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Kviknes Hotel
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All reviewshistoric hoteldining roomold buildingbreakfast and dinnernew wingcoach partiespublic roomsseafoodnewer partkaiser wilhelm iiold worldnewmarket holidayslarge balconybuffet stylefjord viewmain roomtour group
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Reviewed 4 September 2008

I recently stayed at Kvikne’s Hotel in Balestrand. As a Norwegian from Oslo area being visited by three German friends on motorcycles, I included Balestrand and Kvikne’s Hotel in our ”Over the Mountains and Far Away Motorcycle Tour”.
First, I am a bit puzzled about the variety of the reviews on this site, and of course, I wonder why some of the reviews ar so very negative. Is it envy from low-budget guests who hate to see that others have the means to stay in the historical part? Or is it the general Norwegian price level? I must admit - it is rather expensive in Norway – especially alcohol.
Personally, I have stayed several times over the years at Kvikne’s Hotel. My first visit in 93 or 94 made a great impression on me. I am particularly interested in art, architecture and history. The old building is a very rare example of a huge wooden building of the so-called Swiss-style, an individual architectural style developed in Norway. I do understand that the annex from the sixties is a strange and a not very pretty compliment to the original building. But I strongly believe that without this annex, Kvikne’s Hotel wouldn’t exist at all – and that probably goes for the old building too.
My friends and I decided to stay in the old building. A nice room with balcony, quite ok standard, although with a little peculiar washstand-in-the-room-and-toilet-and-bathtub-in-the-bathroom-solution, but what the heck. The view over the Sognefjord is breathtaking, convincingly confirmed by my German friends. And to have this balcony with view, in front of your room, definitively is well worth the price. Normally I do not spend much time in my hotel room, but here there are several reasons for it. The view, the air, silent and clear, ferries out on the fjord, faithfully striving to connect people, as they always have and always will do, the gentle breeze fresh and clean. We were also blessed with summer temperatures in the shift August/September, and you can imagine it: To wake up in sunshine, walk out on the balcony and sit outside in 22 degrees C, watching this beautiful scenery. It’s soul massage of the nirvana kind.
For evening dining we chose the set menu of the day, price kr 555,-. As a starter we got a delicious smoked elk filet salad followed by a surprisingly fresh course – a glass of champagne with blueberries in it and red currant berries beside. The main course was sautéed wolfish with a tasty flavoured sauce – and a little disappointingly with boiled potatoes. The fish itself was perfect, but my opinion it could be more vegetables, and for heavens sake: Be a little more creative chef – use something else than boiled potatoes to a whitefish course. The caramel pudding for dessert was quite ok. All in all – it was worth it, but chef - please don’t serve me boiled potatoes again.
The wine list is quite impressive. We had an excellent Chianti Fontodi (kr 523,-) and an (of course) a German white wine Herrnberg Riesling (kr517,-), the last one a little to sweet for my personal taste. I have checked the wine prices of Kvikne’s Hotel with those of the Norwegian Wine Monopoly (Vinmonopolet), and found the more expensive wines (kr 500,- +) sympathetically priced about 2-2,5 x list price and the cheaper 3-3,5x which is normal among hotels and restaurants i Norway.
Among the interiors of Kvikne’s Hotel, the ”middle hall” in the historical building with fantastic wood carved furniture Old Norse dragon style is quite unique.
Then to the little town Balestrand: There are a lot to do. But you have to do it yourself. You can walk along the main street and watch the traditional Norwegian wooden buildings from the last part of the 19th century – the Swiss style – often combined with drakestil – dragon style roof decorations. The German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II loved Balestrand and visited it as often as he had a chance. He anchored up in the fjord with a couple of warships, and visited his friend, the painter Hans Dahl, whose red and white house dragon style is a 4-5-minutes walk from Kvikne’s. And – would you believe it – if you have been a guest in this hotel, you may very well have been seated in the very chair the Kaiser Wilhelm II sat when he received the message that World War I broke out!
In addition it’s the fjord and a lot of mountains around it. Bathing? Rowing? Climbing? Bicycling? Playing cards on the balcony? Have a drive with the car to look at old churches and wild scenery? It’s all there. But you will have to move your [--]. If you are searching for a slick, international, impersonal luxury hotel – go to Dubai, Oslo or New York.
Kvikne’s Hotel is a part of the Norwegian Heritage, and I’m proud to share it with my friends, Norwegian or foreign.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with friends
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4  Thank MortenJessheim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2008

This is a spectacular location well worth the effort to get to, in a peaceful and quiet setting. Not a lot of shopping or restaurant selections, but that is not why you are here. The hotel is clean, elegant, strikingly beautiful, and historic with a superb staff and excellent meals in the large dining room. My teen daughters thought this was the most serene place they have ever been and the most beautiful (excepting Kauai).

