Cruise Through the Norwegian Fjords to the Kviknes Hotel

Nestled in a fjord in the Norwegian village of Balestrand, the Kviknes Hotel[1] is a luxurious hideaway that boasts idyllic views and an expansive art collection. The hotel–Sognefjord’s first–has remained in the Kvikne family since its founding in 1877, and has expanded to reach its current capacity of 190 rooms: 25 in the historic chalet-style building overlooking the fjord, and 165 in the modern extension building. Kaiser Wilhelm II famously stayed at the hotel during the outbreak of WWI, and Kviknes has since hosted Hollywood actors and international diplomats alike.

Throughout the hotel’s spacious wooden rooms are works by prominent Norwegian artists such as Hans Dahl, Hans F. Gude and Johannes Flintoe. These artists were guests of the hotel or residents of the village, united by their artistic interest in Balestrand as a source of inspiration.

Prints, photographs and paintings of Norway’s lush scenery hang facing the fjord, evoking picturesque landscapes when the view is shrouded in fog.

Winding paths lead hotel guests on picturesque walks through the residential village streets of Balestrand.Veena McCoole Arguably the most striking of the hotel’s several fjord-facing rooms is the Hoyvik Room, whose tables, chairs, doorways and mirror frames represent the life’s work of craftsman Ivar Hoyvik. Hoyvik’s wood carvings, inspired by Norse mythology, can be found on Discount Holidays © holiday homes and villas across Balestrand where he lived with his wife.

The craftsman studied under Hans Dahl, another artist whose work is on display at the hotel. In the Hoyvik room also hangs a tapestry made by Hoyvik’s daughter, Astrid. Crackling fireplaces and cosy armchairs lure guests to while away their afternoons with a good book, pausing only to capture the fading light on the mountains–or sample an indulgent dessert from the bistro.

The famous Hoyvik Room is filled with handcrafted wooden furniture.Veena McCoole

Balestrand is an oasis of peace and quiet, offering a few hiking routes, fishing excursions and boat trips to nearby attractions such as the famous Flamsbana railway and the Naeroyfjord: the narrowest fjord in the world and a UNESCO Heritage Site. Approximately a four-hour boat ride from Bergen, Balestrand is located centrally on the Sognefjord, where three branches of the fjord stretch further inland. The Kviknes hotel offers rental bikes and guided mountain tours upon request, as well as transport services to and from other hotels within the De Historiske[2] family of premium historic hotels in Norway.

The village is quiet and largely residential; a short stroll away from the hotel revealed two supermarkets and a handful of restaurants closed for the remainder of the year.

The hotel was built in the Swiss-chalet style, with a modern extension of conference rooms and further hotel accommodation located behind the historic building.Kviknes Hotel Thankfully, Kviknes is renowned for its delectable local specialties and exceptional service. Every evening the hotel offers a dinner buffet, a 4-course menu or an a-la-carte alternative at the Balholm Bar and Bistro.

With an extensive list of over three hundred wines, Kviknes offers guests a carefully selected wine to complement their meal. Patrons are offered the best of Norway’s delectable seafood: a particularly memorable dish was cod served with cauliflower puree, burnt cauliflower, slices of pear and topped with olives and capers.

Sunlit rooms are filled with plush furniture for guests to lounge and take in panoramic views of the fjord.Kviknes Hotel While Norway in October consists of more rain than sun, every now and again the fog lifts to reveal snow-capped mountains against blue skies.

Pack a waterproof jacket to experience Norway’s lush tranquility at this perfect, off-peak time of year, albeit at slightly chillier temperatures.

Follow Veena McCoole[3] on Instagram[4] and Twitter[5].

References

  1. ^ Kviknes Hotel (www.kviknes.com)
  2. ^ De Historiske (www.dehistoriske.com)
  3. ^ Veena McCoole (veenamccoole.com)
  4. ^ Instagram (www.instagram.com)
  5. ^ Twitter (twitter.com)

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