High on a hill in Glomset, Norway lies a little log cabin with hand crafted wooden walls and a traditional Norwegian turf roof. Storfjord Hotel is like something out of Scandinavian fairy tale…
But you won’t find any trolls here (I mean the Scandinavian folklore kind, not the Internet kind) instead you’ll encounter a beautiful boutique hotel nestled in a winter wonderland.
Fly into the port town of Ålesund on the West Coast of Norway, take a drive through the small town and it won’t long until you’re ascending the hills…
Taking in glorious views of Storfjord…
Before the view of the hotel’s turfed roof comes into sight.
Within approximately 45 minutes of touching down in Ålesund you’ll be at the door of the Storfjord Hotel. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of The World, this unique property is just a haven of hygge. As soon as you arrive you’re greeted by this gorgeous chalet style entrance at hotel’s main building – a wooden door to a world of wonders inside. Opening in 2007, the hotel originally had only 6 rooms and and availability for 12 guests. Fast forward to 2012 when 12 new suites, the grand Storfjord suite and two private dining rooms were added.
The hotel now extends over three buildings and our room was located around twenty steps from the main building – just turn right at the lamppost and keep an eye out for Mr Tumnus and the White Witch…
Getting dark early at this time of year it was also the perfect place to watch the light fade over Storfjord and Sunmøre Alps and witness the breathtaking sky.
The hotel is managed by the company 62°Nord who can tailor make an itinerary throughout the remote part of Northwest Norway and lead you to undiscovered places. The Storfjord is part of a portfolio of three including Hotel Brosundet in the centre of Ålesund and the historical Hotel Union Øye by the Norangsfjord. 62ºNord can organise a range of once-in-a-lifetime activities within proximity of these hotels.
I thought the hotel was the most beautiful from this angle and I loved the idea of incorporating the traditional turf or sod roof into the property. It’s a practice that’s been around for hundreds of years in Norway and they were first used to help stabilise the house and to provide insulation. I love the fact that it means the building blends seamlessly into the environment and the exterior of the Storfjord Hotel reminded me very much of one of my all time favourite hotels, Deplar Farm in Iceland.
But what makes this hotel truly special is the location and the incredible panoramic view of the Storfjord. Honestly, it was so beautiful that it seemed unreal – more like a painting than real life. There are actually six acres of private grounds and forest surrounding the hotel, the perfect place to go for a winter walk. And there’s something about the air in Norway, some of the cleanest and freshest I’ve ever experienced.
Our room, a junior suite with a fjord view, was clad in wood so that the sweet small of timber filled the air.
Our elegant four poster was topped with fluffy pillows and snuggly blankets though the room is fully heated against the winter chill.
A small comfortable seating area was just right to enjoy a hot chocolate in the evening…
Handcrafted furnishings, a desk, mini fridge and Nespresso machine finished off the necessities. There’s no TV in the room but the Storfjord bills itself as ‘a slow life hideaway,’ a place to relax, read your book, drink a glass of wine and catch up with a good friend.
A sizeable bathroom also walled in wood had a separate bath and shower with luxurious Ren products to enjoy during our stay.
Every room has a private balcony and you can opt for a forest or a fjord view, personally I think you stay here for the Fjord view and it’s certainly worth paying extra for that.
It was truly wonderful flinging open that balcony door in the morning, inhaling that fresh Norwegian air and taking in that marvellous view.
You cannot escape the current popularity of the Scandinavian word ‘hygge’ which perfect sums up the feel of Storfjord Hotel. It’s become some much a part of our vernacular that I’d sure you’re already aware that the Danish word can be roughly translated as a feeling of cosy contentment through enjoying the simple things in life. Whether that’s enjoying a mug of hot chocolate, pulling on a pair of cashmere socks or enjoying the warmth of a fire – it’s all part the slow life experienced at Storfjord.
