A stay at one of Europe’s most isolated hotels: Finse 1222 5

The exterior of Finse 1222, a Norwegian hotel located on the Bergen-Oslo line

Finse 1222 is a historic hotel located in the tiny hamlet of Finse which is on the Bergen to Oslo railway line. Located on the highest point on the line and named for its height above sea level (in metres), Finse 1222 describes itself as “a very different place” and sells itself on its mountainous surroundings.

Mountains surrounding Finse 1222, Norway

A large lake and mountains surround the hotel

Finse 1222 does feel extremely remote – there’s no road access to Finse so the only way it can be reached is via train. Although it is located right on the platform, it feels like a very serene and peaceful location cut off from the rest of the world mainly due to the surrounding mountains and the lake on which it sits – Finsevatnet.

Mountain and lake view at Finse 1222

The view from the hotel’s outdoor terrace

On arrival, we found a large room to store gear and luggage off the corridor which led through to a bright reception area complete with large windows and a seating area offering views across the water. The member of the staff on the reception desk was helpful and friendly offering advice about what was on offer at the hotel and arranging our evening meal reservation and making a note of any dietary requirements we had (room rates include breakfast and a three-course dinner).

Traditional decor in Finse 1222

The main wing of the hotel also has a large lounge space adjacent to the reception area complete with a terrace offering a chance to sit outside and soak up some of the views. Free tea and coffee is available at all times.

Guest areas in Finse 1222

The rooms themselves seem to be named after figures to do with the hotel’s history (sadly, there was nothing to tell us about the person our room was named after in English) and are quite simple. No TV is provided but there are good sized windows offering more opportunities to take in the view. There’s Wifi throughout the hotel and a separate TV lounge for guest use.

Finse 1222 room view

The restaurant adjoins the lounge and the staff were extremely welcoming and helpful throughout the meal. Although the evening’s set menu included lamb for the main course, we were provided with a special vegetarian option.

A three-course dinner is provided at Finse 1222

However, after dinner we were not able to enjoy the peaceful evening we’d envisaged in such a remote location.

During the afternoon, there had been a digger moving rocks around underneath the terrace. It wasn’t too much of an issue as we went for a walk and assumed that it would finish shortly as night was falling. But this was not the case. Even after we’d finished our meal at about 8.30pm, the digger was still going. Our plan had been to enjoy a drink on the terrace but the noise was too off-putting in such a quiet spot so we sat in the lounge area instead but some noise could still be heard, and we did feel that it spoiled the evening.

It removed any opportunity to make the most of the peacefulness of the surrounding area and was even more frustrating because the hotel was due to shut for the end of the season in the coming days, so there would have been plenty of time for the digger to be in action when there were not paying guests around.

When we went to bed at 10pm, the digger was still going and the sound was noticeable in our room. At this point, I went to reception to complain and thankfully the lady on reception did go outside and tell him it was time to stop. However, it did feel that this was too late and what should have been a peaceful and relaxing stay had been tainted.

Early morning view of the surroundings of Finse 1222, Norway

We decided to get up early to see the sunrise

Breakfast is served in the same restaurant as the evening meal the night before and included an excellent selection with plenty of hot and cold options on offer. There were also nice little extras such as homemade smoothies to try. Guests are more than welcome to take away items from the breakfast buffet for lunch with plastic bags and napkins provided, so we also made up some cheese sandwiches to take away with us.

Breakfast at Finse 1222, Norway

Overall, I did feel slightly let down by Finse 1222 purely because the peace was disturbed. With the digger going on pretty much the whole time we were there, we had minimal opportunities to actually relax and truly take in the spectacular setting. The food was excellent, the staff were lovely and the location was unrivalled but when you’re paying high prices for a single night and the main attraction is the serenity, unnecessary disturbances are very frustrating.

Cost: 3060 NOK (£288) for two people in a double room for one night with dinner and breakfast, plus complimentary hot drinks through the stay.

Score: 7/10 – a peaceful stay spoiled by digger although the location was stunning and the food was to a very high standard.

5719 Finse – finse1222.no/en

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