Kviknes Hotel, Balestrand

4.7 (33 reviews) · Comfort
A grandiose hotel in Balestrand with old-world charm and stunning fjord views.

Overview

Surrounded by mountains and sea, 190-room Kviknes has been family-owned since 1877 and is still one of the largest and most famous hotels in the Sognefjord region. The historic wing is the highlight, with an impressive first floor decorated with original art and antiques, while a newer, less-attractive annex is where most of the guest rooms are located (though many are renovated). All guests have access to a scenic dining room with a well-stocked wine list—or opt for room service (a rarity in the fjords).

Kimkim's Take

Lilly
Lilly Graves kimkim staff
Based on kimkim staff visit, August 2022 (Learn more)
Pros  
  • Enjoy a 4th-generation, family-run hotel with elegant common spaces, a private art collection, and memorable fjord views.
  • The hotel is within walking distance to Balestrand’s passenger ferry terminal with express service to Bergen, as well as galleries and a small aquarium.   
  • Most rooms on either side of the hotel have balconies with fjord views.
  • A grand dining room serves international buffets and multi-course menus, while a bistro provides casual lunch and dinner options.
Cons
  • Guests with mobility issues should request to stay in the newer section, which has elevators, versus the historic wing, which does not.
  • The unattractive exterior of the newer wing might be a turnoff, but most of the rooms have been recently renovated as of 2022. 

Additional Notes From Lilly

Arriving at the Kviknes Hotel was a mixed experience for me since I parked next to the newer wing—a bit of an eyesore in the charming fjord town of Balestrand. All that changed as soon as I entered the original, more attractive wing, a short walk away, with bellhops and a uniformed front desk. I took a look through the first floor and explored the sitting rooms filled with art and antiques facing the fjord views. Guests seemed to have plenty of space to spread out both indoors and outside on the terrace and surrounding walking paths. The hotel manager who showed me around was eager to share the history of the original wing and made a point to tell me that many staff members have been working there for decades. 

Authenticity

History buffs will appreciate the fact that the Kvikne family took over the hotel in 1877 and they still own it today. While it is still largely a hotel dedicated to leisure tourism, they have made significant modern updates to the rooms in the annex, as well as the conference facilities that have the ability to pull in large professional groups during the week. Whether you stay here or not, it seems impossible to visit Balestrand without at least a cup of tea, or something stronger, in the lounge—or perhaps dinner in the dining room. Either way gives you a chance to take a look around the old-world antiques and artwork that have been collected for four generations. 

Location

The hotel is located in Balestrand, a small fjord town of around 2,000 residents surrounded by stunning mountains on the Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord. Guests can arrive by car on a beautiful scenic route that includes a car ferry in Dragsvik if arriving from the east. There’s also an express passenger ferry in Balestrand with daily crossings to and from Bergen (the hotel is a short walk from the ferry terminal). Balestrand itself can be experienced in a day with its walkable core offering art galleries, a museum, an aquarium, and a traditional stave church. Most guests choose to stay a few days to enjoy the area’s natural beauty with challenging hiking trails and fjord adventures. Free parking at the hotel is available. 

Rooms & Bathrooms

Most of the hotel’s guest rooms (160) are located in the newer building that opened in 1965, though it’s an easy walk to get to the historic wing. Some might be turned off by the austere exterior of this building, but comfortable rooms have seating areas and private balconies with a glimpse of the mountains and/or fjord. Many floors (but not all) have been renovated in 2018 with fresh decor. In the historic wing, there are 30 rooms with old-world decor and patterned wallpapers—and many come with balconies facing the fjord. Sizes range from single rooms to family rooms with pullout sofas that can sleep four. 

Other Highlights

Fjord views are available from various common spaces in the hotel including the historic bar and lounge, and outdoor terrace. Complimentary breakfast buffets and dinner buffets or multi-course menus are served in the grandiose dining room every day and guests can peruse a wine list with more than 300 bottles. Lunch can be ordered at the bistro near the front desk where a small menu is served from 1 pm to 9 pm. There’s a small fitness center onsite as well as a souvenir gift shop. Organized activities in the area include wine tasting, cultural walks, and day trips ranging from fishing excursions to fjord cruises.

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Hotel Information

Hotel stars icon 4-star Hotel
Hotel phone icon +47 57694200
Hotel address icon Kviknevegen 8
Travelers often mention

Summarized by AI based on kimkim traveler reviews

Stunning Fjord Views

Guests frequently mention the breathtaking views of the fjord from various parts of the hotel, including rooms, decks, and the dining area. Many appreciated the balconies and the outdoor seating areas to enjoy the scenery. (20 mentions)

“Gorgeous hotel overlooking the fjord.” — Mary S.
Delicious Dining Options

The food at the hotel's restaurant and café was frequently mentioned as excellent. Guests enjoyed the breakfast and buffet dinner, although a few found it a bit pricey. (15 mentions)

“Loved that breakfast and dinner were included!” — Maureen F.
Historic Building Charm

The hotel's historic wooden building adds a unique charm and character. Guests loved the old-world feel and the beautiful architecture. However, some noted that the rooms in the historic section can be small and dated. (14 mentions)

“the old part of the hotel is beautiful” — Gary G.
Spacious and Comfortable Rooms

Reviews often mentioned the comfortable and spacious rooms, though some experienced smaller rooms, especially in the historic section. The unique and funky shapes of certain rooms were also noted. (12 mentions)

“Room was spacious” — Shoshana S.

