Siri Løining loves hotels and has turned her passion into a job. She used to work as a hotel manager at the Grand Hotel in Oslo, but now she runs her own PR company, Story Days. As a sideline she writes hotel reviews for magazines such as KK. Here are her top tips on hotels where you and your loved one can cozy up in beautiful surroundings, both indoors and outside.
Juvet Landscape Hotel
This hotel is a blend of raw Norwegian nature, history and modern architecture. You really get a sense of being at one with nature,” Løining tells Scandinavian Traveler.“You can have a nice romantic time with your loved one here completely undisturbed.”The hotel has nine rooms and a spa area with a view of the river and is situated in the farmstead of Burtigarden farm at Alstad in Valldal. The rooms are built as cubes on stilts, with one or two of the walls made from glass, offering stunning views of the mountains and the gorge below. The hotel itself describes the rooms as ‘luxurious lean-tos’. The complex was designed by architects Jensen & Skodvin.
Stay in the heart of nature at the Juvet Landscape Hotel. Photo: Per Eide
“This luxurious complex on the town beach in Larvik is actually a spa with hotel rooms,” Løining says. Farris spa has rooms with views of the fjord and when you’re not cozying up together in bed or on the balcony, you can choose from a range of spa treatments. You can swim in the sea or ponds, take a sauna or have a body scrub. Yoga sessions are available if you want to stretch your limbs. Afterwards, enjoy an excellent dinner and a healthy breakfast.
This hotel in the center of Ålesund has 46 rooms and a lighthouse. Molja Lighthouse has been dubbed the “Love Room” and is situated on a jetty five minutes from the hotel. It has an area of just 6m2, so, as Løyning says, if you’re not already in love with each other when you arrive, you will be by the time you leave. Breakfast is delivered to your door in the morning. Every room is a seamless blend of history and modern architecture, designed by the Snøhetta firm of architects. The staff take good care of their guests and serve up delicious food – even if you arrive late at night. Ålesund is a great base for exploring the beautiful fjords. Want a wow experience? Take a helicopter trip around the Sunnmøre Alps
“It’s all about rustic romance here,” Løyning says.The hotel is situated on the Sognefjellsveien mountain road, around 15km west of Lom and has been a coaching station since 1858. Røisheim consists of 14 protected buildings with 24 wonderful rooms. Some have a fireplace, others a four-poster bed or a wooden bathtub. The hosts want everyone to experience the tranquility of nature, so there are no TVs or radios in the rooms, although it is possible to get WiFi access. Røisheim is run by chef Eirik Teigum, who has previously worked at Bølgen & Moi and knows all about good food.
A 24-hour stay at The Thief at Tjuvholmen right next to Aker Brygge in Oslo is like having a weekend away in Rome. It feels just like staying abroad. First off, the rooms are all luxurious and beautifully decorated. The service is fabulous wherever you are in the hotel. And you can have breakfast in bed at all hours. Guests’ dogs even get their own beds, bowls and toys. The Thief is the only Norwegian hotel in the Design Hotels group of 200 hotels worldwide, with membership only open to hotels with a challenging and innovative architecture or design. The hotel’s sophisticated rooms are the work of interior designer Anemone Wille Våge.
Check in at The Thief at Tjuvholmen in Oslo and order a bottle of champagne and something nice to eat. Or try the hotel’s excellent seafood restaurant. Photo: The Thief
“This has always been one of my favorite hotels,” Løyning says.It’s also a place steeped in history. It was Frithjof Pihl and his sister Daisy who first opened the guesthouse in Tjøme in 1924. He later married one of his British guests, Dorothy Grace Babington, who put her own stamp on the place. She felt it was important to create an atmosphere where fashionable guests could feel confident that their privacy was protected. Today, packages are available for a room with lunch, afternoon tea and dinners ranging from two to seven courses. They also host concerts here.
“This hotel is a good 130km from Bergen and is quite simply a gem,” Løining says.The hotel was established by Hans Utne back in 1846. He was only 17 years old at the time and he started off by renting out his own bed in a boathouse. Today it’s run by the fifth generation of Utnes in the form of Hans Edmund Harris Utne and his Swiss wife Barbara Zanoni Utne. And nowadays you get much more than just a bed, including fantastic outdoor pools where you can swim against the backdrop of the fjord and surrounding mountaintops. You can enjoy the same views from all of the rooms too of course.
Hotel Ullensvang in Lofthus has both bathing and rugged mountains. Photo: Gunn Gravdal Elton
The man behind this complex of huts on the island of the same name near Steigen in Nordland is polar explorer Børge Ousland. What is most striking is the design of the huts, which open out to the sea – with only eagles for company. Award-winning architects Stinessen arkitektur of Tromsø are behind the design. The food here includes seafood, reindeer, moose, fowl and wild sheep. Perhaps spare a thought for the fishermen who used to stop off and trade here, evidence of which can still be found.