If you’re looking for family friendly accommodation in Norway that will also appeal to your design aesthetic, it’s worth planning a trip around the unique and uber cool boutique hotel Juvet. This is a design hotel quite unlike anything almost anything you will see anywhere else in the world. You get all the creature comforts of free wifi, beds, bathrooms and home cooked meals with a view to rival anything you’d see while camping with kids (without having to do the camping). For a memorable experience of rural Norway with kids, don’t miss this.
The Destination: Juvet in Norway
Modern but not pretentious, manmade but still at one with the natural elements, rustic but chic, Juvet is a stunning take on a family villa holiday in Norway and a stylish but very easy way to access the Norwegian fjords with kids without having to sacrifice any contemporary amenities. A series of minimalist “cubes” built on a farm in Norddal offer guests some of the most breathtaking views you will see from any building in the world with not another urban structure or vehicle to obstruct the vista.
[For more travel tips on visiting the Norway fjords with kids, see the suitcases&strollers story Nigardsbreen Glacier.]
Once you enter the rooms, the initial reaction is to not want to leave. And, indeed, you can spend an entire day or more just soaking up the scenery and hanging out in your cube. The rooms themselves are Scandinavian minimalism at their best with very little furniture and a bare bones, tiny bathroom (there is no bath or shower recess although there is a showerhead).
Attractions Around Juvet
Around the property there are some pretty walks in the summer and cross country skiing with kids in the winter. If you prefer downhill skiing or snowboarding with kids, the hotel is 45 minutes’ drive from Stranda ski resort that has a dedicated family ski area complete with new lift and children’s park for beginners.
[For more travel tips on snowboarding and downhill skiing with kids, see the suitcases&strollers story here.]
It is definitely worth visiting Gudbrandsjuvet Gorge over Valldøla River Bridge just across the main road.
You can walk over this series of whirlpools via the connector bridge to take fantastic photographs of the amazing gorge formations.
[For more travel tips on how to take memorable travel photos on family holidays with kids, see the suitcases&strollers interview with a professional photographer How To Take The Best Travel Photos.]
It is also worth spending a day to explore Geirangerfjord and the Trollstigen Mountain Road viewpoint at Ørnevegen (the Eagle Road). There are some fantastic places to do hiking with kids around this area, but if all you do is drive your car there and walk to the outlook, it will be well worth the trip,
The viewing deck overlooks a huge valley where the road does a series of hair pin turns to offer up what is absolutely one of the best views you will see anywhere on the planet.
Even the drive from Juvet to the Trollstigen Mountain Road viewpoint is pretty stunning.
Keep a look out for places kids can construct little rock statues along the way.
The closest major city to Juvet is Alesund, one of the three gateways to the fjords of Norway with kids. [To read more about one of the other gateways to the fjords, see the suitcases&strollers story about the city that inspired Arendelle in the Disney movie Frozen, Bergen.]
Take the time to spend at least a couple of hours in this pretty port city walking the cobbled streets and eating fish and chips right on the water.
When in Alesund with kids it’s definitely a must to visit the Alesund aquarium, Altanterhavesparken.
It is an impressive space and here you will see octopus, Atlantic halibut and several species of crab and eel local to the area that you will rarely see in other aquariums.
There are interactive displays too – such as crab fishing – and outside near the penguin enclosure is a large play area with sandpit, water play and playground.
In the summer when the playground is open you could easily spend a few hours here learning about the fish and then letting the kids run around outdoors.
The Practicalities of Juvet With Kids
The easiest way to access Juvet from outside Norway is to enter via Alesund. From there it is about an hour and a half drive. You will need to hire a car not only to access the property but also to tour around the glorious surrounds.
The main reason to come to Juvet is to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime views out the windows so there are no curtains. (Eye masks can be provided on request.) Beware that in the summer months this means the sun does not set until very late which can be an issue which young children who need complete darkness to sleep.
Rooms do not come with televisions (but there is free wifi) so you will need to bring your own screens.
Juvet itself is a 10-minute drive from the nearest town with supermarket facilities. Breakfast and dinner are hosted inside the old barn and are a communal affair where all guests sit together at the same table eating home-style local fare. Lunch is not provided. If you prefer you can request a separate table for your family; the staff are very tolerant of children. Pets are also welcome.
Images: suitcases&strollers, CH, Øyvind Heen, Stranda, visitnorway.com