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“In the heart of medieval Visby”

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Hotell Helgeand Wisby
Ranked #11 of 15 Visby B&B and Inns
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
69 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“In the heart of medieval Visby”
Reviewed 29 June 2012

You really cannot find a location in Visby that is more ideal for experiencing the romance of the past. It is not possible to describe getting around Visby in terms of "blocks," as you would in a modern city. Instead, Visby is protected by a medieval-era stone ring wall, part of what you would have stayed inside during Danish raids 500 years ago.

The Medeltidshotellet is within walking distance of one of the less-populated gateways into the city, leading to the sea, where you can gaze down on the Baltic sunset, or up the hill, where you can walk through grassy parklands circling the outer walls. Or you can climb one of the turrets protecting the city and gaze down to the Baltic, watching the sunset. You can walk into the middle of town (Stortorget, the main square, past various church ruins). There is much to do and see on Visby, not all of it easy to explain except in pictures. It is a tiny, original, medieval city, and that on its own is unique.

The hotel itself is an amalgam of buildings from various eras; one of the buildings is original to the medieval period. Another building used to be a brewery, and dates from a later era. Everything inside is comfortable, giving you the impression that you are staying in someone's very well-appointed house. The colors are soothing and lovely, the walls heavy stucco, painted in blues, yellows, oranges. The whole place smells of carefully-preserved wood, but my fear that the hotel would be musty and old was unfounded. Instead it is very fresh, the rooms well-aired. You get your typical Scandinavian bedding, which means two narrow beds shoved together. This is a habit I hope this part of the world gets out of, since these beds are difficult to rationalise in this day and age. Unless you're onboard a ship from the days of yore, these narrow little beds make very little sense. Time to upgrade, Sweden.

The only difficulty, aside from Sweden's odd beds, was the shower in my room. In an attempt to modernise, many hotels these days seem to feel compelled to include the most modern shower and bath system possible. This is interpreted in Europe as "stone, with no division between the shower and the toilet." In Edinburgh, for example, I have experienced this type of shower with no shower curtain. Fortunately, the Medeltidshotellet provides a shower curtain, but basically your shower is part of the bathroom in a way that is entirely uncomfortable and dangerous for people like me, who have mobility issues. The advantage to the lack of division is that I can reach my toothpaste from inside the shower to the washbasin; the major disadvantage is that the entire bathroom becomes a puddle, the floor is wet and slippery, and no thought goes into exactly what happens when a guest takes a bad fall. This will lead to someone getting hurt someday, and hotel bathrooms in general in the world need to think this through more carefully, because the population is not getting any younger. Some form of handle or making the floor of the bathroom less slippery would be a wise move, from an insurance standpoint, it seems to me.

I was originally shown into a hot, dusty, downstairs room (#1) which looks out on the parking lot and receives the afternoon sun. Considering the cost of this stay, I was not happy with this choice, and asked to be moved, which thankfully they were able to do. I was moved to room #7 (upstairs and in the back), which is lovely, large, cheerful and airy. It looks out on Sweden's only octagonal (ruined) church, plus the hotel's well-kept garden-grounds (and one or two buildings that have been turned into city-related offices, not modern in any sense, but there is parking all around the sides of the hotel, just fyi, although you really won't be disturbed by most of it). But that part of the experience is not entirely picturesque, even though all in all, it's a beautiful location and a delightful hotel.

The breakfast room is relatively small and therefore cramped once it's inhabited by the majority of guests, around 9 a.m. each morning, the popular hour for breakfast, it seems. I was there for four days; only the weekend was busy in the breakfast room, but then, it was not the high season. I don't know what you do for a seat in the breakfast room in the summer months, particularly during July, the month all Swedish people have off for vacation.

The breakfast selection is very good, in my opinion, with many choices, including scrambled eggs, bacon, mueslis of more than one variety, yogurts, etc. I believe breakfast comes with the room.

All in all, I thought this was a charming hotel. The common area rooms are very cosy, with a fireplace for the winter-time. Furnishings are intended to evoke a medieval-era mood, and are therefore heavy and dark, hand-made locally. It is well-run, the staff are extremely attentive, and seem to love working there, which is always nice.

Aside from Sweden's weird beds and these newfangled bathrooms hotels seem to feel the need to have these days, it was a unique stay in a unique place on the planet. Would I go back again.... the location is unparalleled. You simply cannot find a hotel in Visby with a more romantic location. The hotel is set in the middle of what is essentially a spacious, well-landscaped garden, surrounded by ruins of churches and intriguing old houses and buildings. It is on the quiet, less touristy side of the town. You can walk to everything, and it's very close to the ocean and the lovely park that lies outside the old walls.

