In the mid 19th century, the English aristocracy descended on Sognefjord in search of Europe’s best salmon rivers. And, in lieu of hotels, they stayed in the finest farms, with Christen Fretheim hosting one lord in particular for over two decades before building him his own “English Villa” in 1879. Today, with rooms split between that grand guesthouse, the original farm and a modern intersection, this is your chance to follow in the footsteps of lords and ladies.
Local food has always been the cornerstone of the Fretheim Hotel’s dining experience. It’s a tradition continued to this day, with everything from the cheeses and meats to the fruits and vegetables sourced from nearby farms. Many of which are right on the hotel’s doorstep. Carnivores are in for a special treat, with the pigs, lambs and reindeer all raised in the Flåm mountains – famous throughout the country for its grass-fed livestock. Whatever you choose, it’s all dished up to superb views across the fjord. Lastly, in addition to the full-service restaurant, the lobby bar offers lighter bites.
The heart of the Fretheim Hotel is a gorgeous 19th-century white-timber building, where rooms are dressed in antique furniture, chandeliers and vibrant rugs. The Tower Suite is a particular highlight for its Jacuzzi and expansive two-floor layout. Then, looking towards the modern part of the hotel – separated from its historic counterpart by an elegant glass façade – rooms are equally comfortable. However, whichever part you choose, you’ll be treated to either fjord or mountain views, with most of the rooms also featuring balconies or direct access to the garden.
Positioned on the innermost arm of the Sognefjorden, the Fretheim Hotel is perfectly poised for you to explore. Perhaps hit the waters with a cruise or kayaking trip before heading out on hiking and biking trails or, come winter, nearby ski slopes. However, it’s the Flåm Railway that usually impresses most; it’s often found topping lists of the world’s greatest rail journeys for its stunning fjord views. Back at base, be sure to find some time to relax in the hotel’s orchard and gardens.