Norway

We’re all about a funky hotel or two, but some of the coziest spots are those with shabby-chic decor — just homey enough to be comforting, while still packing in a lot of style. Shabby-chic hotel design is a study in the art of textural contrasts: vintage leather, velvet furniture, deliberately faded rugs, woods, and rich prints all add to the look. And when shabby-chic is done well, the end result is impressively style-conscious, yet more livable than some, shall we say more modern, spots we’ve visited.  So today we’re giving a photo tour of our favorite hotels that have the shabby-chic vibe down pat. Get inspired — and get the look!

Petit Ermitage, Los Angeles

Butterfly Bar at the Petit Ermitage

We love the cozy, laid-back look of the Petit Ermitage, a quaint boutique in West Hollywood. The hotel’s bohemianism — think stained glassdistressed fixtures, and plenty of interesting artwork – gives the common areas and rooms a whimsical vibe and clearly attracts a fair share of hipsters, who can be found by the rooftop pool or in the lobby. It may not look like much from the outside, but the Petit Ermitage not only boasts an attention-to-detail in the design, but also in the amenities it provides (rooftop garden, tasty restaurant, pool), especially for a hotel of its size.

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Open wide! Fresh fish at the Fisketorget Fish Market in Bergen is waiting to be devoured -- or maybe do some devouring itself.

The Land of the Midnight Sun offers cuisine that is as stunning and unique as the country’s dramatic natural scenery. Known for its strong focus on game meats and fish – as well as its many wonderfully diverse ways of preserving both – Norway is not short on culinary surprises. The country shares a palate with its Scandinavian neighbors, and also has some similarities with the tastes of Alaskans, Canadians, and the Japanese. But when it comes down to it, Norway is its own culinary beast and, due our recent trip there, we can officially say we slayed it. Though the fermented fish did give us pause, we persevered and were not the least bit disappointed. So what are you waiting for? Dig into Norway »

 

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The Naerofjord and the Aurlandsfjord are picturesque.

We just got back from Norway, a country of stunning natural beauty. It’s known for its winter sports, but also for its unique architectural style, Viking history, summer midnight sun and, of course, the striking fjords and the northern lights, the country’s top attractions. We didn’t waste a second of our time there, and we’ve come back with 23 hotel reviews, nearly 10,000 photos, five knowledge-packed travel guides, numerous lists and slideshows of attractions and famous Norwegian staples, and roundups of the best hotels — whether you’re on business or a luxe getaway, with the family or with your honey. Follow the links to check it all out, or peruse some of our fabulous photos after the jump. Just be warned: They’ll make you want to start planning your Norwegian vacation right away!

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The Fretheim's cozy lobby, complete with a roaring fireplace, keeps guests warm and far from the wintry cold outside.

The Fretheim Hotel has long been a destination for tourists looking to explore Norway’s natural wonders. In the late 19th century, English lords came to Flam and stayed at the farm of Christen Fretheim while they fished for salmon or hunted for nearby game. The farm soon developed into a hotel, and today it welcomes tourists who flock to Flam for fjord cruises, hiking, and in the winter, cross country skiing. The hotel’s common spaces have charm to spare, with cozy fireplaces, lots of wooden accents, and quaint antique furniture. Rooms, however, are a mixed bag; 80 percent have basic mid-range decor, while the rest are higher-end. (American Wing Rooms are contemporary, while Historic Wing Rooms — though lacking TVs for added authenticity — are lovely.) The hotel makes the most of its unique, naturally beautiful location with soaring glass windows in the lobby and restaurant that frame the steep surrounding mountains. See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now »

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