Mary-Ann's Polarrigg: "Good life in the barracks... Polarriggen" Top 5 Page for this destination Svalbard Hotel Tip by Saagar

Svalbard Hotels: 24 reviews and 37 photos

  A section of the Polarrigg
by Saagar
  • A section of the Polarrigg - Svalbard
      A section of the Polarrigg
    by Saagar
  • The reception area, approach side - Svalbard
      The reception area, approach side
    by Saagar
  • Luksusriggen - Svalbard
    by Saagar
  • Polarriggen's Winter garden - Svalbard
      Polarriggen's Winter garden
    by Saagar
  • The bus bar - Svalbard
      The bus bar
    by Saagar

This is a guest house in a workers' barracks, and making a point out of it. It is located in the least attractive area of Longyearbyen - by far! A unique concept, that's the starter. It is located in the industrial part of Longyearbyen, SkjŠringa, within easy walking distance to the main shopping street, restaurants etc. Very convenient, in fact. Polarriggen is slightly more expensive than the two guesthouses up in Nybyen, but less expensive than the hotels of Longyearbyen. Different from the guest houses at Nybyen, breakfast is not included and at NOK 95 extra it suddenly becomes more expensive than you first thought... But do add the breakfast if you can afford it, it is a good and hassle-free start of the day. Then, there is a self-catering service kitchen, fridge and freezer for free usage as well, so no need to complain... In fact, the in-house/in-barracks services make this place a big step beyond the Nybyen guest houses; a TV corner, library, self-catering kitchen, coaches, good relaxing chairs, a late-night bar, an exotic restaurant that serves Thai home-made food and an Arctic menu. An old bus is parked next to Polarriggen and you can step right into it for a drink - it has been turned into a fairly primitive bar. Next to it is a wood-fired hot tub. It costs a small fortune to fire it up - NOK 2500, but between 8 persons it will be defendable - or? Additionally, the deck doubles as outdoor undressing and bar area, too.
The rooms are guest house style, shared bathrooms and toilets.
There is a newly built section called Luksusriggen, too - the price jumps to NOK 2000 for a double there, that's the double of a regular Polarriggen room, so it has to have something going for it....

Unique Qualities: This guest house is located in a long row of construction workers' barracks - 120 meters long. The rooms and all services are arranged along the corridor running along this barracks. The facade/looks wouldn't be permitted any other place than on Svalbard, it looks unfinished by design, crude and haphazard. But then, enter the mid section and you will find yourself in a winter garden restaurant and bar area. Exotic plants, a waterfall/fountain, odd pieces of art and Svalbard mining detritus....
Don't be shocked if you hit a polar bear with boxing gloves in the corridor! no worries, it is stuffed, the maximum of kitch seen at Svalbard.

Address: SkjŠringa, Longyearbyen
Price Comparison: less expensive than average
Directions: Located at SkjŠringa, not too far from the harbour, and just below the Governor's office. The bus from the airport will make its first stop here.
Phone: 79023702
Price: US$80-120
Theme: Pension/Guesthouse

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 14, 2010
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