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“Food - a big disappointment!”
Review of Fretheim Hotel

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Fretheim Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Flam
Certificate of Excellence
Norway
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Food - a big disappointment!”
Reviewed 25 August 2014

We just returned from a one night stay at Fretheim this weekend – after cycling «Rallarvegen» from Finse. After 5,5 miles on the road we were very much looking forward to our stay at this hotel, as we have visited several of the places in the «Historical hotels of Norway»chain before.
I am very sad to say we were very disappointed… We had booked historical rooms, which were wonderful – all eight of them individually decorated – all with a bathtub, which was lovely after at day on the road. Lovely view of the port and garden, which is also very nice. Rooms are nice and clean. No tv .
Common rooms are also nice, airy and bright with views of the port and mountains, and so we were so much looking forward to our buffet dinner booked at 8 pm.
The buffet was a disaster! Not much of a variety, only meat on the Saturday night buffet was roast pork, and then two types of fish – oven baked trout and Pollock. No desserts seemed to be home made, their coffee from the coffee machine was of the worst we have tasted in a hotel, and they started removing the food from the buffet at 9.50 pm… None of us tried the menu – so I cannot say if this was better, but I must say – I doubt it.
Breakfast the day after continued on the same level as the night before – no fried eggs, scrambled eggs made from powder mix, bad coffee and watered juices. No pure juice…. And to top it off – some of the same things like herring were on the table both for dinner and breakfast, and the butter was just piled up on a plate for everyone to share…. I hate that! It looks disgusting and seems very unhygienic.
So – to sum up our one night stay – Fretheim seems to suffer from being a hotel only for tourists dropping by on the visit in Flåm – and the food is not on the top of their focus areas. I would not spend that much money on a stay with such poor food. To me – one of the top priorities when staying at a hotel is food.

Room Tip: Historical rooms are large and very nicely decorated! If you have time to spend AT the room - go for...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank monaos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (175)
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English first
Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2014

We arrived Flam via the Flam Heritage Railway. The Train ride from Myrdal to Flam was amazing with the live event at the waterfall. It really takes your breath away to be greeted with the overflowing waterfall , loud music and a mysterious lady dancing on the hill top!
When we reached Flam and walked out of the station, we started searching for a cab to drive to our hotel, that is when my husband turned around and Lo! Behold! there stood our Fretheim Hotel just a few meters away from us....hahaha!!!
We had a hearty laugh at ourselves!
Wish we had spent more time in Flam. The scenic beauty on every side is terrific. There are also small eating joints around the station area which add to the food options but sadly close after 6 p.m.
Norway is generally too expensive, we found not many food joints to offer food later than 6 p.m. hence, we had to rely on the only COOP Marked for food supplies after 9 p.m.

Room Tip: The Historic Rooms are lovely , but sadly don't have a Television as compared to the facilities...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mossak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halesworth, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2014

We paid £385 for 2 nights bed & breakfast in a twin bed room with balcony overlooking fjord.
Actually most of the time the balcony overlooks tourist shopping area & docked cruise ship !
Beds we're clean & comfortable & the room was quiet but there the praise stops. Our bathroom door was warped and wouldn't close,despite a notice saying that it must be closed when showering to avoid activating the fire alarm .The bathroom was very small with toilet & sink jammed close together & had a wetroom type shower but the partition didn't contain the shower water.Toiletries were very meagre & not replenished for second night - luckily we had our own supplies.
There were hooks on the hall wall for outdoor clothing but little or no provision for normal clothes storage.Kettle in room but very limited supplies,no milk or creamer and no teaspoon just a horrid wooden stick!
Breakfast was cafeteria style buffet with limited seating space - we were lucky & found room immediately ,others weren't so fortunate.Breakfast food was adequate but " hot " food had obviously been standing a while and was only lukewarm.
Lastly check- out is 11 am but check- in is not until 4 pm, way too late. Arriving early we were able to put our luggage in a storage room, but no attempt was made to contact cleaners to ask if room could be made available more promptly - just keep checking back was reception response , room finally ready at 3:50.
Some individual staff were very pleasant but obviously employed on a seasonal basis & lacking in training & experience.
Little in the way of quiet sitting rooms ,just a seating area in reception with bar.
All in all we felt exploited by this hotel which seems to be intent on maximising profit at the expense of customer care and consideration .We won't be back!

