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What sealed the deal on the idea of a ski trip to Norway was the slopeside Radisson Blu Trysil Resort in Norway. Not only did the photos and online reviews make it look like a nice place to stay, but it was a ski-in property, and we could stay there during ski season using Club Carlson points. I’ll jump ahead to say overall the hotel was fantastic and one of my favorite uses of Club Carlson points! Before I get into the details, here are other posts in this series.
Radisson Blu Resort, Trysil (this post)
Skiing in Norway
Radisson Blu Oslo Airport
Lufthansa First Class A380 Frankfurt – Houston
Location and Transportation:
The main attraction, and final stop, on our trip to Norway was the family friendly ski resort, Trysil. The Radisson Blu Trysil Resort seems to be the main hotel in Trysil. Trysil was about a three hour bus ride from Oslo, which was kind of long, but not that bad. The Oslo Bus Terminal (Oslo Bussterminal) was literally adjacent to the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel we stayed at in Oslo, so it was very easy getting there in the morning for our departure. There were monitors showing which bus was leaving from which door, and that was all very simple to navigate. We had bought the bus tickets online ahead of time, but note that the Trysilekspressen website was not easy to navigate in English…at all.
In the end we accidentally bought a ticket for the wrong day, but the bus driver let us on anyway. The bus had a restroom and was relatively comfortable…for a bus. In theory it had WiFi, though I couldn’t really get it to work coming or going. The bus made a couple of stops on the way to Trysil, but never for more than a minute or two.
Once we arrived in Trysil (at the last stop in Trysil), we walked from the bus stop down the hill (in the snow) to the hotel. We felt a little lost most of the day since everything the bus driver said was in Norwegian, so we were relieved when we made it to the right place.
Check-in and the Lobby:
The Radisson Blu Trysil Resort was very modern, but with great touches like a fire pit and fake fur in the lobby. Check-in was very simple and everyone spoke English. We were staying on Club Carlson points and didn’t owe anything additional. We were told that breakfast is complimentary to everyone every morning, which is a fantastic benefit. There is an attached ski gear/clothing shop to the lobby, but note that you cannot rent equipment there.
The lobby becomes a real hangout for the hotel once the slopes close in the afternoon. It’s a pretty great environment, but do note that there were a large number of kids of all ages literally running all around the hotel every day we were there. It seemed normal for the parents to have dinner or drinks while the kids just got their energy out by running around the lobby. It was very different than most hotels I have visited in that respect and worth mentioning.
Our room had twin beds and was the standard room available on points. This hotel does have “apartments” and more deluxe rooms available for a potential up-charge if you need some more space, but we were happy with the standard room for this trip.
I really loved the decor of the room for a slope-side location as it was cozy, but modern and comfortable.
It was nice to have a sitting area and work station in the room, but the WiFi was extremely unreliable for the duration of our stay so I’m not sure how much work anyone could get done. The internet had periods of time that it worked okay, but it was very spotty, slow, and pretty crummy if you needed it to get things done. Of course, hopefully you are on vacation and can disconnect a little bit.
One thing that was very reliable was the fantastic view from the window!
The bathroom was clean and functional, but does only have a shower and no tub option.
We didn’t receive any sort of Club Carlson Gold elite benefits that I noticed other than perhaps this fruit plate that was waiting in the room when we arrived. It wasn’t the best fruit of all time, but it was very much appreciated and a nice touch.
On-site Swimming, Bowling, and Other Amenities:
This hotel really is jam packed with great activities and amenities. In addition to having a very good slope-side location, it has a family friendly swimming complex that is open from 8AM – 8PM. There are some very shallow entry areas as well as a deeper and more active rock climbing wall section. There is also a hot tub that gets very busy after people come off the mountain in the afternoon.
There is no additional charge to use the pool area, but there is an extra charge to use the FlowRider that is open at certain times of the day. We didn’t see it in action on this trip, but if you are there with school aged kids I can see how this would be a huge surfing attraction.
Another really awesome offering in the hotel is a bowling alley complete with attached 50’s themed diner. There is an additional charge to bowl, but again this is an amazing way for an older family to have a variety of activities beyond skiing.
A final really cool family friendly feature in the hotel is a play room for little kids that is located right next to the restaurants. It isn’t a staffed kid’s club, but rather just a place for families to let little kids burn off steam indoors. The downside of this is I did see some seemingly unsupervised older kids in there from time to time, but overall it is an awesome amenity.
We ate dinner at the La Piazza restaurant located off of the lobby. It is open for lunch and dinner and we were able to be seated right away. We found the service to be friendly and pretty efficient, though the food was neither exciting nor horrible. It was fine and we appreciated the convenience after a long day skiing.
The complimentary buffet breakfast in the mornings is in the restaurant located directly behind the pizza restaurant. Breakfast had both hot and cold items on the buffet and we were able to be seated right away. There were servers walking around, but I never had a server visit my table the couple of mornings we were there. I’m not sure what the servers did since the buffet was self-service. Just like with the pizza for dinner I found the food to be totally edible, though not necessarily anything extraordinary. I did very much appreciate a way to get a quick and complimentary breakfast in the morning.
The property is technically ski-in, though you can’t ski out quite as easily as it is an uphill walk to get to the base of the mountain. It isn’t a terribly far walk, but worth noting if you are going to be carrying little kid’s gear in the mornings. The hotel does not have a ski valet, but it does have a ski storage room that is free to use. The room is located right next to the exit for the slopes, which was very convenient, however my concern about leaving ski gear just out in a room was sadly pretty accurate when my boots were missing the first morning we were set to ski.
It is of course possible than someone simply accidentally confused my boots for theirs, but I looked around for a pair of boots in a similar area that looked like mine that could have been mistakenly left by someone else and didn’t find anything. I also didn’t have my boots reappear later that day or the next day. They were taken, but luckily they were just rentals and the ski rental place didn’t seem surprised or concerned when I told them what happened. They just gave me another pair of boots to use like nothing ever happened. It turned a pretty annoying and stressful situation around, but I would not be happy about using a gear room like this with my own gear.
You Can Do it Too:
This popular mountain-side hotel does sell out during peak ski season, so plan ahead as much as you can. Rates can easily be $350 – $400 USD per night, so using Club Carlson points is a very good option. The hotel is currently 44,000 points per night, but will be increasing to 50,000 points per night with the award chart changes on March 15th. I think this is a very good deal at either 44k or 50k points, especially when you can effectively double the value of your points with the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card that gives you your last award night free.
If you need more room, for 66,000 points per night you can rent the deluxe apartment that has a separate living room and bedroom with sofabed and murphy bed. This room type also lists that it has a drier. Note that the standard room lists being able to hold up to a family of four while the deluxe apartment can hold a family of five. There is also a Park Inn by Radisson Trysil Mountain Resort on the other side of the mountain, but we didn’t get to check that one out on this trip.
All in all this one my favorite Club Carlson points redemption yet! Stay tuned for a post in the Trysil Resort and on skiing in Norway.
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