Heed the hotel's advice before booking your stay at the Arctic Hideaway: "Pack wool ... even in the summer."
So you think you want to go off the grid. How about a Norwegian getaway that has no stores, no roads, and no cars? There are few signs of life here — then again there are also no dangerous animals. To embark on a stay at this arctic hotel means leaving your wi-fi behind. Welcome to the island of Fordypningsrommet in the Fleinvær Archipelago — the home of the Arctic Hideaway.
What you may notice first about the Arctic Hideaway is that unlike other hotels, this one isn't one large building but rather a cluster of cabins. Each cabin serves a separate function; five are sleeping quarters and the rest are specifically for eating, bathing, or just chilling out — pun intended.
The sleeping cabins are meant to be private spaces, but the rest of the arctic hotel is shared with the occupants from the four other cabins.
Perhaps the most prominent cabin is that stands out against the island's skyline, is an elevated and heavily-windowed pod meant to be a shared space for sitting, thinking, and creating. It comes complete with a stereo and piano, as well as the most beautiful views of the Arctic ocean and sky.
Speaking of the skies, the Arctic Hotel is the perfect spot to observe the world-famous Northern Lights. For the best viewing, you should visit during the months of November through January; it's dark all day and night — but it's a small inconvenience to endure for those views.
BYOA: Bring Your Own Alcohol
While food is included in the price of your stay (an open pantry supplies many basics for all meals), alcohol is not provided.
If you'd rather choose from a pre-prepared food menu, chefs from the nearby coastal town of Bodø have you covered. They prepare three-course dinners, seasonal lunches, or breakfast, and all of these focus on the flavors of modern northern Norwegian cuisine. This is an extra service, but probably worth the upgrade if you're a foodie.
Of course, you're welcome to bring your own food with your alcohol if you prefer. Bringing your own toiletries and supplies is also a must as there are no stores to run to if you forget your deodorant at home. The hotel's website offers advice on how to best prepare for your stay, too:
"Pack wool. Even in the summer. Pack for wind and pack for rain. And pack a pair of shorts for the sauna. Then you have packed perfectly."
The Price: (It Is Not As Spendy As You May Think)
With a trendy hotel such as this, you might expect the prices to be sky-high. However, they are actually cheaper than many high-end chain hotels in bigger cities.
Costs for one night at the Arctic Hideaway range seasonally from $178 and $287. Furthermore, if you'll remember - this price does include many basic food items.
Unfortunately for most, the cost of traveling to the remote hotel is where the brunt of the budget will be spent.
For large groups, it is a possibility to rent out the entire hotel and all the cabins. According to Condé Nast Traveler, the price for renting all five cabins for a full week will cost you a modest $3,500 USD. Now we are talking about real privacy.
The Owner, The Architects, And The Caretakers
Norwegian Jazz musician Håvard Lund founded the hotel in 2014 and it was designed by the Norwegian architect firms of TYIN Tegnestue and Rintala Eggertsson. They made sure the Arctic Hideaway left a small carbon footprint and focused on using sustainable materials throughout.
Lastly, who are these caretakers? They are the ones who greet you after the ferry ride and guide you through the cabins and their uses upon your arrival. They answer any questions and make sure your stay is worry-free. You also have to share the bathroom cabin with them, even if you rent the whole island.
Maybe no hotel is completely private.