For many years we were playing with the idea of setting up a resort or a hotel somewhere out there. A few years back we bought Villa Haugen as a leisure home for our family. It’s one of the few places where you have direct view of the Lofoten archipelago – probably one of the best there is. One might say the house and the place matured on us - giving us the chance to fulfill that dream of ours.

During 2014 we had a few requests about rental of the house. We also had some enquiries about possible cooperation arrangements. Based on these requests and enquiries we initiated upgrading of the house interior and exterior. In spring 2016 we decided to make "the leap" and to convert Villa Haugen into an exquisite boutique hotel. We quit our jobs and travelled north. We both knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park. After all Villa Haugen is quite a large house and it’s located on an island – which doesn’t make things easier if you are to transport goods back and forth. Much of the building materials we have used so far have actually been brought over by use of helicopter. The new kitchen came by boat and was carried from the quay side up to the house. On the positive side – being in our fifties we are probably more fit than average and don’t have to use any gym!

The “conversion” will happen in several steps. The first step is to ensure that all facilities needed to run a hotel is in place. For instance putting in an new kitchen, building new bathrooms, installing a new hot tub and not the least upgrade the interior. We also had to set up all agreements with our cooperation partners - and are thankfully for their support and cooperation. This step is already completed.

Next step is to upgrade the garden and make it a sighting in itself based on the existing fauna on the island which is actually quite diversified. This will also encompass a herb garden, a quartzite walkway in the garden and around the house and a new path/walkway from Villa Haugen down to the quay area. This step will also involve renovation of the existing water well in tne basement which will become our main water supply in the future. Some of the work is already been initiated and we hope to finalise everything within autumn 2017.

The last step is to double today’s capacity from 10 beds to 20 beds - if necessary permissions is granted - by building a few small boat houses down by the sea. It also entails setting up more environmental electricity supply like solar panels and small wind mills. We aim to make Villa Haugen climate neutral in the future. This step will be initiated early 2018 and completed late 2018 or early 2019.

2016-09-2112:27 jomabi@lyse.net

Even if none of the owners had experience from running a hotel - both are familiar with managing projects from the oil and gas industry. Amongst others - John Magne Birkeland has been involved in founding, developing and running a smaller oil company. In addition - both Unni and John Magne have experience from grocer's trade and supplies.

Roles and responsibilities:

Unni Johnsen
Managing Director
Email: unni@villahaugen.com
Mob.: +47 454 11 416

John Magne Birkeland
Chairman of the Board
Email: john@villahaugen.com
Mob.: +47 913 45 602