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“Fantastic experience out in the wilderness”
Review of Isfjord Radio

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Isfjord Radio
Ranked #4 of 5 Svalbard B&B and Inns
Reviewed 4 October 2014

We went on a team building activity out to Isfjord Radio, and I was astonished with what we did meet out here.

When we arrived this looked like pretty basic buildings from the out side, but when we entered they have really focused on the details, and I was amazed to find something like this out in the wilderness. They have thought about all this small details that not necessary a fancy design hotel in one of the bigger cities would do.

Then for dinner we where served just a fantastic three course dinner, and the breakfast the next day was at the same level with fresh bread and delicious food. This was something completely different from what I was expecting, and really worth a visit

  • Stayed: September 2014, travelled on business
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2  Thank Khoeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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17 - 21 of 52 reviews

Reviewed 7 September 2014

It's rather difficult to put into words the experience that is Isfjord Radio. This is unlike any other holiday destination we have gone to before. Whether it be your method of arrival; a two+ hour boat ride in a reinforced inflatable boat, kitted out in a one hour survival suit (i.e. if you fell in the water you would survive for one hour); or the restriction on moving outside, unless you are accompanied by a guide with his rifle!

It was utterly entrancing from beginning to (almost) the end. More later. We arrived to be welcomed by Lea, complete with warming apple drink, laced with calvados. A point here. You may be wearing a survival suit, but it is still really cold on the boat. Extra socks is the first advice; your feet are in wellington boots welded to the suit legs. Plenty of layers as well and a good pair of wind/waterproof gloves are an advantage. They provide neoprene mitts, but if you have your own, all the better. If the skipper advises you to zip up, you are in for a wet ride!

Back to the hotel. The rooms are very well appointed. Ours had a very comfortable 6ft bed. No en suite; we were opposite a room with two toilets and two wash hand basins, and next to it was a single shower. To protect modesty fleece robes are provided. We were extremely honoured to be the only guests, September is after the holiday season and mid week is often quiet. Food was sensational. They admitted to experimenting on us and we benefited by being the only guests but I imagine that they would always provide a great standard of food.

You may already realise that you can't go out without the guide (with his rifle). Polar bears had been spotted recently, but this is standard practice, anyway. Activities are down to either hikes or a boat safari. We did both in the 48 hours we were there. More wildlife is likely to be seen earlier in the season.

Finally, we had to leave this wonderful place and this was the only negative part of our time. This is a really remote location. Access is only possible by a boat (or in winter by snow mobile). When we came to leave the weather was windy and waves were against us on the trip back. We experienced three hours of rough seas with the small boat continually crashing over waves. This is always a possibility so if you aren't comfortable with this, beware. We never felt at risk but it doesn't mean that you won't find the boat ride very uncomfortable.

  • Stayed: September 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Earlgrey16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

Superb place to rest your bones after being into the wild. A place which reminds a SF movie scene but with the best retro feeling and atmosphere of hunters cabin inside the walls. The management is doing great job in maintaining and further developing the interior..it is a true paradise and sanctuary keeping safe the arriving adventurers.
Food treats are unimaginable when you realize where you are getting and enjoying those dishes.
Prices are high..but guys...you are 'at the the of the World'!!!
Must try place...

Stayed: May 2014
1  Thank Eva K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2014

Basecamp is the company running the well decorated hotel at a historic, strategically located, radio station. Access by boat can be rather sporty in the summer. The food is outstanding in terms of quality and creativity. The staff is very competent and extremely friendly, competent and informative about the hotel and the unique surrounding areas.

  • Stayed: July 2014
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1  Thank PeterGantenbein1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2014

My wife and I travelled to Isfjord Radio for our honeymoon in early February as part of a custom trip put together for us by Basecamp Explorer (the company that also runs this hotel).

From our very first moment of arrival after two days of dog-sledding to the station the staff were really welcoming with warm drinks and a helping hand as we secured our dogs. Once inside we were then wonderfully surprised by the effort everyone had put in to our room, with the library and an adjoining room converted into our 'honeymoon suite' complete with candles everywhere, Bon Iver on the stereo, some fine chocolate, and a bottle of champagne waiting with a note that the sauna was also "ready for two". We couldn't have asked for anything more!

The hotel itself has been renovated superbly with all furnishings and finishing of the highest quality. Yes, there are common bathrooms but even these have been renovated thoughtfully, with plenty of space in the shower alcoves etc to do everything you need without standing in sight of others (if that bothers you...!). The downstairs loungeroom was very comfortable and a great place to unwind with our guides and another couple who were there with us at the early part of the season.

As mentioned by others, the food really is to an exceptional standard with many dishes the result of produce being collected or caught by local hunters and then prepared by a chef who clearly understands how to accentuate the unique flavours of animals and plants that will almost certainly be unique to many 'non-arctic' inhabitants. For each dinner there is the opportunity to match each course with wines, which we did on one night and found them to be very complementary. Breakfast is similarly very good with both hot and cold options to choose from.

We stayed at the station for 2 nights / 3 days before departing back to Longyearbyen and on our second day we did a ~50 km guided snowmobile ride down the southern coast. Even if you have snowmobiled to the station from the town this extra couple of hours to the south is well worth the time as the coast scenery is quite different from what you will have seen inland. And although we didn't manage to see any polar bears during our trip during this day-trip we did see plenty of arctic reindeer, some arctic fox tracks and also heard some ptarmigans as well.

Once back at the station we also achieved our 'arctic diploma' by taking a quick (reeeally quick!) swim in the bay. Don't be put off - this is absolutely a must do and you'll be buzzing for hours afterwards!!

So, overall, we thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our time at Isfjord Radio and have only the upmost thanks to our guides, the hotel staff, and the wonderful chef. We simply cannot recommend this wonderful hotel and part of the world highly enough!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Newtown_Dave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Isfjord Radio

Address: Isfjord | PO.BOX 316, 9171, Norway
Region: Norway > Svalbard
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Svalbard
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated about 90 km west from Longyearbyen you can find our hotel Isfjord Radio. After a gratifying day of gliding over the glaciers, mountains, and frozen fjords by dogsled or snowmobile, or by an open boat safari across the Arctic Ocean, you’re home. This 1933 built solitude outpost for radio operators doesn’t look like much from the outside. As you enter, though, you’ll discover a different world. The contrast between the surrounding rough coastal landscape and the modern luxury hotel inside is a sight to behold. It is easy to forget where you are, but a quick dip in the Arctic Ocean will bring you back. Later in the evening, as you lay on your bed surrounded by the Arctic silence, you realize that it has been one of the best days of your life. Isfjord Radio is part of Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen, which operates day trips and expeditions from Basecamp Hotel and Trapper’s Station to Nordenskiold Lodge and Isfjord Radio. ... more   less 

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