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“Great View on the Water - Bad Service in the Restaurant”

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Thon Hotel Kirkenes
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Kirkenes
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 17 June 2014

We flew to Kirkenes for a one night stay to catch the Hurtigruten the next morning that was scheduled to sail south. Kirkenes is actually east of Finland on the far north tip of Norway that is on the Russian border. There were not many lodging options in Kirkenes. After a little research we decided to stay at a Thon property. During other stops on our 2013 Norway trip we stayed at Thon Hotels and were very satisfied with the accommodations, food and service. However our experience in Kirkenes was horrible.
The hotel is located on the harbor with nice views. It is a relatively new property that seems to be maintained in a proper manner. The rooms were small as anticipated, but comfortable. The breakfast on our morning of departure was wonderful. There was a wide range of offering displayed in an engaging colorful appetizing manner delivered with exceptional service. On a 5 point scale the breakfast was a 4.5.
The problem we had at this hotel was the dinner on our arrival. We assume a great deal of the business at the Thon Hotel Kirkenes is Hurtigruten related, so they should be ready to deal with an influx of customers when a plane arrives carrying folks that plan on boarding the Hurtigruten. The staff at the Thon was over whelmed with a small rush of customers and did not seem able to recover. The wait staff we dealt with did not seem to know what they were doing and were slow to react. We had to wait almost an hour for our order to be served. Then the food was horrible. The water near Kirkenes is famous for crab, but the crab dish served at the Thon Hotel Kirkenes was terrible. It was dumped on a plate, tuff and lacked flavor. Very poor service and bad food was the result of our evening meal. Our experience at dinner at the Thon rates as a 1 on a 5 point scale.

Room Tip: Travel Tips: These travel tips are written from the perspective of an American tourist who is trave...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ARK1947
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ruben R, Hotel Manager at Thon Hotel Kirkenes, responded to this reviewResponded 20 August 2014

Dear guest arvidkopp,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback.

It is a pity and I must apologize for the service you were provided in the restaurant. It's boring when it spoil the overall impression, I understand and respect that. I am glad that you had otherwise a very nice stay with us. I hope we get the chance in the future to prove that we are better and give you a perfect stay. Welcome back!

Best Regards Ruben - Hotel Manager

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Reviews (645)
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Reviewed 17 June 2014

We stayed at the Thon Hotel in Kirkenes after our cruise on Hurtigruten MS Polarlys. The staff were very helpful and allowed us to check in early and they also were able to give us a room facing the Fjord after I asked them (even though they only had a twin room available we decided it was worth it for the view), The room was more spacious than the rooms in the other hotels we had stayed in during the trip and the beds were soooo soft and comfortable.There were 2 comfortable chairs and a small table as well as a bench and chair against the wall. The bathroom had plenty of space and the shower was a double shower. The view from the room was great. My husband was very impressed that when we first walked into the room the TV had a slide show running welcoming him to the hotel. We had dinner at the hotel that night and the food was delicious, the Salmon that I had was the best I've tasted it just melted in the mouth and my husband enjoyed his reindeer fillets. The desserts were just as delicious and the staff were very attentive. Breakfast the next morning was the best of our trip with freshly cooked waffles the highlight. My husband was impressed by the speed of the wifi and we both enjoyed the complimentary tea and coffee with a good selection of Twinnings teas and a coffee machine to make a long black that my husband craved - he said it was the best coffee he had had in Norway. There was outdoor seating to view the Fjord complete with blankets!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the Fjord.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank marshayden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ruben R, Hotel Manager at Thon Hotel Kirkenes, responded to this reviewResponded 20 August 2014

Dear guest marshayden,

Thank you for an amazing feedback. Nice to hear that you and your husband had a such good stay with us. I became very happy of reading your review. Salmon is also my favorite on the menu, glad you like it.

Greet your husband from me and tell that you are most welcome back! Enjoy the rest of the summer. Recommend you to take a trip in the winter, see the northern lights.

Best Regards Ruben - Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 7 June 2014

My partner and I arrived on the Hurtigruten ferry on the morning of 30 April 2014, with the predicted temperature 0C, our flight to Oslo not until 8:30pm, and having been reliably informed that Kirkenes airport was little more than a shed. So we took a chance and got a taxi to this hotel to see if we could get day use of a room. The front desk checked us into a lovely wheelchair-accessible room without a prior reservation without any issue. The fee was NOK500 - under $AUD100. Excellent value with a great view as well.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Melissa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ruben R, Hotel Manager at Thon Hotel Kirkenes, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2014

Dear guest Melissa,

Thank you for your nice feedback. Great to hear that the room and price was exellent value for you. We offer day rooms from 500 NOK and early check-in is possible on availability. Good to read that you enjoyed our disable room, they are bigger in size compared to our Standard and Superior Rooms, great value! Welcome back!

