History in the making
Losby Gods is a magnificent Norwegian country estate surrounded by wilderness and steeped in history. Those who work at Losby Gods are proud to be part of preserving local heritage and want to offer everyone the chance to cherish and cultivate it.
It is hard to believe that Losby Gods is a mere 20-minute drive from the capital’s airport. The aesthetic of the 165-year old manor is grandiose and elegantly framed by the peaceful meadows and dense forests of the surrounding countryside. Losby Gods is about tradition and good old-fashioned Norwegian hospitality. At the same time, the hotel has a progressive take on involving guests in their rich history.
Conservation through use
Because of its convenient location and modern facilities, the hotel is regularly used for conferences during the week. During the weekends the hotel often hosts events such as weddings, confirmations, parties and national holiday celebrations. A large part of the house is originally from 1850, and was renovated, restored and reopened in 1999. Despite its historic value, guests regularly use this part of the manor. “We enjoy showing guests around the old manor house, and spend a lot of time telling them our story,” explains Heidi Elisabeth Fjellheim, the director of Losby Gods.
“We also host events such as memorial services on the grounds. Our idea is to preserve the manor through use. We want this to be a living museum where guests feel that they are part of the building’s history, rather than just outside observers.” This wish to involve also applies to the staff, who all have a broad knowledge of Losby’s past, a past that is entrenched in the once thriving timber trade and speckled with the then famous residents of Norway’s capital.
Murder at the Mansion
Losby valley is the ideal place for outdoor activities and many of the manor’s visitors come here for Losby’s main attraction, the golf course. The manor is home to an 18-hole championship course as well as a nine hole course, both designed by the renowned golf course architect, Peter Nordwall. However, the activities in recent years have increased far beyond the scope of the playing fields. Along with historical tours, nature workshops and wine tasting, guests can also partake in exciting experiences such as Murder at the Mansion; an evening during which dining guests become involved in an Agatha Christiestyle murder mystery plot. To add even more mystery, actors blend with the staff and guests as the story unfolds.
“These kinds of activities are also inspired by Losby’s past. Often, at lavish parties among the elite, guests wanted to be entertained during dinner, and this sort of thing would be common practice. We think it is great fun to offer this kind of experience to guests. It creates a Unique atmosphere and many of them become very involved in the story!” says Fjellheim. “We create experiences because we want to offer our guests something out of the ordinary, something more than just a comfortable bed to sleep in,” she continues. “We want people to go home with a story to tell.”
A place for all
The thought of a majestic manor house with velvet sofas and chandeliers could perhaps conjure up a notion of haughtiness, but Fjellheim insists that Losby is a place for everyone and an especially important part of local legacy.“Getting the right to restore Losby as a hotel was a long battle, precisely because many people were concerned that this would be a serious, formal place,” Fjellheim asserts. “Those who are from the local area of Lørenskog have a lot of heritage from the area, and Losby has been an important part of their history. Luckily though, the image of Losby as a place where only ‘certain people’ go quickly disappeared and the locals have really embraced the manor, making use of it for family occasions and festivities year after year.”
Pride and preservation
Losby Gods is continually coming up with creative ways to incorporate cultural heritage into the modernised hotel. One example of this is their menu, which is based on Norwegian culinary traditions and local produce. At the moment Losby also incorporates a menu that is exactly the same as one that was used at the manor over 100 years ago. “Researching and recreating the food traditions of the past is an exciting project that we want to continue to develop,” says Fjellheim.
“We also want to make sure that everything that happens at Losby now will be preserved in the future, which is why we document all our activities in our annual magazine, Gods and Golf. Working at Losby for me feels like an honour. It’s incredible to be part of the continuation of such rich cultural history.”
By Maya Acharya | Photos: Losby Gods
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