I left Bergen with a feel of sweet anticipation. After hiking Preikestolen and visiting Bergen and its surroundings, I couldn’t wait to make my next travel dream come true. Staying in a fjord hotel in a place as much as remote, was the peak of my backpacking solo trip in Norway.
Fjord Hotel Norway – A Piece of Heaven
I left my hotel in the fresh morning air and reached quickly the bus station. And I waited and waited, and the bus didn’t come. It was Sunday; on Sundays, nothing works in Norway. Especially the information centres at public places like bus stations.
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Fortunately, the Norwegians are helpful people and with their guidance and a train trip, I reached Voss. Voss is another beautiful story but now I will only say that I had to wait five hours for a bus (again). At this point of my day trip, I started to get worried because I was not sure that I could reach the village of my next stay. I needed to take two buses and was not sure to be able to do the connection. The day was growing and I didn’t want to end up somewhere in the middle despite that Norway is one of the safest countries where I have travelled.
Arriving in Paradise
Expensive or not with roaming charges, I picked up the phone and called the hotel. Immediately I heard a friendly voice speaking in English. After a quick conversation, my fate was cleared. It was the hotel owner on the phone. He told me that if I couldn’t make the last stretch of the road (i.e. miss the last bus), he will come to pick me up. The distance was 30 km.
I was surprised but also released from the anxiety. I would get to this place that I have chosen for my escape for a day or two. I didn’t know yet that this place will be exactly that – a piece of heaven.
Finally, I made it. I reached the Fjaerland village by bus. The owner came to pick me up at the bus stop and even late for dinner, I was not left hungry that evening.
I fell in love with my hotel room instantly – small corner room with tiny bath and the most comfortable bed I have slept in decades. The interior was very Scandinavian – wood, faux animal skin, and few IKEA elements; simple but beautiful.
The rooms and bathrooms in this hotel are small. And no way to be otherwise as this hotel is old and has a history. The lack of space is totally compensated with the fjord vistas. Everyone is inevitably drawn to this view throughout his stay in this fjord hotel.
Fjaerland Fjordstue Hotel Location
Next morning, after the delicious breakfast, I spent the day wandering around and discovered what an amazing place I have found for myself. The Norwegian fjords attract people from all over the world not because they are extremely beautiful but also because people still live here. Unlike many other places in the world where life is centralised in the cities, the countryside in Norway is full of life and especially picturesque.
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At the time I booked my hotel stay I didn’t know much about the area. Just saw photos and knew that this is my type of spot. The only information I had was how to reach the village. And soon I realised that this is the most magical place in Norway! To share the magic with you, I wrote this article about Fjaerland. To see the area from a bird’s eye view, check this video made by Marcel Dezor.
Fjord Hotel Veranda/s
The two verandas were my favourite place in this small hotel. The closed porch was a comfy hall, lit by the sun throughout the day, with a piano in the middle as a centrepiece. Although beautiful, this piano couldn’t play a role of a focal point in the room as the fjord view was dazzling and immediately captivated the attention of any visitor. I imagine that during the long winters, this place is even more magical as it provides warmth and comfortable feeling beyond words can explain. Here are held the daily meetings before dinner that the owner Bard makes every evening introducing of the hotel and region to the newly arrived guests.
The deck on the hotel’s face to the fjord is simply arranged and painted in white. But it doesn’t need more decorations. At the moment you step out with your morning coffee, you forget about everything else and you stare at the impossible view around you with a true wonder. How is it possible this place to exist – so stunningly natural and beautiful, more impressive than a postcard photo altered by Photoshop?
The Dining/Breakfast Room of Fjaerland Fjordstue Hotel
Another lovely spot in this small but so charming hotel is the dining/breakfast room. Beautifully arranged décor incorporating earthy hues and elements from nature like plants on the windows and budding twigs in vases on the tables gives enough space but also creates a sense of intimacy for the hotel guests even when all tables are occupied and the room buzzing from excited talks.
Service and Beyond
I don’t want to sound like I’m selling you something. I was not paid to write this article. But I will tell you that here the word “hospitality” is applied in all its meanings, as it should be in all hotels around the world. Although this is a hotel, not a guest house, the feeling you get is as if you are visiting friends.
During my short stay, I could have contact with almost all of the staff, from the chef to the housekeeper. I could ask for coffee any time of the day and chat with the personnel freely. And they could take the time to answer my questions without worrying to be remarked as “losing their time”. Everyone was working and executing their duties in a very personal manner at their own pace. At the end of the day, the job was done and the guests are happy with the attitude towards them.
The Expert’s Opinion
As a graduated hotel manager and a person with quite good experience, I can only use one word for the service in Fjaerland Fjordstue Hotel: supererogatory; going beyond the requirements of duty.
I left the hotel with the impression that the people working here take their job so seriously and responsibly as if this hotel was their own venture, not a working place.
In Fjaerland Fjordstue Hotel the food is not just a way to survive the day. It is a philosophy. At breakfast, you will have the chance to taste the most delicious bread you have ever had at morning hours. It is black, it is packed with nuts and dry fruits and it is juicy and its taste luscious. This bread and some other of the foods you will try here are made in the hotel’s kitchen.
Gourmet Masterpieces Where You Don’t Expect
For dinner, the feast is even richer. It is not included in your fjord hotel accommodation rate and you need to make a reservation. It is not cheap too but is totally worth the money. For the pleasure of your senses, two young international chefs are working and making their best to create gourmet masterpieces with the availability of local produce and products from the hotel’s own garden. Every day there is a different menu and your food intolerances or allergies are taken into account. The result is – varied and memorable dining experience each evening of your stay.
Philosophy and Socially Responsible Activities
From serving local beer and using water from a local source to cooking with a local produce as much as possible, the philosophy of the hotel is oriented to a sustainable use of the resources by keeping a good contact with and helping local farmers to continue their activities.
The owners of this hotel, Bard and Linda, are people who in the past had well-paid jobs and lived many years abroad and later near the capital Oslo. Apparently, this was not making them happy and they found a life much more satisfactory when investing in this hotel, comfortably sitting on the fjord’s shore. As Bard himself said at one of the welcome meetings with hotel guests, “when we spend too much time abroad you become a national romantic. And this is how it looks like national romantic”, showed us the place that surrounded us.
Every aspect of the hotel management is handled with love for the people and humanely. Each hotel guest is welcomed with respect. The same applies to the attitude towards nature.
Three projects were developed with the help of the hotel’s owner and manager by the Western Norway Research Institute. They make researches on local food but one is even more interesting. It is about to find out if ‘short travel’ food is really more sustainable than food transported from afar. Example: is it more ecological to use lamb meat from Norwegian producers that to buy meat brought from Argentina? The study is not completed but as Bard said, it is possible that the use of food produced at adjacent farms is not more worthwhile because more resources are used for a production of smaller quantities of food.
If you plan to go to the magical Fjaerland (you should!) and stay in the adorable Fjaerland Fjordstue Hotel, you can book a room via Booking. And when you make it to Fjaerland, please say hello to everyone from me!
If you don’t have the chance to go there, at least like their Facebook page for more pictures and updates from this enchanting place.
Have you stayed in a hotel that does not feel like one? Have you felt a place so peaceful and crisp so you can go back to it in your mind every time you need serenity? For me, this place is Fjaerland and its fjord hotel. And the hotel’s porch. I just sorry that I don’t know how it looks like in winter. Maybe one day I will.
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