Manshausen is a 55 acres island just across the fjord from Lofoten. In the old days the island was a part of a trading post that officially opened in 1690. Its long history is mainly due to the protected harbour and good fishing grounds in the Vestfjord area. The main house and the stone piers are remains from that historical era.
The nature around Manshausen is stunning - protected islands, islets, beaches, high mountains, midnight sun in the summer and northern light in the winter. Here you can do activities like kayaking, diving, climbing, trekking, caving, sailing, fishing etc.
Three years ago we decided to share this pristine and little visited place of northern Norway with others (Steigen got road-connection with the rest of Norway as late as 1990). Through friends I got in contact with architect Snorre Stinessen
who was known for his modern style and interacting architecture with nature. After two years of planning we finalized a design where the idea is to be as close to nature as possible and at the same time be comfortable, protected and warm inside. Visitors we have had this summer confirm that we have succeeded. With big glass windows to the sea and mountains, and the huts overhanging the sea, you have a feeling of being outside at the same time as you are inside.
So far we have build 4 sea cabins, with two bedrooms in each, and have planned a few more. In addition we have upgraded the main house from the 1800 rds with an open kitchen downstairs and on the second floor with large glass windows and an “expedition library” consisting of National Geographic Magazines and other travel literature in the bookshelf. Furniture here is from the Italian brand Cassina and the Norwegian brand Fjordfiesta, while the kitchen is from the Italian brand Varenna. The main house can seat up to 30 people.
To be able to serve the conference market we also build a new conference room that can take up to 30 people, with some additional beds in sleeping alcoves on the second floor. We also have an older more basic hut on the island with a couple of beds. When we need more beds (for courses and conferences) we hire fishing or old whaling vessels with (pretty basic but rustic) cabins. They moor alongside the big stone pier on Manshausen and add the flexibility we need at this stage to accommodate larger groups.
On and around Manshausen our guests can do activities for all levels, from easy strolls on the nearby islands, to spectacular traverses up in the mountains. A lot of people just want to relax, we have two hot tubs, and also a private beach and activities for kids. Also a protected salt-water pool has just been completed, with a sauna, (building in progress) for 2016.
Our customers have so far been a mix of more or less everything. From architect lowers to families on a normal school holiday and conference guests. Couples enjoy the privacy and view from the cabins or participate in activities like kayaking, fishing, snorkelling or trekking.