Hotel Union Øye

Old-world, secluded, historic

Rv655 240, 6196 Norangsfjorden, Norway


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At a Glance

Located in a remote valley in the Sunnmøre Alps, this old-fashioned retreat dates to 1891 and staying here feels like stepping back in time.

Indagare Loves

  • That each room is named for a past hotel guest, including Edvard Grieg, Karen Blixen and Henrik Ibsen
  • The restaurant, which serves delicious cuisine
  • The roster of unique activities, including snorkeling in the nearby Lake Lyngstøyl


Situated in the peaceful village of Øye on Hjørundfjord, the 27-room Hotel Union Øye opened in 1891, and has since hosted such distinguished guests as Kaiser Wilhelm, King Oscar, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and lauded Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. A pink and maroon building set between two dramatic peaks, the hotel channels a bygone era in its historic interiors, including an airy salon for afternoon tea, a wood-paneled library and dimly lit hallways with hunting trophies mounted on the walls.

The hotel’s 27 individually appointed rooms are located throughout the main building, decorated with antiques and, in some cases, outfitted with four-poster beds. The period-style accommodations lack TVs and telephones, eschewing modern amenities in favor of elaborate furnishings like rich velvet drapery, crystal chandeliers and intricate tapestries hanging on the walls.

Perhaps the best feature of the hotel is its restaurant, which implements local, seasonal ingredients in its three-course nightly dinners and more casual lunches. Meals can be enjoyed in the elegant dining room or in the alfresco garden. A recent meal starred such delicious fare as smoked salmon with dill crème fraîche and watercress and cod with a red wine reduction, carrot purée and roasted celery root, followed by a dessert of vanilla panna cotta with sea buckthorn foam and white chocolate shavings.

Activities available through the hotel include fishing and kayaking (it is a four-minute walk to the water), hiking (Mount Slogan is a favorite trek), biking and snorkeling at Lake Lyngstøyl. The latter excursion is particularly unique; the result of a flooded valley, the lake formed over a town in the early 20th century, and farmhouses, gates and roads are still visible beneath the water’s surface. In addition, guests can take day trips to the famous Geirangerfjord and Hjørundfjord and embark on boat and helicopter excursions to see the beautiful surrounding landscape. In winter, skiers can visit Stranda, located 45-minutes by car from the hotel.

Who Should Stay

Travelers who want to experience more of the fjords beyond Ålesund and the surrounding region and who don’t mind staying in a historic hotel with an old-fashioned aesthetic.

Written by Emma Pierce

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