Turf-topped eco-lodge Storfjord Hotel is a perfectly secluded retreat nestled in the lush forest next to one of Norway’s most famous fjords. Comprised of a cluster of classic Norwegian cabins, this boutique stay has mountain and fjord views, fireplaces galore and a refreshingly relaxed fine-dining restaurant (cosily called the Kitchen) that serves nightly four-course dinners. Explore the dramatic surrounds by day, then unwind in the ahh-inducing sauna and soak your cares away in the alfresco hot tub. Just don’t blame us if you duck out of city life forever after this one.
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A welcome fruit basket; GoldSmiths also get a selection of chocolate and a sparkling wine
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm.
Double rooms from £327.10 (NOK4,490), including tax at 12 per cent.
Rates include daily Continental breakfast.
Tea and biscuits are served every afternoon from 3pm to 5pm in the library.
The hotel is closed for a week in early January each year.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout; bikes, snowshoes, walking poles and fishing gear to borrow; kayaks and fishing boats for rent; a library. In rooms: tea- and coffee-making kit, yoga mats and free bottled water.
Our favourite rooms
Looking for the most sweeping of views? Spring for a Corner Suite and your panorama will be punctuated only by the fireplace. This spacious suite also has views of the mountains from your pillow.
Gingerly settle into the mountain-facing alfresco hot tub – no matter the weather – after a day exploring the fjords.
The spa is next to the hygge-inducing hot tub, with more of those alpine views. There’s a stress-melting sauna, a relaxation area and two treatment rooms. Choose from facials, classic massages and beautifying mani-pedis; all treatments use potions and unguents by Norwegian brand Sprekenhus.
Bring your patterned woolly jumpers and most stylish rain slicker for cosily warm and dry (and photogenic) outdoor pursuits. And remember to throw in a bathing suit for the outdoor hot tub.
Three of the Junior Suites are adapted for wheelchair users. All are on the ground floor; two have views of the fjord and one looks out over the forest.
There’s not a lacklustre seat in the joint; soak in the scenery from a window perch, or watch the chefs at work by the open kitchen.
Keep cosy in fluffy jumpers and flannel shirts.
A roaring fireplace and fjord- and mountain-views try, valiantly, to take centre stage at the Kitchen – and we appreciate the effort – but the star of the show is the unpretentious four-course fine-dining experience. The chef collaborates with local producers and crafts ever-changing menus that showcase Norway’s best. Tuck into leisurely dinners of hearty Nordic cuisine and save room to taste test the famous collection of local cheeses. There’s wine, or course, but don’t leave without sampling some Storfjordbrygg – the hotel’s own ale. Skål!
There’s no bar, but drinks can be served in any of the lounges. Pick your preferred view and settle in with a cockle-warming cocktail.
Breakfast is served daily from 8am to 10am (10.30am on weekends).
Too comfy to move? A menu of light bites (both hot and cold), snacks and drinks can be delivered to your door.
Storfjord Hotel sits on top of a tree-covered hill, looking out over the namesake town’s little harbour.
Flights from Norway’s major cities – Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger – Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Gdansk land at Ålesund Airport, Vigra. The hotel can arrange private transfers (from NOK2,800 each way) for the 50-minute journey.
You can catch a train from Oslo, Bergen or Trondheim to Åndalsnes Station, which is 85 kilometres from the hotel. Private hotel transfers for the 75-minute journey can be arranged for NOK5,200 each way.
It’s handy to have your own set of wheels if you’re exploring more of the region. There’s free parking at the hotel. Living that electric-car life? There are Tesla-charging stations on-site.
Daily ferry services run between many of the villages that line the fjords.
Worth getting out of bed for
There are bikes, snowshoes, walking poles and fishing gear to borrow for self-guided adventuring. Make the most of your fjord-side stay by renting one of the hotel’s fleet of kayaks and fishing boats – moored at Glomset Bay, a short walk from the hotel. The hotel can also arrange guided hikes and helicopter tours on request.
The secluded Sunnmøre Alps – that’d be those mountains you’re staring at – rise up from the narrow fjords and are criss-crossed by a network of hiking trails. Pick your path and soak in the stunning views. Prefer to see things by sea? Hop on one of the hotel’s private boats to explore Hjørundfjord and Geirangergord (the latter’s a Unesco World Heritage area); with one of Storfjord’s captains at the helm, you can kick back and relax as you seek out waterfalls, bays and dramatically plunging cliffs. Amateur naturalist? Look for wildlife on sea safaris, run by local outfitter 62Nord, which depart daily from nearby Ålesund.
Have a real farm-to-table experience in Glomset village and learn about local culinary traditions, cultural heritage and craftsmanship. Opt for food tastings, baking classes or private, multi-course dinners on the farm. The menus change seasonally, but classic dishes include lamb sausage with lingonberries. For hearty, traditional lunches or a seasonal three-course dinner, hop on a boat and head across the fjord to Storfjord Hotel’s mountain-surrounded sister property Hotel Union Øye. In Ålesund, second sister property Hotel Brosundet’s mod-Norwegian restaurant Apotekergata No 5 focuses on unique local produce in its multi-course tasting menus that explore the topography of the region through taste.
This remote retreat doesn’t have much in the way of nightlife nearby; we’d recommend relaxing by the fire with an in-room tipple or sharing a bottle of wine in one of the hotel’s many cosy nooks and crannies.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Storfjord and unpacked their hiking boots and tins of sardines, a full account of their fjord-side break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Storfjord Hotel in Norway…
A cluster of turf-roofed log cabins built in classic Norwegian style, Scandinavian retreat Storfjord Hotel looks out over its namesake fjord. Cosy up in your timber-lined room next to the fireplace and soak in the views, or explore the dramatic surrounds by land, waterway or air. Banish city-built tension in the hotel sauna and spa, and bolt between the warm indoors and the alfresco hot tub to commune with nature (and a glass of bubbly). In the evenings, pull on your most stylish woollen jumper and settle in for four-course dinners of local cuisine. This is the kind of lodge life we could get used to…