had booked months ago and had not been told. We were not offered a different hotel, just sympathy and ear plugs. In fairness we did not push for another hotel as we needed the food that was included as the restaurants were so expensive. It meant that we were unable to be in our room during the day, which was not good for us as we like to take a nap early afternoon before setting off on our explorations again. It is also extremely unfair of the hotel as people are out late searching for the lights and therefore not everyone wants to be forced out of bed just past 9 in the morning. We had to make use of the lounges in the nearby hotels during the day just popping back quickly to have a hot drink or a waffle at the With. Resting was impossible. Goodness knows what is going on now as scaffolding was being erected harbour side and large tubes being attached to it. Should be lovely for residents!

There were times when the lounge was out of reach to residents as it had been let out for conferences. This also made us feel pushed out. One night there was a chair blocking the lounge off whilst we were having dinner. I was so angry as there were a few of us that liked to go in there for a chat after our meal as the weather was not 'light watching' weather. They did re-open it later so we were able to use it but I really think it is a residents lounge not a conference room. They could have used the leisure room at the top of the hotel for a conference room. Interestingly, on our last day there was an IBM conference and amazingly the hammer drilling stopped.

If you are going to be out all day this will not worry you, but we are oldies and like the comfort of the hotel room to come back to during the day if we need to.

The food was most welcome although very repetitious, fine if you were just staying for a long weekend but not at all good for a 7 night stay. Having said that, we were grateful to have some food included even though there was no variety, especially with the salads that were the same daily. The hot or should I say warm offering seemed to be repeated every three or four days. Pasta dish, rice dish, salmon dish. The same with the soup.

I hate to file a negative report and so here are a few positives:-

The room was lovely with a fabulous view.
The staff were polite and tried to be helpful.
We appreciated the free internet.
The breakfast was good and so were the waffles.
We appreciated having free hot drinks 24 hours.
There were vitamins there for free.
Kettle and tea and coffee in room.
Dressing gown and slippers supplied.
Shampoo, shower gel, conditioner, body lotion supplied.
The hotel was very central and near the Flybussen for the airport, and there were numerous local buses close to the hotel.

Would we recommend the With, probably yes, but NOT whilst the work is being carried out.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank dragonrapide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2010

This is a really great choice in Tromso because the location is perfect, both in terms of its central location and in terms of views (do get a room with harbour-views!) Don't expect 5 star luxury, this isn't the league this hotel is aiming for. But if you are looking for really comfortable, clean rooms and a lovely, warm atmosphere with plenty of free extras (afternoon waffles, dinner buffet, sauna etc. etc.), don't think twice about booking this hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled solo
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Thank AnnaG5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2010

Wow what a great holiday. We were only able to go for 5 nights but loved Tromso. This hotel was definitely the best choice for us. I did a lot of looking around before booking this hotel and after speaking to others that we met on various trips while there I still agree.
We took a taxi ride from the airport (approx £14 and took 10 minutes) to the hotel. My husband thought this was great as we went through the underground road systems with roundabouts!! I had requested a 4th floor double collection room with a harbour view and got exactly that. These rooms are plenty big enough and have a large double bed. Only negative is the very soft pillows which did affect both our sleep.

As others have said its great to have the evening buffet included from 6-9 p.m. as meals out especially alcohol works out really expensive. The buffet includes cold salads / rice / meats / cheese, fresh bread and a hot dish (pasta or rice). Also waffles free in dining room from 3-6 p.m. great to warm up to after a day out in the cold. Breakfast is also great fills you up before trips.

There is a jacizzi / steam room on 6th floor overlooking harbour which everyone can use and free wi-fi in the rooms - you just get free cards with passwords on from reception to use it. Also best thing is a 12 p.m. checkout and they will hold luggage for you for a late flight time.

During our trip we were really lucky to see a great show of the lights on the two times we went out. We pre-booked trips with Guide Gunnar and Kjetil Skogli on different nights. This was a good idea, part;y because Kjetil books up way in advance but also because they actually 'chase' the lights to different locations and move around depending on whether during the night. We did speak to others who paid alot to taken to one place and stayed there whether they could see the lights or not. You need to get way out of town away from the lights of populated areas to see them.

Also we did two trips to Lyngsfjord Adventure on two days and went dog sledging and snow mobiling - both excellent, if a bit cold because it was -30 C while there. They have loads of warm clothes to dress you in though - use one of their jumpers, very warm. The trip there takes 90 minutes each way but worth it as the scenery if amazing and great photo oppertunities.

We went back via the flybussen airport bus as it picks up from Rica Ischotel (only a 100 yard walk from Clarion Collection With) so worth doing.

All in all a great holiday and great hotel. We may go back to Svalbard next but beware it is expensive!

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank moggy376
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2010

We have just returned from a 5 night stay at the Clarion Collection With. We went to Tromso to celebrate my husband's birthday and we had a fanastic time. We are frequent travellers and have stayed in some wonderful hotels over the years. Although the hotel is shown as a 2 / 3 star hotel on the hotel guides - it is not typical of that rating and should definitely not be discounted by this fact.

The hotel is located on the waterfront with fantastic views. We had booked a superior room and when we arrived we were given a room on the 6th floor. When we got to the room the sink was blocked so the receptionist immediately moved us to Room 603 (which is a junior suite) and she had the bathrobes, slippers and coffee maker from the superior room brought up to the room. It was very spacious and looking out at the view from the balcony doors was magical. I understand that they are redoing the bathrooms in the hotel and are currently up to the 2nd floor. While the bathrrom was not bad, an update would be good.

