Norway’s Best Fjord Hotels

October 27, 2014 by

Europe, Places to Go, Travel Advice & Inspiration

Mother Nature bestowed on earth one of her greatest opuses when she carved into Norway’s stunning coastline to create deep glacial inlets filled with sapphire blue water and bookended with alpine scenery. Norway’s fjords are some of the longest, deepest and most beautiful in the world, including Sognefjord at 204 kilometers (126 miles) in length, and a depth of 1,300 meters (4,200 feet), and appeal to anyone who marvels at the wonders found around our planet.

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The stunning Sogneford. Photo Credit: Kamil Porembi?ski via Flickr.

Hurtigruten, Norway’s original coastal ferry-turned-cruise ship, has been dubbed the world’s most beautiful sea voyage thanks to a year-round, north-south itinerary that weaves through various fjords and islands, while skimming past postcard worthy towns. But while seeing the entire coastline by sea packs a powerful and picturesque punch, it also whets the appetite for an up close experience from solid ground.

Luckily there are myriad hotels and inns in Norway that make perfect jumping off points for discovering these natural wonders, most with easy access to Norway’s most beautiful natural masterpieces. Whether they sit with their feet in the blue-green waters, offer unbeatable onsite amenities, or are far perched in the sky with killer views, these 10 hotels are worth adding to any list — bucket, dream or must-see.

1.Nes Gard Inn

Nes Gard -- the lodge, view to the fjord.

Nes Gard — the lodge, view to the fjord.

Situated in the Luster region at the end of the Sognefjord, this small family hotel, open from May-September, makes a great pied-a-terre for get-out-and-go types.

The inn has been around since 1820 and is surrounded by numerous marked hiking and walking trails that can be taken on your own or with a guide, thanks to the hotel’s “Follow the Fjords” hiking program that leads visitors to such wonders like Feigumfossen Waterfall, one of the highest in Scandinavia, and Urnes Stave church, the oldest of 30 medieval churches left in Norway and listed by UNESCO. Kayak and motorboat rentals can also be arranged.

There are 16 rooms in three buildings, all with private bathrooms. Rooms start at $198 for a double room. Half-board pricing is $137 per person, per night, if staying three nights or more, and includes breakfast and a three-course dinner.

2. Gloppen Hotel

Gloppen Hotel. Photo courtesy of Oskar Andersen-Gloppen Hotell

Gloppen Hotel. Photo courtesy of Oskar Andersen-Gloppen Hotell

If you’re looking for stellar Nordic cuisine in an intimate setting with a heaping side of jaw-dropping scenery, then the historic Gloppen Hotel will not disappoint. So well-known is the award-winning kitchen that that Norwegians from all over the country head to Sundane Village and the Gloppen Hotel just for a meal.

Located at the innermost shores of the Gloppen Fjord, the hotel opened back in 1866 as a guesthouse for the droves of anglers attracted by the abundant trout and salmon, and it remains a premier fishing destination today. Get your own permit at reception and have a go in the surrounding lakes (there are over 100 of them), or book a hike, glacier walk or kayak with a local guide.

The hotel’s 62 rooms are split into two types: historic doubles with antique furnishings and Scandanavian style rooms with clean modern lines. All enjoy modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi and satellite TV. The hotel closes during Christmas. Rates from  $187 for a standard double room, including breakfast.

3. Lindstrom Hotel 

The charming Lindstrom Hotel.

The charming Lindstrom Hotel.

Opened in 1845, the same family continues to run the Lindstrom Hotel today, bestowing on all who come a warm and hospitable welcome. Its idyllic setting in the Sognefjord means visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to discovering Norway’s fjord fantasyland, whether they visit the nearby village of Lærdal, filled with postcard-worthy clapboard buildings, or book a ride on the Flåm Railway, often called one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. The Nærøyfjord is close too, as is the Borgund Stave Church. The 86 rooms of the hotel have a varied décor, some modern, others more traditional, but each is equipped with a private bath, telephone and a TV, and start from $102 per person, per night in a double room, including breakfast.

4. Walaker Hotel

Walaker Hotel courtesy of Terje Rakke-Nordic Life AS-Fjord Norway (1)

Walaker Hotel. Photo courtesy of Terje Rakke-Nordic Life AS.

Talk about tradition! The hotel has been run by the same family since 1690, and is the oldest family-run hotel in Norway. There are 23 traditionally decorated rooms, some with charming claw foot tubs, spread over three buildings, and an onsite art gallery boasts a rotating collection of Norwegian artists.

The Walaker Hotel is surrounded by some of Norway’s most sublime scenery in the town of Solvorn at the edge of the Luster Fjord. The hotel has its own beach as well as a tranquil, flower-filled garden for reading or gawking.

Check with reception for tips on the numerous walking tours in the area, or take an excursion to the oldest stave church in the world, built in 1130 above the hamlet of Urnes. Doubles from around $45 to $71 per person per night for a double, including breakfast.

5. Hotel Union Oye 

Hotel Union Oye courtesy of Terje Rakke-Nordic LIfe AS-Fjord Norway (1)

Hotel Union Oye. Photo courtesy of Terje Rakke-Nordic LIfe AS.

