A fairytale hotel
Dalen is a fairytale hotel, built in sumptuous romantic style with dragon heads, turrets and spires, balconies, projections and cornices. The hotel has retained its grandeur and ‘soul’ and is virtually the same as when the original timber “palace” was opened in 1894, in the days when royalty and the European aristocracy frequented the town.
From the day of the opening the hotel had the appearance of a grand estate combining European wooden architecture with the Norwegian dragon style. It was the start of a prime period. “A castle”, surrounded by dragons and spiers, of mystery and grandeur. The hotel received as well royalties as locals. The English aristocracy started arriving. So did king Oscar II of Norway and Sweden, the king of Siam, emperor Wilhelm of Germany and king Leopold of Belgium. Norwegian king Haakon VII with his queen Maud and their son, crown prince Olav also stayed here. It became an arena for prominent guests from all over Europe. For half a century they hosted balls and waltzed through joys and sorrows, war and peace.
Find a comfortable seat and soak up the atmosphere of the central hall – the heart of the hotel – with its magnificent stained-glass painting towering ten metres above you. Large areas of parkland open up looking eastwards towards the Bandak inland fjord. The mountainsides rise perpendicular to the north, south and west.
From May to September the canal boats MS Victoria and MS Henrik Ibsen ply the Telemark Canal and Bandak between Skien and Dalen.