There are other hotels closer to the center of town, however; they might be noisier, but more centrally-located. I came in by car. Others might be coming in from a cruise ship. So just be aware that you're not right in the center of town, you're off to the side closer to one of the older walls, although it is definitely the beautiful, more residential side of town. Visby is unique on its own, and from what I saw of the exteriors of other hotels, the Medeltidshotellet is unique within Visby for its attempt to recreate authentic medieval-era charm. It's a little expensive, but possibly makes up for it in terms of location and staff enthusiasm. I would definitely recommend it.

Room Tip: Room #1 was hot, facing the sun and looking out on unlovely cars, just like in that dreary motel you...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
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1 Thank Alison G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Stockholm
Level Contributor
102 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2012

Medeltidshotellet is a different kind of accomodation, this is definately true. The location couldn't be better, it is central in the old town (very close to the Visby Dome church), but at the same time quiet and peaceful. This means that you won't be disturbed by the (sometimes) hectic nightlife in Visby in the summer. The hotel has it's own parking (against a fee) which is a blessing in the old town of Visby.

My partner and me stayed in one of the double rooms. Since we travelled in the cold beginning of march, the first thing we noticed was the cold bathroom. Otherwise we were impressed by the interior, the attention to details in the planning (trying to conceal modern details like tv in shrine-like cabinets) and the extremely comfortable beds (the best beds we have EVER sleeped in).

The service is exemplary. The girls on the front desk were extremely helpful and we were even given a tour of the hotel to the differently styled theme-rooms (number 11 and 15 were our favorites!). These rooms have interesting and fancyful names like "The Italian messengers room" and "The bishop's little favorite room".

Breakfast was fine, served in a cosy room on the bottom floor, and contained both hot and cold dishes, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The hotel also has a spa that looked extremely inviting, but we just didn't have sufficient time to try it out. We were told that it's open only until 1900 CET, which seems a bit early. There is also a small bar and a lounge to relax in.

But the hotel has apparently been forced to sacrifice a few things for the sake of trying to stick to the medieval theme. The cold bathroom has already been mentioned, the tv set was fixed in place and not positioned in way that made it easy to watch (strange angle) and the cupboard very small with some strange arrangements made for the hangers (not on a bar, but in holes-difficult to explain).

The bottom line for us was that Medeltidshotellet is very cosy and interesting, but not our number one choice in Visby. It is among the more expensive hotels in Visby and we just didn't feel that it was worth the extra outlay.

But for others, who prefer a more quirky (but still comfortable) kind of accomodation and don't mind paying a bit more, Medeltidshotellet would probably fit the bill perfectly. A honeymooning couple will probably feel that this is a perfect place to stay.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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1 Thank MrJan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falkenberg
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

Wanted to stay somewhere different and romantic for a few days as for the first time in years, we were travelling without our three children. We pushed the boat out and booked one of the expensive rooms, but as previous reviewers have pointed out, the views are of the car park and the noise from the room above makes it sound as if someone's coming through the ceiling.

The room seemed clean but the curtains in the bathroom don't cover the window and there was a clear view in from the annexe building only a few metres away. The place may be old but the rooms feel extremely fake. The wall between the bathroom and bedroom was so thin, you could hear (!) every bodily function. The hotel provides sheepskin slippers but they were very worn out and blackened on the inside - yuck. No staff after 7pm.

Don't be fooled by the name, it's not a hotel by any means (husband booked it and unfortunately didn't check any reviews before hand). You also have to pay extra to use the sauna facilities. You can make tea and coffee downstairs, but only instant which tasted vile. Considering how much we paid, this was so disappointing, a real missed opportunity for us.

Quirky and old, maybe; room standards - OK, BUT they charge four star hotel prices and don't provide hotel standards and yet also completely lacks the charm of a good B&B.

  • Stayed February 2012
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1 Thank DEW67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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sweden
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2011

Stayed here in summer 2011. Medeltidshotellet is at a great location in Visby, close to everything though still in a fairly quiet area.

The hotel is small and personal. Staff is friendly and service minded. Parking facilities are great (though not free). The building is old but feels fresh and clean. This is what Visby is about anyway, most of the buildings in central Visby are very old for natural reasons and this is what you expect to find here. Beds were very comfortable in our double room and bathrooms very clean and modern. There was a sauna / relax part you could book but we didn't get around to.

I would recommend this hotel. I know Visby fairly well and think this is a great place to stay when you are there. If you are considering staying more "down town" or central, or closer to the harbor, be prepared that Visby can be a lively town during summer with lots of night life. Medeltidshotellet is located in an area with not so many clubs and restaurants. Though you have everything just 15 mins walk from there and the walks in Visby are beautiful, so many old buildings and small streets to explore.

