The original hotel was built in 1881 and operated by Jakob Jordal, who sold it to the Odda Trade Union in 1899. In 1907, Sjur Birkeland became the hotel’s owner until, in April ten years later, brothers Ole and Karl Melkeraaen bought and named it the Hardanger Hotel. Hardanger is a historically rich district in western Norway and home to the stunning Hardangerfjord, where the Melkeraaens’ hotel is located at the edge of the water. In 1953, four of Ole’s children, brothers Gunnar, Johan and Martin and their sister Borghild, took over the hotel and ran it together until the mid-‘70s.