Have You Ever Wanted to Stay in a Norwegian Sea Cabin?

Adventure calls on this Norwegian island that hosts cantilevered glass cabins and endless possibilities for the explorer at heart.
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 What: The Norwegian Sea Cabins of Manshausen Island

Where: Steigen, Norway 

By who: Snorre Stinessen 

How much: From $70 to $280 to rent per day

This boutique hotel on Norway's Manshausen Island is made up of four sea cabins that jut out from their natural ledge. Architect Snorre Stinessen carefully positioned them on an existing stone quay and built them to fit two to four travelers, or a family of five. To allow them to cantilever off the edge, their cross-laminated timber floor plates are mounted onto two steel beams.

Consisting of 55 acres in the middle of the Grøtøya strait, Manshausen Island was originally established in 1698 and became an important area for the old trading post of Grøtøya. The stone quays that exist on the resort's property originally housed one of Northern Norway's largest wooden buildings that was used as storage during the fishing season. 

Since then, it’s become a destination for adventure seekers and lovers of the outdoors. Along with becoming a go-to locale for fishing, diving, cycling, climbing, kayaking, and hiking, it holds a boutique island resort that puts you right in the middle of it all. The four sea cabins that were designed and built by architect Snorre Stinessen over the course of five years, are all for rent and promise an unparalleled, immersive experience. 

Stinessen placed each cabin strategically in order to ensure the best unobstructed views and the right amount of privacy. He points out, "We wanted to emphasize the existing structures and landscape—and to do it without disturbing the stone quay or mountain."

The cabins are made up of two layers of cross laminated timber (CLT). The exterior layer is made of Larch wood while the inner structural core and interior surfaces are made of pine. The huts are wrapped from the roof to the rear with aluminum for an extra layer of protection against the salty water and air.

"The conceptual idea was to expose visitors to the outside elements, while at the same time providing a comfortable shelter." -Stinessen

The large expanses of glass were designed specially to frame the seaside views. To fit with the minimal aesthetic of the cabins, the seating areas are furnished with Scandia lounge chairs that were designed by Hans Brattrud in the 1950s and that are now being produced by Fjordfiesta.

Each hut consists of two bedrooms with double beds, a small alcove, bathroom, shower, and small kitchen. Stinessen made sure to provide enough built-in storage for visitors, while also sticking to raw pine surfaces.

"This resort transports you to another scenery and state of mind. It gives a sense of floating over the sea that instills a quiet calm, even when there's a storm raging just outside the glass." -Stinessen

When you arrive at Manshausen, you'll find a hot tub that you can enjoy at your leisure. It holds up to 14 people and leads down to a dam that holds salt water that’s pumped into the contained area to keep it fresh.

Also on the property is the main house that was built in the 1800s. After years of going through renovations, it now consists of a dining area and large open kitchen on the main floor, and a library with a seating area on the second floor. Breakfast is included in your stay and is served here throughout the year, while lunch and dinner is served from April to November.

While you’re there, make sure to try out activities or sports that take advantage of the incredible natural surroundings. You’ll be able to rent a boat, kayak, snow shoes, a bicycle, or fishing and diving equipment. You can also even sign up for a group fishing trip or have a chance to see the winter lights.

When I asked Stinessen what he appreciates most about this project, this is what he said:

"I must say that what I personally appreciate the most is that it actually transports you to another scenery and state of mind. It gives a sense of floating over the sea that instills a quiet calm, even when there's a storm raging just outside the glass. The resort offers a wide variety of activities such as diving, kayaking, sailing, cave exploration, mountain climbing, and trekking, which is definitely worth exploring—particularly if you're fortunate enough to get Ousland as your personal guide. Still, quite a few of the visitors seem very content with just enjoying their time inside their cabins and visiting the restaurant for dinner in the afternoon."

This is how much you’ll be spending: 

-$280 per day (NOK 2,400) to reserve the entirety of the main bedroom.

-$70 per day (NOK 600) for one person to stay in the main bedroom. 

-$35 per day (NOK 300) for children under 16 to stay in the guest bedroom.

To start your journey, reserve a sea cabin by contacting Manshausen here.


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