The ‘Ex Machina’ movie is an exquisite masterpiece dealing with artificial intelligence and ethical issues surrounding the process of creating one. Director Alex Garland did not only create an elaborate plot filled with lively characters, he also made sure the setting of the movie helped in creating the eerie atmosphere of a sci-fi thriller. We were surprised to find out that he didn’t actually build the magnificent house of the mad genius who experimented with the human mind, but only rented it. In real life the ‘Ex Machina’ home is a hotel located in Norway – and you can stay there yourself! Welcome to the Juvet Hotel, the first ever landscape hotel in Europe.
Hidden on a river bank in Alstad, Valldala, the cubicles of the hotel are scattered all over the nature reserve with its gorgeous pine, aspen, birch, and boulders.
The Juvet Hotel is a truly unique place to stay – its history dates back as far as 16th century. The unusually fertile land of the Norddal municipality attracted people from various settlements and local corn was known far outside the farmstead. The West Norwegian Fjords that surround the hotel and the farm are now part of Unesco’s World Heritage List.
The Juvet Hotel consists of nine separate 250-square-foot cabins, each boasting a living room, bedroom, bathroom, study, and a breathtaking view over the rugged landscape surrounding each home. You won’t find two rooms alike, and each of them has a dark natural interior to let the residents focus on the scenery.
Creators of the hotel want all the visitors to experience the nature of Reinheimen National Park to the fullest. In Burtigarden you will find the picturesque Gudbrandsjuvet gorge, which is a famous place for travelers who come back from Trollstigen. There you will find a gorgeous ravine formed by the Valldøla river, along with potholes created by melting water from glaciers.
As the legend goes, the area owes its name to an outlaw named Gudbrand that once lived here in a small valley that is now called Gudbrandsallen. Supposedly, he was quite an athletic man and jumped over the gorge at its narrowest point. No one knows for sure what happened – maybe he was running away from sheriff, or maybe he kidnapped a bride and was taking her with him. But the name – Gudbrandsjuvet – stuck and stayed forever.
King Olav, who was canonized and named Saint Olav, also passed through these lands and stayed at a famous Olavshelleren (Olav’s cave) where he and his men miraculously survived starvation. On the premises of the hotel’s land you will also find Olavskjelda (Olav’s well) – legend has it you will cure all your illnesses if you drink from it.
Jensen & Skodvin, the architects who created the Juvet Hotel, aimed to merge the beauty of nature and the luxury of a modern hotel with all amenities one might need to spend one night or a whole week in a room detached from all other buildings. The design is simple, yet functional, dictated by the shape of surrounding nature and its balanced forms.
Being part of nature, the Juvet Hotel became the first ever landscape hotel that completely blended into its surroundings. With minimal intervention being the main concept of the hotel’s design, architects managed to work with locations that would otherwise be prohibited to protect and preserve nature.
In winter, the road leading to the Juvet Hotel becomes impassable due to heavy snowfalls and visitors need to take a longer route by the sea. It only adds to the serenity and desolate ambience of the place.
The authentically restored farmstead is also open to visitors. You can stay in the old buildings as long as you like and dine in the old barn where meals are served communally.