Juvet Landscape Hotel – a synthesis of raw Norwegian nature, cultural history and modern architecture.
The first landscape hotel in Europe is situated in the farmstead of Burtigarden farm at Alstad in Valldal, on a steep, natural levee amongst birch, aspen, pine and age-old boulders.
In this little village in rural Norway, modern architecture encounters the natural and cultural landscape – and shows that the modern and innovative can go hand in hand with local building traditions and good, old-fashioned craftsmanship.
The hotel consists of nine detached rooms that are sited separately, each with a unique perspective on the rugged landscape. In addition, there is the opportunity to stay in the old buildings on the farm – the mill house, the barn and the authentically restored farmhouse – while meals are served communally in the old barn.
The seven first landscape rooms
The seven first landscape rooms are double rooms, built individually into the landscape.
The architects Jensen & Skodvin envisioned a landscape hotel that would blend in with the natural environment. The result is 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 a lean-to – whilst being far more luxurious.
While no two rooms are alike, all the rooms have a dark interior to avoid stealing focus from the scenery. Apart from the little bathroom, of course. Here the sun shines even in the middle of the winter!
«I'm entirely too modest to walk around naked, even when I'm alone. But the first thing I wanted to do after closing the door of my cabin at the Juvet Landscape Hotel was shed anything that separated me from nature.»
Steve – guest and journalist from the US, Afar Magazine
The two new single rooms – or “birdhouses” – 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 as a food store.
The structures resemble birdhouses gently placed on the steep slopes above the other landscape rooms.
We have tried to highlight how little we actually need to achieve a sense of well-being. The rooms are no bigger than 8 square metres in total, but 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 centimetres away. This close to nature, perhaps you can even see the moss growing?
The bathing area is a tranquil and refreshing spa built into the land by the river, invisible from the farmyard, but still only a few short steps away.
It is a welcome bliss to relax here after a skiing trip or a walk – or perhaps after a long journey.
The spa area itself is in dark concrete, but the small rooms are painted in beautiful colours to conjure up the impression of being in a cave. The facade is a 15 metre-long glass sheet facing the flowing river as it winds its way up under Juvet. It is as though the river is graciously greeting us here while en route towards the fjord 15 kilometres below.
The bathing facilities
- Steam room
- Showers and dressing rooms
- Outdoor hot tub
- Relaxation area with open fireplace for formal and informal gatherings
- Quiet room where you can enjoy the river running by
We don’t rent out the old farmhouse to individuals. This venue is mainly used for large gatherings, such as weddings, anniversaries, company gatherings or other arrangements for guests with a common interest during their stay.
We are just as proud of having taken care of the old farmhouse as we are of having created new buildings. This enables us to showcase an important share of the cultural history of this part of Norway.
The farmhouse was built in the 1870s, and it was a major challenge to restore it to its authentic, former appearance. Luckily, we discovered a photograph from around 1880, which enabled us to recreate the original style of the exterior. While we have stayed true to the traditional style, we have modified the house’s interior so that it also meets the requirements of a modern, functional dwelling.
The farmhouse has a kitchen, bathroom and several bedrooms.
The 100 year-old farm building in Burtigarden has been restored and rebuilt, giving the old rooms new functions:
- The cow byre is a dining room and sitting room with an open fire.
- The pigsty is the kitchen.
- There are premises for parties and dancing in the barn.
- The old hay store where feed for animals used to be stored has been turned into a “lounge” area.
The mountain cabin
The newly located old mountain cabin in the orchard has beds for two people.
The people who tended the cattle, goats and sheep in days gone by lived in cabins or chalets like these when they were up at the summer mountain pasture. They were sometimes very young – some of the girls were not more than ten years old when they were tasked with this important job. Transhumance farming was once vital to the farm economy, but times have changed and the practice ceased around 1950.
The mill house
The smallest house on the farm is the mill house, where grain was milled in times gone by. It is a modest space, at just two square metres, but features a lovely bed with space for one or two people and not much else. The old mill house is located down by the river in Stamphølen and has perhaps the most exclusive view of all the rooms on the farm. You can lie here with the door open and watch Valldøla River gurgle by just a few metres away.
The mountain cabin and mill house have no electricity or running water.
All rooms have WiFi.