This atmospheric former farm is the perfect place to stay when hiking in Jotunheimen or on a Sognefjellet road trip.
One of the joys of driving around Norway is visiting the mountains in the summer.
Accommodation is hard to come by in peak season so if you’re like me and not really a fan of camping in tents, you need to arrange something in advance. So on a recent visit to Jotunheimen National Park and the Sognefjellet mountain pass, I did just that.
The Røisheim Hotell
This place leaped out at me on Booking.com. Not only was it cheaper than almost everywhere else in the region, it also looked beautiful.
Now, I’m well aware of the trap set by many Norway hotels of pushing the pictures of a historic old building only to put the majority of travellers up in a soulless modern block. Was this the case here? Absolutely not!
Accommodation near Jotunheimen
The farm was super simple to find. It’s just a 15-minute drive along route 55 from Lom, the town that’s considered the base for exploring Jotunheimen and the epic Galdhøpiggen, the tallest mountain in Northern Europe.
Route 55 quickly turns into one of Norway’s most spectacular National Scenic Routes, with plenty of snow visible even at the height of summer.
The Røisheim Hotel is located right on one of the few turns that take visitors directly into the park, a 14km twisty mountain track that culminates in the start of a hiking trail to Galdhøpiggen at the Spiterstulen mountain lodge.
While Spiterstulen is a good choice for mountain hikers, Røisheim is perfect for the more casual visitor, especially those planning to drive Sognefjellet.
Guest rooms are split across the farm’s 14 buildings. A small leaflet gives details about each building, adding some perspective to your stay.
I was given a small room in the old school house, one of three rooms in the building. The accommodation itself is simple with a large bed, a couple of chairs, table, and a bathroom.
The only real downside to the room was the very thin curtains. This being Norway and this being June, the light never went away.
It was especially problematic for me given that I was staying on the longest day of the year. My fault for not remembering to take my eye mask. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now!
The highlight of the bathroom is this gorgeous wooden bathtub. While this will not be to everyone’s tastes, I loved it!
In keeping with the atmosphere of the accommodation, there are no TVs. Also, the Wi-Fi signal didn’t reach as far as my room, although it was perfectly fine in the main building.
Inside the main building either side of the reception are a couple of rooms serving as the restaurant and guest lounges. They are decorated in a traditional style
The included breakfast buffet is surprisingly lavish for the number of guests. Three different kinds of salmon! A pot of coffee was made fresh for each guest and served at the table.
The only downside is breakfast service doesn’t start until 8am. That’s fine for most people but meant I had to do without on my final day as I had an early start.
The optional dinner is well worth it
One nice touch about Røisheim is the dinner service. While it’s not cheap, it’s a wonderful experience comparable to a traditional Norwegian restaurant in a big city.
There is just one sitting – 7.30pm when I stayed – and the menu is fixed. This meant I could only join for dinner on one of the two nights I stayed, but I’m sure glad I did.
The focus is very much on local food, as is the Nordic way. When an appetiser of local sausage with aquavit-soaked lingonberries was served along with my local ale from Lom, I knew I was in for a treat.
The full menu was a salmon tartare with horseradish cream, onion soup, fillet of deer, and a chocolate mousse. As you can see from the picture above, there was plenty of food so I left full.
A great value choice
Honestly, I still can’t quite believe the value offered here. I paid just 1,075kr per night for my room via Booking.com, which included the breakfast buffet. That's less than almost all the soulless chain hotels in Norwegian cities.
The fixed four-course dinner was 650kr, which needs to be booked in advance. That's pricey, but it's a decent-sized meal. Also, other options are limited in the area and the last thing you want to do after a day of exploring is to cook your own food!
From what I could tell these prices are fixed throughout the season. Given its location, the hotel is only open from late Spring to early Autumn. If you're visiting Jotunheimen or driving along Sognegjellet, this is a great value accommodation option.
Editor's note: The author paid in full for accommodation and dinner. Hotel management and staff were not made aware of the review.