A Peep into Local Life
An integral part of Ballstad’s small community, Hattvika Lodge and a snug base to play in the arctic playground of the Lofoten archipelago
Review by Justine Gosling Photography by Heidi Hallseth
Kristian Bøe and his wife found the derelict fisherman’s warehouses and cabins that is now Hattvika Lodge, two years ago. The transformation and restoration has been fast, but respectful to its history and age; some of the buildings date back to 1838. Situated in the small village of Ballstad on the South side of the Lofoten archipelago in arctic Norway, Hattvika harbour is still in use by the local fisherman today.
Staying at Hattvika Lodge gives you a real sense of what life is like here for the locals. You immediately know that this is a tight knit community built around the fishing industry. The lodge compromises of seven cabins and lodges that are positioned right on the water’s edge of the dock and accessed via raised wooden walk way over the water.
The buildings have been restored to replicate their original appearance as much as possible. Many have traditional insulating grass roofs. Our cabin’s roof was only half covered with grass, the other half was originally storage space for the fisherman and therefore was not needed to be insulated.
Our cabin was the size of a small house with very generous sized living and sleeping accommodation. Down stairs was a large and fully equipped kitchen and dining room, bathroom and two bright and spacious bedrooms. A log burning stove sat in the corner of the dining room to keep the place cosy during the cold arctic winter days and nights. There is under floor heating throughout with specks of blue and yellow paint messily scattered over the wooden floors surface, giving the cabin a contemporary feel. This is enhanced with the up lifting contemporary art pieces around the cabin commissioned from local artists featuring the scenes and objects from the surrounding area. The modern interior was decorated with a Scandinavian vibe using different shades of grey for furnishings, colourful cushions and patterned throws against the cracked old wood walls and floor.
My favourite room was the large living room which occupied the whole upper floor. Sparsely furnished with just a couple of lamps, a large coffee table, sofa and a chaise lounge, the room was simple, uncomplicated and open. The main feature of the room that made the space so inspiring was the floor to ceiling window that looked out over the harbour and ocean beyond. I sat for hours by this window, taking in the golden light in the morning watching the fishing boats pass. The window brings the outside, inside, and the light pours in instantly lifting your mood and lowering your tense shoulders. Watching the steady stream of small fishing boat traffic bringing their catch home is a very pleasant pass time from my cabin window or from the outside wood fired hot tub. They also have a Finnish sauna to help you relax.
A visit to the Lofoten archipelago is about immersing yourself in the spectacular nature and adventures that it brings. To provide guests with ultimate adventure experiences, Hattvika Lodge collaborates with local activity providers to enable guests to go cod fishing, mountain biking, hiking, ski touring, kiting, surfing or kayaking. We opted for kayaking and hiking. Our knowledgeable and friendly guide, Samuel, took us on a kayaking trip around the harbour and coastline, departing right from shoreline of the lodge. Perfectly warm in dry suits, we explored the harbour and spotted many jellyfish, local bird life and even Sea Eagles. Hattvika Lodge is the perfect place to relax after a day’s adventures in this arctic playground.
Enquiries: Hattvikveien 14, 8373 Ballstad, Norway / www.hattvikalodge.no/