My wonderful self catering accommodation in Mandal Norway
When hotel options are limited or just not great it is always worth considering self catering accommodation. Often you get lots more space, freedom to work and eat at your own times, plus you can save a fair bit of money too. This was certainly my experience when I tried out some self catering lodges in Mandal, Norway quite recently.
I’ve visited Mandal before and it is a beautiful little town. Little being the operative word. So much so that hotel options are exceedingly limited, in fact the hotel I stayed at before no longer exists, it closed down a while ago.
The nearest big city with decent options is Kristiansand but that is maybe an hour away by car. This was far from appropriate when I wanted a base close to Mandal.
Then a quick internet search and I stumbled upon the self catering hotel style place known as Mones Feriesenter. Whilst it is a short drive from the town centre the setting is beautiful. I had wonderful views and a private porch-way looking out to a stunning lake. Okay the lake was frozen over but this is because I was visiting in mid-February. Come the summer this place would be a glorious home from home.
The location is set up a bit like self catering family lodge hotels with around 30 chalet style accommodation in wooden exterior huts.
My temporary holiday home had an open plan lounge / diner which was so spacious that it was larger than many Norwegian hotel rooms that I’ve stayed in.
The kitchen was well equipped with an oven, dishwasher, microwave, good size fridge freezer and more cutlery and crockery than I could need. This was the perfect place to fit the self catering accommodation bill.
There was a bathroom which was also a good size and had a decent walk in shower.
My lodge had two sleeping areas. One was a kiddie style room with a couple of bunk beds, whilst the master bedroom was suitably equipped with wardrobe, reading light and available power socket. In typical European fashion the double bed was actually 2 single beds pushed together, nothing I am not used to.
The accommodation was certainly well heated. It was freezing cold out when I arrived but as soon as I walked inside there was a comfortable blast of warmth from the heating system. Perfect.
The flat screen TV had around a dozen channels which were all Norwegian. However I found one which broadcasts American shows with Norwegian subtitles, so you can follow along.
Whilst this is self catered accommodation I was pleasantly surprised to discover that breakfast was included within my room rate. It turns out that this had to be collected each morning from the petrol station located a small walk away from my chalet. The petrol station also turned out to double up as the Mones Feriesenter reception too.
Breakfast was basic Norwegian style but enough to fill a gap. I received a sandwich, yoghurt, fruit juice and a cup of coffee each morning. Not bad at all considering this was a fair bit cheaper than an equivalent hotel. However the walk to the petrol station was one way to wake up as it was often below zero outside and meant going up a small but very steep hill.
The accommodation came with a free parking spot too which is also greatly appreciated.
The only thing I really had a slight problem with was the complimentary internet. Once I had my access code from the petrol station the internet would sometimes drop the signal during busy periods. You know the time, weekday evenings when all the other guest are streaming films instead of just browsing. That aside though I did find the internet to be of a good speed outside of the peak early evening period.
I loved my whole self catering accommodation experience that this place offered. Not only could I pick up provisions at the petrol station but there was a mini market not far away too.
Then there was the lovely views of the lake whilst the peace and quiet made this a wonderful place for reflection and to just relax. Warmer weather would make me love this place even more.
I’m not too bothered about wanting luxurious furniture but more practicality, privacy and comfort. This place offered it in abundance.
So what do you prefer, a routine hotel or self catering accommodation for your trips?