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Discover the Finse 1222, which is just steps from the place where George Lucas shot the scenes for Hoth in Star War: The Empire Strikes Back.

History of Hotel Finse 1222

Discover how this quaint mountainside lodge became a unique snow-capped retreat.


Finse 1222 first opened as a quaint mountain lodge in 1909. Its original purpose was to provide a safe haven for those interested in exploring the rugged terrain of the surrounding countryside. Minister Kristoffer Lehmkuhl and the state-owned Railways of Norway operated the lodge upon its grand debut, intending to use it as part of a larger strategy to promote tourism throughout Norway. Their joint ownership did not last long though, as Alice Lister Fangen assumed control over the lodge several months later. She managed the location through her company, Norsek Hotelcompagnie AS, which she formed with her business partner, Joseph Klem. The two were incredibly successful. In a matter of years, both Fangen and Klem had transformed the lodge into a premier hotel. It soon boasted a massive new wing of luxurious accommodations, as well as the world’s first indoor ice skating ring.

Joseph Klem’s brother, Andrew, eventually took over both Finse 1222 and Norsek Hotelcompagnie AS in 1916. Under his stewardship, many illustrious guests from across the world began to stay at the hotel. Sonja Henie used the location to train before every single one her major figure skating competitions. Explorer Ernest Shackleton also sojourned to the hotel prior to setting out on his remarkable Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. By the 1930s, the guest list had grown to feature many illustrious names, such as Fridtjof Nanse, Karen Blixen, and Tryggve Gran. Even members of Europe’s reigning monarchies had visited at one point or another, including King Haakon of Norway and Edward, the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII and Duke of Windsor).

By the middle of the century, the hotel had expanded to feature another grand wing of spectacular guestrooms, as well as a wealth of spacious common areas. When tourists began investing in cottages during the late 1960s, the hotel experienced a sharp decline in visitation. Norsk Hotelcompagnie AS closed a decade later and the hotel was sold for a single Norwegian kroner to Jorund Helleland. Helleland and his colleague, Tron Bach, soon began to re-conceptualize its identity. They decided to renovate the location into two smaller hotels that would offer a unique alpine sporting experience. After unsuccessfully running the venues together as one entity, Helleland and Bach eventually opted to separate them as independent businesses known as Finse 1222 and Apartment 1222, respectively. Endless crowds of young and innovative outdoor enthusiasts have flocked to Finse 1222 to revel in its wonderful rustic charm ever since.

  • Famous Historic Guests +

    Tryggve Gran (1888 - 1980), renowned Norwegian aviator and polar explorer.

    Fridtjof Nanse (1861 - 1930), renowned Norwegian explorer and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Sonja Henie (1912 - 1969), three-time Olympic champion in figure skating and star of such films as Thin Ice and My Lucky Star.

    Ernest Shackleton (1874 - 1922), renowned British explorer who lead three expeditions into the Antarctic.

    Karen Blixen (1885 - 1962), celebrated author known for writing Out of Africa.

    Carrie Fisher (1956 - 2016), best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise.

    King Edward VIII (1894 - 1972), King of the United Kingdom in 1936.

    King Haakon VII of Norway (1872 – 1957), reigned from 1906 until his death.

    Harrison Ford (1942 - ), celebrated actor known for such movies as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.

  • Film, TV and Media Connections +

    Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)