Set in the north of Norway, the island of Grøtøy was once home to a bustling market, brimming with merchants and goods. Today, Villa Haugen Boutique Hotel serves as a charming remnant of a local history long gone.

Nestled safely in the corner of the island, Villa Haugen is the perfect getaway for guests looking to escape the loud, bustling cities for a while. Immersed in the epitome of quiet living, guests may enjoy the water rippling in front of the hotel, mountainous horizons, and the midnight sun, or, in wintertime, the flaring aurora borealis.

Villa Haugen is owned and run by husband and wife, John Magne Birkeland and Unni Johnsen, who stumbled across the property after it had been put up for sale in 2013.

“There is an unexplainable feeling of relaxation that washes over you when you get here,” says Johnsen. “After a few days on the island, we knew we needed to buy the house.”

In 2016, the couple decided that they wished to share the historical building with the world by transforming it into a cosy, traditional, yet modern boutique hotel. Today, guests can kick back and relax, and enjoy food, history, and local nature at the hotel. In addition, local collaborations allow hotel guests to explore an array of activities, from fishing and kayaking to arctic safaris.

“There are many options, but most of our guests prefer to just enjoy the quiet,” says Johnsen.

Villa Haugen: Step into the past with Villa Haugen Boutique Hotel

Enjoy a spectacular view from the dining room along with a delicious 7-course meal brimming with local flavour. Photo: Yngve Ask

Historical surroundings, modern solutions

Though it looks like something out of a Norwegian fairy tale from long ago, only Villa Haugen’s foundations and design remain from the early 1900s.

“The market that once stood on Grøtøy went bankrupt in 1923 and, consequently, parts of its buildings were torn apart, sold, or used as building material elsewhere. The original Villa Haugen, too, suffered the same fate after the war. In 1948, the entire house was moved elsewhere, leaving only its foundation behind,” says Birkeland.

Fifty years later, archived architectural drawings were used to replicate the building on top of the foundation, making it the hotel it is today. Since then, a new, modern restaurant has appeared on the property, where guests can enjoy a fresh, locally sourced breakfast, lunch, and four, five or seven-course meals.

“And all with a beautiful view,” says Birkeland. “Despite the new buildings and our attempts to find modern solutions to spare the environment from any harm, we’re doing our best to retain the house’s historical spirit through style, experience, and comfort.”

With three new cabins in the making, the couple hopes more people will soon get to enjoy Grøtøy’s hushed tranquillity.

Villa Haugen: Step into the past with Villa Haugen Boutique Hotel

Photo: Yngve Ask

Facebook: Villa Haugen Boutique Hotel
Instagram: @villahaugen

Visit Villa Haugen!

Villa Haugen’s boat will pick you up from Nordskot. Travel to Nordskot by boat, bus or car from Svolvær in the North or Bodø in the South, with Bodø Lufthavn being the closest airport.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Receive our monthly newsletter by email

    I accept the Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy