We Rank The Best Norwegian Hotels.
Communion with nature is an essential part of the Norwegian identity and with good reason: the country occupies one of the most spectacular, scenic and unspoiled pieces of land in the planet. People in Norway favor rustic accommodations in bucolic settings over luxurious retreats and it is very common for families to own cottages in the countryside or in the mountains. Most hotel accommodations Norway reflect these ideals and are oftentimes very simple with the most important luxury being not missing a single second of the show nature has put on outside. You’d expect nothing more from a nation that claims to be “Powered by nature”.
1. Juvet Landscape Hotel
Leave it to the Norwegians to figure out a way to be as close as possible to being outside even when they are indoors. At the Landscape Hotel, only a glass wall stands between you and a breathtaking patch of woodland in the Valldal Valley across which the Valdølla River flows through a narrow gorge into the nearby Geiranger Fjord. Here, architecture and design surrender to nature’s grandness and the most impressive feat are not the buildings themselves but the use of materials, the non-invasive construction techniques and the philosophy that architecture and man should respect the fact that nature precedes them. The design of the cabins is incredibly simple to the point in which they look like wooden crates forgotten amidst the wilderness. Held up by stilts, they appear to float above the forest floor and have been strategically placed to offer only the best views and ensure guests’ privacy. Since what’s going on outside is infinitely more important than what goes on inside, the furniture and décor are kept to a bare minimum and the glass separating the indoor from the great outdoors has been treated to minimize reflections from people and items inside of the cabin.
Alstad, 6210 Valldal, Norway. Double rooms start at 1.550 NOK/ per person per night.
2. Tree Top Huts
Built more than 8 meters from the forest floor, these ‘huts’ are in fact tree cabins, some of which can comfortably house between 6-8 guests. The wooden cabins are rustic, both inside and outside, and have plenty of animal skins and a wood-burning oven to keep them warm. The most recently built one has a glass ceiling allowing you to gaze at the stars right from your bed. Since the cabins are built on the tree crowns, you get interesting views of moose and reindeer roaming the forest below during the day and clear views of starry skies and the northern lights at night.
2380 Brumunddal, Norway. Cabins start at 4.000 NOK/day during the high season.
3. Reine Rorbuer
This hotel is comprised of a collection of traditional Norwegian fishermen’s huts, or “rorbuer”, located at the entrance of the Reine Fjord in the Lofoten Archipielago. These seaside cottages have a rustic, traditional look with modern updates such as new beds and renovated kitchens where cooking your own freshly caught fish is part of the experience. Although it is located within the Artic Circle, Lofoten enjoys mild temperatures thanks to the warm waters brought in by the Gulf Current making it a unique place for watersports and other sea-related activities. You can paddle board in the crystalline waters of the fjord, dive and snorkel in Artic waters, surf in one of the northernmost surf spots in the world and kayak around the islands, fishing villages and fjords. Since Lofoten stands right in the middle of artic cod migration routes, you can rest assured that there’ll be no shortage of freshly caught fish on your plate.
8390 Reine, Norway. Two-bedroom cabins start at around 1.600 NOK/night.
4. Artic Panorama Lodge
This tiny lodge in the island of Uløya in northern Norway is six bedrooms large and is served and managed by the couple who owns it: Aud and Svein. It has a cozy and tranquil atmosphere with panoramic windows in the common areas and an outdoor deck offering spectacular views of the Lyngen Fjord, the Artic Ocean and, when the timing is right, the northern lights. Traditional Norwegian food is prepared is served in a simple dining room with a table that faces the fjord and, as expected from such a small hotel, service is extremely personable. The owners describe the experience being just “like visiting friends”. The hotel organizes a number of outdoor activities in and around the fjord such as fishing, dog sledding, skiing, midnight sun boat rides and an evening with the Sami people.
Skjervøy, Norway. Rooms start at 1.530 NOK/ per person per night.
5. Hotel Union Geiranger
Hotel Union Geiranger stands on the shore of the Geiranger Fjord and offers its guests the opportunity to swim, sail, hike and explore Norway’s most beautiful and famous fjord. Inside, large windows dominate common areas, while outside, an outdoor heated pool ensures a great spot to enjoy the views come wintertime. The hotel’s location in eastern Norway makes it the perfect base for day trips to Bergen, visiting the world-famous Trolltunga viewpoint, zigzagging across the Trollstigen road and exploring Norway’s spectacular eastern coastline.
If you’re still not convinced: the Geiranger Fjord and the nearby Nærøyfjorden have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites and are one of the few places in the world in which you can see waterfalls flowing directly into the ocean.
6216 Geiranger, Norway. Rooms start at 875 NOK/per person per night.
6. Sommarøy Artic Hotel
The Sommarøy Artic Hotel sits on a fishing village right the shores of the Norwegian Sea. It’s comprised of a collection of seaside cabins, apartments, traditional fishermen’s huts and a main building with smaller rooms. Cabins and rooms have modern and simple furnishings and large windows looking out to the sea and the fjord. Views of the northern lights are spectacular with little light pollution from the surrounding areas, no mountains to interrupt the sights and the reflections on the sea amplifying the experience. The Sommarøy enjoys a privileged location right by whale and fish migration routes and the hotel organizes boat tours where it its possible to watch from up close the killer whales and humpbacks that flock to the area between the months of November and January to feed on herring.
Skipsholmvegen 22, 9110 Sommarøy, Norway. Twin rooms start at 1.090 NOK/night.