Having stayed in many Radisson hotels around the world - and generally expecting a business atmosphere - this one is distinctly different and seems to cater more to families. The first 'give away' is that there is a step ladder in front of the check in counter so the kids can follow what is going on at the reception. Since we were there as a family - this was great - as was the rest of our stay, mainly due to the staff who were all smiling, helpful and last but not least professional in every sense of the word. The rooms were big which is an advantage if you are travelling as a family. And that is the nice things that can be said about this hotel - the staff is the reason I actually liked this hotel and would stay here again - since the rest is generally quite terrible.
Lets start with the most obvious - the hotel is completely worn down - the corridors have carpets from when it was built, the bathrooms likewise - the plastic leather surrounding the brownish tiles in the bathroom made me smile, the furniture is mostly worn down with holes in the upholstery, etc. You get the picture. Its nice and clean - but a major refurbishment is in order. Our daughters bed was a mattress thrown on the floor - it worked fine - she was happy, but this is not what you would expect from a Radisson. I suspect it was because the sofa bed was broken.
The aircon didn’t work – but the windows could open all the way. Great for a summer stay as ours was – however maybe not so appropriate in a room with a 7 year old. A not a viable cooling alternative as you will see from below.
On the other side of the street was a very - and I mean very - noisy bar / disco. I sleep like a rock anywhere - but it kept my wife and daughter pretty much awake until 2-3 in the morning. After 2 nights we complained and were without much ado offered another room in the front building - but with a queen bed and a bunk bed. I had to ask 2 or 3 times to make sure I had understood that it was in fact a bunk bed that was described. Sure enough it was indeed a bunk bed - hence the headline of this review. That I can honestly say I have never experienced anywhere in the world in a Radisson - or any other large hotel chain for that matter. It dawned on me that it was probably a much smaller room, which it was. We were also offered a room where we were but in the corner facing the container port instead of the disco. We finally decided to just stay put since we only had 2 nights left.
The breakfast was adequate at best – eggs cold, etc. The breakfast room had been moved to some of the ballroom / meeting rooms and thus the facilities were a little strange. No doubt the hotel was absolutely full with families, presumably visiting the animal park which was also the reason we were there. It all seemed like a temporary solution which up to a point is fine if you can manage it – but it never quite seemed to flow smoothly.
And just to finish the review – I would stay here again even with all the above. I liked the staff and I liked the location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Radisson Blu Caledonien Hotel is situated by the seafront down town Kristiansand. The hotel is full of atmosphere and reflects a high standard and service throughout. Come and join us. Experience something different. We are not just an ordinary hotel. We can taylor anything from rock climbing to boat trips or salmon fishing. We suggest - You approve - We arrange it. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Kristiansand
- Kristiansand Radisson