Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A modern, sun-filled hotel that's popular with groups.
This hotel, part of a chain that's common throughout Norway and Sweden, is a large, sun-filled, modern building that sits along a marina. Upon entering, guests are greeted with high ceilings, lots of sunlight, and bustling activity in the lobby. The structure is actually built out over the water on stilts, and the architects took care to take advantage of this unique situation: Views of boats and water abound from the restaurants, meeting rooms, and even some rooms. Even the main ballroom is flooded with sunlight and has a view of the harbor, which is unusual for hotel ballrooms (which are often windowless).
The hotel offers 18 meeting spaces, and there's a serious emphasis on meetings and events here. (Another option for events is the newer Clarion Hotel & Congress up the road -- farther from town but providing more options for large events). Rica Nidelven's meeting capacity and general size make it popular with groups, so don't expect to have a peaceful retreat; the restaurants and lobby can be quite full at times, especially during the award-winning breakfast buffet (which is included for all guests).
A pretty (by Trondheim standards) setting, not too far from the center of town
Rica Nidelven is built over the Nidelva River, at a spot where the river forms a "T," with the hotel nestled in the corner so that it has water flowing by on two sides. The result is that the hotel has lots of views of water, docked boats, Trondheim's "Flower Bridge" (named for the planters that line it), and the Solsiden neighborhood, a popular industrial-chic neighborhood just across the river.
Trondheim is a historic city -- it was founded in 997 A.D. -- but one might not guess it upon first glance. Fires have ravaged the city regularly over the years, and today, many of the buildings are modern, though cobblestones on some of the oldest streets and the iconic Nidaros Cathedral -- its spire is the most prominent feature of the city skyline -- give some sense of its true age. To feel immersed in the city's history, visitors should head to the Old Town Bridge, which faces a colorful row of wharves (some of which date back to the 18th century), and the Bakklandet area, a revitalized shopping and cafe hub with charming wooden buildings that were once worker's houses.
Trondheim also has numerous cultural attractions. It's a university city (one in six residents is a student) with a lively nightlife scene, and there are many musical performances and festivals held here. Though this is the third largest city in Norway, the downtown area is compact and easy to explore on foot.
A serious commitment to quality and innovation, and the country's top breakfast buffet.
Perhaps the hotel’s most notable attribute is its dedication to delicious, high-quality food. There’s a serious commitment to local ingredients (whenever possible) and to hiring only the best chefs -- a whopping 30 or so of them, many of whom have competed in, and won, Norway’s top culinary competitions. The result is that the hotel serves quality food a notch above what is usually found in hotels. The details set the hotel's kitchens apart: The hotel insists on receiving all animals whole, to do the butchering themselves on-site; several of the recipes used were passed down from the head chef’s grandmother; and the confectioner puts crispy rice in the chocolate.
As of 2012, the hotel’s elaborate breakfast buffet has won Twinings Best Breakfast in Norway every year since 2006. To stay ahead of the competition, the hotel is always innovating -- there is a juice bar with fruits squeezed in front of you, a barista prepping whatever you’d like, built-in ovens so you can watch your bread rise. There’s also an impressive cheese and charcuterie station and -- perhaps not surprisingly for Norway -- more preparations of salmon than you can count. It’s truly hard to believe such a feast is included in the room rate. The daily lunch buffet, though not included in the room rates, isn’t far behind.
Opened in 2003, the 349-room Rica Nidelven is a modern structure standing over the Nidelva River, with a soaring ceiling in the lobby and lots of lovely water views from public spaces. Its standout features are its delicious food and abundance of sun-filled meeting rooms, though the 24-hour fitness center and rotating art gallery in the lobby also add to the appeal. Lower-level rooms were renovated in 2009, followed by higher-level rooms getting an update in 2012, and are sharp and bright, with sleek contemporary accents. The hotel isn't in the heart of the action, but it's a short walk to most sights, including the charming Bakklandet neighborhood.