This summer we were supposed to return to Japan but unfortunately the Covid curse prevented us from going. Even though we were gutted, we decided to make the best of it. We took our time moving house with the help of some amazing people and then took a few days away from Gävle to unwind and reset after quite a challenging academic year.
With Norway being so close, it meant we could still enjoy a Scandinavian summer with long sunny days near the water but still in a new country and still avoiding the current airport chaos.
We set our sights on the Støtvig Hotel in Larkollen, Norway which is only 3 hours north of Gothenburg. It is a spa hotel set in a small town right on the coast with its it own beach area just out the front.
The decor is really well thought out throughout the building, based on the history of the hotel and interweaving it throughout. On the bottom floor of the hotel there is a small bowling alley, a cinema, a sports bar, a children’s play room and diner style burger bar all following the same 1920s theme.
Even at the beach there was an old school food truck and ice cream cart.
The main restaurant is called 801 Oslofjord and is located at the back of the hotel with views over the beach and the harbour. On a sunny day, it is beautiful.
We had a breakfast buffet here every morning which had a very good selection of hot and cold foods. We had the lunch buffet one day which was delicious with again a good mix of hot and cold food and a dessert bar. We tried two evening meals which were OK but the dessert was soooo good. I had the samifreddo made with Baileys and cherries.
There is the outdoor restaurant Terazzen Bar where you can order from an a la carte menu and there is also the Woodie Bar where you can order a drink and choose where you sit, inside or out. The deck was my favourite place to enjoy a coffee in the morning, afternoon and evening!
The spa was one of the highlights of the trip and most of the time we had it all to ourselves.
It is spread across two floors with the bottom floor dedicated to a range of saunas and steam rooms and a calm seating area. The top floor had a good sized indoor swimming pool with a large Jaws inspired Shark hanging on the wall. There was also a small outdoor pool as well as an outdoor and indoor hot tub. It is free for hotel guests and is open 6am-9pm on weekdays. You’re free to go whenever and as many times as you would like but it is good to know that from 6am-1pm children are allowed to use the spa so the hotel was extremely popular with families. A time to definitely avoid if you are not travelling with kids.
The best part of the trip was sitting my the ocean and enjoying some of the best sunsets, my two favourite things.
We stayed for three nights and it was the perfect length of time. We ate good food, drank some good wine (of which they had a very impressive collection) and we relaxed. It was the best Scandinavian summer break.
Next time when we have more time, we will be heading straight for the Fjords but until then, this was just what we wanted from our first trip to Norway.