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HI - Stavanger Mosvangen Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
The Location

HI - Stavanger Mosvangen Hostel is the only hostel in Stavanger, but has few things to recommend it. It is part of the Norwegian Youth Hostels Association, so members of a YHA get a 15% discount. This hostel is one of the more expensive in Norway, and despite the high prices, breakfast is not included.

The hostel is about three to four kilometers out from the centre, so a bus will be needed if you have a lot of baggage (thus adding to the already high price of the hostel). It is situated not far from a lake, and there are a few small shops a short walk away. There are also bus stops a few minutes walk from the hostel with buses going to the main bus/train terminal. The walk into the city centre takes about forty-five minutes.

There is ample parking at the hostel, although there are not many signs pointing out exactly where the hostel is. If you are walking from the city centre, then look for the camping site by the lake, and the hostel is behind that. The hostel is set in trees and is a single-story, white building, so is easy to miss.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The dorm rooms have locks -- you will get a key to your room. There are no lockers in the hostel, but the staff will lock up bags in the storage room. There are also twin rooms available at the hostel, but all rooms are on the small side. The dorm rooms do not have any hooks, and storage space is very limited, so if you are in a four-bed room with four backpacks, then it can feel very crowded. As the hostel is a wood building, then it can be noisy, as the wood carries the sound throughout the whole hostel. Bunk beds (wooden) are ok, but unusually for a youth hostel, sleeping bags are allowed.

On arrival our room had not been cleaned -- the floor was dirty, beds unmade, and the rubbish bin was full. It remained uncleaned for four nights, this despite it being high season. Cleanliness of the whole hostel seems to be a problem, as the bathrooms and kitchen area were also left almost unattended for four days. Bedroom floors are also dirty.

There is a shortage of bathrooms and toilets at this hostel. Their website says that they have one hundred sixteen beds, but there are only five toilets and five showers for everybody, and so queues can form. The toilets and showers also need a thorough clean as well, so shower shoes are recommended. There are only a few hooks in some of the showers, and soap is only provided in a couple of the showers. Rubbish bins were often overflowing in the toilets during the four days of our stay. Hot water is constant, the plumbing seems to be reliable.

Common Spaces

The kitchen is far too small for the number of guests. It has a table that seats six people and is very cramped, so if the hostel is full then you have no chance of using the kitchen. The kitchen was not cleaned during my stay, so there was old food lying around and a very unclean fridge. In addition, the kitchen is located opposite one of the dorm rooms (room 20), so this means that guests can be disturbed by noise from the kitchen early/late.

There is a lounge area with sofas and tables/chairs, and also a piano. In addition, there is a small TV room, with sofas for a maximum of six people, so again, it's a problem if the hostel is near full. The hostel is not a place to meet other travelers, and has a rather gloomy feel. It is a nonsmoking hostel. Reception is closed between 10:30 and 4 p.m., so you cannot check in (or leave bags) between these times. On our first night the hostel was overbooked, so they had people sleeping in the TV room, which was closed to other guests.

Summary

This hostel is far too expensive, given its poor location (long way from the city centre) and poor facilities. For Norway, it is a surprise to find such a dirty, poorly run hostel. It is hard to see how they can justify such a high price for a hostel which has such bad facilities. We would certainly not stay here again.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
August 2008

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Location/Contact
How is HI - Stavanger Mosvangen Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
HI Hostels  
80%
81%
88%
68%
79%
83%
Hostelworld  
Not listed on Hostelworld.
Hostels.com  
Not listed on Hostels.com.
HostelBookers  
Not listed on HostelBookers.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
80%
81%
88%
68%
79%
83%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
2   Not up to HI standards sadly Four comments on this one. 1) When we arrived, I have never come across such a slow process of being checked in. The guy seemed to want to use his highlighter pen and mark all his little books in just the right way ... while a significant queue formed behind us and all those waiting were either getting annoyed or giggling to themselves about how incredibly slow it was! Even though we had pre-booked and there was only only one other couple in front of us when we arrived, it took a full 45 mins just to get checked in! Hopefully just a case of a newbie on the desk though. 2) We were put in a room a long way from the main building -- 10mins walk at least so lucky we had the car -- wouldn't recommend for anyone with a lot of luggage who is using public transport. Decent room when we got there, but I've never driven to breakfast before!! (Don't groan at me for this, we were leaving straight afterward.) 3) It really is a long way from the centre, and as there's not much to see in the city itself you ideally want to be close by so you can get round the sights quickly and easily before heading off to Pulpit Rock. Probably 30mins walk minimum -- we were told about the bus but our perception of public transport is that its very pricey and we wanted to walk anyway. 4) We used the internet to try and book accommodation for the next few nights, and its been a long time since I've used a computer with such slow internet access. Very frustrating as I saw no internet cafes in Norway and this was our one chance to book a few things up before we were camping again. Come on Mosvangen, hostels in the developing world do better than this by and large, and you're in the richest country in Europe!! Positives: breakfast was good value (for Norway), and the rooms was clean and comfortable.  , UK ()

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