In May of this year, we came across an Unlimited Nights hotel pass that would let us spend the summer in Scandinavia for just 51.72 euros a night, breakfast included. I didn’t think twice. We bought it the second day it was offered. It’s an amazing value anywhere in the world, but especially in Norway and Sweden, two of the most expensive countries in Europe. I’m pretty sure we’d spend more to camp or just to feed ourselves in Norway.
This is the second year this pass has been offered by Nordic Choice Hotels, one of the largest hotel groups in Scandinavia. It costs 3,000 euros and lets you stay at almost any of their hotels in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Lithuania from June 24 to August 21. Seven properties are excluded, but there are still 209 hotels to pick from, including some of their best signature properties.
Nordic Choice also sells a 7 day pass called My Summer Treat for 595 euros, but this pass doesn’t give access to the best hotels. Only 102 hotels are included, often the airport locations and not the boutique city center locations. Most of the hotels we’re staying in this summer are not included in the weekly pass.
Of the Nordic Choice line, the boutique hotels like Amerikalinjen and Funken Lodge are the highest rated. Clarion hotels seem to be next best, followed by Quality, then Comfort. Sometimes there are exceptions like the Quality Hotel Ramsalt, which just opened last year and delivers at the same level as a Clarion or boutique hotel. Collection hotels tend to be quite old, but include complimentary breakfast, fika (afternoon tea & cake), and dinner. We decided where to stay based on reviews and studying photos in depth.
We had to reserve early to get the best hotels. Each hotel only allocates Standard and Moderate rooms to pass holders, and the best properties do sell out. However, you can cancel without penalty. We made several reservations at the best hotels, then amended later as our itinerary shaped up.
I wanted to focus on Norway, the only Nordic country we hadn’t been to yet, so we’re spending the majority of our time here. We aren’t going to Denmark and Finland on this trip because we were just there last year, and the hotel in Lithuania is only a Comfort hotel. Our route will start in Oslo, take us south before heading up the west coast of Norway, and end in Sweden.
We’ll be staying at these hotels:
Oslo – Amerikalinjen
Larvik – Farris Bad, Scandinavia’s biggest spa hotel
Kristiansand – Clarion Hotel Ernst
Stavanger – Clarion Collection Hotel Skagen Brygge
Bergen – Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret & Hotel No 13
Ålesund – Hotel Brosundet
Trondheim – Clarion Hotel Trondheim
Mo I Rana – Clarion Collection Hotel Helma
Bodø – Quality Hotel Ramsalt & Clarion Collection Grand Bodø
Svalbard – Funken Lodge
Oslo – Amerikalinjen & Clarion Hotel Oslo
Gothenburg – Clarion Collection Hotel Odin
Helsingborg – Clarion Hotel Sea U
Stockholm – Nordic Light Hotel & At Six
Örebro – Clarion Collection Hotel Borgen
A note on Svalbard – flight prices vary wildly from day to day and can be anywhere from reasonable to very expensive, so we booked our Svalbard flights first and reserved Funken Lodge, then built the rest of our itinerary around it.
We will let you know at the end of the summer if we made the right choices! Next time, if we can be so lucky as to purchase this pass again, we want to stay at Copperhill Mountain Lodge in Åre, Sweden and Villa Copenhagen in Denmark.
I want to acknowledge that this pass only covers accommodations and some food. We will have other costs, especially in Norway, where we plan to take several tours in addition to trains, flights, and long range buses. We’ve booked all of our transportation between places and spent an additional 1,750 USD. My bet is that we may spend around 7,000 USD total for the next two months. Aaron projected that we’ll spend more in the range of 10,000 – 12,000 USD, but we’re already coming in way below that, so we shall see. I’m writing a full cost report at the end of this trip.