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Stay: a grandiloquent list of the 15 most special hotels in Norway: the best places to stay

As the title promises, this list comprises the utmost in hotels and best places to stay in Norway one could possibly envision. Strangely enough, I had to leave quite a few hotels unmentioned. However, when you're in the midst of planning your journey to Norway and decide to reserve a night at one or more of the establishments below, rest assured, you're guaranteeing yourself an exceptional stay. Let us set off (in no particular order).

Hotels in Norway

  1. Juvet Landscape Hotel: A pinnacle of modern (landscape) architecture, this establishment stands as one of the most iconic expressions of contemporary design. When you stay here, a glass wall is the only barrier separating you from the spectacular Norwegian landscape. Towering mountain peaks, a swiftly flowing river, and lush vegetation surround you. Moreover, you reside on the edge of one of the country's most epic highways, featuring Trollstigen and Gudbrandsjuvet. Primarily, this hotel serves as a canvas for an ever-changing exhibition of seasons: a forest so green it almost hurts your eyes, water from the rushing river so blue it appears dyed, and mountain slopes disappearing into the depths.

  2. Hotel Union Øye: A legendary hotel of unparalleled beauty, Union Øye is a place where I would don my Tweed jacket, meticulously polish my leather Chelsea boots, and tuck a Tolstoy novel into my suitcase. The illustrious history of this establishment is evidenced by the notable list of historical figures who graced its premises. Among them, Emperor Wilhelm (that illustrious figure with the unique arm) ordered a cup of coffee, Karen Blixen indulged in Eggs Benedict, and Roald Amundsen, either before or after reaching the North Pole, savored a glass of whisky as a reward for his efforts. Depending on where in the world you are reading this blog, these anecdotes may hold varying significance. After all, I pen this from a European perspective. It cannot be denied that Hotel Union Øye finds itself on a list of places with exceptional allure from a bygone era. In an age of endless reels and anonymous comments, this establishment is a breath of fresh air.

  3. Sommerro: The new kid on the block, boldly ascending the lists of the most fantastic hotels with great panache. If your weekend inclines towards a sincere proposal, perhaps in the form of a marriage proposal or something similar, then this is the place to do it. Words, unfortunately, fall short when summarizing the opulence and lavishness that this establishment bestows upon its patrons. A personal favorite within its confines is the exquisite bar, Ekspedisjons Hallen, an artifact reminiscent of the vibrant 1920s. Here, an atmosphere of elegance unfolds without descending into the obscene. The art-deco interiors transport you to another era, amplified by the live jazz—an auditory treat that cocoons you in a space where time seems reluctant to escape. Picture spending an evening there with your beloved, leisurely swirling ice cubes in your ice-cold amaretto sour. If this hotel were an actress, it would undoubtedly be Eva Green.

  4. Åmot Hotell: Here, you immerse yourself in a kind of rural-chic on steroids. Not only is the hotel far removed from anything remotely resembling a city, but the entire setting is one that defies easy expression in words. The spaces are adorned with a seemingly effortless nonchalance, yet with a keen sense of style and composition, enveloped in a sort of rural chic aesthetic. I almost dare to label it as un-Norwegian, but that would be a mischaracterization. I believe it encapsulates the identity that adorns contemporary Norway – a departure from flashy sports cars, embracing a renaissance of history, quality, and simplicity. I have yet to experience a night's stay here myself, but if there's anything on my wish list, it's a visit to Åmot. Could that affluent sugar uncle kindly make an appearance soon?

  5. Storfjord Hotel: I have pondered at length how to encapsulate this hotel in a few words, and I believe "Rustic Luxury" does it justice. Firstly, the entire hotel exudes the aroma of wood, one of my absolute favorite scents. The rooms and suites are tastefully adorned with muted colors, exquisite textiles, and untreated walls, lending Storfjord Hotel an exceptional allure. You can comfortably appear at breakfast in your Dale of Norway sweater and then spend the entire day outdoors in the breathtaking surroundings. Moreover, the restaurant is truly a masterpiece, arguably the finest in the wide vicinity.

  6. Trevarefabrikken: A now-iconic cultural institution situated in the heart of the Arctic region. The rough edges of the rugged fishing existence have been honed and transformed into an exceptional abode. The location alone is undeniably spectacular, but equally noteworthy is the vision the founders had in developing this old wood workshop. Here, you don't immerse yourself in ostentatious luxury; instead, you delve into the heritage of a region intimately connected to the weather, tides, and harsh climate. The sense of community among people in Northern Norway differs significantly from that in major cities like Oslo and Stavanger. This distinction becomes apparent the moment you set foot over the threshold, where you are embraced by a heritage entwined with the elements and a rugged environment.

  7. Amerikalinjen: Ask any random European, and undoubtedly, you'll be regaled with a tale of a family member who, a few generations back, escaped poverty and embarked on the journey to America. My great-uncle, for instance, left the bulb region in the Netherlands to start a farm somewhere in Missouri. Never heard from him again. Norway, too, did not escape this dance. In contrast to its current prosperity, Norway was a bit of Europe's underdog until the 1960s. This led to entire villages emptying as people boarded ships in pursuit of fortune and happiness. Amerikalinjen is named after this exodus. It is an extraordinarily beautiful hotel, exuding a grandeur rarely encountered in contemporary times. The cocktail bar is truly a work of art where bartenders took masters degrees in cocktail shaking, and the cellar frequently hosts jazz gigs.

