In Canvas Hotel, in the deep, magic forests in the county of Telemark, the check-in point is a tent. You have arrived at a paradise for biking enthusiasts.
This niche hotel has been developed for mountain biking and offers miles of guided hikes with overnight stays in yurts (Mongolian portable tents).
“We were looking for the best spot in our area and found the owner of a property who also was a mountain biker. We didn’t want to destroy the wilderness, so that’s how the idea of the yurts arose,” he says.
Beside mountain biking there’s plenty of alternatives. There is a gourmet chef, you may relax in the sauna and there are outdoor bathtubs at all tents as well.
The owners claim that their guests get the best accommodation available – since they deserve it.
Guests can choose between small routes ranging from about half an hour to two hours and big routes which are seven hours. In Norway you are by law allowed access anywhere in the forest, so it’s very easy to get on a bike and go wherever you want.
The Canvas Hotel also offers special training programs with all kinds of difficulty levels to accommodate anyone from beginners to experienced riders. This is far away from the busy fitness centers. It is all about enjoying nature and silence.
A typical day begins with a decent breakfast, like eggs and bacon and pancakes. After breakfast you ride on your bike for a few hours. Back to the hotel for lunch, and if you’re not of the most eager type, you may stay for the rest of the day and read books or listen to the birds. On day trips, the guide prepares a meal on open fire.
When guests arrive at the yurks after a good day of biking, they generally go directly into the sauna. If they prefer, there are also French vintage bathtubs that can be placed wherever the guests want to.
The yurts are standing on posts, and some are partly over the water. The yurts have wooden platforms and each has its own wood-burning stove. The tents are insulated with a layer of wool with canvas on the outside. They are cozy and warm and completely made of natural materials.
The area is perfect for biking since the ground consists of a thin layer of soil, basically a big area of rock, with many open areas and not many trees. Guests may enjoy hundreds of small lakes, rivers and streams.
The Canvas hotel is easily accessible and attracts private as well as corporate guests from all over the world, even if there’s no electricity or running water at the hotel, only a wood fire pit and propane gas.
To go there by car from Oslo:
Follow E-18 towards Kristiansand. Follow road 38 towards Skien/Drangedal, then road 358 at Bostrak towards Treungen.
The hotel opens around first of May and are closed during winter from first of November.
This year Canvas hotel was listed as one of the 100 best hotels in Europe by the German travel magazine Geo Saison.
The Most Remote Hotel in Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg