Eilert Smith Hotel: Stavanger, Norway

A few weekends ago we took a snapshot trip to Stavanger in Norway, and while we were there, we were lucky enough to stay at Eilert Smith Hotel.

We have to put this on the table right here at the beginning; we have never felt more welcome or at home in a hotel, ever, in our whole entire lives and we like to think we have stayed in our own fair share of them. From the minute we arrived… scrap that… from the minute we booked to the minute we left Tone and Johanna showed us such warmth it was incredible and we wouldn’t even look at another hotel if/when we go back to Stavanger.

We like to be as honest as possible in these reviews, we don’t want to ever praise a hotel if there is no praise to be had, but this review is basically us just banging on about how amazing Eilert Smith Hotel and Norway is in general. You might as well go a book it now, but if you want to carry on reading here we go.

When we arrived we’d had a pretty rubbish journey, all the usual’s really, delayed flight, long immigration queues, car rental companies trying to charge you more at the very last minute… but as soon as we stepped foot in Eilert Smith Hotel we felt all the pressure and the stress of the travel fade away.

Tone had been kind enough to wait up for us (even though we didn’t arrive until nearly 2am) and checked us in in a matter of seconds. One of the biggest pluses of Eilert Smith Hotel is there are no room keys, it’s all done via codes which are sent to your phone in advance. The future is bright people! Anyway, back to the check-in.

We were in our room in no time and into the comfiest bed with literally the biggest pillows. After a long evening it was good night, but not before we slipped on the HAND SEWN socks from Johanna’s Mum… break our hearts and glue them back together with candy floss, we were obsessed already.

The whole hotel works incredibly smooth. So smooth you don’t need room keys, the toilet seat pops open automatically when you open the bathroom door and our favourite part, your breakfast box is dropped off outside your room at a time of your choosing so you can enjoy all the delicious food in your PJs.

We were sent the breakfast menu a few days before arriving and we can hands down say… the food is crazy good, especially the Nordic breakfast! Whoever put liver pâté with bacon in a Sourdough bread sandwich first, thank you.

Other choices are of course available…

The Green One – Sourdough bread with grilled vegetables – Chia pudding with raspberries – ‘Green tornado’ smoothie – Power bar

Eilert’s Breakfast – Rye bread with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, capers and dill – Yogurt with granola – Apple juice

Continental Breakfast – Croissant, sourdough bread, Gruyère, brie, ham, butter, jam – Yoghurt with granola – Apple juice

Nordic Breakfast – Sourdough bread with liver pâté, bacon and dijonnaise – Cinnamon roll – Apple juice

Apart from the hotel being beautiful, the staff being kind, the beds being as soft as clouds, the food being delicious and everything working super smoothly, Tone and Johanna also helped us create an incredible itinerary. We sent though what we were hoping to tick off and they completely supported us in making it happen with the finder details, as well as making it a little more realistic… no matter how fit we are, we cannot fit two six hour hikes into one day!

Scroll down to see the incredible itinerary which we created together… and we believe it is pretty spot on!


  • Evening flight from London Gatwick. 
  • Pick up car from Stavanger Airport and drive approx. 20 min to Eilert Smith Hotel.


  • Breakfast in room at 8am – One ‘The Green One’ and one ‘Nordic Breakfast’.
  • Drive to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) for a morning hike. Take the ferry across which takes approx. 40 min. Then drive for approx. 20 min until you get to the parking lot for Pulpit Rock. There will be directions all the way. The hike itself takes approx. 2,5 hours up and approx. 1,5 hours going down. Stop for a picnic on your way down for lunch buy the mountain lakes.
  • Drive (and ferry) back to Eilert Smith Hotel to change out of hiking gear.
  • Explore Stavanger. Head into town, walk to the port, Ovre Holmegate the colourful street with multiple coffee shops, Gamle Stavanger the old town and along the way look out for all the amazing and sometimes hidden street art.
  • Dinner at Tako by Fortou.


  • Breakfast in room at 8am – Two ‘Eilert’s breakfast’.
  • Check-out of Eilert Smith Hotel.
  • Drive to Manafossen. Park in the car park and hike to the waterfall, approx. around 2 hours up and down but you can go further if you wanted to.
  • Drive to Byrkjedalstunet for a traditional Norwegian lunch.
  • Finally drive through Gloppedalsura to the coast for some of the most beautiful roads.
  • Head back to Stavanger Airport for an evening flight home.


Tone and Johanna were even kind enough to share with us all the best places to eat in Stavanger, restaurants for every different budget. In the end we went for Tako by Fortou because who can deny themselves a little bit of Mexican food?!

But, if you feeling something different, these were the other options;

Downtown Stavanger;

  • Söl – Classic Nordic food and interior.
  • Fisketorget – Good selection of fish dishes which is located at the harbour.

Or you can go to Stavanger Øst which is a “young” part of Stavanger – imagine Shoreditch in London – and has cool restaurants like;

  • Fortou – Streetfood in a cool, arty area of town.
  • Tako – Small, different Mexican tapas style food with good cocktails and vibe.
    • This is where we spent part of our Saturday evening and loved it. It get busy though so if your planning on going book a table.

A little further afield;

  • Byrkjedalstunet –  A traditional Norwegian meal of meatballs and waffles in a traditionally decorated room.
    • We went here for lunch and if we’re honest we weren’t blown away by the food. However, it was traditional which we wanted to try, plus when in Norway…
      • The biggest disappointment was that the meatballs and waffles didn’t come together.

Right under your nose;

  • RE-NAA – A Michelin Star tasting menu which is actually in the hotel.
    • We would have loved to have gone here but… it’s got Michelin Star prices too.

After dinner at Tako by Fortou, all we wanted to do was go to our crazy comfy room, crack open a bottle of bubbly and play a little scrabble. The rooms at Eilert Smith Hotel are so much more than just a bedroom, you have a bedroom area along with a fully functioning kitchen and a lounge area with a sofa, chair, record player, T.V., books and games. You can literally just stay in your room for the whole weekend if you want but… it pretty cool outside too.

Leaving Eilert Smith Hotel on the Sunday morning was a sad affair. We genuinely did have the most incredible time and we still sometime imagine we are sleeping on those crazy big pillows and our toilet seat is heated… but when we slip on our little hand kitted socks from Johanna’s Mum it takes us back.

We hope you stuck with us till the end, even though we told you to just go and book it in the first paragraph. Now were just going to repeat ourselves so it’s really clear, we love this hotel, we love the people that run this hotel, book this hotel.

Thank you and goodnight.


Disclaimer: Our stay at the Eilert Smith Hotel, Stavanger was gifted to us in exchange for a review. However, everything we have said is completely our own opinion. 

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