Food and drink in Norway is very expensive so it was great that hotel provided a good buffet breakfast, waffles between 3:00pm - 6:00pm and a small buffet dinner
from 6:00pm - 9:00pm which included salads, soup, a hot dish, cheese and hams, etc. As most nights you are heading off on a trip in search of the Northern Lights this meal was very much appreciated. Alternatively there is a fish monger in a porta cabin in the square around the corner where we bought 1/2 kilo of shrimp for £5, added to some bread from the local Coop and a bottle of wine from Duty Free and we were set..

We did a lot of research before leaving home as to what Northern Light trips we wanted to do most, as well as following the weather and lights forecast which does have an effect on what you will see. Our first night was scheduled to be clear but unfortunately clouded up almost immediately. We were booked on the Northern Lights bus which drives around trying to find the best place to view the lights. The driver said that our best bet was to drive an hour and half outside of Tromso in hopes of getting clear sky. We found the clear sky but unfortunately we did not see the lights until driving home when the driver said "Northern Lights on the left". He safely pulled over to the side of a main road, allowing us 10 minutes to watch the magical lights.

Our favourite activity was a trip to the Friluftsenter. It is a small farm on the edge of a fjord run by a really nice family. There are reindeer and you keep warm in a lavvu (a Sami Tent) where they serve you coffee / tea and cake. We stood outside in windchill temperatures of -30 but it was well worth it when the lights came out at the end of the evening. One tip if you go on this trip. They do not provide the survival suits that you get on some of the other trips - so remember to bring lots of extra layers, sweaters, socks etc.

The Tourist Board in Tromso are really helpful so make use of them when wanting information about the trips. They also rent extra equipment, eg boots and ski wear.

This is a great hotel and Tromso is a wonderful place. Go - you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank luv2travel50London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2010

Lovely hotel, staff were brilliant and very helpful. Food was good,oh and the free drinks i.e. tea, coffee, hot chocolate and WAFFLES. Rooms very comfortable and warm. Any downside - yes, didn't stay long enough!!!

Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Jupavia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2010

We just came back from an incredible trip to Tromso! When I was searching for hotels in Tromso I almost overlooked Clarion because it was rated as a 2 star hotel. However, I then noticed that it is ranked very high on the list of hotels in Tromso so we decided to give it a go. And what a good choice that was!

Staff:
Very polite and helpful. The tourist office was closed when we got there so the front desk staff called around and helped us book tours. There was a small mix-up with our room but they addressed it straight away.

Room:
The room we had was spacious, clean, two single beds put together and it had everything we needed. There is no distinction in Norway over double room with a double bed or two single beds. If you prefer a big bed, their deluxe rooms have king size beds and few extra amenities.

Hotel:
The hotel had a very cosy feeling and it had maritime details everywhere. All the room doors opened out to the hall like on a ship, the wall between the restaurant area and the reading/tv lounge had two cute round windows - again like on a ship. The candle holders were in a shape of a lighthouse, etc. There was a computer with internet access in the lobby but the hotel also offers a free internet access in the rooms.

Food:
The best bit of this hotel! One of the main reasons why we booked it was because the room price included breakfast, waffles in the afternoon and dinner. You don't realise how helpful this is until you go to eat outside - when we checked out on the last day and went for lunch, our two lasagnes and one coke in a cafe came to £30. The breakfast had an excellent spread of things, both hot and cold. The waffles were a nice touch - you make you own between 3pm and 6pm - especially when you return from a trip. The dinner was served from 6pm to 9pm - a cold spread with a hot dish. We found food to be of very good quality and were not spoilt for choice. However, there were still people there who complained about everything...go figure. Oh, and tea/coffee/hot chocolate are always available from the same area.

Relaxation area:
On the top floor you'll find a lounge with a view of the harbour, a dry sauna and a steam room - all clean, well-kept and weren't busy when we went.

Overall, we were very happy with the hotel. Not sure why it was rated only 2 star. Maybe a lack of a proper restaurant like someone suggested before or a bar or something along those lines...

We also went on a few trips/tours and were happy with them. The Wilderness Centre with a traditional dinner in a lavvu was a really good fun. You can combine it with dog-sledding, northern lights experience, etc. The Northern Lights Bus (by Nature i Nord)is also an excellent way to chase the lights if they sky is cloudy. The dog-sledding was our favourite (after seeing the northern lights of course!). Lyngsfjord Adventures offers a 7 hour tour where you get to drive your own sledge for about 2 hours! The surroundings are beautiful. You get a crush course on how to do it and off you go! My boyfriend loved it!

Hope that helps!

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank CocoAdventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Clarion Collection Hotel With

Address: Sjogata 35-37, Tromso 9291, Norway
Phone Number:
Region: Norway > Northern Norway > Troms > Tromso
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Tromso
#1 Romantic Hotel in Tromso
#3 Business Hotel in Tromso
Price Range: £93 - £215 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Clarion Collection Hotel With 3.5*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Clarion Collection Hotel With is perfectly located in the harbor of the city center. Here you are only 50 meters away from the main street of Tromso, close to restaurants and shopping. At all Clarion Collection Hotels the guests have included breakfast, coffee/tea all day, waffles from 15:00(3pm)to 18:00(6pm) and light evening buffet from 18:00(6pm) to 21:00(9pm). The light evening buffet consists of one hot soup, one hot dish and bread. Not a big dinner buffet, but for most of our guests a really satisfying dinner. This makes Clarion Collection Hotel With a really cheap alternative for tourists visiting Tromso. We also offer a relax room with sauna and a steam room at the top of the hotel. Welcome to a warm and friendly hotel where you can feel at home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clarion Collection With Hotel
Clarion Collection Tromsø
Clarion Tromso
Tromsø Clarion

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