Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway

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In 1923, 12 years after Lillehammer Tourist Hotel was built, hotel manager Birger Hansen from Bergen laid eyes on this building up in the hills behind Lillehammer town. The scene captivated his heart and from that moment, he dared to dream that one day he would build a world class hotel. He succeeded in making Lillehammer Tourist Hotel an attraction for travelers from all corners of Scandinavia. Through the years the hotel has gone through several renovations and extensions, and today Scandic Lillehammer Hotel appears as a magnificent mountain hotel in Norway.

In spite of all reconstructions over the years, the history of the hotel is still in the walls. In 1944, the lounge of the hotel used to be the office of the supreme commander of the occupying forces in Norway, General Franz Böhme. The Norwegian military intelligence (XU) planned to blowing up the hotel. Fortunately, the action was not realized.

Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Lillehammer Hotel was built in 1912
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Hotel manager Birger Hansen from Bergen laid eyes on this building in 1923

In 1969, Leif Koppervik and his family wished to bring the wooden building to life by renovation and expand its accommodation capacity by building an extension.

Related: Norwegian Luxury Spa Hotel Directly on the Waterfront

Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Scandic Lillehammer Hotel rises proudly like an enchanting, white castle in a well-groomed park up on the bill behind Lillehammer town

Like an enchanting white castle
In 2006 the hotel was sold from the Koppervik family to Pandox eiendom who rented out the property to various hotel operator companies until Pandox Operations took charge of the hotel in 2015. Pandox had the goal of renovating the hotel to highlight the symbiosis between the stylistically different architectural movements, as well as reveal the detachment from the memory of the past. It was a considerable investment. Scandic Hotels became a tenant in May 2017.

Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
The hotel pub will soon be restyled. It was once one of the most popular meeting points in the hotel.
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
From the bar
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Scandic Lillehammer Hotel offers a feeling of spaciousness and volume

Today, Scandic Lillehammer Hotel rises proudly like an enchanting, white castle in a well-groomed park up on the bill behind Lillehammer town – just a stone’s throw from the ski jumps where Norwegian ski jumpers harvested medals during the Winter Olympics in 1994.

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Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
A large private sculpture park surrounds the hotel
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
The wooden bridge is a faithful copy of the wooden bridge in the Royal Castle Park in Oslo
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
The Miffy Fountain in front of the hotel is made by Tom Sachs from the USA

Art exhibition and sculpture park
Hotel manager Mona Smestad tells us that Lillehammer was gently affected by the pandemic, and the hotel was only closed three months during the spring of 2020.

Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Hotel manager Mona Smestad tells us that Lillehammer was gently affected by the pandemic, and the hotel was only closed three months during the spring of 2020.

The hotel is situated just 900 meters from the Lillehammer train station and a large private sculpture park surrounds the hotel which features a spa center with a sauna and heated indoor as well as outdoor pools. The beautiful garden with large lawns and birch trees features an idyllic, arched wooden bridge over a small lake. This bridge is a faithful copy of the wooden bridge in the Royal Castle Park in Oslo.

Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
“With trains leaving from Oslo Airport to Lillehammer every hour, Scandic Lillehammer Hotel is easily reachable from all corners of the worrld, says hotel manager Mona Smestad.

“We’re only four hours away from Paris,” says Smestad, and adds, “There’s a train station at Oslo Airport with trains leaving every hour for Lillehammer.”

Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Annasif Døhlen’s winning draft of “Joy of skiing” from 1982, depicting King Olav V skiing with his dog Troll
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Scandic Lillehammer Hotel is one of Norway’s largest conference hotels. Here from one of the 15 meeting rooms.
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Four fully equipped detached meeting cabins can be rented separately for weddings, anniversaries or conferences

Christian Ringnes, who established the Ekeberg Sculpture Park in Oslo, owns the hotel and has placed eight sculptures there. One of these is Annasif Døhlen’s winning draft of “Joy of skiing” from 1982, depicting King Olav V skiing with his dog Troll. The original sculpture is on display at Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo. The Miffy Fountain in front of the hotel is made by Tom Sachs from the USA.

Related: The Significant Story of a Norwegian Beach Hotel

Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
From one of the restaurants
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Creamed parsley root soup
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Grilled beef tenderloin with eggplant, peppers, squash, fondant potato and chimicharri sauce
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Roasted reindeer tenderloin with green asparagus, kohlrabi, salt-baked potatoes and red wine sauce, cranberries
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Chef Rudi Gratzer has served guests at the hotel since the Winter Olympics

Conferences & fine dining
Scandic Lillehammer Hotel is one of Norway’s largest conference hotels with 303 guest rooms of which 3 are junior suites and 1 is the Champagne suite. Four fully equipped detached meeting cabins can be rented separately for weddings, anniversaries or conferences in addition to the 15 meeting rooms of different sizes. Two restaurants serve international and local cuisine.

We really enjoyed our dinner by choosing creamed parsley root soup for starters, and for main dish, roasted reindeer tenderloin with green asparagus, kohlrabi, salt-baked potatoes and red wine sauce, cranberries. and grilled beef tenderloin with eggplant, peppers, squash, fondant potato and chimicharri sauce respectively. Chef Rudi Gratzer has served guests at the hotel since the Winter Olympics.

Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
From the spa department
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Indoor swimming pool
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Guests enjoying the outdoor jacuzzi

Spaciousness and volume
The conference department’s mingling space is a multi-storey glass-covered arcade with original artworks from Christian Ringnes’ private collection. The 36 acres of property is also a popular family hotel, with chill out room for the teenagers and a playroom for the children.

Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
From the gym
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
It looks more like a professional downtown fitness center

Scandic Lillehammer Hotel offers a feeling of spaciousness and volume not commonly found in hotels.

Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
One of the 303 guest rooms.
Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway
Experience a totally different world at Scandic Lillehammer Hotel!

Guests from all over the world come here to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the many attractions in and around Lillehammer, a town with a nineteenth-century concentration of wooden houses and a picturesque location overlooking the northern part of lake Mjøsa. Experience a totally different world at Scandic Lillehammer Hotel!

Magnificent Mountain Hotel in Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg

All photographs © Tor Kjolberg / Daily Scandinavian, except feature image (on top), Scandic Hotels.

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