My husband and I found ourselves pretty much stranded in Munkfors, a Swedish village in Vaermland bordering Norway. It's a long story as to why we were there, but we quickly found out that there was not much in terms of decent accommodations in this forested part of the world. We drove to one place, Munkfors Konferens Center, and found out that we needed to bring our own sheets and towels! The room we saw there was dirty, full of bugs and reminded us of something we may have plotzed in 30 years ago...in Nepal! As we despaired and called around, we quickly found either no vacancy (there was a dog show in the area that day) or rooms that were on par with the Konferens nightmare.
We finally hit paydirt when we found Munkfors Hotell. A 13-room country inn, built somewhere in the early 1900s, the hotel sits at the edge of a lonely country road. We were surprised to find that the property owners were a young Dutch couple who have immigrated to these deep Swedish forests due to the Netherlands being too overcrowded and expensive. The rate, about 800 SEK per night with a country style Swedish buffet breakfast, was entirely reasonable.
Our room was tiny but charming, twin bedded (as seems to be the custom in Swedish country houses,) had a very basic WC/shower configuration in the bathroom and a tiny TV on an even tinier desk. But it was clean, comfy and actually very cute! There were charming curtains, a roller blind and some pretty pictures on the wall. It was like a room you'd find in a South American village hotel - simple but with its own rustic charm..and, definitely the best in Munkfors and the surrounding area.
There was a solarium (Swedes love to tan, apparently) free of charge to all hotel guests, and some large common area rooms, all done in the same sparse but homey Swedish country style. Before we went to bed, we sat on the outdoor terrace having refreshments and admiring the sun setting over the woodsy landscape. There is a "country gourmet" restaurant on the premises, but it was closed for vacation. Yes folks, Swedes vacation when tourists come from overseas, which seems very odd and paradoxical. But here we were, stuffed full of bad roadside pizza from hours ago...so the light beer and the mineral water were more than enough.
In the morning, we spoke to Eddie, an Ajax soccer team fan and his charming wife. Breakfast was plentiful and good, but certainly not slimline foods. We brought our own fruit and had it stored in the hotel's refrigerator. In general, the owners of the hotel were extremely accommodating and also very proud of the fact that their hotel was the only one to host some Swedish politicians and other assorted local luminaries in the area.
In sum, Munkfors Hotell seems to be the only reasonable alternative to camping or staying in really substandard places when going to this hidden part of the world. If we ever had to come again, we would definitely book a room at this rustic charmer.
- Also Known As:
- Munkfors Hotel Sweden/Varmland County