  8. Hardanger Fjord Lodge: If I were to provide a description of what precisely constitutes a boutique hotel, I would point you directly to the Hardanger Lodge. The enchanting surroundings, the intimacy, and the tastefully rustic decor impart the sensation of stepping into a parallel world where time dances to a different rhythm. The level of attention devoted to details here evokes thoughts of Japanese dedication. It is a kind of rustic bubble in which you find yourself. If your sojourn in Norway commences here, thereafter, not much can really go amiss.

  9. Tuddal Høyfjellshotell: Every evening at 19:00, a meticulously crafted four-course dinner is promptly served, uniting all guests in the dining hall simultaneously. This ritual imparts a uniquely special ambiance, allowing one to pause and observe their fellow patrons, gaining a profound sense of the community within the hotel. The service is truly extraordinary, brimming with enthusiasm and unwavering dedication. You experience a genuine sense of being seen and valued. The culinary offerings center around locally sourced ingredients, evident in the flavors that come to life on the plate. Anticipate no avant-garde culinary experimentation; instead, relish beautifully executed, honest dishes that captivate the palate. It feels as though you have entered a cinematic scene, reminiscent, perhaps, of "The Grand Budapest Hotel," albeit set in the picturesque backdrop of Norway.

  10. Eilert Smit Hotel: While the exterior manifests functionality, stepping inside transports you immediately to the splendor of mid-century design. This appears to be a nod to the era when Stavanger, whether consciously or unconsciously, prospered. Regardless, in terms of hospitality, the Eilert Smith Hotel stands head and shoulders above the rest in Stavanger. This distinction doesn't solely arise from the elegance of the rooms and communal spaces. The staff also possesses a keen understanding of what guests anticipate when selecting such a hotel for their stay. Truly, everything is orchestrated to ensure your sojourn is as delightful as possible, all delivered with a kind of innate elegance (a skill I'd be eager to master).

  11. Dalen Hotel: What lingers today is a hotel adorned with an ambiance and aristocratic allure that stands unrivaled in Norway. A majestic entrance, substantial leather armchairs, and meticulously hand-printed wallpaper. The artistry displayed in all the woodwork alone is nothing short of breathtaking. Offering a variety of rooms and suites, each exudes the same regal charm. If the choice were mine, the Dalen Suite would be the epitome of romance, making it, without a doubt, the most romantic hotel in Telemark, if not the entirety of Norway. Even if you opt to lodge elsewhere, it's still worthwhile to park the car momentarily and indulge in a glance.

  12. Høyvarde Fyr Hotel: 'Fyr' can signify two things in Norwegian; 'boy' or 'lighthouse.' In this instance, it, of course, refers to the latter. Yes, you read it correctly; you can stay here. But only in July. It doesn't get much more exclusive than this. Keep in mind that this is no ordinary hotel where you casually stroll in and ring the reception bell. So do get in touch with them beforehand.

  13. Herangtunet: If you're in search of a distinctive retreat in the Valdres Nature and Culture Park, Herangtunet Boutique Hotel is the place to be. Personally, I haven't spent a night there (my in-laws have a cabin nearby), so I don't have a direct experience, but I took a stroll around and was utterly captivated. The interior exudes a robust grandeur with suites in various styles and themes. And just take a look at the location! I envision myself with a blanket draped over me, beside a campfire, holding a mug of hot chocolate. Absolutely stunning. Additionally, they offer an array of activities that immediately elucidate why I fell head over heels for Norway. Are you already in love? Or on the brink of it? Book a night or two. You'll leave as a different person.

  14. Energi Hotellet: The rooms at Energi Hotellet are, in fact, the antithesis of everything you've encountered so far. Minimalistic, pristine, and immaculate. Energi Hotellet is a gem of 1960s architecture, initially intended for the employees of the hydroelectric power plant. It still serves that purpose, but the hotel has undergone a subtle metamorphosis. Additionally, there's a strong emphasis on local ingredients, resulting in relatively simple yet overwhelmingly delicious dishes. For dog enthusiasts, your four-legged companion is welcome. The reason to book here extends beyond the hotel itself. It's the panoramic view that unfolds from all 14 rooms, showcasing the breathtaking surroundings!

  15. Hotel 1904: Ålesund is an elegant Art Nouveau town. Exactly that elegance can be found at Hotel 1904. I always find it a bit complicated to use superlatives like 'the best' or 'the most beautiful' when I'm not talking about my girlfriend. So, I tread carefully. This is one of the most beautiful and elegant hotels in all of Norway. Quite nuanced, wouldn't you agree? In earlier stories, I hinted that I used to work as an interior designer. I can confidently say that I have a kind of professional eye for interior spaces. What immediately catches my attention are the materials used; not just the curtains but also the skirting boards and the floor. Then comes composition and lighting. But, I won't bore you with that. If you value beautifully designed spaces even a little, book a few nights here. Especially during the darker months, this place is an oasis of perfectly crafted contemporary coziness. I walked in this summer out of curiosity, precisely because of what I just described. I was impressed, as well as by the staff, who welcomed me with understated warmth, despite the fact that I had a huge backpack on my back and was wearing flip-flops. Not exactly the typical attire for the clientele that usually populates the lobby here. All in all, I didn't stay overnight because it's not budget-friendly for a simple blogger like me. But the beds probably rank among the best you can sleep in in Norway.


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