Björnhofvda Gård: Visit the charming country lodge of the wealthy relative you never knew you had
By Oliver Hugemark | Photos: Björnhofvda Gård
Tucked away at the end of a quaint country lane adorned with rustic farmhouses and red barns on the western outskirts of Åland’s main island, you’ll discover Björnhofvda, a farm-charm country lodge that exudes an air of homely luxury.
“Björnhofvda, much like the rest of Åland, is a true sanctuary in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea,” says Hans Lindmark, who operates and resides at Björnhofvda Gård along with his wife, Jackie. “It’s a place where time seems to have partially paused, offering a simpler, slower pace of life.”
A leisurely thirty-minute drive from the capital of Åland, Mariehamn, Björnhofvda was the inherited summerhouse of Hans and Jackie until 2012, when they established a small-scale B&B. A few summers on, they found sharing their affection for the Ålandic country lifestyle so endearing that they resolved to construct the guesthouse of their dreams from scratch.
“We built the main house in a distinctive British-heritage style, which is rather uncommon for the Nordic region,” explains Hans, who managed the entire project, collaborating with local craftsmen. “Both the architecture and aesthetics of the house drew inspiration from mine and Jackie’s travels around Asia and her native England, and we find that many enthusiasts visit us purely to experience and learn more about the house itself.”
At Björnhofvda, up to 20 guests can be accommodated in three cosy wooden buildings, each of which features thoughtfully furnished rooms and design influences from as far afield as Asia, as well as Åland. In the unpretentious restaurant in the main building, Hans and Jackie, alongside their small team and experienced longtime chef, serve up hearty breakfasts, French-Italian-inspired dinners made with the finest local ingredients, and traditional afternoon teas on weekends.
“Our motto is effortless elegance,” states Hans. “We provide luxury and a sense of refined living, but with the relaxed and comfortable feeling of home, which certainly extends to the dining experiences we offer.”
When guests aren’t admiring the exquisite architecture, engaging in conversation with the Lindmarks, or lounging in one of the sociable common areas, they are often found enjoying the outdoors, cycling in the forest, canoeing along the rugged coastlines, swimming or using the sauna on the dock.
“People come here to be soothed and delighted by the idyllic ambience and the delicious food,” he says. “They come here to visit the wealthy distant relative they wished would invite them to their country home every once in a while.”
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