Juvet hotel’s rooms with a view
“Cabin” in the woods: Contemporary design meets nature
Norwegian American Weekly
Nestled within the mountains of Alstad in Valldal lies Europe’s first landscape hotel. A historic farmyard provides the setting for the peaceful Juvet Landscape Hotel.
The idea for Juvet Landscape Hotel first began in 2005 when a farmer asked Knut Slinning if he wanted to buy the Burtigarden farm, saying “You who likes this area so much, would you like to buy Burtigarden?” Snilling had a cabin in the area and had spent two decades wandering the beautiful landscape of Valldal. He accepted the offer, and immediately began working on the five-year project that would become Juvet Landscape Hotel.
The project was a success, and the hotel was opened in 2010. At Juvet, guests are invited to book one of the nine minimalist cabins integrated into the breathtaking mountainside and escape into the serenity of the environment. Jensen & Skodvin Architects designed the original seven landscape double rooms to draw attention to the surrounding nature, featuring simple, dark interiors and floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows. The focus is directed at the outdoors, and no two rooms are alike.
As Slinning explains to Scanorama, “We don’t want anything to compete with the view. If there are no distractions it is completely natural to look out the river and the mountains. Nobody has ever asked for drapes, and if they did, they wouldn’t get any.”
Two single rooms—called the “bird-nesting boxes”—have since been built in the steep slopes above the landscape rooms in a stabbur-style construction (Norwegian log buildings for storing food). The windows aren’t quite as big in these rooms, but they are placed to provide the most interesting views possible. Dedicated to preserving the environment, Juvet built all of the rooms without chopping down trees or blasting out rocks; the rooms are meant to showcase the nature, not alter it.
The same goes for the spa, set in a cave-like area built into the ground, which features a steam room, an outdoor hot tub, an open gathering area with a fireplace, and more. It is the perfect space to relax with friends and fellow guests after a long day of hiking or skiing.
Juvet also embraces the land’s origins as the Burtigarden farm—once one of Norddal’s largest farms—and incorporates the historical buildings into the guest experience: the barn is used for dining, the mountain cabin and mill house are additional guest rooms, and the restored 1870s farmhouse is reserved for large gatherings.
Guests are invited to the barn for a 9:00 breakfast of cereal and bread with jam, scrambled eggs, and smoked salmon along with coffee and local apple juice. Most visitors are out exploring the area during lunchtime but return for the three-course dinner at 8:00. The meal varies according to season and the availability of ingredients, of course, but a sample dinner might include a starter of lightly smoked whale meat, a main course of reindeer or wild salmon, and a dessert of local strawberries and pastries.
With such an incredible location in the Møre og Romsdal county (less than an hour east from Ålesund), it is only natural that travelers want to spend their afternoons exploring. The “Norwegian Big Five” is specially recommended by Juvet: skiing, hiking, wilderness camping, rafting, and visiting a protected mountain farm. Additional activities for the outdoor enthusiast include kayaking, fishing, and canyoneering. Whatever the outdoor passion, it’s most likely available in the Valdall area. Other popular attractions in the area include visiting the waterfall at the Gudbrandsjuvet gorge, learning about geology and biological diversity in Tafjord, and taking the ferry to the World Heritage site of Geiranger Village.
Slinning is thankful for Norway’s National Tourist Routes project, a national project devoted to working with architects to create modern and interesting viewpoints along Norwegian roads. The project brought him together with the Jensen & Skodvin Architects and ultimately allowed for the creation of Juvet Landscape Hotel.
The former economics teacher refers to Juvet as his “Soria Moria,” referring to the Norwegian fairytale symbolizing the journey to happiness. He is eager to share his passion for this northwestern Norwegian location with travelers: “Now I want to share what I have with all of those who are curious about what we stand for in our exotic ‘corner of the world.’ A lot of work has gone into getting to where we are today, but there is so much pleasure in taking care of people who really appreciate what we have and what we stand for,” says Slinning.
To learn more about Juvet Landscape Hotel or book a stay, visit www.juvet.com.
This article originally appeared in the May 29, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.