I am not overstating when I say that Rica Park Hotel Stavanger is Norway’s best hotel, it actually is! In my opinion, it is not the professionals about the hotel industry who decide, nor are travel magazines, guides, or other sources where a hotel might get its rating from. I believe that it is the guests who decide. And in 2012, the guests decided, and Rica Park won the TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award. TripAdvisor has been one of the most succesful travel websites in the world, helping travellers in gathering information and sharing opinions and reviews, so it is not that Rica Park won some award, Rica Park won THE award.
Before I started working at Region Stavanger, I worked in Rica Park for over a year as a waiter. It was in Park (as we like to call the hotel) where I really developed my desire to work at the hotel and travel industry. It is at Park where I have spent a very good amount of time since I arrived to Stavanger. There was even a time when many of my best friends where working with me at the hotel. Or as I like to see it, it was a time when I went to Park to hang out with friends, help and give good service to guests, meet people from all over the world, and get paid for doing it. Not bad right? Some of the days could have been quite exhausting, and maybe I even gave up going out some nights (yeah right) because I was working early breakfasts during the weekends. But oh my, how good it felt to come back to Park this last weekend.
Rica is one of the biggest hotel chains in Norway and Sweden, in total there are around 80 Rica hotels. In Stavanger alone, there are 4! I have had the privilege of working in 3 of them. The Rica hotels have this concept of being the “Good Hosts”, or as their slogan in Norwegian says: “Det Gode Vertskapet”. The hotels use a system in which they rate which one of them is the best, based in different aspects like breakfast service, reception, rooms, restaurant and bar. I am not going to give away information about how the entire system works, but guess what? Rica Park has also been leading the rating of the Rica Hotels for a long time!
One of the things that makes Park succesful, is that it is a small hotel. It has only 59 rooms, and in the busiest days it can host around 120 people. Guests are always surprised of how big the rooms are, they are huge! The distance to the city centre is also an advantage for the hotel. It only takes around 7 minutes to walk to the harbour, around 5 to the bus and train station, and the airport coach drives right outside the door. You will also find 2 balconies, 4 meeting rooms, a gym, a sauna, free wireless internet connection, and a cozy fireplace to sit next to, especially nice when it is snowing outside.
One side of the Junior Suite
Top products waiting for you in the bathroom
The elegant restaurant, where you will be served the best breakfast you have ever tasted!
The Rica Hotel’s candies and the Stavanger Region guide
My name tag!
In the hotel industry there will always be people coming and going, and even if it is the first time that I come back to Park after a couple of months, I’m already seeing new faces. Even if I have worked at the hotel for less than 2 years, I am one of the oldest here (in terms of working time, not age of course). I might not work at Park as much as I did before, now it might be 2 times a month or even less, but I will always be happy of coming back, seeing old friends, and giving an extra hand in making Rica Park the best hotel in Norway.