This Scandi-Chic Arctic Outpost Is One Of The World’s Northernmost Boutique Hotels

In the remote, far Arctic, you’d think finding a luxury hotel would be as likely as spotting a pack of polar bears. But in Svalbard, you can find both. Funken Lodge is Longyearbyen’s premier lodge, located a short walk from the center of this small settlement, it’s filled with Scandinavian charm.

Housed inside the former lodging for single administrative workers from the mine, the hotel’s history dates back to the 1940s, where memories of themed parties, an indoor shooting range, and wild Christmas shindigs echo through its hallways.

Funken Lodge’s 88 rooms and suites are compact and cozy with wooden floors and walls, warm velvet furniture, plush individual duvets (it’s the Scandinavian sleep tradition), and rain showers perfect for warming up after a day exploring Svalbard’s icy tundra. Book a front-facing room for superb views of Platåfjellet peak and the settlement, especially during the midnight sun, when it never sets.

Its warm and welcoming feel transfers to the common spaces, where guests can curl up by the fireplace with a book and a spiked hot chocolate from Funken Bar. The hotel’s library is lined with books on polar expeditions, leather couches, hanging vintage lamps, and tables for playing cards during a winter storm. Walls throughout the hotel are decorated with old black and white photos from Svalbard’s mining heyday. 

The hotel’s main restaurant, Funktionærmessen Restaurant, is stylish and refined with light gold fixtures, hanging pendants, velvet booths, and sleek Scandi chairs and tables. Known as one of Svalbard’s most upscale dining rooms, it serves Norwegian king crab, caviar, and local reindeer paired with 300 vintages or 70 Champagnes from its extensive cellar.

Top Takeaways

Location: Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen

The Vibe: Cozy and contemporary with hygge and history in every corner.

Rating: Four-star

Food + Drink: Funktionærmessen Restaurant serves a delightful Scandinavian breakfast buffet with smoked salmon, eggs, bacon, pastries and fresh juice. Dinner is an impeccable fine-dining menu with an impressively large wine list. Funken Bar serves what are arguably the best cocktails and Longyearbyen and a light lunch and dinner menu of burgers, sandwiches and soups.

Amenities: A small gym, sauna, restaurant, bar, and meeting rooms.

Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: Guests are asked to participate in the old mining Svalbard tradition of removing their outdoor shoes when entering a building. Call me crazy, but walking around in the hotel’s warm wool slippers adds an extra layer of “snug” to the stay.

What’s nearby?: It’s a ten-minute walk to Svalbard’s main drag, where shops, bars and restaurants welcome locals and tourists. Try Svalbar for a delicious smash burger and Freune for coffee and hand-made polar bear chocolates from the world’s northernmost chocolatier.

Rooms: 88

Pricing: Rates start at $196 per night, including breakfast.

Closest Airport: Svalbard Airport

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