was mid-sized, conservatively decorated and just starting to show its age. All the expected comforts—including, thank- fully, very comfortable beds—are pre- sent. Housekeeping is immaculate and the smallish bathrooms (powerful walk-in shower, not bath) come equipped with some dinky toiletries and good lighting.
Facilities: 2 restaurants, 4 bars, lounges, dance hall, library, small shop, indoor pool, saunas, solarium, fitness room, chil- dren’s activities, cross-country skiing, skating, parking (free).
Room recommendation: The upper floors (3 and above) benefit from least noise and foot traffic. Rooms on floor 1 have the advantage of being close to the pool and saunas, but are lower ground level—so darker.
Radisson SAS Lillehammer Hotel, Turistho- telveien 6, Lillehammer N-2609, Norway.
SAS Radisson Lillehammer
Further hotels of interest
Hotel Hammer (Mid Price; 67 rms). A good alternative if the Radisson is fully booked, or you value a town centre loca- tion.
The Hammer is an unpretentious but friendly and exceptionally well-run man- ageably-sized modern 3 star hotel. Front- ing the northern end of Storgata, and on the edge of the main shopping area, the hotel’s folksy two-storey façade of red clapperboard conceals a somewhat larger building behind. Inside, there’s a com- fortable but unremarkable lobby with a
snug little lounge at one end. Behind the reception area is a breakfast room, but there’s no on-site restaurant or coffee- shop (although the smart Lundegården Brasseri is next door). While nothing spectacular, the clean modern bedrooms offer plenty of space and light. The Ham- mer has a small sauna and solarium, but the hotel’s basically intended as a base, not a place to hang out.
Facilities: Lounge, sauna, parking.
Clarion Collection Hotel Hammer, Storgata 108, N-2615 Lillehammer, Norway.
Rica Victoria Hotel
Rica Victoria Hotel (Mid Price; 109 rms.). The Victoria is a Jekyll-and-Hyde sort of place. Enter from the Storgata side, and the heavy stonework entrance suggests puffy provincial respectability, possibly running slightly to seed. This impression is apparently confirmed by the leather and stained-wood lobby-cum-bar, an unexpected mix of hunting lodge and London pub. In contrast, coming direct from the station, you’ll be presented with a functional 1970s high-rise. Unfortu- nately, it’s this side of the hotel’s schizoid personality that extends to the bedrooms and restaurant. Nevertheless, it’s a sound if unexciting establishment—part of a respected upper mid-market Norwegian
JUNE 08 EDITION
chain—and the central location is the best in town.
Facilities: Lounge, bar, restarant, room service, babysitting, parking.
Rica Victoria Hotel, Storgata 84B, N-2600 Lille- hammer, Norway.
Amongst the Lillehammer hotels that didn’t make my selection are the Molla and First Hotel Breiseth. This is not necessarily an adverse reflection on stan- dards as my choices are based on many factors including location, ambience, quality within class, service, facilities and my personal taste.
As an alternative to staying in Lille- hammer, it is possible to stay out in the Hafjell area—at the Quality Hotel Hafjell or Quality Hotel Hunder- fossen. These are both well-functioning mid-price choices, but transport is lim- ited, so without a car, the downside is you’re likely to feel somewhat marooned.
Hotel prices: Budget: below £60, Modest: £60- £100, Mid Price: £100-£140, Expensive: £140-200, Premium: £200+; prices are per double room at the time of year and type of room (standard unless specified otherwise) recommended. Prices are for guidance only, please check with hotel for further details.