Be intrepid by day and decadent at night by staying somewhere chic with the best-stocked wine and champagne cellar in town. Recently refreshed and renovated, this 1940s block at the top of “the hill” is one of the best dressed properties in Longyearbyen.
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Although this 88-room lodge is a heart-pumping 20-minute walk from bars and galleries in the centre, the reward of camera-clicking views makes an uphill hike worthwhile. Glaciers twist and tumble from slopes as torrents of ice, and corrugated mountains ripple into the horizon and stab at the sky.
It’s no wonder mining company executives made this a regular haunt, enjoying snowy panoramas from the glass-wrapped Funktionærmessen Restaurant, where the food is just as inspiring as the setting. Today, the focus is on international cuisine presented as sharing platters.
Using a mixture of natural woods and soft leathers, bedrooms are pleasingly modern, while a crackling fire in the bar and low lighting create a cosmopolitan Arctic lair. But the real drinking den is Det Gamle Nordpolet, the Old Wine Monopoly where miners and officers would collect their quotas of alcohol. Candlelit champagne tastings with canapes are now served in a cellar proudly storing the northernmost bubbles in the world.