Sigurd Kvikne, Kviknes Hotel

Sigurd Kvikne

A Fourth
Generation Host

Editors’ Note

Among a series of positions within the tourism industry, Sigurd Kvikne has led the Sogn og Fjordane Tourist Board. He is a member of the Fjord Norway board of directors, has been Chairman of the chain “Historic Hotels,” and the Balestrand Tourist Board. In 1989, he co-founded the Balejazz festival, which is still held regularly.

Property Brief

In Balestrand, beautifully located beside the Sognefjord, lies Kviknes Hotel (kviknes.no). The Kvikne family have been the hosts at the property since 1877. The hotel was built in the “Swiss” style. There have been many new buildings, reconstructions, and extensions since, but none of this has altered the special character of the hotel. Kviknes is now a modern hotel with old-world charm and atmosphere, and with 190 guest rooms, it is one of the largest tourist hotels in Norway. The hotel is graced with an extensive collection of artworks and antiques, which give it its special style.

Kviknes Hotel is a cozy place, almost fairy-tale-like.

We are just by the Sognefjord, which is the longest, deepest, and most beautiful fjord in the world, and it has been a charmed spot for many. It began with the national romantic painters of Norway who discovered this place and the scenery here, and used it as motive for many beautiful paintings.

The fjords of Norway are famous – UNESCO and National Geographic named them one of the best destinations for a vacation.

Is it difficult for visitors to get here?

When you come to Oslo or Bergen, it’s very easy to get here, either by boat or by train. It’s a fantastic boat ride from Bergen up and in the fjord. We are right in the middle of the fjord, and when you leave from here, you can easily go to the well-known Naeroyfjord and do the famous Flam railway.

You can visit all of the famous attractions of the fjord area using Balestrand as a starting point.

What is the best time of year to visit?

In May, we have the beautiful apple blossoms and snow on the mountain tops, and it’s bright. You have the blue sky and the blue fjord – this is my favorite time of year.

We are open all year round, but from October until May, we are open on request for special parties and banquets and meetings.

Unfortunately, we don’t have too many tourists in the winter season. The mountains are too steep for foreigners to ski.

You have one of the great dining rooms in Europe here – you brought a chef in from Austria.

Yes, he has been here for over 10 years now. The clientele in summer is very international, so we need to cater to that.

But we try to emphasize local food because we have this magnificent fjord land – there is a lot of good fish, crayfish in particular.

Even famous guests don’t need security here.

No. Kofi Annan did a really smart thing during his stay: He invited the press for a small press conference and said he would like a private holiday here with his wife, so the newspaper people left. Then he was able to come and go as a normal guest.

After he left, he sent autographed pictures to all the people who helped him and he wrote a nice comment in our guestbook. His wife, who is an artist, made a nice painting in our guestbook.•