From the moment you step into the hotel, you’re greeted by warm wood, soft furnishing, candles and green apples, all of which add to that Hygge feel. Not to mention the smiles of the fantastic staff of Storfjord Hotel who were some of the friendliest people we met. I will say one word about the service and that’s when we arrived we had to carry our cases through the snow and up the stairs to our room. I would advise you to manage expectations as service levels are not quite high as in other countries BUT the team were fantastic at organising transportation for us, bringing drinks to the room and were very flexible about dietary requirements.
The main dining room is Hygge heaven too, meals are taken by candlelight and a roaring fire burns all day.
As you can see despite the hotels cute and quaint exterior, inside is a designers dream! Modern and clean lines that define Scandi-style blend with cosy cushions, candle sticks, sheepskin blankets and elegant antiques. The result is this gorgeous yet simple room that doesn’t detract from dramatic view of the Fjord that can be viewed from the huge picture windows.
I was a little worried as I knew that Storfjord served only a four course set menu for dinner but I needn’t have feared as the food at The Storfjord is an absolute highlight – which is fortunate as you’d have to drive quite far back to Ålesund for alternative restaurants.
Theresa is quite particular about food so each day we asked what would be on the menu for the evening and the chefs were very flexible with her dietary requirements. The first night we were greeted with homemade bread which was different for every meal and always accompanied by the most delicious creamy butter.
On the first night was savoured a delicious beef carpaccio.
I loved the second course of salmon croquettes but as Theresa doesn’t like salmon, a cheese platter was suggested instead. You should have seen her eyes light up! All the food comes from the very best local producers and the hotel is particularly famous for the fine collection of cheese from local producers.
Norwegian eat a very fish-heavy diet (like me!) and we absolutely loved the monkfish with mashed potatoes.
Yet still found room for a vanilla panacotta.
The next day saw a starter of warming celery soup and bacon with a second course of traditional Norwegian salt cod.
A main course of duck with risotto was perfectly cooked and we ended with a cheese cake. I loved that despite the fact we had a set menu, there was so much variety and it was all so fresh and seasonal.
Breakfast is a small but perfectly formed buffet (regular readers will know this is my preference over too much choice) and the chef will make egg dishes to order.
If you’re not out adventuring, you can eat lunch in the hotel too. On offer are toasted sandwiches, soups, fresh salad and omelettes, food that will warm your heart and comfort your soul just like the hygge tradition espouses.
Once you’ve finished a meal you can head to the hotel’s snuggly lounge, finish off with a hot chocolate, take a book off the shelf or warm your feet by the fire.
The main building of The Storfjord Hotel is small but as well as the dining room and lounge there are meeting and conference facilities – perfect for a team away day with a beautiful view included.
Theresa had wanted to do something relaxing for her surprise birthday trip and when I read about the Storfjord Hotel on Polly’s blog, I knew it would be just the thing! And you can’t get much more relaxing than a spa.
And at The Storfjord the spa is fully equipped with comfy relaxation areas and a sauna. But best of all…
Is the outdoor hot tub… is there seriously anything more exhilarating than stepping into some warm water with a glass of bubbly in hand while the air is freezing cold and you’re surrounded by snow? There’s a glorious view of the mountains from the hotel’s jacuzzi too.
If you are looking for something a little more adventurous than sitting by the fire and eating delicious food, then 62ºNord can organise a host of activities. We chose to do a Fjord Cruise to Geirangerfjord but you can also go hiking, fishing, enjoy a local food farm or even take a helicopter ride. If you love skiing Strandafjellet Ski Resort, Norway’s most beautiful ski resort, is only an hour by car from Storfjord Hotel.
We had just two nights at Storfjord Hotel and I would advise coming for a little longer if you’re heading there from outside of Norway as it is remote so travel time (if you’re not on Narnian time) is extensive but it’s so so worth it when you get there. Our stay there past so quickly but part of the hygge concept is about acknowledging a simple special moment and there’s nothing quite clinking a glass in a beautiful place with a very good friend.
Big thank you to Polly from Follow Your Sunshine for the travel inspiration!
PIN FOR LATER:
Getting There: We flew to Oslo with British Airways and on to Ålesund with SAS. The hotel around a 45 minute drive from airport.
Tel: +47 70 27 49 22