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank bedouin08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2008

My wife and I have visited Norway almost every year since 1969; and we have stayed at Kviknes Hotel at Balestrand on virtually every occasion. Norway has been our favourite holiday destination for almost 40 years now. Balestrand's situation between the mountains and the beautiful Sognfjord is unsurpassed. The food, for an establishment which has to cater for a broad diversity of tastes, is of excellent quality; but the most outstanding feature about the hotel is the warmth of the welcome which we have always received from from Sigurd Kivkne and the members of his family who work in the business, matched only by the warmth of the welcome which we received in the years gone by from his parents. Nothing ever seems to be too much trouble for them. They are hoteliers who have inherited a great tradition; and whilst staying in Norway has never been cheap, we have never once come away from the hotel feeling that we have not had more than our money's worth out of our stay there.

It was accordingly with some surprise that we noticed a couple of negative comments amongst the generally very favourable reviews from your members. Down the years we have been privileged to stay in the old wooden part of the hotel, as well as the more modern block which was built in the 1960s. The main wooden building is absolutely superb; and although when we first went to Norway there were a number of such hotels, Kviknes is now one of a kind. When the new wing was built, it was very much at the cutting edge of 1960s design; and whereas it is perhaps not such a beautiful building in relation to modern tastes, we can say from our own experience that the Kvikne family have a constant programme of renovation of the rooms and bathrooms in that building, which has always been maintained to a solid quality standard. The rooms are probably best described as functional, with good quality furniture and modern bathrooms. The views from the rooms on both sides of the building are excellent, with a view on one side of the beautiful village and on the other of the bustling fjord and the Dragsvik peninsula. Given the fact that the new wing is now some 40 years old, it is of some architectural interest in its own right.

With regard to the food, the breakfast at Kviknes Hotel has always been outstanding; and the quality of the buffet dinner in the evening is really beyond compare, with many hot and cold dishes available. However, if even this begins to pall during a long stay, the chefs can provide a fabulous selection of a la carte dishes which we have often enjoyed. The hotel also boasts a fine cellar; and Sigurd Kvikne has a most extensive knowledge of the wines he offers. The only two drawbacks are the drink-driving laws in Norway, and the cost of alcohol there; but those are matters to be laid at the door of the Government, and the variety of wines and beers on offer matches anything we have found elsewhere.

Unfortunately we have not been able to visit the hotel this year, as we have retired to France; but there is no doubt that we will return again as soon as we have the opportunity to do so.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank NorwayLovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2008

This was my second visit to this historical white beautiful hotel at the fjord.
As I remembered from last time, the food is delicious, specially all the fresh ingredients from the local area.
The people working at Kvikne's were extremly service-minded, spoke very well english and friendly.
New this time was the visit to the wine celler. Interesting to listen to all the wine knowledge Sigurd Kvikne has, and be able to taste some of the wines.
Our room was large and brigth and with a balcony facing the fjord.
We are looking forward to be coming back to this great hotel and can recomend it to all peolple visitting Norway!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with family
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Thank HanneHolland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2008

Wanted to write this review to balance some of the awfully negative comments about Kviknes on this site. Indeed it was those comments that caused us to request staying at The Balestrand Hotel, rather than here, as would usually be the case on the multiple destination holiday that we booked.

I am very happy with the arrangement that we had: B+B at BH, dinner at Kviknes. Certainly the view from our room could not be bettered and the people in the annex at Kviknes would have nothing like the view we had.

Having said that, I want to record that we found the dining room staff to be really courteous and helpful. We had a great table for the first two nights. Our third and final evening was our silver wedding and they ensured we had a table right by the window...as the tall ships came in to Balestrand...it was great! The food was stunningly good every night! Others we spoke to felt the same way. We stayed at The Alexandra (Loen) and at Fleischers (Voss) on our trip, both of which enjoy good reputations re food but Kviknes was a class above both in this regard. Do not be put off those hotels...they were fine, but food at K was great!

One reviewer implies that Balestrand is boring....I was astonished at this....what is this person expecting of this lovely village in the most fantastic setting you can imagine???

So, ok, the 'block' is an eye-sore, but I think the negativity from some has caused a bandwagon to run away with itself!

Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
1  Thank JE-PE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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