Best Western Hotels offer far more choices in rural Norway than Radisson and Choice Hotels when traveling away from the major cities in the fjord country and northern Norway. Assuming you want to spend points for your rooms rather than $200+ per night for many hotels, Best Western Rewards, Choice Privileges and Club Carlson provide more than 100 hotels around Norway. There are plenty of lodging options on Airbnb.com if you really want to get rural and local or share a place in the city. Best Western hotels in rural Norway are one of the best choices when using points for free hotel nights.
Oslo, Stavangar, Bergen, Trondheim, Alesund, Bodo, Tromso are larger cities with a selection of hotels including Radisson Blu hotels, Clarion Collection, Quality Inn and Comfort Inn. You can book Radisson hotels with Club Carlson points. Reside in the U.S. and you can get a Club Carlson Visa with instant Gold elite status and one free night on every reward stay as a credit card holder. This means two nights at a Radisson Blu in Norway for the price of one night paid with Club Carlson points.
Choice Privileges points are the true ‘gold’ currency for Norway with around 80 hotels spread across the country. Most hotels are 16,000 points per night. Choice Privileges points will get you into some of the highest rated hotels across Norway based on TripAdvisor.com reviews for cities and towns in Norway.
Best Western Hotels for rural Norway
Best Western Hotels are located in some towns of Norway that are smaller villages and more remote working towns on deep inland fjords. Looking at a map of Best Western hotels in Norway reminds me of the proximity of Best Western hotels to beautifully scenic and remote National Park locations in the USA.
My observation as a traveler in the USA is the Best Western chain has hotels in closest proximity to many of the country’s National Parks. A place like Bryce Canyon, Utah has two Best Western hotels that are the closest lodging to the entrance of the park without actually staying in the Bryce Canyon lodge inside the National Park. I have been to at least five National Parks in the western USA where Best Western is the best choice for a reasonable hotel price or reward night compared to inside the park rates for a National Park concession-operated hotel room.
Alta is in the far north Arctic Circle region of Norway. Best Western Nordlys Hotell Alta is only available through August 25 for bookings. Reward nights are 20,000 points. August 2014 room rates are 895 to 1095 NOK ($146 to $179 USD). The hotel has only five reviews on TripAdvisor.com from the past three years. This place is out there on the northern edge of Norway and Europe.
Alta is a $114 one-way ticket on Norwegian Air OSL-ALF next month during my time in Norway.
I remember Guinness Book of World Records listed Hammerfest, Norway (pop. 7,500) as the northernmost town in the world when I was a grade school student. Hammerfest no longer has that claim. Take the E6 road 140 km north from Alta to reach Hammerfest. That extra 140 kilometers to Hammerfest, Norway drives one-way airfare from Oslo to Hammerfest up to $200 to $280 on SAS/Wideroe.
Unfortunately, perhaps the Alta hotel is leaving Best Western since there are no reservations available through the Best Western booking site after August 25. There was also a Best Western near Hammerfest, Norway until 2011.
Nordkapp, Norway – the northern edge of Europe
Honningsvag, Norway, northeast of Hammerfest and 200 km by road from Alta, Norway holds the title of northernmost town on mainland Norway, although technically the town is on an island. Honningsvag is located at 70.98 north latitude. In comparison, Barrow, Alaska is 71.30 north. Longyearbyen on Svalbard Island is also part of Norway at 78.22 north and Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen has the claim to fame of being the northernmost hotel in the world.
SAS/Wideroe flies to Honningsvag Airport (HVG) via Tromso (TOS) and Hammerfest (HFT) with one-way flights about $300 in September 2014. 10,000 SAS points buys a round trip ticket from Oslo. I transferred Diners Club points for 10,000 SAS points today as an option to fly to one of Norway’s more rural airports during my two-week trip.
Honningsvag town population is about 2,500 residents in a place where the harbor remains ice free in winter. Honningsvag is on the southern end of Mageroya Island with Nordkapp-North Cape, Norway on the northern end of the island. Honningsvag to Nordkapp is 33 km.
Nordkapp is considered the northern most point of Europe where the E69 highway ends and visitors can stand on a large flat plateau on a 1,000 ft. high cliff overlooking the Barents Sea where the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans converge.
Nordkapp, Norway (Wikimedia credit)
Honningsvag, Norway has a few lodging choices from $50 hostel to $200+ Rica Bryggen Hotel.
Nordkapp, Norway is one of those trophy travel destinations as a place to go to say you’ve been to the edge of the earth.
Personally, I will wait and see what routes are available after I get 10,000 SAS points in my frequent flyer account.
My thought is flying to the Lofoten Islands where there is the BEST WESTERN Svolvaer Hotell Lofoten for 20,000 points per night is a better trip option for me to save on the cost of lodging.
The Lofoten Islands of Norway are known for bird watching and whale safari cruises in dramatic mountain cliff scenery.
Svolvaer, Norway on Lofoten Islands (Wikimedia credit).
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.