The Scandic Byparken is in an excellent location in Bergen, just five minutes walk across a pleasant park from the train station. It's conveniently situated for the city centre too, with all the attractions of the harbour and the historic Bryggen area within easy walking distance.
The first thing we noticed at the Byparken was the welcome of the staff. Everyone who works in the hotel was helpful and friendly. The reception staff – who patiently explained to us how to get to the Hertz car hire office by bus – deserve a special mention, as we felt that nothing was too much trouble for them and every request was met with a cheery smile.
Our family room was on the top floor and was bright and modern, with good views across the city. We were particularly impressed with the bathroom, which was spacious and positively gleaming, with complimentary, deliciously scented toiletries by FACE Stockholm.
The room itself was spacious too, although once the sofa bed had been set up the space available was reduced somewhat – fine for a couple of nights, but families with older children who are staying for longer may want to invest in booking a second room. At bedtime the hotel was tranquil and quiet – there was no external noise at all. The double bed was extremely comfortable too, so we enjoyed an excellent night's sleep.
Electricity at the hotel is powered by wind and water. It's just one example of how the hotel is carefully managing its environmental impact. The hotel has been awarded the Nordic Ecolabel – meeting strict criteria for use of fossil fuels and energy consumption.
The sustainability of the hotel goes beyond energy use though. This is true of others in the Scandic chain too – in fact it was Scandic that first introduced the concept of hanging up your towel to be re-used, an idea that is now used throughout the hotel industry across the world.
Employees are trained in environmental issues, while energy, water and chemical use – along with waste – is carefully monitored and reported.
In the morning, we headed downstairs to find one of the most extensive breakfast buffets we have ever seen. There was a huge range of food on offer including pancakes, eggs, salmon and smoothies, all superb quality and delicious. There were gluten free options too – and the cake and pecan pie were a very welcome treat!
Above: historic Bryggen, a short walk from the hotel; explore Norway's magnificent fjords from Bergen harbour