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Step back in time for the very definition of 'Luxury Hotel' for the Aristocracy
The year is 1891. The aristocracy and upper classes of Europe are looking for new destinations of natural beauty to visit. The Hotel Union Øye on Hjørundfjord opens its doors ready for a demanding clientele. The hotel's guestbook reveals that they were very successful. Queen Wilhelmina of Holland, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, King Oscar II, Queen Maud and King Haakon VII are just some of the distinguished visitors who found their way to the hotel. Fast forward to 1989, and 100 years on, the hotel is restored to its magnificent splendour, just as it did originally when it opened in 1891.
Each room carries the name of one of its famous guests that has stayed here. Queen Maud and King Haakon VII, Keiser Wilhelm II, Queen Beatrice, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Karen Blixen to name but a few. It is a reflection of the status of the hotel and of the attractions of the area. Every guestroom is different, except for comfortable four-poster beds and modern bathrooms. You will not find telephones, TVs or radios in the rooms as they have been intentionally omitted. Everything you do at the Hotel Union Øye is not just a journey to magnificent scenery and an exciting destination but also a journey in time.
It is perhaps best described as a romantic "Fjord Palace" in Swiss style. It is idyllically situated amid beautiful, untouched natural scenery, with rich freshwater and fjord fishing close by. With service and facilities that match their Royal patronage - and stunning scenery, Hotel Union Øye defined luxury for an era of aristocratic celebrity. A visit to Hotel Union Øye is more than just a memorable experience, it is a journey back in time.
"A piece of Paradise" - quote from an English visitor in the 1890's - and still true today.
"Selected as one the world’s 12 most exciting and enchanting hotels" - 1996
The Hotel Union Øye was established in 1891 in order to cater for the increase in tourism of the late 19th century. At the time it was mainly the aristocracy and the upper classes who sought new and exciting destinations.
Many of these guests became regular visitors, among these were Emperor Willhelm II of Germany and Queen Willemina of the Netherlands. Among other distinguished guests who have honoured the hotel by their visit are members of the Norwegian and Swedish royal families. The old guestbooks show names like King Oscar II, King Haakon, Queen Maud, Queen Willemina, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Amundsen, Nansen, Ibsen and Grieg.
Previous guests of the hotel have praised the hotel’s kitchen, and you will find out why.
In May 1996 the Hotel Union Øye received a message that many can only dream of receiving. "You have been selected as one the world’s 12 most exciting and enchanting hotels". The Austrian Princess Claudia Auersperg was among the members of the committee that had been given the difficult and responsible task of selection. The Hotel Union Øye was notified in May 1996. The selection serves in a way as a vote of thanks for the idealism that lies behind the Hotel Union Øye. There are innumerable hours of unpaid, backbreaking work, tears and a unique labour of love invested in the restoration work carried out in refurbishing the hotel.
The Hotel Union Øye is located in a peaceful village on Hjørundfjord, nestled among the Sunmmøre Alps. The valley of Norangdal in which it lies, is often described as Norway’s most beautiful valley. The hotel staff can direct you to the best climbs, whether you are a mountain hiker or a climber – and they can also arrange guides, for example for a trip to the summit of the majestic Slogen, which rises behind the hotel.
A short distance to Geiranger, Stryn Summer Skiing and the Runde Bird Sanctuary Island. The hotel has its own boat harbour.
Øye, with the fjord, the mountains and the scenic Norangs-valley, offers a variety of activities and touring ground. The hotel-staff will be pleased to make suggestions and help you with your planning. Boat-rental for fishing – your catch can be stored at the hotel until departure.
Some examples of activities the hotel can offer:
"The proudest view in Europe."
This quote is from a book by the famous British mountaineer William Cecil Slingsby. He was describing the view from "Slogen" - one of the impressive mountain peaks surrounding the Hotel Union Øye.
The tourist of today will find the same unspoiled natural environment. We can offer a wide variety of excursions, ranging from advanced climbing to relatively easy trekking. The hotel provides guests with maps, and for groups we can arrange walks with experienced mountain guides. The river flowing past the hotel offers salmon fishing, or you can try your luck with the trout in the mountain lakes. For those interested in fjord fishing, or perhaps just rowing, there are rental boats available. Alternatively you may rent a bike and experience the scenic and untouched Nordang valley which runs from the hotel to the famous Geirangerfjord.
Sitting at your ease on the hotel porch at the end of an active day, you will experience, body and soul, the refreshing atmosphere of the hotel and its surroundings.