Keep in mind that Week 29 is the "Stockholmsveckan" in Visby every summer. This means a lot of night life and people traveling there to party from the rest of Sweden. If this is what you're looking for then that week is ideal for you. If you're not looking for partying then try to avoid Week 29 if you can. Week 27 is "Almedalsveckan" which is a gathering for Swedish political leaders and media in Visby. It's a lot of people there from government, business and more with lots of things going on every day and evening. Can be fun to visit if you're into events like that.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank SunQuest10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2011

My partner and I spent 4 nights at Medeltidshotellet in the middle of June 2011. We really had no expectations on arrival but we were happily surprised by the friendly staff at the reception and by the look of the enterior. There are funny little details everywhere in this hotel, like soft toy mice, fake cats and dogs.

The athosphere is charming with dark and very heavy medieval style wooden furniture, chandaliers, metal pots and cans. It certainly gives you a medieval feeling and an expectation of something very odd lurking around the corner. If you have children or appreciate a funny childish twist to things you will definitely find this hotel very charming and different in a good way!

Our room was on the second floor overlooking a small park and the Helge And church ruin - beautiful! The room was quite large in typical medieval colours and materials. The beds were good. Of course there was plenty of typical Gotland sheep fur in armchairs etc. Very nice and cosy indeed!

The bathroom was small but modern and very fresh.

The breakfast buffé was very small and medieval style i.e only some bread, cheese, smoked sausage, yoghurt etc. It certainly wasn't a 4 star hotel buffé, but once again... this hotel is everything but a "normal hotel" so it was just fine with us.

One quite funny detail - we ordered two glasses of rosé to our rooms and were happily surprised when we received two HUGE glasses filled with rosé. It was definitely odd (and very price worthy of course!).

Be sure to visit this hotel if you're looking for a somewhat different hotel stay. It may not be worth its official 4 stars but if you appreciate the little details and enjoy a place with a twist, then you should definitely go here!

Oh, and, since Visby is a very tiny little town - everything is close.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Maria P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2011

I stayed here only one night but would definetely not like to come back!
According to the Hotel's internet information some very few parts of the building might indeed be from the 14th century and there is indeed is some historically inspired interiors but cleaning methods are also historically inspired!
Checking the little closets next to the bed we found receipts and hygiene articles of former guests in the drawers who must have stayed weeks there weeks before us!
The pseudo-cozy knight furs on cheap leather armchairs were full of old (knight) hair.
The view is out to the big parking lot.
Room was a little bit over 2.30cm high - depressingly low ceiling!
There is absolutely NO noise reduction from other people's footsteps from the room above yours.
Wireless does not work because of the ancient old and thick walls, as we were told.
The "fancy" hidden in patinated backgrounds for the TV is a simple wooden box from the Bauhaus with some dark paint to make it look old.
Breakfast is at youth hostel standard, while seated on hard and heavy dark-wood chairs (historical inspired!), covered with the above mentioned funny furs as wel.
Modern hot beverages such as cappucino and latte machiato are served as ready-made dried powder.
An interesting hotel experience, not really midieval and not cozy and not quiet at all, absolutely overpriced!

Room Tip: if at all ask for a room in the upper floors!
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank TravelBlomma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2010

I arrived in the evening- just 20 minutes after the reception was said to be open- and it was very hard to get in contact with the manager to get the code necessary to get inside. We, me and my husband, stood outside the hotel with our suitcases, the taxichauffeur and a nice person just passing by helped us to figure out which number to dial to get in touch with somone who could give us the code to get inside.
the rooom booked was on the groundfoor overlooking parkinplaces in both directions. Any person passing by could look directly upon us- It felt like being in an aquarium.
The breakfast romm was too tiny - not enough space between the tables, and the braskfast buffe was poor if you have expectations for a hotel with at least 3 stars- but this hotel poclaims it has luxury standards- I certainly dont agree with that. Choose another hotel- there are more than of historic places in Visby. Of course some of the rooms in the hotel may be of high standard- but the price for our room was the same- too high- and servic was lousy- and breakfast nothing to be proud of if you pretend to be a high class hotel.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank MariaKB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotell Helgeand Wisby

Property: Hotell Helgeand Wisby
Address: 3-7 Norra Kyrkogatan, Visby, Gotland 621 55, Sweden (Formerly Medeltidshotellet i Visby)
Region: Sweden > Gotland > Visby
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Visby
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotell Helgeand Wisby 3.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fantastic hotel in the UNESCO world heritage city of Visby, located in an authentic medieval house inside the old city wall on the beautiful island of Gotland. Historically designed interiors, yet with all modern comfort as super quality beds, minibar, safetybox, tiled bathrooms and mini-suites with bath tub. Close to Visby´s best restaurants, shops, museums and only 250 meters from the Baltic Sea. Breakfast with both warm and cold dishes is included in room rate. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotell Helgeand Wisby Visby, Sweden - Gotland

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