Date: 06/10/2014

Hotel Review: Basecamp Trappers Hotel Svalbard

Author: Kirsi
Location: Norway

When we arrived at The Trappers Hotel, the town of Longyearbyen was cast in the dark blue hue of the Polar Night. The white fields of snow reflected the moonlight and Northern Lights were dancing above the peaks of the mountains around the Longyear Valley. Needless to say our first visit in the northernmost permanently inhabited town felt otherworldly already at first glance.

Before travellers began to arrive to the islands of Spitsbergen in search of unique winter adventures, the archipelago was mainly inhabited by trappers, or hunters, who lived in their cabins isolated in their work for extended periods of time. Sometimes they brought their families to join them. The boutique Hotel is decorated with Russian driftwood, seal skins, slate as well as objects and pictures which illustrate the time when many modern comforts were not present on the island. The luxury of Trapper’s Hotel combines a rustic and cosy atmosphere with a back drop of the local history.

The standard rooms come with twin or double beds with private bathrooms and views towards the mountains or the town. For families we can recommend the triple rooms or perhaps staying in one of the two suites which are more spacious. Breakfast is included for all guests although dinner is not available at the hotel. However, the hotel is conveniently located very close to all the shops and restaurants with a selection to suit most budgets from champagne tastings to a pub dinner. All Magnetic North clients receive an up-to-date recommendation list of places to eat in Longyearbyen in their trip notes.


Typical to Scandinavian hospitality, hot drinks such as coffee are available for guests at the lobby as well as a small library. Whilst there are no televisions in the rooms, there is a cosy Cognac Lounge where guests can relax after a day outdoors and meet other travellers or simply enjoy one of the books from the library. This is also a perfect spot for the final gazes for any Northern Lights appearances through the panoramic windows stretching across the ceiling before retiring to bed.

For whom is it suitable?

If you are thinking about taking the kids, we suggest 10 years and up if you are planning on outdoor adventures. Otherwise the hotel is suitable for everyone with a desire to explore one of the most unique destinations in the world – get in touch with Magnetic North to find out activities that fit your travel goals.

When should I go?

Just like rest of the Arctic, Spitsbergen witnesses the extremes from the dark blue darkness of the Polar Night to endless days during the Midnight Sun season – only here they can be witnessed longer and more extreme than at lower latitudes. Below are a few of our tips.

For Northern Lights hunters the polar night might be the most suitable time to go as Northern Lights can be witnessed even during day time due to Spitsbergen’s location in the high latitudes. Polar Night season lasts from October to early February. Magnetic North Travel has a three night Polar Night short break in Svalbard which celebrates this special season.

If you are looking for a longer expedition or an overnight trip in search of local wildlife, travel during Spring (mid-Feb to May) when the sun rises above the horizon and longer trips outside the town’s limits become available. Please note that spring time excursions get fully booked earlier than Polar Night.

If you are looking for something completely extraordinary: After mid-April you can experience the Midnight Sun yet still go husky sledding and snow mobiling on the snow until the end of May!

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