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Destination: Stokkøya Strandhotell; a rather joyous resort close to Trondheim

I spent two nights at the Stokkøya Strandhotell, and it was an unforgettable experience. Although I rarely dedicate an article to merely a stay, in this instance, it would be a disservice to the hotel and its location to mention it only in passing. For numerous reasons, Stokkøya Strandhotell is a destination in its own right. With this modest little article I hope to:

  • Convince you that spending at least two nights here will be unforgettable if you are travelling through Norway (forget about any hotel chains).

  • Tell you about what it is that makes Stokkøya Strandhotell so exceptional.

Allow me to begin with a small anecdote that, in my opinion, symbolises island life and the philosophy with which Stokkøya Strandhotell is, or seems to be currently operated. And for this anecdote, we must journey back in time.

Immediately after Norway gained independence, the country experienced a period of prohibition, which sparked a lively smuggling trade. It was the fishermen who excelled in evading customs officers and smuggling significant quantities of alcohol. The story goes that one of these fishermen on Stokkøya discovered a stash of alcohol clearly meant for someone else but never collected. In those days, this find was likely worth a small fortune, which might have meant he could leave his hard life as a fisherman behind. However, instead of selling the alcohol, the fisherman decided to invite his comrades, fellow fishermen, and island residents for a celebration. It must have taken some time for the stash to be depleted, but one thing is certain – not a single crown was earned from the find. And as I imagine it, the entire island must have woken up with a colossal hangover.

Perhaps this island-attitude to life captures the essence of Stokkøya, or at least that of the hotel, its staff, and its residents.

Your Stay

What makes this location so brilliant is that virtually everyone can enjoy it. By this, I mean both a very diverse demographic and people with different budgets. You can rent a complete holiday home with a group of friends and enjoy a magnificent view over the stunning bay (not within my budget) or book a fantastic hotel room furnished with Scandinavian design classics from both Louis Poulsen and IKEA. As a former interior designer, I chose the latter and was pleasantly surprised by the inventive simplicity of the design and layout of the room.

The Stokkøya Strandhotell

From the innovative way the the ventilation system is 'packed away' to the shower controls and the amazing concrete skylight above the bed. Additionally, it is delightful that you have your own small patio where you can enjoy an ice-cold beer in the evening sun.

Speaking of architecture and design, the vision of the architectural firm Pir II was to create such intriguing architecture that people would become more interested in moving to this remote municipality. Because Norway is so vast, some small towns sometimes struggle to maintain their population levels. This strategy appears to be working remarkably well, if only because it provided me with a reason to visit Stokkøya that I otherwise would not have had.

Back to your stay. If you have a different type of trip in mind, you can rent a beautiful glamping tent right on the beachfront for a fraction of the price of a hotel room. The sound of the sea is truly the most relaxing way to drift off to sleep. Additionally, there is a fairly large field with space for at least 20 tents. This is the beauty of this place. It is not merely an exclusive compound where only the wealthiest of types stare each other down for whatever petty reason, as can sometimes be the case in the Norwegian capital. Here, different rules apply, and I greatly appreciate that.

The staff is largely to credit for this atmosphere. Without exception, every individual here is incredibly friendly. I tend to believe that everyone who works here also wants to be here. The reception, the service, the cook, and the cleaners – I have rarely encountered such a relaxed, friendly, and helpful group of individuals. For the hospitality enthusiasts: I received a text message asking wether or not I was interested in reserving a table at the restaurant since there was a chance it would be fully booked due to increasing demand. That is customer service 2.0; you are assisted before you even knew you needed it.

Food and Drinks

Stokkøya is a relatively remote island. But it is 2024. So, it has never been easier to have virtually anything delivered to your doorstep at a moment’s notice. But what perhaps typifies island life, as when you arrive for breakfast here, it is immediately noticeable that almost everything is locally produced and, in many cases, homemade. And it goes far. This morning, I spread homemade chocolate hazelnut paste on my bread. The bread itself is baked just three kilometres away and delivered warm. All the jams are homemade, as well as the juices. Although I am extremely enthusiastic and hyped at the moment of writing, I can confidently say that this is the best breakfast I have ever had. Everything tasted honest and unique, unlike the majority of other standardised hotels. Simply said, the attention to detail and quality is on another level.

Stokkøya Strandhotell boasts a fantastic restaurant situated in the beach bar with a compact menu. And this is precisely a recipe for success. The dishes they offer perfectly match the surroundings and are, without exception, based on what is locally available. Mostly excellent seafood, vegetables and lamb. The dishes are excellently shareable, meaning that when you are with two people, you can order almost the entire menu and thus taste everything. As mentioned, the dishes are relatively simple but in terms of flavour, texture, and ingredients, they are very satisfying indeed. And then there is the view from the restaurant. You are dining right on the beach and watch the sun slowly disappear in the distance before it sinks into the sea. Gorgeous... or romantic if that is your thing.

I almost hesitate to mention it in a blog post solely dedicated to Norwegian travel destinations, but I will do it nonetheless. With this excellent dinner in mind, it can hardly be a coincidence that an incredibly charming Italian chef is at the helm in the kitchen. A cheerful and highly skilled one, moreover. Grazie!


I understand that the remote nature of the hotel might be a bit daunting. Let me immediately reassure you that you can entertain yourself here for days with numerous activities. The hotel rents out kayaks, paddleboards, and bicycles. They also have a sauna right on the beach, so you can run into the ice-cold sea with your sweaty body and loudly announce to the rest of the hotel guests that you have indeed gone completely under.

About a 20-minute drive from the hotel, on one of the other islands, lies a rather fascinating cave that you can walk to (or 'hike' as everyone likes to describe walking nowadays). It'll take you about half an hour to reach the entrance of the cave, which reminded me of some massive cathedral. Most likely, this gigantic cavern was used in the Bronze Age as a defensive line when the nearby settlement was attacked by rival tribes. Who knows, I wasn’t there.

You owe it to Stokkøya to visit the local bakery too. Housed in yet another architectural gem, you will find a very charming terrace where you can enjoy a cup of coffee and the most delicious freshly baked croissants, cinnamon rolls, and other treats. The bakery is about a 20-minute walk from Stokkøya Strandhotell. Follow the beach south until you reach a staircase that helps you climb the rocks, then follow the path over the rocks and through the forest. You will soon come to a red-painted barn. After that, turn left and walk a bit down the road, and you will quickly find the bakery. Do check the opening times in advance.

What are you waiting for?

I doubt you need any more endorsements, and for the average Norwegian, Stokkøya Strandhotell is likely already well-known, as the hotel has been in operation for about ten years. But if you have decided to visit this fantastic country, and you might only do so once in your life, I dare bet you will have an incredibly enjoyable time spending a few nights here, no matter the season. Indeed, I would not understand if, after reading this little article, you decide to book your stay with a generic hotel chain. Moreover, it is evident that the focus here is on the responsible use of food, resources, and energy. In these times of over-consumption, mass tourism, and the general depletion of our planet, this alone is an excellent reason to travel to this joyous resort. Besides, it is just over a two-hour drive from Trondheim, but since everything in Norway is at least a two-hour drive away, you can immediately dismiss that as a reason not to go.

**Getting there: it is most likely you'll arrive at Trondheim Airport (TRD). Public transport really takes forever, so it is most wise to reserve a car in advance. Since Norway has one of the best fast-charging networks in the world, I would advise you to rent an electric car. Better for the environment, cheaper to charge and it gets you everywhere. Check here for availability.


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