Just north-east of Oslo, on the road that winds into the woods in Eastern Norway at the Swedish border, you find Rømskog Spa & Resort, originally founded as a Zen resort by the Norwegian shipping heiress Tone Bergesen.
Silence. View of a forest lake. Vegetarianism. Massage. Yoga. No children. Japanese atmosphere with bamboo sandals and kimono – in the middle of Norwegian wilderness. Shipping heiress Tone Bergesen was convinced of success when she realized her spa dream at Vortungen Lake in Rømskog, Østfold and opened her 4,000square meter spa and resort facility in 2008.
However, 2 years later, her dream was broken and new owners took over and transformed the Zen facility into a luxury spa and resort hotel, still emphasizing silence and well-being.
Only 90 minutes’ drive from downtown Oslo, located at the tranquil shores of Lake Vortungen, you find one of Norway’s leading luxury spa hotels, Romskog Spa & Resort. The resort is deductively relaxing with views of the lake from every room and from the restaurant and reception as well as the indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
Behind the hotel is the lake and acres of forests where you can bike, walk, canoe or rent a boat for fishing in the summer months. In autumn there are plenty of delicious berries and mushrooms to be found along the lush wooden paths. Winter season is perfect for cross country skiing.
On the outside of the original Zen center, still with some of the Japanese artwork intact and all floors made from pressure treated bamboo, it’s a modern looking concrete, wood and glass construction. Inside, there’s the comfort of a modern luxury hotel.
If you want to hire bikes, a boat for fishing, canoe or paddleboards, the reception personal will readily assist you. Because of the hotel’s lovely setting, the hotel is popular for wedding parties, celebrations, business meetings and conferences or just relaxing. 18 wedding parties took place at Rømskog Spa and Resort in 2017.
Silence is golden at Rømskog Spa & Resort. The Swedish hotel manager Niclas Norman tells us the story of an Asian guest staying at the hotel. “One day he was missing for lunch. They started looking for him, and found him not far away, laying on his back by the lake. When asked if something was wrong, he smiled and answered, “No, not at all. I am just lying down listening to the silence. I have never heard that before!”
The big draw at Rømskog Spa & Resort, though, is the excellent spa, where a big central pool is surrounded by Japanese bath, steam sauna, sauna and a cold pool and an on-site spa center offers various healthy treatments for the whole body.
The rooms are simple, but comfortable, most of them looking towards the lake. There are 39 rooms and 5 suites.
The restaurant offers a set menu every evening. We chose a 3-course dinner consisting of a delicious creamy lobster soup, beef medallions with pepper sauce, Cognac sauce, potato cake and asparagus and for dessert a lovely cherry cake.
There is also a charming bar offering after dinner snacks and drinks.
“There’s also a lavvu (a temporary dwelling used by the Sami people of northern Scandinavia) outside the hotel, accommodating 30 people and a barbeque station that is popular all year round,” says marketing manager May-Therese Kilde Halvorsen. “There are many hiking trails, an obstacle trail and a quiz trail. We tailor-made activities and always make sure that we meet our customers’ specific wishes,” she adds.
“The last two years we’ve had a very pleasant increase in number of guests,” says Norman. “And we’re looking forward to welcome more guests next year,” he concludes. and Swedish hotel manager Niclas Norman, who is very proud of the hotel’s flooring, made by pressure treated bamboo. And then he tells us about an Asian guest
Sound of Silence in Luxury Spa Hotel Outside Oslo, Norway, Text and Photos, Tor Kjolberg