Juvet Landscape Hotel (landskapshotell) are a series of designer dens that sit in total submersion in Norway's nature pure. The striking architectural lines contrast so fabulously with the carpet of green lushness, taming the harshness of the magnificent Alstad wilderness beyond, it is no wonder Juvet Design Hotel was the movie set for cult film, Ex-Machina.
Here on the banks of the river Valdolla in the western fjords, the Juvet Landscape Hotel (Landskapshotell) sits as 7 camouflaged wooden structures with vertical timbers sitting in conformity with the trunks of birch, aspen + pine.
Neither a beach hut nor a tree hut – these are landscape hut hotels for the modern forest dweller – simplicity reigns inside framing the theatre of Mother Nature.
The weathered pods provide elementary shelter – deliberately void of distractions – they almost hover above the land without impact, like an observatory outpost.
The darkened interiors provide seamless widescreen viewing of Norwegian nature - sit back and contemplate.
The scene is cleverly balanced by the solid robustness of the aged original farmhouse and former cowshed that provide the communal focal points for all meals – heavy + deeply rooted in the hardships of times past – this contrast is sublime. This original hideaway is also topped by a small subterranean wet spa + sun decks.
Activity junkies as well as those who like to just take it all in are well catered for here – especially when getting tips from the maverick owner, Knut (a sort of Norwegian Indiana Jones) who happily guides guests into the solitude of the fjords or shares his favourite ski coordinates.
Juvet Landscape Hotel is located in a forested watery scene in the small rural hamlet of Alstad, part of the Valldal Valley. This is on the northwest coast of Norway, approx. 90 minutes driving from Ålesund, you can also take the longer scenic drive over from Oslo.
Close by are the wonderful western fjords and the Sunnmøre Alps, Juvet is about one hour from Åndalsnes via Trollstigen and one hour from Geiranger.
Living here in the past was an harsh affair, and the owner Knut takes food seriously - without being wasteful, ever mindful that the ingredients are pure and that this land was previously a farmhouse.
The breakfast affair is relatively simple and honest - the highlight being the most delicious smoked salmon ever - matched with the traditional art of scrambled eggs - not so simple after all.
In the evenings, dinner is served at precisely 8pm around a large table in the former cow barn - guests mingle before being seated at the large communal table where a menu is served - all sourced naturally and prepared in the farmhouse style.
It is hearty and tasty and certainly brings home a taste of Norway and if you are luck and in season, they serve the wonderfully sweet strawberries famed from the Valldal Valley.
Despite the overwhelming acclaim for his hotel project, Knut remains firmly with boots on his beloved Norwegian ground. Being around him is inspiring.
He has a compelling respect for nature, locality and originality.
And apart from his die-hard passion for skiing, he has poured his heart into this place, his tales and tips of where to go and what to experience will keep you riveted to your seat.
He has nurtured his place in simplicity and rooted it just like him, into this fairytale landscape that surrounds.
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