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Diving in the Norway's Fjord Country at Solstrand Hotel & Bad

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

Photos Credit: The Solstrand Hotel & Bad

A couple, 30-something in age, leans over the infinity edge of the pool. They exchange glances between each other and the beautiful views of the fjords of western Norway. Steam from pool's warm water mixes with the brisk Norwegian air. The view is of lush green mountains, coastal towns and boats crossing the water. As couples have done for over 100 years, this couple is enjoying a romantic holiday at one of Norway's most iconic hotels, the Solstrand Hotel & Bad.

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

Less than an hour south of Bergen by boat, near the small village of Bjørnefjorden, is the Solstrand Hotel & Bad. Bergen's well-to-do guests have been taking the short ride for over 120 years since it was opened on the shores of the Norwegian fjords in 1895. From the outside, the hotel is arguably one of the most beautiful hotels in Europe. True to its Nordic design, the color is a vibrant burnt yellow with ornate carved detail in white; iconic for Norwegian turn-of-the-century architecture and design. It is as beautiful as a gingerbread house and just as fairytale-like.

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

The hotel's proprietors are the Shau-Larson family who have been welcoming guests for more than four generations. Each generation leaves their mark on this, their family treasure, with improvements, renovations and additions. There are now 135 well-appointed rooms and suites, a full-service spa and one of the top restaurants in Norway.

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

The hotel is a walk through western Norway's history where relics of time, period photos and memorability fill the halls as decades past seem to echo though the property. The decor is what one would expect from a century-old home with fine Norwegian craftsmanship in the oak and birch paneling, stairwells and structures. There are rooms throughout the hotel to get lost in with ornate fireplaces, comfy, high-back chairs or the long bar where Bergen's aristocracy and nouveau riche partied the nights away 100 years ago. The hotel seamlessly blends antiques and mementoes of the past with the modern touches, decor and conveniences that today's traveler demands. It's effortlessly old and new at the same time.

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

Outside of the property, guest will enjoy walking around the manicured lawns of the hotel's 124-acre garden. White and red rose bushes add their color with other types of flowers bursting in vibrance. There's a gray gravel path that crosses the grounds which hand-holding couples find perfect for an evening stroll after dinner and before night falls.

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

The accommodations have large windows and balconies offering beautiful views of the outdoors in an uber comfortable setting. Accommodations range from rooms to large family suites with bunk beds for the kids. The Executive Suite has large windows and balcony overlooking the fjords and the hotel's gardens. There are two sitting areas with high-back chairs perfect for reading a book or relaxing with a glass of wine and taking in the sunset. 

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

The dining experience is rooted in the hotel's coastal culture with delicious western Norwegian specialties paired with wines from their well-curated wine cellar. The care is evident in the details such as the fresh-cut flowers and a candlelit table by which to enjoy the meal. All the ingredients are sourced locally with the fish coming in that day from one of the boats you may have seen crossing the fjords. The menu features salmon, fresh trout, oysters as well as succulent, locally-sourced lamb and other meats.

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

The Solstrand is a destination to get away from it all in a peaceful and natural environment. The hotel boasts a true destination spa with 11 treatment rooms giving everything from massages, to unique Norwegian spa treatments then an aromatic soak in their deep, wooden traditional bath. 

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

The Nordic countries are also well known for their Scandinavian bathing traditions where guests use hydrotherapy through water facilities to heal on their own. At Solstrand, there is a Finnish sauna, a steam sauna and a samarium. Guest alternate between steam and dry sauna, showers and water jets pointed at sore muscles. 

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

Norway is often cold so the ability to swim at any time of the year is a much appreciated luxury for guests. There is a large pool area with temperature controlled water where guess can swim laps, frolic or relax in a lounge chair and gaze at the beauty of the fjords. There is also a third pool that takes guests from inside though a water hallway to the heated pool outside. It's a wonderful experience relaxing in the heat of the water while steam rises into the crisp Nordic air. For those looking for a bit more, guests are challenged to take a stroll down the flagstone pier to the frigid waters of the fjord and go for it by jumping in. It is an exhilarating shock the body, but it also assures a refreshing sensation that the Norwegians swear by. The sensation of the fjord bath is guaranteed to stay with you for days to come.

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

The hotel also has an extensive gym, but one must ponder why. There is so much to do outdoors to get some exercise and take in the fresh air while seeing this beautiful area. A walk from the hotel passes through a picturesque residential area of traditional Norwegian wooden homes in ochre, burnt red and green. Just beyond is a national park with miles of hilly trails through lush maple and pine forests, and coastlines overlooking the fjords.

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

The property has a slew of other outdoor activities at your disposal from taking a motor boat ride around the fjords as well as rowing or kayaking to the nearby islands. There are also bikes for exploring the trails and a boardwalk where fathers take their boys to learn to fish. 

Solstrand Hotel & Bad

Solstrand Hotel & Bad is a testament to Norwegian hospitality and coastal culture. It is an experience that you will get nowhere else in the world. The setting in the fjords, facilities, service, dinning and spa experience is authentic and uniquely Norwegian. And, most importantly, you will love it. 

Glenn Harris

Glenn Harris is an accomplished journalist focusing on international travel, fine dining, and luxury lifestyle events. His wanderlust has taken him to over 95 countries where he is constantly straying off the beaten path uncovering new and often exotic finds. He particularly enjoys seeking out lesser known travel gems and places to stay, dine, or experiences to capture. ...(Read More)

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