There are all kinds of hotel categories: boutique hotels, eco hotels, heritage hotels, apartment hotels and capsule hotels, to name a few. (To say nothing of motels, hostels, lodges, resorts, inns, pensions, guest houses, flophouses, bunkhouses, bed and breakfasts, holiday cottages and caravanserai). But chances are you’ve never stayed at a “landscape hotel.” That’s because, chances are, you’ve never stayed at the cool Juvet Landscape Hotel near the village of Gudbrandsjuvet, Norway, a five-hour drive north from Oslo.
The landscape hotel category was virtually invented by the Juvet and the Norwegian architectural firm that designed it, Jensen & Skodvin. The idea was to create a hotel that’s minimalist in design, that blends into its environment and that offers amenities oriented outwards towards the surrounding nature.
The result? Staying at the Juvet is an outdoor lovers dream — and a window washer’s nightmare. The most striking feature of the accommodations are the enormous floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows. Each of the Juvet’s seven freestanding units have them. So does the hotel’s spa. So does the dinning room. And the windows aren’t simply there to let in light. Each is consciously angled towards a landscape view that’s pure nature.
Each window also has a comfy chair, couch or lounger in front of it. It’s virtually impossible to stay here and not spend long periods sitting and simply enjoying the spectacular view† — the hotel is designed such that no unit is visible from any other. Indeed, there’s almost nothing man made of any sort evident out of the Juvet’s panoramic windows! It’s all birch, pine and aspen, ferns, mossy rocks and mountain slopes, and the rushing Valldøla River that flows through it.
The window seats also hold appeal because there’s virtually nothing else in the guest rooms that do. The accommodations are sparely furnished. The beds, though comfortable, are unceremoniously tucked away into little nooks. (See pic, below). The bathrooms are basic. There’s a small desk with two seats, but they are literally built into a wall. The decor is dark and the lighting is poor — purposely so! — to keep the attention on the landscape outside.
When not sitting inside enjoying the nature, most guests at the Juvet Landscape Hotel spend their time outside — enjoying the nature. Hiking, rafting, skiing, zip lining, rock climbing and mountain biking are among the area’s offerings. The hotel also has a spa with a sauna, hot tub and steam rooms. There’s a wonderful communal deck with a whirlpool, fireplace and lounge chairs.
The vibe of the whole place is stress-free and friendly. As the Juvet’s proprietor — a gregarious, welcoming man — said in an interview: “I would love our guests to have a feeling that this is a fantastic place, that they had been visiting friends and that they had a very, very nice time. And that I am sorry that they had to pay for it.”
He completely pulls that off. Although his remorse at charging a price didn’t keep him from setting the room rate at a rather steep €323 per night (including breakfast). But then Norway in general is a very expensive country for travel. And only the Juvet is the world’s original landscape hotel.
† Spot Cool Stuff has a series of posts on the best view from hotel rooms in various locations. We were seriously tempted to make the Juvet our pick for Norway, except the best feature of the views in Norway are fjords and those are not within eyeshot of the Juvet Hotel.
Juvet Landscape Hotel: Panorama Window Photos
Planning your Juvet Hotel stay
When: The Juvet Hotel is closed from November to February. There are outdoor activities to be enjoyed year round too.
If you go: The Juvet is really the sort of place you need to rent a car to stay at. There’s absolutely no public transportation and there’s nothing but nature within walking distance (which is sort of the point).
Family friendly? Children are welcome, though there aren’t really any amenities geared towards them.
For your bookshelf: Made in Norway ← cool photo book
Juvet Landscape Hotel: Room Photos
Juvet Landscape Hotel: Property Photos
Juvet Landscape Hotel: Area Activities Photos
More from Spot Cool Stuff:
Elsewhere on the web: