Ydalir Hotel: A unique boutique hotel in Stavanger
By Ingrid Opstad | Photos: Sindre Ellingsen
S ituated at Ullandhaug, in close connection to the University of Stavanger, is a new hotel with a unique vision for corporate social responsibility. Ydalir Hotel is a non-profit boutique hotel that prides itself on giving back – every stay here benefits the university. Whether you are on holidays or on a business trip, if you are looking for a quiet place to unwind, Ydalir Hotel makes an excellent choice.
Ydalir Hotel was a gift from the Smedvig family to the University of Stavanger. In 2015, the company Smedvig celebrated its 100th anniversary by giving the hotel to the region, with the wish to prioritise gifts and sponsorship funds specifically aimed towards children and youth. “All of the hotel’s proceeds are donated to the University of Stavanger every year. The funds then contribute to the furthering of research and education by helping to support future scholarships and other means, which again will benefit the region in a long-term perspective. So, every stay with us will benefit the university, the students and the region,” says Martin Sagen, general manager at Ydalir Hotel. Today, the hotel operates commercially, but with close links to the Norwegian School of Hotel Management, which is located at the university.
Based just outside of Stavanger city centre, a thriving and active area close to numerous attractions, beautiful nature and more than 150 different businesses, Ydalir Hotel sets the bar for campus hotels in Scandinavia. After opening its doors in March 2018, the young hotel has quickly gained popularity. “2018 was all about establishing and laying a good foundation; it takes time for a new hotel to get a name in such a chain-dominated market, like the one we have here in Norway. However, 2019 was a good year with steady growth, and in the last six months we obtained the same level as the industry standard in Stavanger, and we’re now already operating profitably,” says Sagen.
A name from Norse mythology
You might be wondering where the name Ydalir comes from. Well, the area which the hotel is situated in, Ullandhaug, got its name from the Norse God, Ull, whose home was called Ydalir. “The name is a direct link between the hotel and Norse mythology, which you can find many traces of in this area,” family Sagen.
Nearby the hotel you can, for instance, find the Iron Age Farm visiting centre, with a rebuilt model village to visit, and also Swords in Rock, which is a famous landmark to commemorate the battle of Hafrsfjord, both reflecting Norway’s Viking heritage.
Modern yet classic Nordic style
Designed by Lund+Slaatto Arkitekter, the building itself has a distinctive expression yet has been harmoniously adapted to suit its surroundings. With a classic shape and choice of materials, the architects have formed an interaction between the hotel and the older brick buildings found in the area. “The goal was to create a robust project with high-quality solutions – a building that will age with dignity,” Sagen explains.
This unique non-profit boutique hotel consists of 59 rooms, of which 32 are double rooms, 15 superior double rooms, and 12 fully equipped apartments, making your stay as comfortable and convenient as possible. Each room has a contemporary look with exceptional quality, which reflects Scandinavian interior and craftsmanship. “We have put a lot of resources into everything from furniture to decoration. The hotel has a modern feel in many ways, but still with a classic and timeless Nordic style,” says Sagen. Wood and concrete are continuous elements throughout, and the furniture is of Danish design, a combination that creates a luxurious and inviting atmosphere for the guests.
Giving guests that little extra
A great hotel experience is about more than an inviting room, a fact that Ydalir Hotel knows well. With numerous services inside and nearby the hotel, Sagen and his staff make sure that every guest’s needs are met. “Our locally sourced, quality-conscious breakfast is included in your stay, and we also offer dry-cleaning services, a bar and cafe for drinks and snacks, as well as free parking,” he says. Guests can make use of Stavanger’s best fitness centre, SIS Sportssenter, which is located only five minutes away.
If you are a frequent guest, you may also qualify to become a so-called ‘chief’ at Ydalir. “To show our appreciation for our regular customers, we provide certain benefits such as room upgrades, late check-out and priority on the waiting list, to give that little something extra,” says Sagen.
A calm, comfortable stay
Ydalir Hotel is the perfect meeting location, with accommodation for companies and organisations, and it can also cater to all your needs for events such as conferences, courses, birthday parties, weddings and more. With little to no noise around, the hotel is a quiet place to unwind, whether it is for leisure or for business. “We don’t have much traffic nearby, other than the bus that conveniently takes you directly to the city centre, so it is optimal for anyone who wants a calm, comfortable stay,” says Sagen. “If comfort, relaxation and a distraction-free environment are what you are searching for, whether for business or leisure, Ydalir Hotel is the place for you!”
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