Your adventure starts immediately. If half way to the North Pole wasn’t remote enough, Isfjord is 56 miles from the main settlement on Svalbard and only accessible via a guided snowmobile journey, dog sled trip during winter or open boat cruise to the property over summer. Having made your way to Kapp Linne by the Isfjord on Spitsbergen, you’ll spot the inn, housed in an old communications building dating from the 1930s and still loomed over by a massive radio tower and satellite dish. Bombed by the Luftwaffe during the war and then destroyed by the workers to prevent the enemy seizing it, the historic property has been recreated meticulously, with elements and artefacts from its former life preserved and put on display.
Settle in to your comfortable rustic-chic room decorated in sea spray shades of white and blue, contrasting the luxurious feel of the furnishings, goatskin blankets and driftwood sculptures with the harsh outside world, and take in the Arctic landscape. Keeping a weather eye out for any wildlife – perhaps you’ll spot a walrus, pod of whales or flock of Arctic birds.
Tear yourself away from the hotel and venture into the wild to experience the magnificent Arctic scenery close up. Depending on the season, you’ll have contrasting experiences of the extraordinary scenery. You can tackle as much or as little as you like though, with opportunities to explore on a snowmobile safari or dog sled trip, take a cruise to see glorious fjords and watch sea birds nesting or track Arctic fox. In winter the area is often bathed in the surreal shimmering glow of the Northern Lights, while polar bears will shuffle right up to the building.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, return to your base to gather around a large table. Let the experienced chef prepare you a hearty three-course dinner of Norwegian specialities that might include smoked seal, reindeer sausage or moose, caramelised goat's cheese and fresh fish, most of which is caught by one of the few remaining trappers left overwintering on the island and hunting authentically on Spitsbergen.
To relax, try an Arctic sauna, which has giant wall-to-wall windows so you don’t miss a thing or simply settle into a cosy chair to watch the birds play in the wind as waves break on the shore and the sky changes colours as the sun dips below the horizon; it’s an art performance unfolding just outside your window. Feeling especially brave? Take a dip in the Arctic Ocean for an unforgettable end to an adventurous day.
After dinner, continue to catch up with your fellow adventurers over a glass of the house special Radio wine before you retire to your cosy bed to snuggle down amid the silence and sleep the soundest of sleeps in this strange, otherworldly, peripheral place.