Brudhäll Hotell & Restaurang: Rediscover what truly matters in the pristine archipelago of Åland
By Oliver Hugemark | Photos: Destination Kökar AB
Nestled on the secluded island of Kökar, southeast of the Åland archipelago, Brudhäll Hotell & Restaurang is a quaint pearl and gateway for culinary delights, natural beauty, and the soulful simplicity of Baltic island life.
“Kökar is a special feeling and state of mind,” says Natalie Björk, a Kökar native and the current manager of Brudhäll Hotell & Restaurang. “It’s a hidden gem in our outer archipelago with an exquisite natural light and magically serene summer nights right by the Baltic Sea.”
Since taking the reins seven years ago, Natalie has infused the heart of Brudhäll with her ardour for the archipelago, continuing the traditions of rustic, eco-conscious living that honours the archipelago’s sustainable and intentional way of life.
“The islanders of Kökar have always lived in harmony with nature, the ocean, and the weather,” explains Natalie, who has a degree in Life Sciences. “I believe that’s why our care for nature out here is so strong—we live with and off of nature.” Breathtaking nature experiences await at every turn on Kökar, from excursions along the St. Olav Waterway to relaxation in the hotel’s waterfront jacuzzi. Gastronomy also forms a central part of the Brudhäll ethos.
“We have a great passion and enthusiasm for food at Brudhäll, and we source produce and natural ingredients like Baltic Sea perch and Åland beef tenderloin locally,” says Natalie. “My business partner, head chef Valters Rozental, is a true artist in the kitchen, and he blends the modern influences of international gastronomy with traditional Åland cuisine.”
Many guests seize the opportunity to explore the small, legendary island of Källskär,situated far out along the Kökar sea band. During the summer season, Brudhäll Hotell organises daily guided private tours to this destination, famously known as the retreat of eccentric Swedish baron Göran Åkerhielm.
“Many people come to Kökar only to experience Källskär,” explains Natalie. “There is a unique ridge cabin by Finnish architect Reima Pietilä, statues of the likes of Hercules and Hermes, a Mediterranean-inspired vineyard and rhododendron garden, and much more.”
While Kökar remains largely undiscovered by people in and outside Scandinavia, each visitor who steps foot on the island instantly feels a bond with it, according to Natalie. “Kökar soothes your soul and gives you a bigger perspective on what truly matters in life,” she says. “Here, you have the time and natural inspiration to create, cherish and share unforgettable experiences.”
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