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 was to covert the house into a hotel. This meant for instance we had to put in 5 new bath rooms, upgrade the interior as well as renovate the garden. This step was concluded autumn 2017.

Next step is to convert the existing boat house to a conference centre including putting in a new bathroom as well as a more environmental sewage treatment system. In addition, we will build a new service and restaurant building with a new kitchen and restaurant. This step will be will be completed by the end of 2018.

The last step is to double today’s capacity from 10 beds to 20 beds. This will be done by building three new small boat houses down by the sea. It also entails setting up more environmental electricity supply. We aim to make Villa Haugen climate neutral in the future. This step will be initiated early 2019 and completed mid 2019.

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