There aren’t many places where the charm of a bygone age survives, authentic and unadulterated. Fewer still have carried this tradition uninterrupted through the tumultuous 20th century. Union Øye Hotel opened its doors in 1891 and has since remained one of the finest hotels in Europe. Luckily secluded in the Norangsfjord, in is inconspicuousness it paradoxically notorious for being a hideout for Royals in search of a retreat.
The 27 rooms are named after renowned guests that have honoured the hotel with their patronage. Princess Victoria and Queen Maud are among those whose names are entwined with the hotel’s history. I personally find it more impressive that this has been a retreat for both Edvard Grieg, the celebrated Norwegian composer and Ibsen, the country’s most acclaimed playwright. You’ll soon find that the Union Øye affords next-level inspiration.
The hotel boasts of outstanding service and luxurious accommodations, as would be expected of such a locale. But for me, what makes this place special is the opportunity to relive the pages of my favourite 19th-century imagery: a romantic getaway with soaring orchestral music and nature that speaks to my creative spirit. While at the Union Øye you can hike in the picturesque Norangsdale, sail to the Geirangerfjord and the Hjørundfjord, and even summit the Slogen.