62°Nord X Monocle

Back to reality

Sustainable return to travel

Voyage to a secret place set in a pristine wilderness at the heart of a community and values sustainability above all else. This unique collection of hotels in Norway is exactly 62 degrees north of the equator.

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The company

Local champions

62ºNord is a masterclass in many things. When corporate bods speak of sustainability, they would do well to visit. It was founded by Norwegians Knut and Line Flakk, a couple who set out to make a positive impact by creating highly personalised world-class adventures on the northwest coast of their country, rooted in the environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture and wellbeing of locals.


Vision + Sustainability

Green living

Faced with building a tourist destination from scratch in this land of jagged mountain tops and deep fjords, they tapped into an innate Norwegian sense of hospitality and love of the outdoors to create authentic, personal experiences. Beyond tourism, the Flakks are also developing clean energy with their first green hydrogen plant, which will service the region and power the infrastructure, including the ferries on the fjord.


History + Location

Sustaining a community

Born from adversity, 62ºNord was created to serve its community. When a textile factory in the Sunnmøre region was forced to close in 2003 after 150 years, 62ºNord supported the locals by creating something that was sustainable in the long-term, providing jobs in the area. This undiscovered paradise was the ideal setting in which to innovate a new way to travel.


Hotel Brosundet

The inn crowd

Hotel Brosundet straddles a channel that connects two fjords in the heart of the old art nouveau town of Ålesund. The largest of the 62ºNord properties, and the closest they come to an urban inn, the Brosundet was converted from warehouses operated by the area’s fishing industry. A sympathetic reimagining has resulted in a 131-room hotel that provides visitors with the ideal base from which to explore the entire region. Painstakingly preserved, the interiors are furnished with authentic design accents and comforting details.

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Hotel Brosundet

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Warm welcome

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bubbly at Union Øye?

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The property is the closest 62ºNord comes to an urban inn


Storfjord hotel

Room with a view
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This 30-room guesthouse is built in the style of a traditional Norwegian wood cabin and takes its name from the Storfjord, which means “big fjord”. The hotel has stunning panoramic views overlooking the Sunnmøre Alps, which ease its visitors into the slow life. The cosy wooden interiors give the property a feeling of a true hideaway. Two warm and welcoming living rooms, a library, restaurant and wellness wing make the guesthouse perfect for a family celebration or a large group of friends seeking the time to reconnect.


Hotel Union øye

Walk on the wild side

Sitting on the majestic Norangsfjord, Union Øye is a gateway to some beautiful hikes. Since opening in 1891, the hotel has offered solace to mountaineers and royals alike, and the handpicked antique furniture harks back to historic times. Each room is named after visitors such as writer Arthur Conan Doyle, composer Edvard Grieg and the former ruler of Sweden and Norway, King Oscar. A two-year renovation and extension has given the hotel three new suites, six villas, a spa, conservatory, organgery and barn – a perfect setting for a fairytale wedding.

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Owner’s Cabin

A Nordic escape

For a slice of Norwegian isolation, the Owner’s Cabin that does indeed belong to 62ºNord’s founders, is on the remote island of Giske. Surrounded by untouched countryside, the three-bedroom cottage offers direct access to the rolling Nordic Sea and has its own white sandy beach and tidal rock pools for children to play in. Hytte kultur, the cabin lifestyle particular to the Norwegian way of life, is an idyllic escape at any time of the year. A private chef is on hand to enhance the bucolic experience that is unique to this part of the world.

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Experiences

Tailored to you
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Now that we’re settled in, it’s time to head out into the wilderness, where 62ºNord curates a host of adventures for its visitors. Whether you’re made of stronger stuff or a little faint of heart, the experienced team will have tailored an itinerary of excursions to suit your tastes. Brave explorers can charter a helicopter to navigate the Sunnmøre region and land in secluded spots from which travellers can discover natural wonders. Push out a kayak into Hjørundfjord, an enchanting body of crystal-clear water. Head out on a wildlife safari aboard a Zodiac RIB to Runde Island, home to more than 500,000 birds, including eagles and puffins. Spend some time on a local farm preparing age-old Norwegian recipes. Ski the Stranda ski resort’s 25km of world class downhill runs 1,500m above sea level, with fjord views. If cross-country is more your pace, there are 15km of expedition tracks to recce. And top the whole experience off with a visit to the Unesco World Heritage Site at Geirangerfjord, stopping off at waterfalls along the way. Just mind out for the trolls: they only welcome the friendliest and most steadfast of company.


Knut Flakk

Founder and chairman, 62ºNord

Where did the idea for 62ºNord originate?
It is simple really: we wanted to share the spectacular nature that we call home with the world. Very few people get to experience the fjords as intimately as we do, so we went about creating something different: an immersive experience away from the bus tours and packed ferries.

How did things develop?
We realised very early on that we were appealing to a specific guest, one that appreciates tasteful retreats mimicking the spectacular beauty of the surrounding nature. These hotels did not exist at the time, so we went about creating them. To supplement our properties we concentrated on gastronomy unique to the area and developed adventures that immerse guests in our surroundings. There weren’t any luxury hospitality products here, so we had to develop the hotels and experiences to that level.

What is luxury the Norwegian way?
Waking up with the wind bashing at the window, while warm under the covers; conquering a hike; the first snow, fresh produce. And unparalleled service.


Maria Flakk

Owner and creative director, 62ºNord

Why is this region so special?
Nature is the star of the show in pretty much everything we do. Sunnmøre is special because it’s compact. We have the fjords and the ocean, lakes, mountains and beaches – pretty much everything Norway can offer in one place.

What is your favourite adventure?
As a Norwegian I will always love a good hike but one of my favorite softer adventures is an old-fashioned picnic at Union Øye. The chef prepares a basket of drinks and bites, and we take the La Salle for a ride up the Norangdal valley. My favourite spot is on a field by the glacier.

And what are the happenings?
We have events two or three times a month. For instance, we do a spring clean of our wine cellar where you can buy extraordinary wine for affordable prices. We have afternoon tea at the Hotel Brosundet, which people book months in advance; it’s very popular. Visitors are always interested in seeing the area’s culture, tasting the food and hearing the music. We try to be a platform for showcasing all of these things.

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