Room Tip: Take the cheapest possible - it's not worth paying more than you have to.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
College Station, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
163 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2014

The hotel is quite historic. We enjoyed taking the informational tour of the hotel. Learned how it has changed over the years, and about the "ghost". The front of the hotel faces the fjord. We had a spectacular view from our hotel balcony. There are also great views from the upstairs bar area and the lobby/breakfast area. Really enjoyed sitting in the bar area looking at the fjord. It is frustrating when there are large ships blocking the fjord view, but many of them left in the evenings so we got the view back. Enjoyed walking along the shore of the fjord in the evenings. Our rooms were clean and up to date. We had plenty of outlets to charge phones/cameras. The bathroom was nice and had a shower. We stayed in the "American" wing of the hotel. There are several different wings that have been built over the years. Some of the wings are not as "up to date" as the American wing. If you want a historic room without all the modern conveniences, you can ask for that type of room. Breakfast was nice and had a lot of choices - fruit, yogurt, meats, cheese, pastries, pancakes, jam, fruit juices, etc. The hardest thing was the amount of people trying to eat breakfast at the same time. All of the tour buses left at about the same time, so there were a TON of people sort of shoving each other for food. Can't blame the hotel for the crowd, but it was stressful. The staff was very nice and helpful. Beer and wine were very expensive (as it was everywhere in Norway). There was a tea pot in our room, so we had some hot tea. Loved the hotel and Flam. The city and the hotel are beautiful. Would love to go back some day.

Room Tip: Ask for Fjord view
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ARB1615
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reno, Nevada
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

We reserved and obtained a room with a Fjord view. Unfortunately, it was a corner room, such that there was a room on wing perpendicular to our floor with a window of a quest room six feet away from our balcony window. The net result is we has absolutely no privacy unless we kept out blinds shut. That was problematic since is was quite hot during our stay. We stayed in the hotel for three nights. We could have stayed in a campground with more privacy.

The hotel essentially caters to tour groups that stay in the hotel one night. Since we were on our own schedule, we often went to breakfast at 9:00 AM, at which time the tour groups has left. The hotel cleaning crew then started cleaning the rooms and left ALL the room doors open into the hallway. Having a room way down the hallway, it was quite an obstacle course to walk down the hallway. One could not walk down the hallway without first shutting some of the doors.

Food is another issue. The breakfast buffet was acceptable but certainly nothing special. I happen to be lactose intolerant and requested soy milk. I might has well be from Mars. The wait staff had no idea what I was talking about. I asked on my first day could the obtain soy milk for the next two days of my stay, I go another blank look and certainly no soy milk showed up. This was the only hotel in Scandinavia not to have soy milk or a milk substitute.

For dinners, they provide a $80 per person buffet of bland food. It seems the only seasoning the chef knows how to use is salt. Excessive salt on the cold sliced roast beef for example. They also offer a fixed course dinner that cost over $100/person. No choices of course. The menu is changed once a week (again a focus on tour groups who stay one night). Since the there very few alternatives in Flam, they have a captive audience.

The hotel lobby has a nice bar and seating area with a lovey view of the Fjord.

Room Tip: No Air conditioning but not a real problem as even with very warm days, the nights are quite cool.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Reno2795
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2014

The hotel is amazing for so many reasons. The hotel is very nice, and the restaurant is very charming. The views are beautiful. The hotel itself has a very interesting history. The staff was very friendly and welcoming. We visited in spring, so the hotel was very quiet, which added to the quaintness of the area. We would absolutely go back.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank StayingFrosty2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2014 via mobile

On a road trip from Oslo to Bergen my girlfriend and I made a 1 night stop in Flam. We had booked a room with a fjord view and balcony at the Fretheim Hotel. Upon arrival a very nice receptionist, named Theres, welcomed us with a big smile and informed us that we had been upgraded to the Historical Tower Suite. Beautiful suite with antique furniture and amazing view of the fjord. Our stay at the Fretheim could not have been better. The hotel is perfectly located across the Flamsbana train station and a short walk from the information center, restaurants and everything else in Flam. Note that the seated dinner menu has limited availability, it was fully booked upon our arrival and we did not want to do the buffet for dinner. Theres at the front desk was once again very helpful and recommended the Aegir Brewery for late dinner. The food, beers and atmosphere there were perfect.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Cobaye27E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fretheim Hotel

Property: Fretheim Hotel
Address: on Flam Waterfront, Mailbox 63, Flam 5743, Norway
Region: Norway > Western Norway > Sogn og Fjordane > Aurland Municipality > Flam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Flam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Fretheim Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 122
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fretheim Hotel boasts mountain and fjord views and is somewhere you can look, taste, listen and absorb magnificent nature. The hotel is immediately adjacent to the Nærøyfjord UNESCO World Heritage site. This fjord has been chosen as one of the world’s most beautiful destinations several times running! The hotel was built in Swiss chalet style at the end of the 19th century, and over the years has grown and developed in pace with the increase in tourists and travellers using the Bergensbana railway and, later, the famous Flåmsbana railway. The oldest part of the hotel has been carefully restored to reveal beautiful details, with open fires and antique furniture in the lounges, library, conference room and, not least, in all the historical guest rooms. Take yourself on a journey of discovery and enjoy the atmosphere of glory days past. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fretheim Hotel Flåm

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