Hotell Fjällgården: Location, service and history
TEXT: AMANDA OTTOSSON | PHOTOS: HOTELL FJÄLLGÅRDEN
Competition is stiff in the most popular ski resort in Sweden, among both skiers and the hotels they choose to stay in. Hotell Fjällgården, with its unique ski-in/ski-out position, enjoys the advantage of proximity to nature to truly capture the imagination of its guests.
Right on the mountain slopes in Åre, Sweden’s most popular winter destination, you’ll find Hotell Fjällgården. Originally built in 1910 as a health resort for wealthy aristocrats who had been prescribed fresh mountain air, the hotel boasts the very best location at the resort. Built at the same time as the ski lift up the mountain, the hotel is as close as you can possibly get to all the activities on offer year-round.
And right on the slopes truly means right on the slopes: the ski lift is no more than 50 metres from the front door. “Our guests tend to be people who have been to Åre before, who are here to ski or hike, depending on the season, and who know exactly what they want. They don’t want to waste time getting to and from the mountain every day – they just want to have it on their doorstep,” says Henrik Samuelsson, managing director of the hotel group.
The experience is unbeatable, and once guests have checked in, the staff make sure that there is no reason for them to need to go anywhere else. In addition to stunning views and direct access to the slopes, the hotel boasts a world-class restaurant and a newly renovated spa. With views of the valley, a dip in the outdoor hot tub ranks as one of the most relaxing experiences guests can find. “It’s beautiful out there irrespective of weather,” says Samuelsson. “I was out there in a snow storm once – not bad, as long as you can stay submerged in the hot tub!”
Something for everyone
The restaurant, like the rest of the hotel, retains the connection to the stunning mountain range the resort sits in, and all that it has to offer. “We serve a lot of game and locally grown food,” Samuelsson says, “not necessarily because we’ve positioned ourselves as a sustainable or organic restaurant, but the nature of how we work here means we’re inherently sustainable.”
The proximity to the slope means that during lunch, the restaurant serves both its own guests and other skiers who want to maximise their skiing time. “We see our hotel guests as family,” says hotel manager Frida Winberg. “We love hosting both our own guests and other skiers for lunch and after-ski, but the guests who are staying at our hotel truly become like family. Our main priority is that they should never hesitate to ask for anything they want.”
“We want them to feel as though they had gone to their friend’s chalet and were staying there with their family,” Henrik adds.
After lunch, it’s quiet until people start winding down for the night and drop in for the after ski. “Even if you’re not staying with us, it’s quite convenient to be able to nip in on your way down the slope for a few drinks,” says Winberg. “And then, depending on how long you stay, you can either strap your skis back on or take the ski lift down!”
Work from here
While 2020 was a challenging year, the hotel pivoted and started offering a Work From Here package. Rather than work from home, guests could come and stay at the hotel and work from their home away from home, instead. With all the facilities you need to work remotely, plus a ski slope right outside the door, many guests took advantage of the opportunity to work somewhere where their daily lunch walk could instead become a daily lunch ski session.
The offering highlights the work Åre has undertaken to ensure that the resort is not just a winter destination, but a year-round destination.“Many of our guests really appreciate the connection to our history and geography. We do plenty of things to highlight that, such as our photo exhibition of the mountains,” Winberg says. “It’s like an oasis for our guests, and this year has really highlighted that what we offer here doesn’t just stop when the ski season does; there’s so much value all year round.”
So while Åre has moved on from the health resort it was when the hotel was first built, Fjällgården is once again a place to come and rejuvenate yourself.
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