Bring a group of friends to Lofoten

From idyllic kayak trips and close encounters with sea eagles to rain showers, cake trolleys and sea views from the hotel bed. The were many highlights for the group of friends who got to spend a long weekend at Thon Hotel Svolvær.

"We tossed the fish into the air, and then the sea eagle swooped down and grabbed it with its talons – just a few metres away from us! It was absolutely magical to watch," says Charlotte Erster Dalan (24) enthusiastically.

She is the winner of the competition on Thon Hotels’ Facebook page, and was given the opportunity to take the whole group of friends on a dream vacation to Lofoten. Together with three friends from law school, her boyfriend, brother and a friend, the Oslo girl turned north to check in at our new hotel in Svolvær.

After four days in Lofoten’s beautiful capital, the verdict from the group of friends is clear: seeing Norway’s largest bird of prey up close is something everyone should experience in their lifetime.

Together with a local well-known guide, they set off on Trollfjord’s waters in a RIB boat, interspersed with exciting stories and stops to feed the eagles along the way.

"As a northern Norwegian, I also appreciated that the guide created a genuine northern Norwegian "josse" atmosphere on board," adds Nora Stenvaag (24).

"All in all, it was a magical experience, and a really cool way of discovering the area," say the friends in unison.

From sea eagle to a heavenly bed

Just a minute’s walk from the RIB safari’s starting point, Thon Hotel Svolvær is idyllically located on the water’s edge – with views of the approach to Svolvær and the famous statue Fiskerkona. But it wasn't just the view from the hotel room that made the group of friends' jaws drop.

"Wow, such a big room, was the first thing we said when we checked in," says Charlotte.

"It’s bigger than the apartment at home in Oslo!

The friends particularly appreciated that one room – the Ice Tower Suite – had a large dining table and lounge area with seating for the whole group, which was frequently used as a social zone.

"Having a large space in the hotel room where we could gather was absolutely the best for us as a whole bunch of people on a trip," says Charlotte.

In addition, they highlight the integrated bluetooth system and the coffee machine in the room as an extra nice touch. But the best thing after a long day of outdoor activities was jumping straight into the rain shower.

"Taking a hot shower, slipping into the dressing gown and crawling into the big bed with fluffy duvets was really nice," says Charlotte.

"Yes, we got a real sense of luxury. I haven't slept so well in a long time," says Nora.

Also read: What you should see and do in Svolvær

The world's best breakfast

Exploring everything beautiful Svolvær has to offer also requires good food in the belly. That is why Thon Hotel Svolvær has put a lot of love into offering great breakfast to its guests.

"The breakfast was very good. I especially liked the chef on the island in the middle, who dished up freshly made pancakes and omelettes as desired," says Sanna Konstanse Vorren (24).

"And that there was such a good selection of local products. I absolutely loved the cheese from the Aalan farm in Lofoten, Charlotte continues dreamily.

From the breakfast table, the group also had direct views of the sea and the hotel’s own fish farm.

"In the morning, we could see the fishermen taking up and filleting the fish, which would later be served for dinner. It was great fun and created a nice and holistic experience," says Nora.

With great local cuisine, waiters who made sure to regularly refill the coffee cup and a view of the beautiful Vestfjord, breakfast was a success.

"But what we liked the most? The juicer! Without a doubt, the group laughs in unison.

"We probably went to it at least five times each.

More activities

The group stayed at the hotel from Thursday to Sunday, and made good use of their time in what is referred to as Norway’s most beautiful archipelago. They think Thon Hotel Svolvær works well as a base for exploring both Svolvær and the surrounding area.

"The first day we rented cars and drove out to Uttakleiv and Hauklandstranda. We headed to the top of Mannen, and on the way home we stopped and watched the sunset from Unstadstranda. It was a really beautiful trip," Charlotte says.

The weather gods also showed their best side this weekend, delivering sunshine and blue skies every day.

"It was particularly nice when we kayaked in the strait outside the hotel. With a beautiful afternoon sun that reflected in the calm water, it became almost a kind of zen atmosphere," Charlotte says.

"It was also nice to have a calm activity combined with the RIB tour we had the day before," says Nora in, and continues:

"Although we were travelled in the same areas on the water, it felt like it was two completely different experiences.

"The instructor Laura was also very good, and taught us various techniques. So I can recommend kayaking to everyone, even those who haven't been kayaking before, Sanna adds.

Also read: Things to do in Lofoten

A magical evening

Back at the hotel, the stage was set for a tasteful experience in the hotel’s Brasseriet restaurant, where a five-course meal with wine package was served in a kind of sharing concept, where all dishes are shared on the table. With its white marble tables, colourful chairs and separate wine corner, it was almost like being in France, say the group of friends.

"For many of us, the dinner experience was perhaps the best part of the entire stay. It was so well done and extremely good food. A real night out," says Charlotte.

For dinner, mussels, salmon tataki, cod, cured meat and lamb were served before a cake trolley was wheeled out for dessert.

"The cake trolley was a really fun experience, and an eye-catcher throughout the evening. It’s not often you can choose dessert that way, and you also get to taste so many delicious cakes," says Nora.

"And then it was really idyllic to have the sunset just outside the window," adds Sanna.

Dreaming of going back

With a perfect mix of city and nature, and a programme full of fast-paced activities, good food and luxurious relaxation in the hotel room, the group of seven had a great time on the trip.

"It’s been a great experience – a dream weekend from start to finish! We won't forget this trip," says Charlotte, adding that checking in to a hotel added more flavour after two summers on camping holiday in a row.

"If you have the opportunity to do so, we recommend other groups of friends to do the same.

"It’s worth saving a little extra to get an experience like this.

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