Last summer, in peak season from June to August, we traveled the west coast of Norway and the south of Sweden for two months, hotel hopping for just $50 a night on an unlimited hotel pass that gave us access to some of Scandinavia’s best hotels.
Six years ago, we paid more than double to stay in a tiny Stockholm studio outside the center, where we had to climb a ladder to get into bed. This time, our stays included a Wes Anderson inspired hotel with Norway’s best cocktail bar, Scandinavia’s largest spa hotel, a luxury lodge next to the North Pole, and a five-star modern art hotel with original pieces by the likes of Sol Le Witt. All with comfortable king beds, no ladders required, and extremely clean.
Our pass included breakfast, and at the Collection hotels, fika and dinner were also included. Fika is the Nordic version of afternoon tea, with waffles or cake. Whenever we stayed at one of these hotels, we didn’t have to eat out at all. The quality of the food was especially good in Norway, with lots of variety and amazing smoked salmon. We also enjoyed Taco Friday, a popular tradition.
Many of the hotels we stayed at cost $400 a night and would have cost us $14,215 for the summer had we paid retail value, so the pass was a real steal. It gave us access to the full range of Nordic Choice properties, from their budget Comfort line to premium properties like Hotel At Six and Hotel Brosundet. All in all we stayed in 18 different properties and nearly all of them were great. Most of the best ones were in Norway. They were just extremely clean and the food was amazing. Our favorites were Amerikalinjen, Farris Bad, Ramsalt, Funken Lodge, and Nordic Light. One nice thing about the Comfort line of hotels is they often offer laundry machines for guest use – critical if you’re staying awhile (laundromats aren’t common in Norway, and even when you can find one, they’re quite expensive).
We also earned points with every stay and reached Gold status halfway through the summer, which gave us perks like upgraded rooms and free late check-out. At the end of the summer, we had 60,770 points. We redeemed 15,000 points for two more nights in Stockholm in the fall, which earned us Platinum status and with it, access to any Nordic Choice hotel gym for free. If only we lived in Scandinavia!
We still have enough points for at least 4 extra nights (8 if we maximize). This will bring us to a total of at least 62 nights on a pass that cost us $3,125, making our nightly rate $50 a night. What an incredible deal, to get room and board for two for $1500 a month in this particularly expensive part of the world.
Here are all the hotels we stayed at and their retail value at time of booking:
|Clarion Hotel Ernst|
|Clarion Collection Hotel Skagen Brygge|
|Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret|
|Hotel No 13|
|Clarion Hotel Trondheim|
|Clarion Collection Hotel Helma|
Mo I Rana, Norway
|Quality Hotel Ramsalt|
|Clarion Collection Grand Bodø|
|Clarion Hotel Oslo|
|Clarion Hotel Post|
|Clarion Hotel Sea U|
|Nordic Light Hotel|
|Clarion Collection Hotel Borgen|
|Hotel At Six|
As you can see, our pass allowed us to travel all over, and the best part is that most of these hotels are in the most central location in town, within walking distance of a train or bus stop. We didn’t rent a car and traveled mostly by train, plus a few flights and buses. The scenery was stunning. In total, transportation cost us an additional $1,750.
For summer 2023, Nordic Choice is only offering their 7-day summer pass. It’s more expensive per night and omits some of the most premium properties, but it’s still a good value and a shorter commitment. Quality Hotel Ramsalt, one of my favorites, is still included. You can also buy multiple passes and break up your trip. For example, you can stay a week in mainland Norway, go to Lofoten (which doesn’t have a Nordic Choice property), and return to the mainland on a second pass. The 7-day pass definitely offers more flexibility. Currently, the Norwegian Krone is the best currency to purchase in, as it works out to be about US$77.74 per night. Here’s the link to purchase in NOK.
I think it’s possible Nordic Choice will bring back an unlimited pass in a different season, so keep an eye out 🙂