Hotel Ilulissat: A simply exceptional hotel experience in Greenland
TEXT: HEIDI KOKBORG | PHOTOS: HOTEL ILULISSAT
Located in the heart of Ilulissat, Hotel Ilulissat offers its guests an exquisite hotel experience, whether travelling for business, with children, or to explore Greenland on their own. Relax in the infrared sauna, enjoy a delicious breakfast while gazing at the incredible view overlooking the Disko Bay, and explore the vibrant and colourful town of Ilulissat – all while being taken great care of by the attentive staff.
If you wish to stay in a hotel right in the centre of Ilulissat with all the museums, cafés and shops right outside, while at the same time being in calm, peaceful, natural surroundings, consider a stay at Hotel Ilulissat, which opened its doors in summer 2021.
“You have everything within a one- or two-minute walk: shops, a church, restaurants and everything else the town has to offer. However, the surroundings are also serene, with stunning views over the Disko Bay and icebergs; you can even get a glimpse of the Disko Island,” says Arnarissoq Møller, hotel manager at Hotel Ilulissat.
Owned by brothers Frank and Tommy Olsvig Bagger and Jens Salling, Hotel Ilulissat is the first privately owned hotel in Greenland. All other hotels in Greenland are either owned by the government or travel agencies.
“The fact that we are a privately owned hotel is very unusual in Greenland. We receive no funding or support from the government or anyone else,” says Møller, and continues: “The hotel has been on the drawing board for a few years – long before the talk of a bigger airport in Ilulissat even began. However, the plans for a bigger airport opening in the town in 2023 will make it significantly easier for tourists to make their way to Ilulissat, and we do expect more tourists when the airport opens.”
Hotel Ilulissat has 78 rooms, divided into five types: standard, superior, executive, suite, and family. Each room has a beautiful view overlooking either the mountains, the picturesque town of Ilulissat, the Disko Bay or the lavish ice fjord. On a good day, you can even get a glimpse of the Disko Island on the faraway horizon from some of the rooms.
At the hotel, you’ll also find a fitness room with a treadmill, a few weights and some other equipment. At the family floor, there’s also activity room for children, where they can play and enjoy themselves while the parents get a well-deserved break. Hotel Ilulissat also has a shuttle bus that picks you up at the airport, and naturally, it will also drop you back to the airport when it is time to go back home.
“Our staff are very attentive, and we go above and beyond for our guests. If you need help with anything, we will arrange it and make sure it happens. We also speak Danish, Greenlandic and English, which our guests appreciate,” says Møller. “We want our guests to have the best possible stay here.”
In addition to all of the above, the hotel boasts an infrared sauna – the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring or doing business.
Supporting the local community
When staying at Hotel Ilulissat, don’t miss the chance to dine in their incredible restaurant at the very top floor of the hotel. Being a Best Western Plus hotel, Hotel Ilulissat offers a fantastic Best Western breakfast with bread from the local bakery and meat and fish straight from the local huntsmen and fishermen.
“Supporting the local community is very important to us, so whenever we can, we use local foods. We are a small community, and it’s crucial that we support and help one another. We wish for the locals to become a part of the hotel, and for us to work together to strengthen the local community,” explains Møller.
The restaurant overlooks the stunning Disko Bay, and if you wish to really take in the full experience, you can enjoy your food out on the rooftop terrace while losing yourself in the magical view. The restaurant also serves lunch and dinner and is open to both hotel guests and those who are not staying there.
If you have time to explore the surrounding nature, then the whale safaris, iceberg safaris and hikes all make for unforgettable experiences. With a bit of help from the staff, you can also experience the Greenlandic tradition of Kaffemik, which Greenlanders hold to celebrate all kinds of events, and it is your chance to connect with the locals and eat your weight in delicious cake.
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