Dalen Hotel

At this hotel history and luxury exist in a perfect symbioses. It’s not a luxury that makes you feel uncomfortable walking around in your normal daily outfit. Or one of those snobby places where you might feel you don’t exactly fit in. This luxury is defined by incredible service, tastefull gastronomy and breathtaking nature.

As soon as you enter the parking area in front of this 130 years old, but still well-kept castle hotel, you get the feeling that thousands of people has been laughing and enjoying themselves with loved ones, friends and families at this hotel for ages.

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The Hotel

The flow of tourists to Dalen was large already in the 19th century due to the completion of the Telemark Canal. The newly built Canal system became popular among royalty around the world, but Dalen lacked a luxury hotel to accommodate this prominent clientele. Inspired by stave churches and the Viking Age, the Dalen hotel was introduced to the world in 1894. The hotel became known throughout Europe and the English aristocracy came here. King Oscar II was a guest here, as were Emperor Wilhelm of Germany and King Leopold II of Belgium. King Haakon VII and Queen Maud also came here with the then Crown Prince Olav.

During World War II, the Germans took over the hotel, and the interior was removed while the buildings fell into disrepair. The preacher Aage Samuelsen had faith in the future of the hotel. He bought it, but did not succeed in raising capital for the restoration of the buildings. But he gave the hotel a lot of attention and PR. At the end of the 1980s, restoration was started and in 1992 the hotel reopened.

In 2000, the hotel received the conservation organization Europa Nostra’s highest award – a silver medal – for preserving the hotel as a unique cultural monument. Dalen Hotel has also been awarded Olavsrosa as a lighthouse in the Norwegian Cultural Heritage’s product range. Holders of the quality brand Olavsrosa have a strong profile in the dissemination of Norwegian cultural heritage. The motto “Olavsrosa – our best experiences” places high demands on product quality and maintenance of this quality. The National Heritage Board has described Dalen Hotel as the most powerful, magnificent and best-preserved of all the old dragon architecture hotels. 

The complete history of Dalen Hotel may be found in our book which can be purchased during your stay or from our reception.


Dalen Hotel® has 49 rooms divided into a wide range of room categories. All rooms are decorated in our historical style and has its own individual historical character.

The hotel rooms bring you back in time of the golden age of the hotel and you will therefore not find TV, radio, telephone or minibar in any of our rooms. 

All our rooms have double beds. If you prefer a separate single beds, this needs to be requested to the hotel in advance and will come at an additional cost.


The hotel’s ambitions are to deliver dining experiences out of the ordinary. With Michelin-star Executive Chef Mikael Öster and his highly decorated team, the restaurant experience is in focus during a visit to Dalen Hotel. In line with the hotel’s history and founding, the menu is French inspired with the use of local and Norwegian ingredients.

The hotel’s restaurant offers four- and six-course menus, there is also the option of chambre séparée. The restaurant is classically styled with white tablecloths and candles and service wears white gloves and bow tie. In the evening, the restaurant has a smart casual dress code and it is possible to borrow a suit jacket at the hotel.

The dining room is preserved in historical condition and is mentioned as one of the hotel’s most important sights by the Norwegian National Heritage Board.

Hotel guest are prioritized for seats in the restaurant, please feel free to contact us to check availability if you do not plan to stay at the hotel.

Afternoon Tea

Our classic lunch courses are served in our majestic hall, our garden rooms or on the terrace kl 12.00 – 15.00. We recommend booking in advance as we are often fully booked. 

Classic afternoon tea is served with three sandwiches filled with eggesalad, salmon, ham with mustard and cheeset. Chips, homemade scones with creme fraiche and jam. Sweet and fresh. Coffe & tea. *

Be sure to ask to ask your waiter for a recommondation from the wine list.


In Vannvegen’s stories, art, architecture and light will be used as tools in a holistic concept to highlight the attractiveness of the landscape and make the places along the canal more visible. “The underlying idea is that visitors and people who live in the area should experience the canal landscape in a new way,” says architect David Fjågesund in Feste Landskap/Architektur. Fjågesund is part of the Nordic design team behind the project, which also includes a landscape architect, lighting designer and artists. http://www.feste.no/soria-moria

The inspiration for the sauna is taken from the surrounding landscape and history. The building’s characteristic silhouette is an interpretation of the sloping mountain sides that disappear into Bandak. The cladding of shavings is inspired by local building customs and between the wood shavings there is a flash of gold. Gullsponen draws lines for signs and sogers and local storytelling tradition; to the mysterious and uncanny.

“Gullsponen also refers to the contrast that arose between low-key telemarking and the lavish foreign upper class during the establishment of the Dalen Hotel at the end of the 19th century,” explains David Fjågesund.

Henrik Ibsen – Ferry

M/S Henrik Ibsen® sails on a daily schedule between Skien and Dalen during the summer season.

A journey on the Telemark Canal aboard M/S Henrik Ibsen from 1907 is a unique cultural-historical voyage through spectacular Norwegian nature and fantastic lock systems, considered the eighth wonder of wood when they were carved into the mountain at the end of the 19th century. First-class service is offered on board whether you are on the Promenade deck, in the restaurant Aktersalongen with wonderful dining from the ship’s galley with a good selection of wine and drinks or in the Cafe ahead. We call combining a historic canal cruise with a culinary stay at the adventure hotel Dalen Hotel anno 1894 “a spa for the soul”.

It is with pride that we invite you on board for a spectacular and historic journey on the Telemark Canal, with a high degree of comfort and service in what is one of Norway’s most beautiful nature experiences.

De Historiske

De Historiske – Historic Hotels & Restaurants – is a unique membership organisation containing many of Norway’s most charming hotels and restaurants. The group consists of 65 hotels, 20 restaurants and 1 ship which are members of the group.

Our aim is to use the past as a backdrop for our guests, to enable them to create their own history based on experiences. It is our hope that these narrations may continue to live in the memories of our guests long after their return home.

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