Tucked away in the extreme Arctic north of Norway just miles from the Russian border, Kirkenes is such a remote town that finding a good hotel here is like striking gold. Cue the ensuing rush: the Thon Hotel Kirkenes is just such a find, a mine of sleek Nordic design that offers a cosy retreat from the harsh winter outside.
The hotel’s dining room is a pleasant, open space on the ground floor. Start the day with a delicious selections of breads, cereals, fruit and more, before the venue transforms to a sophisticated à la carte venue from lunchtime onwards, using the freshest local ingredients to create both local and international treats. The menu varies seasonally to ensure only the most sustainable and juiciest raw materials are used.
The rooms at the Thon Kirkenes are spacious and decorated in a minimalist-contemporary Scandinavian chic, as found in other Thon rooms across Norway. This is the newest hotel in Kirkenes, so expect the most up-to-date amenities and the fashion forward fixtures and fittings. This far north heat and snugness are clearly important considerations, and the rooms here are oasis of warmth amidst the freezing tundra that surrounds Kirkenes.
Strap on your snowshoes and head out for a walk about town – it is surprisingly buzzy for such a remote settlement, so hit the shops, cafés and bars for some excitement. Other treats in the area are largely nature-based, taking advantage of the gently undulating landscape, tattered by fjords and lakes that become frozen playgrounds during the winter. Try your hand at ice fishing, take a reindeer safari or mush after a pack of huskies, and don’t forget the Northern Lights!