Fall has reached the mountains of Norway, and every year around this time, we are pondering to book an end of year-escape to Juvet. This spectacular hotel lies in the middle of nowhere in the farmstead of Burtigarden farm at Alstad in Valldal, on a steep, natural levee amongst birch, aspen, pine trees and age-old boulders.
Juvet calls itself a ‘Landscape Hotel’, and it’s easy to see why. Modern architecture meets the natural landscape and shows that contemporary design can go hand in hand with local building traditions and good, old-fashioned craftsmanship.
The hotel features nine rooms, separated by trees and landscape, each with a unique perspective on the rugged hills. If that’s too lonely for you, you can also choose to stay in the old buildings of the farm: the mill house, the barn and the authentically restored farmhouse. Meals are served communally to all guests in the old barn.
But the seven (double) landscape rooms are really the stars. Architects Jensen & Skodvin envisioned a landscape hotel that would blend in with the natural environment. The results are seven small cubes on stilts, with glass walls that offer each space a striking view of the valley, the river, the courtyard or the dramatic gorge below.
It captures the feeling of being in the wild – while being far more luxurious. No two rooms are alike, but they all have a dark interior to avoid stealing focus from the scenery.
Two new single rooms called the ‘bird houses’ are fashioned in a more minimalist architectural style than the first landscape rooms, constructed in the manner of the ‘stabburet’, a traditional Norwegian log house originally used for food storage. The structures resemble bird houses gently placed on the steep slopes above the other landscape rooms. Although they are no bigger than eight square meters, they provide a comfortable bed, a small sofa bench, a shower and a toilet. The interior is light and pleasant, with large windows designed to let nature in. Smaller windows provide stunning glimpses of the world outside. From the bed, you can look out on the mountainside, just inches away.
Juvet offers a spa area built into the land by the river, featuring a steam room, an outdoor hot tub and a beautiful relaxation area with an open fireplace. And even if you’re far away from civilization, there is wi-fi in every room. It’s up to you whether you use that, of course. We probably wouldn’t.
Juvet Landscape Hotel // Alstad // Valldal // website
Images // Knut Bry (11)