Italy has its Renaissance, Germany Bauhaus and the Faroe Islands have their traditional grass roofs. Hotel Foroyar is no different with its picturesque sod cladding designed to match the surrounding landscape. And what a landscape it is. Set on a gentle incline behind Torshavn, it commands raking views out over the township to the shore beyond. As the Faroese capital, you’ll find a charming old-town centre, fishing harbour and museums dedicated to the country’s Viking past. Be sure to also head out into the surrounding moorland ring – the hotel’s setting – for pretty, rural walks.
Having won the prestigious Nordic Prize for best restaurant in 2014, it’s important to book ahead for the hotel’s famed Koks restaurant, often credited as starting the Faroe Island’s restaurant scene. Hotly tipped for a Michelin star, perhaps order from the tasting menu for a gourmet introduction into Faroese cuisine. Think richly flavoured lamb and delicately fragranced seafood. For the more adventurous, you can even try puffin, first used in subsistence living. All the produce is sourced on or around the islands – save the excellent wine menu – as head chef Leif Sorensen focuses on preparing only seasonal dishes, having trained at Michelin-starred kitchens in Copenhagen.
While the grass roof hints at the hotel’s back to nature sensibilities, its interiors are staunchly contemporary. Designed by a well-known Danish architectural firm and fully refurbished in 2009, comfortable rooms feature modern furnishings, relaxed colour palettes and satellite TVs. They also all take full advantage of their setting with oversized picture windows. From your bed, look out over the moorlands to Torshavn and, on a good day, Nólsoy Island.
Billed as a city hotel surrounded by nature, the Faro Island’s only design hotel combines its picturesque location with a collection of practical amenities. Head out onto the grassy hills for scenic walks that bring you through open fields and past stone house ruins to hidden gorges and shimmering lakes. There are trails to suit all fitness levels and the hotel even offers the opportunity to take its horses out exploring. Back at base, make use of the complimentary WiFi or relax with a glass of something cold from the bar.