It started with the view. As they sat on a boulder looking out over Storfjorden, Annbjørg and Barry Brown imagined the splendour of this panorama as seen from a hotel. Annbjørg had grown up in this area and was experienced in the tourist trade and Barry, after many years of working on international film and TV productions, had a keen appreciation for spectacular locations. When they lived in England, the couple would spend their Norwegian holidays at Annbjørg’s family summerhouse on the Storfjord.
In 2004 they bought six acres of land, including a boulder. In times gone by this same piece of land was the resting place for farm animals with an old barn, six stables, and neither electricity nor water – and no road. To get here they had to wade across a river in high rubber boots.
They blasted away the boulder, but framed the magnificent view with glass and pine timber and built six rooms, each of them lovingly crafted. After three years’ hard work, the hosts were ready to receive their first guests. Storfjord Hotel received rave reviews and soon became one of the highest-rated hotels in Norway. When checking out, some guests would insist on making a reservation for the following year.
To build the foundations to the hotel they first had to blast away the boulder and dig deep into the moutainside. The magnificent view was framed with glass and pine timber and the initial six rooms were built, each of them lovingly hand crafted. After three years hard work, the hosts were ready to receive their first guests. Storfjord Hotel received rave reviews and soon became one of the highest-rated hotels in Norway. When checking out, some guests would insist on making a reservation for the following year.
With far more inquiries than they could satisfy, Annbjørg and Barry started looking for a strategic partner who could help them expand the hotel – but they insisted on remaining true to their cherished vision. Fortunately, they realized that investor in Knut Flakk and 62°Nord who all shared the same values, and moreover already operated two renowned hotels in the region: Hotel Brosundet in Ålesund and Hotel Union Øye on the Norangsfjord. Together they began planning.
The elegant drawings showed two new buildings and an extension to the main house. In addition to the six old rooms and 17 new guest rooms, a conference facility was planned. It would have two meeting rooms, private dining rooms, and a large conference room that doubled as a banqueting hall.
In the autumn of 2011, immediately after Storfjord Hotel closed for the winter, master builders set to work. However, the hotel owners don’t believe in shortcuts – every detail had to be right, and that takes time, especially the interiors. The architect comes from award-winning Snøhetta. He was adamant that technology should be accessible when you need it, and otherwise be out of view and out of mind. This was key to the design of the brand-new conference facility.
In October 2012 the expanded hotel reopened its doors, welcoming back earlier guests and inviting new ones. We’re proud of the result, and we believe you will be pleased as well. The view is the same that Annbjørg and Barry fell in love with, and we’ve preserved the tranquillity and all the good qualities our guests treasure.