The family opened Storjord Hotel way back in 1923, and ran the hotel as a side business alongside their farm. Many guests came from Bodø to enjoy the climate and location. Around Easter time, guests would go skiing, while in the summer they would go walking. They would then assemble in the dining room for their evening meal. Hotel facilities were no doubt generally somewhat more modest in the 1920s.
A fresh start
The hotel closed in 1940 as a result of the Second World War and the house was used as a residence until 1967. There was also a telegraph station there right up until 1970. Camilla, who grew up on the farm, and her husband Petter purchased the building in 2006 from a relative, and reopened the hotel in 2009 following renovation.
Thanks to the dry climate, the building was still in good condition, and much of the interior also remained intact. During the renovation, Camilla and Petter sought to retain as many of the original surfaces as possible. The beds are the original ones dating from the hotel’s early years, made by furniture makers Russånes especially for the opening of the hotel. A treasure hunt in the loft and the barn uncovered many delightful objects dating from the 20th century.
The interiors of the rooms and the two lounges are characterised by a blend of pre-war styles. The timber walls of the Timber Room (Tømmerrommet) maintains a style that undoubtedly characterised the entire hotel in the 1920s. The suite has green painted wooden panels, while the walls of the White Room (Kvitrommet) and the Blue Room (Blårommet) are covered in old-fashioned wallpaper. Floor stoves, washbasins and Biblical pictures all contribute to the atmosphere. When www.nordnorge.com visited in the early summer, the hotel was surrounded by meadows of cow parsley and geraniums; the nearby stream was babbling and we were served rosebay willow herb juice in tall glasses.
The only major alteration that was carried out was to install two modern, delicate baths and an extra toilet, facilities which were completely non-existent back in 1923. Those seeking the original toilet experience should track down the three double outdoor toilets. Visits to the toilet were presumably more of a social occasion before water closets became standard.
Breakfast is of course included. Homemade bread and rolls, eggs from free-range hens and a selection of open sandwich toppings are served at the table, along with coffee and juice. As most guests are couples, there is a small table for each room in the cosy dining room. This makes Storjord Hotel one of the few places in Norway which has not given in to the practical, but very impersonal breakfast buffet.
Perfect to get away from it all
Many people just turn up at Storjord Hotel completely unprepared for this exquisitely preserved gem, as they head north or south along the E6 trunk road. Situated 400 metres (1300 ft) from the road, everything is quiet and peaceful here. TV, radio and internet are also noticeably absent. Others consciously choose to come here in order to relax and wander the well-marked trails, some of which cross suspension bridges over tumbling rivers. Junkerdalsura is a narrow valley renowned for its unique botany. Saltdal regularly sees the highest summer temperatures in Northern Norway, sometimes even in all of the country, and the rain can go no farther than the Svartisen glacier to the southwest. The hotel is perfect for a weekend trip or romantic getaway.
“Norway's smallest hotel”
This claim originates from Norwegian national newspaper VG, which featured the hotel in 2012. Since then, no one else has stepped forward to dispute the claim that, with its four rooms and extra privy chamber, Storjord Hotel is the country's smallest true hotel, so www.nordnorge.com is more than happy to support the claim. Storjord Hotel is only open during the summer.
Storjord Hotel has a very clearly presented website with many delightful photographs.