Sep152014

Clarion Collection No 13 Bergen, Norway

There are two Clarion Collection hotels in Bergen, Norway. Clarion Collection Havnekontoretis ranked #1 on TripAdvisor this week with 84% favorable rating and Clarion Collection No 13 is ranked TripAdvisor #2 of 42 listed hotels for Bergen with an 80% favorable rating. I stayed at both hotels and I highly recommend either hotel. The better choice depends on your style with Havnekontoret being the larger hotel at the Bryggen in historic Bergen and a hotel with plenty of amenities and also plenty of tour groups. Clarion Collection No 13 is much smaller with a boutique, modern design. During my stay there were no encounters with other Americans or tour groups. Both Clarion Collection hotels are across the street from the two Bergen Radisson Blu hotels in the same general area of central Bergen about five minutes walk from each other.

What might be your deciding factor is Havnekonteret is 16,000 points per reward night and No 13 is only 12,000 Choice Privileges points.

Clarion No 13

Clarion Collection No 13, Bergen, Norway is on the main pedestrian walkway with shops and a 24-hour McDonald’s next door. 20 NOK for a McDouble sandwich is the cheapest sandwich I have seen in Norway, although the vegetable toppings of a Subway 25 NOK ham sandwich make a better deal in my opinion. The advantage of Clarion Collection hotels, besides free breakfast common for most hotels in Norway, is an evening meal too. There is more food to be found at Clarion Collection Havnekontoret (review to come), but I think Clarion Collection No 13 is higher food quality with the restaurant BARE pa 13 operating as a separate entity and serving an evening meal rather than the basic evening buffet at Havnekontoret.

 

BARE pa 13

The entrance to Clarion Collection No 13 is a walk through the restaurant to a tiny reception desk next to the elevator. I actually walked in and walked out again thinking there must be a separate entrance for the hotel. There is not. This is the first sign of the boutique environment of No 13.

NO 13 checkin    No 13 Reception

The hotel is seven floors with 40 rooms. There are only six rooms on each floor with four facing the street and two facing the back. There are two suites and I have pictures of the 7th floor suite.

TripAdvisor reviews are mixed on whether to stay in the pedestrian street facing rooms where there are better views, but more noise or stay on the backside where there is no view except apartment buildings, but far less noise.

My room was 506 on the backside. Room numbers ending in 5 and 6 face the back courtyard.

No 13 floor 5

The room doors are so heavy that you get an arm workout simply opening the door.

Room 506 Clarion Collection No 13, Bergen, Norway

No 13 bed

The bed is firm and a welcome change from the bed at Havnekontoret which I found too soft for my liking.

No 13 desk

There is a safe out of view at the base of the closet. The refrigerator was mostly empty and contained three bottles of Coca Cola, with one Coke Zero.

No 13 TV

Massive 47” TV on the wall is same size as the other Clarion Collection Havnekontoret hotel.

The bathroom is a bit exposed to apartments on the backside with the top two and bottom panels of six window panels clear while the middle three panels are frosted.

No 13 bath windows  No 13 bath table

Curtains allow privacy.

No 13 toilet  No 13 sink

The shower is a delight, but I could not find a way to use the rain shower without soaking the floor outside the stall when the glass door does not seal leaving two 1/2 inch wide openings when closed.

No 13 Shower door     No 13 shower heads

The bathroom is a very cool space. One thing I could not figure out was how to turn off the bathroom lights when there is no switch. The lights are sensor activated and turn on automatically when you enter the space and they turn off automatically after several minutes. When I went to the bathroom at night and they came on, I had to pull the key card out of the wall to turn them off since I did not want to wait for them to go off automatically.

No 13 Floor 3

Apparently there are rollaway beds available. That would have required some room furniture rearranging in room 506.

BARE Pa 13 Restaurant

BARE Pa 13 bar

At 63 NOK ($10.50 USD) for Frydenlund Pilsner, the beer price at BARE pa 13 was the lowest I had seen in Norway. Most of the local beer selections are 89 NOK ($14.80 USD) and a mixed drink like a margarita is 106 NOK ($17 USD).

Lunch (12-15 hours) is 200 NOK and Dinner (18 – 21 hours) is 500 NOK.

I was given a large plate of vegetarian pasta with a creamy sauce, lots of carrots and onions and very healthy with a large chunk of grain bread and butter and a pitcher of water. After just returning from day hike up Ulriken, Bergen’s highest mountain, the filling pasta dish was a welcome sight.

No 13 BARE

BARE pa 13 restaurant, Bergen, Norway.

Of note is this small hotel does not have a fitness center, but there is an arrangement for guests to use a nearby gym in Bergen.

Morning Breakfast at Clarion Collection No 13 Bergen

I have been in Norway now for twelve days and I have spent a total of 51 NOK on food ($8.50 USD). Obviously, I have not bought any beer in what might be the world’s most expensive country for beer.

Here is an example of the kind of food available for breakfast. No 13 actually has been the smallest selection of food out of the hotels I stayed, but the quality makes up for the limited selection.

No 13 frutis

Apples, grapes, strawberries, melon, blueberries and pineapple. There was watermelon too.

No 13 yogurt

Yogurts and toppings.

DSC_0003

Meats and cheeses and toppings for bread.

No 13 breads

Fresh grain breads and crackers.

No 13 fish-vegies

Smoked salmon and vegetables. And yes, I ate the Norwegian farmed salmon.

No 13 eggs-bacon

Hard boiled eggs, soft boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, thick bacon and beans in the warmer.

No 13 Suite 701

To finish off this piece I have some photos of the top floor suite at No 13.

NO 13 suite-1

The top floor suite is a unique space with a large skylight ceiling.

No 13 suite-bed

I read one reviewer stating the skylight was not too desirable on the long summer nights when trying to get some sleep. Oh,what some of us must suffer in hotel life.

No 13 bath sink

The bathtub is a nice touch.

No 13 suite bathtub

When I read travelers saying they do not like chain hotels and hotel loyalty programs because they want to stay in unique and local properties when they travel, my thought is simply, you have not seen the variety of hotel choices available in major chains.

Clarion Collection No 13 Bergen, Norway is not your cookie-cutter hotel design.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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