Best Regards Ruben - Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 22 April 2014

I knew it would be the best on offer but I had no perspective of what that would be. Coming from one remote end of the earth (Western Australia) to the other with no understanding of the fact that Norweigan style extended all the way to the border of Russia it was a lovely surprise after blighted weather and feeling flat from managing rough seas.

I loved the sweeping views fjord from the floor to ceiling windows that graced the foyer and restaurant. The mix of chandeliers with modern felt chairs. I loved the breakfast bar area. I collect memories of "best breakfasts" around the world and this one is up there at the top. The huge range on offer, quality, ability to pick from great fruit juices and personally cooked menu items added to the experience.

We requested a fjord view on arrival as it was our last chance to catch the Northern Lights and front desk were most helpful in our attempt to find the appropriate website that provided details of possible sightings.

I loved walking thru the crisp snow to the town centre just minutes away. I loved that the airport bus stopped right outside the hotel and I didn't have to lug bags thru snow.

Whilst the rate is great value for money, what is in Norway. I would highly recommend the additional investment required to select this hotel. It was a great end to our stay in Norway

Room Tip: Definitely request a room of the fjord
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Sallylyons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

This hotel is located right beside the fjord, a very short walk from the town centre. We had a twin room overlooking the fjord and the view was lovely. The location was very quiet, and the room clean and comfortable, with windows which could be opened, and a good sized bathroom.

We arrived early the day, off the Hurtigruten ship, and even though it was still only about 10am the receptionist was happy, since a prepared room was available, to check us in without extra charge - if there is no room available they will store luggage for you.

We did not have dinner at the hotel, but the choice of food for breakfast was huge, with staff continuing to prepare fresh items as diners arrived.

Not the cheapest hotel in Kirkenes, but given the location it was reasonable value for money in an expensive country.

As well as being convenient to the town centre, the airport bus stops right outside the hotel (even though it's a small place don't leave your trip to the airport to the last minute as the day we left there was a long wait to get through security)

Room Tip: Rooms facing the fjord are very quiet and the view is great.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank SMTas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2014

This is a brand-new waterfront hotel, within easy walking distance of the Hurtigruten dock (in good weather) and the center of Kirkenes. Our room was very clean and comfortable. The shower was particularly nice. The breakfast is very good.

The staff was very pleasant and helpful, including helping us get boarding passes and seat assignments for our SAS flight the next day. And when after our trip, we found we had lost something, the Thon Hotel was the only hotel to respond to our email asking if we had left it there.

Our only complaint involved the bar: in making a "dry" martini, the bartender reversed the proportions of gin and vermouth: he made it with lots of vermouth and little gin. He remade it, but even on his second try, it was barely acceptable.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the water.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Matt245_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2014

We only stayed one night here before travelling home but having eaten in the restaurant we wished we'd has more nights here. The hotel was really comfortable, the room we had was spacious and had a huge bed. The public areas are very stylish and offers complimentary hit drinks at all times, a really nice touch. Where this hotel really scores high is with the food. The buffet offerings at breakfast and lunch are spectacular and I've rarely seen such a wide variety with such attention to quality - totally amazing. Added to the was the wonderful meal we had in the restaurant. We shared a basket of bread , oil, salt and balsamic vinegar ( we were offered more when the basket was empty). My starter consisted of green bean soup with coriander dressed with olive oil and balsamic glaze while my husband had aquavit cured salmon with butter fried bread, salad and horseradish cream. Both starters were really tasty. We'd been advised by a waiter in Southern Norway that the further North we travelled the better the Reindeer became so we decided to test it out. It was easily the softest and most delicate meat we had in Norway. We had pan fried reindeer with potato purée , roast root veg and a red wine sauce, it was absolutely wonderful and my other half joked he'd rather have the reindeer again that desert but we decided on a white chocolate and sambuca mousse with raspberry compote and chocolate sauce. As farewell meals go it was a marvellous way to bid Norway goodbye.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank tmlb63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Thon Hotel Kirkenes

Address: Johan Knudtzens gate 11, Kirkenes 9900, Norway
Region: Norway > Northern Norway > Finnmark > Sor-Varanger Municipality > Kirkenes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Kirkenes
Price Range: £114 - £200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Thon Hotel Kirkenes 3.5*
Number of rooms: 143
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Thon Hotel Kirkenes is a new and modern hotel located by the sea in Kirkenes. The city center is a 5 minute walk away with small shops, cafes and restaurants. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, conference area and outdoor terrace with fantastic views. The restaurant 69’north is specialized in local food such as king crab, reindeer and salmon. ... more   less 
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