Since Norway's first prime minister, Christian Michelsen, erected the beautiful hotel in Swiss style in 1896, Solstrand hotel has captivated guests from home and abroad. Its exquisite location at the edge of Bjørnefjorden, with fresh air and panoramic views of mountains and fjords allows guests to reflect and unwind.
Solstrand, then Haugstræ, was a cotter's farm under Hauge farm and owned by the monastery Lyse from the 1100s and until 1873. In 1895 Christian Michelsen purchased the property and opened Solstrand Hotel & Bad. Christian Michelsen was a ship owner in Bergen and became Norway's first prime minister following the dissolution of the union with Sweden in 1905.
Ole Wilhelm Fasting, engineer and writer, describes his first encounter with Solstrand in 1903 as follows:
"It is a large establishment, with large, magnificent hallways, comfortable stairways, a spacious vestibule with a fireplace, an elegant salon, large rooms with wide beds and verandas outside, all in all accommodating 80 travellers and with all windows facing out towards Bjørnefjorden and the glittering ice desert of Folgefonna. And the best of it all: lonely, hidden walking paths where you can forget that the world is pressed up against you, and there are so many that one need never walk the same path twice."
In 1916, 32 Bergen merchants met at Bergen Stock Exchange and between them founded the company Solstrand Hotel & Bad, with shares from NOK 5.000 to 10.000. The business was formalised.
In 1929 restorer Ludwig Larsen and Marie Schau took over the property. They lost three of their four children to tuberculosis in the 1920s, and in 1931 Ludwig Larsen died. Marie and her son Sverre managed the summer hotel in the difficult 1930s and through the Second World War. Today the 3rd and 4th generation Schau-Larsen's run Solstrand.
Since 1952 the Administrative Research Institute (AFF) at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) has arranged its management development programme at Solstrand. Since then Solstrand has been central to Norwegian management development. We create a good framework for demanding leadership processes over longer periods.
Western Norwegians are still the main guests at Solstrand. We have guests that have celebrated their wedding and their silver and gold anniversaries with us. We are very proud to house the important moments and celebrations in people's lives.
Prime minister Michelsen was a strategist and man of the world, with the world as a backdrop. He chose this place carefully and recognised its potential. In addition to people from Western Norway, we house travellers from far and wide. At Solstrand you will find both smartly dressed businesswomen, families with children, newlyweds and tourists strolling in the garden.
We have room for them all.