If you’re spending the night in Tromso (although, hopefully it’s more than one night!), chances are that you have just spent the entire day running around the arctic north on as many excursions you could squeeze in. So, why not have rest in comfort and Scandinavian style at the Thon Hotel Polar? The hotel is at the heart of Tromso, and is an excellent base for shopping, museum visits, restaurants and Tromso’s nightlife, perfect for all your needs. However, it provides only basic amenities, but what else could you want when all the excitement is outdoors anyways?
Cozy room without the frills
You’ll be hard pressed to find a mid-range hotel with all the bells and whistles in Norway. True to the Scandinavian way, rooms at Tromso’s Thon Hotel Polar have little flair, but everything that is included in your experience is well done. Rooms are impeccably clean upon arrival and if you so desire, housekeeping services are available during the day, and they come with large flat-screen televisions that have more cable channels than you’ll know what to do with. Each room also has its own arctic themed mural right over the bed, so you’ll never forget how far north you really are.
The cleanliness really adds to the comfort value, especially since the rooms can be a little on the small side for the price (but, again, this is not all that uncommon for Norway). There are 132 rooms to choose from, generally ranging from around 100 USD for a standard room, to the 200 USD range for their business class room (which includes more amenities like a private safe, bathroom and slippers, and an iron).
Standard amenities with the odd delight here and there
The amenities offered at the hotel are very basic. There is a conference room that can be rented out, the seemingly ever-present restaurant Egon abuts the property (the largest chain of restaurants in Norway), and each room comes equipped with a small desk for those who want to get some work done while spending the night. Breakfast is served in the restaurant and includes an excellent selection of smoked fish and other meats, cheeses, and other breakfast items.
There are nice touches that often go unnoticed, however. I totally loved the carpets that lined the hallways. The goofy geometric pattern in the hallways stood out for me after spending a significant amount of time in a country whose style can, at times, tread on the side of being dull. Also, all Thon hotels consider environmental friendliness a key priority in their operations. They take pride in conserving energy, using sustainable food, and inclusive labor standards.
Tromso is Norwegian beauty at its best—go outside!
The Thon Hotel Polar may not blow you away with the amenities that it offers, but you should be spending your entire time outdoors, right? Tromso is Norway at its most beautiful and wild, and, if anything, use the arctic-themed murals to remind you of this. The hotel itself is perfectly situated in the middle of town, where nearly all of the tourist attractions are located within a ten to fifteen minute walk. The front desk staff are super-friendly and will get a little starry-eyed if you ask them for advice on a good outdoor adventure. Most who live in Tromso love to share their love of the area, and the hotel staff are more than willing to spill the beans on the town.
The airport shuttle will also drop you off a mere block away from the hotel, which is particularly nice for those who are lugging around their gear. On top of that, attractions like the Polar Museum and the Arctic Cathedral are all so easy to reach just by walking.
Snacks and drinks are here for you, but don’t miss out on Tromso’s famous nightlife
Beginning right out of the hotel’s front door, Gronnegata and Storgata streets are where all the action is. Numerous bars, cafes, and shops line these streets. True, each hotel room does come stocked with goodies like wine, beer, and snacks for you to enjoy, but you cannot spend the night in Tromso without experiencing its fun and—at times—wild nightlife. Norwegians don’t really get started until about 10pm, so save your energy since the party can rage all night long, especially if you’re there on a weekend.
Thon Hotel Polar is the perfect point to begin your arctic journey
The Thon Hotel Polar is simple but satisfies all of your needs. Rooms can be small with basic amenities, but they are well kept and impeccably clean, adding to their comfort; there isn’t anything too entertaining to do on the premises, but the staff are extremely friendly and are more than willing to point you in the direction of an outdoor excursion that could leave your mind blown and body exhausted (which is where the comfy, clean beds will do their jobs just fine!); and the minibar in your room is the closest thing you’ll get to a hotel bar scene, but the perfectly central location of the building will get you anywhere you want to go in Tromso by a short walk, including the hippest and most popular bars around town. If you’ve come for the excitement and adventure of arctic Tromso, it’s almost guaranteed that you will rest well, sleep easy, and leave satisfied when visiting the Thon Hotel Polar.
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