The flow of tourists to Dalen was large already in the 19th century due to the completion of the Telemark Canal. The newly built Canal system became popular among royalty around the world, but Dalen lacked a luxury hotel to accommodate this prominent clientele. Inspired by stave churches and the Viking Age, the Dalen hotel was introduced to the world in 1894. The hotel became known throughout Europe and the English aristocracy came here. King Oscar II was a guest here, as were Emperor Wilhelm of Germany and King Leopold II of Belgium. King Haakon VII and Queen Maud also came here with the then Crown Prince Olav.
During World War II, the Germans took over the hotel, and the interior was removed while the buildings fell into disrepair. The preacher Aage Samuelsen had faith in the future of the hotel. He bought it, but did not succeed in raising capital for the restoration of the buildings. But he gave the hotel a lot of attention and PR. At the end of the 1980s, restoration was started and in 1992 the hotel reopened.
In 2000, the hotel received the conservation organization Europa Nostra's highest award - a silver medal - for preserving the hotel as a unique cultural monument. Dalen Hotel has also been awarded Olavsrosa as a lighthouse in the Norwegian Cultural Heritage's product range. Holders of the quality brand Olavsrosa have a strong profile in the dissemination of Norwegian cultural heritage. The motto "Olavsrosa - our best experiences" places high demands on product quality and maintenance of this quality. The National Heritage Board has described Dalen Hotel as the most powerful, magnificent and best-preserved of all the old dragon architecture hotels.
The complete history of Dalen Hotel may be found in our book which can be purchased during your stay or from our reception.