Traveler Reviews

33 total ratings, 29 with reviews
4.7
Feature ratings
Authenticity & Character
4.8
Location
5.0
Staff
4.6
Cleanliness & Comfort
4.5
C
Christine W.
Chicago, IL | Reviewed on Jul 02, 2024
A little too beg for us but still so nice. Read more

A little too beg for us but still so nice.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Beautiful view from our bedroom.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Stayed in June 2024
Amanda
Amanda H.
Walnut Creek, CA | Reviewed on Jul 01, 2024
I love this hotel (but I'm a sucker for historic hotels!) It's a huge wooden building on the water near the ferry terminal. There are tons of public lounge spaces and a great outdoor deck for having lunch, tea, etc. There's a fancy restaurant and a cafe which also serves on the deck. The food was great-- lunch and breakfasts. Our room was large and had a large deck looking out over the fjord. The bathrooms are a little funky because of the old building but worked fine. Our kids had a corner... Read more

I love this hotel (but I'm a sucker for historic hotels!) It's a huge wooden building on the water near the ferry terminal. There are tons of public lounge spaces and a great outdoor deck for having lunch, tea, etc. There's a fancy restaurant and a cafe which also serves on the deck. The food was great-- lunch and breakfasts.

Our room was large and had a large deck looking out over the fjord. The bathrooms are a little funky because of the old building but worked fine. Our kids had a corner room with views in every direction and two decks. It was a little tight with two beds but the funky shape and ceilings made it really cool for them.

I was sad we were only staying one night here. I would have loved to stay longer, with the hotel as one of the main attractions (although Balestrand is beautiful and there's lots of hiking, biking, water-related activities to do from here).

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Stayed in June 2024
M
Mary S.
the Netherlands | Reviewed on Jun 25, 2024
Gorgeous hotel overlooking the fjord. Comfortable rooms and great food. Read more

Gorgeous hotel overlooking the fjord. Comfortable rooms and great food.

Authenticity & Character
Lots rooms to sit and overlook the water
Location
Right by the fjords and close to the boat
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Stayed in June 2024
ROSA
ROSA S.
| Reviewed on Jun 20, 2024
Friendly service, great rooms, great views, great location
Both buffet and a la carte dinner available
Read more

Friendly service, great rooms, great views, great location
Both buffet and a la carte dinner available

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Stayed in June 2024
ruben
ruben k.
Ireland | Reviewed on Jun 19, 2024
Gorgeous views, the most peaceful place I have ever been. Good breakfast, nice staff Read more

Gorgeous views, the most peaceful place I have ever been. Good breakfast, nice staff

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Stayed in June 2024
M
Maureen F.
Ashburn, VA | Reviewed on Jun 08, 2024
Beautiful hotel! Close to the ferry. Loved that breakfast and dinner were included! Read more

Beautiful hotel! Close to the ferry. Loved that breakfast and dinner were included!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Stayed in May 2024
Gary
Gary G.
Atlanta, GA | Reviewed on Jun 07, 2024
We really enjoyed our stay at the Kviknes Hotel. The room was large and comfortable with a killer view and the old part of the hotel is beautiful. We described it as old world meets Viking. The breakfast was fantastic. Read more

We really enjoyed our stay at the Kviknes Hotel. The room was large and comfortable with a killer view and the old part of the hotel is beautiful. We described it as old world meets Viking. The breakfast was fantastic.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Central
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Stayed in June 2024
Kathlyn
Kathlyn C.
Chicago, IL | Reviewed on May 31, 2024
View superb!! So close to ferry. Read more

View superb!! So close to ferry.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Stayed in May 2024
Minda
Minda H.
Maple Grove, MN | Reviewed on May 21, 2024
The old part of the hotel is a slice of the local history not to be missed. The views from the dining room are terrific, and make sure to make time to see the artwork, artisan pieces and historical references in the halls connecting to the main dining room. Read more

The old part of the hotel is a slice of the local history not to be missed. The views from the dining room are terrific, and make sure to make time to see the artwork, artisan pieces and historical references in the halls connecting to the main dining room.

Authenticity & Character
We are referring to the original building. We stayed in the newer 60's add on. It is well integrated, but lacks any of the charm and character of the original building. The room was fine, nothing to complain about, but not the original experience.
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Stayed in May 2024
M
Martin W.
Australia | Reviewed on May 15, 2024
Beautiful old building with stunning views
Friendly, helpful staff
Great food
We loved this hotel
Read more

Beautiful old building with stunning views
Friendly, helpful staff
Great food
We loved this hotel

Authenticity & Character
We stayed in the old wing which was such an authentic experience
Location
Superb location with wonderful scenery
Staff
All staff were excellent
Cleanliness & Comfort
Comfy bed, clean hygienic facilities and a well maintained property
Stayed in May 2024

Like what you see?

Chat with our local specialists and let us help you customize your trip with hotels like this.

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Hotel Information

Hotel stars icon 4-star Hotel
Hotel phone icon +47 57694200
Hotel address icon Kviknevegen 8