Tucked away on a remote mountainside in the heart of western Norway is a hotel out of the ordinary...
It’s been fifty kilometers since the last gas station and our photographer is getting seriously worried we might run out of gas. The last stretch up Trollstigen (the Trolls’ Path), the famous serpentine road with its hairpin bends has taken its toll on our mileage. As the car struggles with the steep inclines, we are blessed with views of the dramatic landscape that unfolds beneath us.
Besides a lonely tractor we haven’t seen another car for the past hour, yet somewhere between the town of Åndalsnes (pop. 2244) and Valldal (pop. 997) is our destination and the unlikely location of one of Europe’s best kept secrets – the Juvet Landscape Hotel. As we drive down the graveled path we are greeted with a view of the 16th century farmstead that serves as the hotel’s kitchen, reception and restaurant. It stands in stark contrast to the rest of the hotel – the seven glass-faced minimalist cabins designed by Jensen & Skodvin are nestled between the looming mountains, all facing the icy blue water of the Valldøla river.
The layout of the hotel is tailored to the local topography, each cabin facing a different view of the surrounding nature. Inside, they are austere. A lamp, a bed and two designer chairs, all in various shades of brown and grey – nothing to distract you from enjoying the view. It comes with some quirky features as well, like the canary yellow bathroom and the little slat above your bed that you can open to hear the rush of the river below.
This fusion of modern architecture and closeness to nature is close at heart to us, as our own designs draw inspiration from both. The luxury you find at Juvet isn’t the glitzy champagne-filled kind. It’s a much more subtle and rare luxury – to share a moment in time surrounded by nature, being able to do some quiet reflection. A hotel that will not intrude upon nature, but rather exist in harmony with the landscape of which it is a part.
The aesthetic undeniably resonates with our own - the clean lines of the understated architecture. The fusion of glass, steel and natural materials providing endless inspiration. And as we prepare for the journey home we find ourselves longing for a last glimpse of the river running through the gorge.