With love from Scandinavia: Our top 5 art hotels
We invite you to take a glimpse of some of the art hotels that our region has to offer. As they say, art is balm for the soul, and each of these art-focused hotels are not just places to sleep, but experiences in their own right.
Although Scandinavia is well known for its knack for interior design, surprisingly few travel to the region for its art. It may come as a surprise then that Scandinavia boasts a multitude of hotels with a deep love and appreciation for art, both local and international. Our staff at 50 Degrees North have visited many of these of hotels and have picked some of their favourites.
1. Comfort Hotel Grand Central in Oslo, Norway
The Comfort Hotel Grand Central in Oslo is recommended by Ivy, one of our Norwegian Destination Specialists. Like most of the hotels in this series (including the new Clarion Hotel Oslo), art and culture play a key role in its design and appearance. The hotel interiors are full of cool art creations by the well-known designer and visual artist Ariel McMillion, and the architects Lars Helling and Ajas Mellbye have transformed the original station building built in 1854 to a hotel style they describe as ‘industrial shabby chic’. The mix of history, art, New York style modern design, and a central location really make this hotel a great choice when visiting Oslo. No wonder that, for example, our popular Beautiful Norway tours and our Best of Norway Escorted Small Group Tour usually begin with a night in this hotel.
2. Kviknes Hotel in Balestrand, Norway
The historic Kviknes Hotel , built in 1877, is the recommendation from Mari, our Director in Australia. The hotel is situated beside the Sognefjord in Norway, and it boasts a very impressive collection of art and antiques. Four generations have been collecting the original artworks, most of them inspired by the beauty and scenery of Balestrand which has been a magnet for both Norwegian and international artists since the 19th century. Kviknes truly is an iconic hotel full of character and charm – definitely worth a visit. You can do so, for example, on our 3-day itinerary 'Sognefjord in a Nutshell' or one of our favourite premium tours, the independent 10 days long Norwegian Fjords Hike & Bike Tour.
3. SP34 in Copenhagen, Denmark
Hotel SP34 is the recommendation from our Danish Destination Specialist, Alice. This boutique hotel has a small art gallery in their lobby which changes regularly and is very cool. The hotel is situated in the old Latin Quarter, only 100 meters from the Town Hall Square. The area has a great bohemian vibe with interesting restaurants and bars, high ceilings, and vintage shops. Request to stay here, for instance, on 50 Degrees North’s 11-day itinerary Nordic Capitals Gourmet.
4. Glo Hotel Art in Helsinki, Finland
The Glo Hotel Art is the recommendation from Tiina, one of our Finnish Destination Specialists. This art nouveau style hotel, located in the heart of the Design District, is actually a stone castle from 1903 with a bohemian atmosphere and thousands of interesting, arty details within it. A few nights here will make your trip to Helsinki extra special and memorable. Request to stay here, for example, during our popular 14-day independent tour Scandinavian Capitals by rail & ferry.
5. Arthotel Tornedalen, Sweden
Last but certainly not least, the Arthotel Tornedalen is one of the top picks from Satu, our Nordic Manager. Set in peaceful surroundings at the banks of the Torne river (overlooking Finland on this other side), this is the passion project of the cultural entrepreneur Gunhild Stensmyr. Having returned to his beloved childhood village of Tornedalen, Stensmyr’s vision has been to create a destination that focuses on art, crafts, design and culture (a unique mix of Swedish, Finnish and Sami cultures). The Arthotel itself is comprised of fully renovated 20th century country houses decorated with Scandinavian designs and artworks, and it is a part of an art village with art exhibitions and a gallery (expected to be completed in 2022).
A stay at the Arthotel Tornedalen can easily be added to or combined with many 50 Degrees North itineraries, such as the 8-day self-drive tour Journey through Lapland, the 5-day itinerary Arctic TreeHouse Stay in Finland Arctic TreeHouse Stay in Finland or our new 5-day tour Swedish Aurora Glamping & Arctic Wellness Swedish Aurora Glamping & Arctic Wellness – all of which provide ample opportunities to marvel at other unique Scandinavian design hotels!