The Stalheim is one of the quirkiest hotels I've stayed in. Put the building, the basic rooms, the numerous tour groups taking over the dining room, the poor wi-fi in a city centre location and I would probably rate it a 'Two' but fortunately it is located at the top of a spectacular valley with fantastic views from its terrace and garden as well as our room and it was therefore a wonderful place to spend a night on our week in Norway's western fjord region.
The huge common areas also have a great outlook through huge fronted windows and are filled with desirable retro Scandinavian furniture.
The hotel would benefit from significant investment in many areas, however, from upgrading the room decor, improving the wi-fi system to giving the dining room and terrace and gardens make-overs in parts. However obviously the current 'spectacular view based' business model with income generated from tour groups supplemented by a small number of private guests works and may be it would not be beneficial to change it.
We opted for a top floor valley view room, which was at the end of a corridor so had views on two sides, with large windows opening fully to provide fresh air and further enhance the panorama. The room otherwise was relatively basic, with dated furniture (a couple of desks and chairs), no TV (just look at the view!) and no wi-fi reception. The bed was comfortable and we slept well, while the bathroom was cosy (i.e. difficult to get dry!)
We arranged to have dinner after the tour groups had finished theirs, but when we arrived, the groups were still there and no suitable table was available. The very helpful Polish waitress agreed to come and find us in the lounge, when there was room for us, which she did. We were then impressed with the quality of the a la carte offering (the reindeer was very good) and the comparatively good value wine list. As none of the menu desserts appealed to me, the waitress let me have a couple of cakes from what was left of the buffet!
The breakfast buffet was fine, though some of the platters did look a bit battered after the tour groups had left.
Service throughout the hotel was very good, everyone was extremely friendly and willing to help.
As well as having fabulous views, the hotel is an idea base for walks, with several specific trails of varying difficulty highlighted by the hotel on its own map. I just went for the most straightforward walk, down (and back up) the steep and windy road to views of the two beautiful waterfalls.
Overall, it is not cheap accommodation and you are paying for the location and view, but we are definitely very glad we chose it.
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- Also Known As:
- Stalheim Hotel Hordaland