In this review, we will stay at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Stavanger, Norway. DISCLAIMER: It seems that since my stay at the hotel, Scandic has taken over operations from Radisson, with the hotel now being known as the Scandic Royal Stavanger.
Arriving in Stavanger
As you may recall from the previous installment in this trip report, I arrived in the early morning at Stavanger’s railway station having taken the overnight train from Oslo. After my arrival I went directly to the Radisson Blu Royal to see if I could get an early check-in even though I didn’t put my hopes up too high for this.
I was however in for a pleasant surprise as not only did the great Radisson staff grant me an early check-in at 7.30am, they also kindly noted that if I wanted I could immediately make use of the breakfast buffet despite having it only included in my room rate for the following morning!
The receptionist said that “the buffet is already out there in the first place, so one person more eating today doesn’t do any harm”. And who am I to reason with that argument and say no to a free breakfast!
A great weekend rate
Although early check-ins are sometimes granted without any issues (of course based on availability!) it is never an absolute assurance. I found the early check-in as well as the extra breakfast a pretty impressive (and much appreciated) gesture, especially considering that I don’t hold loyalty status with any hotel chains and I only paid a discounted weekend tariff.
With Stavanger foremost being a business destination because of the offshore oil industry (even though Stavanger its share of touristic sights in and out the city), weekday rates in the city are typically double the weekend rate. What is at least 160 EUR/night for a standard room on a weekday at the Radisson was only 82 EUR/night including breakfast during the weekend. A great deal for the expensive country which Norway is!
Standard double room at the Radisson
Once checked in I went straight to my room to drop off my luggage and to take a shower. I found the room itself to be perfectly acceptable for my needs. The standard room was decently sized, the bed comfortable and big, there were plenty of plugs throughout the room, a desk to work on and even a chair to relax. The room was also spotlessly clean so also no complaints on this front.
The only – admittedly smallish – downside was that there was not a view to speak off from this room as the window looked out over the atrium. Due to the design of the building, I guess that about half of all the rooms in the hotel look out over the atrium, with the other half have proper outdoor views.
Radisson Blu Stavanger breakfast buffet
After a refreshing shower I took the glass elevator down and headed straight to the breakfast room. At the Radisson Blu Royal, breakfast is served in the spacious modern atrium. Although the spread was certainly not huge, I found the offerings diverse enough. I would say there are enough options to keep everyone happy, whether you like a full English, freshly baked pastries and bread, a salad or fresh fruits.
The breakfast quality was very good in my opinion. The freshly baked bread, croissants and other pastries were all flaky, there were enough cold cuts, fresh fruits and warm options to choose from, and there was even some good quality salmon available as well. Given how expensive Norwegian restaurants are, having a hotel with breakfast included is a good way to actually save some money.
It was certainly something which I ended up doing, trying out a lot of breakfast foods until I was completely stuffed. Fun fact: on my second morning in the hotel I was joined by an entire KLM crew in full uniform for breakfast. It seems that the Dutch airline uses the hotel as overnight accommodation for the crew before the early morning Stavanger to Amsterdam flight.
Swimming pool, sauna and gym
After the meal, it was time for a swim to burn the calories. The pool area of the Radisson is located in the basement and looks actually pretty nice featuring some cool blue lighting. It was certainly big enough for a few laps. During my stay I visited the pool area three times and I never really encountered more than one or two other guests at most.
The pool area also had some nice sofas to relax on, as well as a Jacuzzi. It being Scandinavia, there was of course a great Sauna as well. You can also find a fully equipped gym in the basement of the hotel, although I did not use it on this occasion.
I had a great stay at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel. Most importantly, the hotel got all the basics right. My room was good, I managed to get some excellent sleep, the breakfast buffet was of great quality and I loved the pool area and sauna. I also have to give a shout out to the fantastic reception personnel of the Radisson Blu Royal.
Throughout my stay, they were welcoming, courteous and always there to help out, whether it was helping me to print something or providing some sightseeing tips for Stavanger. Every single interaction I had with the staff, whether it was the doorman, reception desk or cleaners, was positive – and this really tells something about the hotel.
If I would visit Stavanger again, I would certainly not hesitate to stay again at the Radisson Blu Royal, as I was satisfied with the room, breakfast and service. Besides, the weekend rates ate the hotel are excellent value for money, making the hotel not only suitable for business travellers but also for those visiting on a weekend city trip.
Even though Stavanger is primarily known as a business destination, I had a lot of fun exploring the beautiful city. It really is an underrated city trip destination.
Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.
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