WHITE GUIDE NORDIC: Don’t expect traditional porterage upon arrival or ritualistic turndown service at night. Don’t think extra fluff is standard issue, it isn’t, not even at top-notch hotels. Informal hospitality is practically a Nordic invention, reflecting the region’s egalitarian attitudes as well as its exorbitant staffing costs. What you can expect is smart design and clever functionalities that will reduce your need for token white-glove features while genuine assistance will be there when you really need it. If you ask Nordic people, today’s hospitality ideal is “staying with friends”. Of course this notion doesn’t always work out as anticipated, just like it doesn’t always do with friends either.

Redefining luxury, looking for its essence and its expressions, not in opulence and extravaganza but in authenticity and understatement, is another cultural game the Nordic countries have mastered – along with a smattering of other nations such as Japan. Long-time austerity has inspired an appreciation for the more modest nuggets in life, and indeed their articulation and refinement, reflected not least in design.

That doesn’t mean everything is minimalist in the Nordics, quite the contrary. For some time there’s been a strong drive towards warmer and more playful expressions, and while those are still based on Nordic design traditions, they’re also tapping into many national and regional styles, offering a broad spectrum of esthetics. However, spending the night in Nordic style is – and remains – a low-key affair.

Today’s Nordic hospitality offerings range from trendy urban retreats to hidden countryside gems and unique destinational properties located in the woods or high up a mountain.

Let us tempt you first with some newly opened properties:

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