If ever there were a case to be made for the journey being as good as the destination then getting to this 27-room hotel near the Norangsfjord in the village of Oye is it. Whether you take the express boat from Ålesund or drive across Strynefjell and along the Norangsdalen Valley, the scenery is a showstopper at every turn. Royals have succumbed to the surrounding beauty as have authors Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) and Sir Anthony Conan Doyle, famous creator of Sherlock Holmes.

Each of the rooms is named for a notable guest who has visited, and is individually decorated with choice antiques and luxurious touches. If you can pull yourself away from the exquisite rooms, garden chairs, and decadent dining table, take a challenging, all-day hike to the summit of Slogen, elevation 5131 feet, where you’ll be rewarded with a stunning panorama over the Sunnmøre Alps and the fjords. Rates from $308 per room, including breakfast. Open mid-May to mid-December.

6. Engo Gard 

Engo Gard looks gorgeous at any time of day.

Engo Gard looks gorgeous at any time of day.

The town of Tjøme, Norway is really a dot of an island in a pristine inlet on the Oslo fjord coastline, but it’s big on charm and lures travelers with numerous sheltered harbors and pristine waterways, especially in summer when nearly 24 hours of daylight means boating, kayaking, fishing and swimming well into the wee hours.

Rumor has it that King Harald of Norway likes to summer in Tjome, but you need not be royal to enjoy the understated luxury at Engo Gard, a former farm-turned-top-notch hotel. Its indoor heated pool (converted from an old barn) is luxurious in winter and fresh seasonal meals sourced from local vendors are the hallmark of the renowned restaurant that draws diners from the capital of Oslo and around the region.

The 15 spacious guest rooms and nine suites are all individually decorated in warm, vibrant colors. Various packages are available depending on room level and season, but the most popular includes standard accommodations, daily afternoon tea, a five-course gourmet dinner, and breakfast and starts at $234 per person, per night. The hotel closes during Christmas.

7. Kviknes Hotel

Kviknes Hotel, photo courtesy of hotel

Kviknes Hotel, photo courtesy of hotel

Ideally located beside the Sognefjord in Balestrand, a country village from which three branches of the fjord stretch, the Kviknes Hotel, run by Kvikne family since 1877, is one of the largest tourist hotels in Norway with 190 rooms. But there is a decidedly intimate feel throughout the hotel, in part thanks to the extensive art and antique collection, at the heart of which are works from various Norwegian artists for whom scenic Balestrand was the muse. A catalogue with information about the artworks and the artists is available to hotel guests.

The hotel has numerous price points, thanks to its size, but the hiking and biking packages that include half-board (breakfast and dinner), bike rental, and maps are a great deal at $219 per person, per night.

8. Storfjord Hotel

Storjfjord guest room.

Storjfjord guest room.

This secluded luxury hotel is open year round and drips with a cozy log cabin appeal Situated in Øvre Glomset, just about 20 miles east of the pretty port town of Ålesund, and perched on a hillside overlooking the Storfjord and the Sunnmøre Alps, Storfjord Hotel was hand built in the Lafta style (like a log home).

There are 23 spacious rooms, including one suite, and each is individually furnished, with the warmth you’d expect form a cozy cabin in the mountains. The surrounding area is meant for walking or hiking, and the hotel offers trail maps. You can also pick up a bicycle, fishing gear or hire a kayak or row boat.

Sjorjfjord guest room inside.

The kitchen serves up meals from the abundant fresh local produce, meat and seafood found in the region, and the wine selection includes elixirs from around the world, all enjoyed in a candle-lit dining hall that is the epitome of a romantic Norwegian oasis. Doubles from $308 and includes breakfast.

9. Hotel Ullensvang

A tradition of hospitality remains 160 years after first opening its doors to travelers and the historic hotel is still run by the Utne family today. The large complex is a marvel for families or large groups thanks to numerous room configurations, conference facilities and onsite amenities that let you be as active or as relaxed as you’d like.

The indoor pool and sauna with views over the spectacular Hardanger Fjord are a treat in winter, as is the indoor tennis court, squash, pool, table tennis, fitness room and golf simulator. Or get out and discover what Norway is known for: its spectacular natural wonders. Bring your camera and energy on a more strenuous six-hour trek along on Her Majesty Queen Sonja’s Panoramic Hiking Trail. The beginning is just 10 minutes from the hotel and the journey will tease your eyes with glorious views to the South Fjord into Odda, the Folgefonna glacier; Eidfjord, towards the Hardanger Bridge; and more.

Rates vary by season and room style, from $265 per double room to $390 for a balcony room, including breakfast. The hotel closes during Christmas.

10. Alexandra Hotel

Alexandra. Photo courtesy of Hotel Alexandra.

Alexandra. Photo courtesy of Hotel Alexandra.

A family-run hotel located in the inner reaches of Nordfjord, here the green-blue waters beckon boaters, fishermen and swimmers to dive in and feel the beauty of Norway. The hotel offers numerous excursions to nearby glaciers, such as Bricksdal, or can arrange boat outings on mountain lakes, bike rentals, or even summer skiing if that’s your calling.

Onsite, the Alexandra Bath and Spa are the ultimate in well-being and relaxation. An outdoor pool and sundeck overlooking the fjord is mesmerizing, and families will love the indoor pool, fountains and waterslide. Spa treatments for mom and dad are also available. Standard double rooms with breakfast start at about $172 per person, per night and include access to the bath and spa.

 – Contributed by Kimberley Lovato

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