But still Classic, simple and in keeping with traditional architectural style. Juvet Landskapshotell, the first of its kind in Europe, has already become one of the most famous places to stay in Norway.
Hotel owner Knut Slinning has undoubtedly made his dream come true of creating a hotel that would bring rural Norway to international attention. Juvet is located in Valldal, on the old farm of Burtigarden, in the small village of Alstad, and consists of a few simple boxwood and glass buildings on a very steep river bank surrounded by a dramatic and untouched natural landscape. Even when the buildings are in place, they are still untouched, because trees, stones and bush remain wherever they were always. This is what Knut Slinning and the architects Jensen and Skodvin wanted to achieve; a hotel that blends with a beautiful landscape. This way, they could give people the opportunity to visit a protected area that would otherwise have been unavailable.
Amazing experience in tiny rooms
Seven landscape rooms and a spa area were opened to guests in 2010. Three years later, two more rooms were added, built in a slightly different way than the first seven. Some say they look like birdhouses because of the way they hang in the steep hill above the others. "We've tried to show how little we really need to feel happy and happy," says Slinning. The rooms are no more than eight square meters, but they have a good bed, a small settee, a shower and a toilet and large glass windows.
You can stay in the old houses of Burtigarden, too. The mill house, where grain was milled in the old days, is the smallest building on the property. Today, it's got a comfortable bed for one or two people, and not a lot more, but it's standing by the river and has probably the best view. Selet is an old mountain farmhouse with a bed for two, and a farmhouse with a kitchen, a bathroom and several bedrooms has been restored to its original design with the help of photographs from 1880. The cowshed has become a dining room and a living room with an open fireplace, the pigsty has been converted into a modern kitchen and the barn is used as restaurant, parties and dancing. Hotel owners are proud to have preserved the old houses in a way that creates life to an important part of Norway's cultural history. Nevertheless, only modern rooms are rented to individual guests; the farmhouse is only used for groups of more than twenty people.
"Sustainability does not only reduce our energy demand, but also ensures that the natural landscape is kept as it stands," says Knut Slinning. "It's a way of showing that we appreciate and accept that nature was here before us–and will still be here after us." That's why the first seven landscape rooms they designed were unique in many ways –constructed separately and spread across the landscape, like small cubes on stilts, all with glass fronts overlooking the gorge below. Each room is completely unique, but all of them have a magnificent view through one or two glass walls and a dark interior that won't draw attention away from the drama of nature taking place outside. Both rooms are specifically tailored to the landscape, which ensures that each room has its own exclusive view–a view that varies depending on the time of day, the environment and the season. The hotel owner compares it to sitting in an old fashioned gapahuk–a simple open-fronted shelter–but a much more luxurious one.
The hotel also has its own spa area built in the surface by the river, which is a few steps away, from the courtyard, in dark concrete and small rooms decorated with the finest color scheme. The front is a 15-metre-long glass pane facing the river as it takes a small detour to the hotel. We can only figure out how wonderful it is after a long day outside to relax here and regain your strength. In the subterranean spa there is a steam sauna and a chill-out space with a fireplace, a quiet room and perhaps the best of all–outdoors there is a hot tub that will certainly deliver magical moments surrounded by silent nature...