This was our second stay at Dalen Hotel, our first being in 2007 and have always cherished the memories of that first visit. It is a truly magnificent hotel with a beautiful manicured lawn sweeping at least 150 meters down to the lake. There are huge majestic trees on the property and impressive mountains in the distance. Dalen Hotel offers quiet serenity and elegance with period antiques throughout the hotel and quite an interesting history. It has an exquisite dining room and we quite liked the idea of not having a television in our room which seemed suitable given the hotel's remote location.
Nevertheless, we were very disappointed with our visit this time and will not return. We had been looking forward to our two day stay at Dalen Hotel, this time accompanied by our small dog, a very well-mannered Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. We flew to Oslo from Paris after staying for a week at Hotel La Perle in Saint-Germain-des-Pres (a hotel in many ways far superior to Hotel Dalen) and were extremely comfortable with the way Hotel La Perle had welcomed our small dog throughout the hotel, including at breakfast. However, upon arrival at Hotel Dalen we were repeatedly told our small dog was not welcome in any of the public areas of the hotel, and never in the hotel dining room "since many people have pet allergies". What a contrast from our stay in Paris! We later learned we had been assigned one of the two designated "pet rooms" at Dalen Hotel. Our "pet room" (costing over 300 euro per night) featured several huge urine stains on the carpet which was thoroughly disgusting. Each afternoon we were asked if we planned to have dinner in the hotel restaurant that evening and when we replied "... but we have a dog" they responded "oh, that's right", and directed us to one of the two fast food restaurants in town, the only dining alternatives within 45 km of the hotel. Since we preferred not to leave our small dog alone in the room we were never able to have dinner at Hotel Dalen and each morning needed to have our breakfast "in shifts".
When we checked out of Dalen Hotel after our two night stay, I explained our disappointment to the Hotel Director saying while I respected his strict pet policy I thought it was a poor business decision. He seemed perplexed until I explained to him we would have naturally preferred to have had dinner at the hotel, if not in the hotel dining room, perhaps outside on the expansive covered porch. But this option was never extended to us; since in fact the hotel staff repeatedly directed us to the other dining alternatives in town when they learned we had a dog. Actually, I think it would make more sense to offer hotel guests with pets the option of having dinner at the hotel on the covered porch (if necessary) instead of forcing them to leave their pet in the room to stain the carpet in retribution for being left alone in a strange environment. The Hotel Director reiterated their strict pet policy is due to "hotel guests who may have pet allergies". His tone left no doubt that to him a dog is meant to be left tied up outside on a chain. I explained to him that statistics clearly show only 10% of the general population suffer from pet allergies and at least 3/4 of that number is due to allergies to cats (look it up). That leaves only 2.5% of his hotel guests who may potentially have an allergy to our small dog which is an absurd basis for the hotel's draconian pet policy. There are actually more people in the general population, 11%, who suffer from fragrance allergies. Does that mean Dalen Hotel should ban guests who use perfume from all public areas of the hotel? I think not. It's all so absurd and hypercritical. Clearly if he wants to ban dogs from the hotel because he doesn't like dogs he should just say so. But to use "pet allergy!" as a justification for his policy just doesn't make any sense and serves only as a convenient excuse. He seemed surprised when I told him of the deplorable condition of the carpet in our "pet room". He should pay it a visit sometime. Clearly Dalen Hotel has lost not only the revenue we were not allowed to spend to have a nice dinner in the hotel. They have also lost a repeat customer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dalen Hotel is a fairytale hotel, build in 1894 in grand romantic style with dragonheads, towers and balconys. The paper "Varden" wrote in 1894: "The new elegant furnished Hotel at Dalen, at the top of the Bandak waters, is now ready to recieve guests".After early golden days and later years of decay the hotel was in 1994, after years of restauration finished to welcome its guests again, all restored back to its original beauty. It has the same soul, calmness, peace and atmosphere as the wooden castle that opened for more than 110 years ago. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dalen Hotel Telemark