Far out to sea, the tiny island of Hamneskär in West Sweden is home to a unique hotel, restaurant and café. Barren and windswept, with magnificent views of the open horizon, the island is crowned by the iconic Pater Noster lighthouse.
Built in 1868 by the acclaimed engineer Gustav von Heidenstam, this state of the art masterpiece made the dangerous waters off the coast of Bohuslän safer for the seafarers negotiating them.
The world’s most remote design hotel
The island was inhabited by lighthouse keepers and their families, with the occasional shipwreck survivor, for more than a century. Since then the buildings have been sympathetically renovated to retain as much of their original identity as possible, and in 2020 reopened as a sustainably operated hotel and conference venue. Thanks to this restored lighthouse keeper's residence, guests can now experience what it's like to live on this tiny island.
Swedish design agency Stylt Trampoli, which has 30 years of global experience working with hotels and their cultural heritage, lie behind the masterful restoration. Building on Pater Noster’s exclusive position and its dramatic history, the hotel has been furnished with luxury beds, vintage and contemporary décor and art, and a kitchen that serves some of the best seafood in the world. Alongside the wild and beautiful natural surroundings and breathtaking views this makes it one of the world’s most spectacular hotel stays.
Photographer: Erik Nissen Johansen
"2020's most exciting newly opened accommodation"
The restoration has already been awarded several prestigious international prizes, including first place in the American Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design. In 2020 the British Telegraph newspaper named Pater Noster the year’s most exciting newly opened accommodation.
The hotel sleeps 18 in nine rooms, and during the summer offers an exhilarating outdoor stay with incredible views of the sea and the stars.
Dinner is served in the Boathouse, the Lighthouse Keeper’s dining room or outside depending on weather and wind. The menu is planned around the day’s fresh catch of seafood and you’ll enjoy a magical evening of fine dining. Homemade baked goods are on the menu at its summer café in the old boathouse, whilst the restaurant offers seafood and fish dishes with an innovative use of locally sourced seaweed.
Activities, animals and nature
Visitors are welcome to climb up the 32 metre high Pater Noster lighthouse to admire the fantastic view from the top. The surrounding archipelago, lying southwest of the island of Tjörn, is a nature reserve with a fascinating geological story and a rich and varied flora and fauna. Guided tours of the island are offered, and guests can take refreshing dips in the sea as well as enjoying the hot tub with heated seawater.
Back-to-nature pursuits will also be offered to guests, such as deep-sea fishing (and cooking their catch), sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, cookery lessons and meditation in the lighthouse itself.
Photographer: Erik Nissen Johansen
In 2021 the hotel was the setting for another exciting drama. The Göteborg Film Festival invited a single film enthusiast to spend a week in the hotel, where, totally alone, with no phone or even a book, they watched the festival’s 60 premieres. “The Isolated Cinema” took place at the end of January 2021.
Guests arrive by helicopter or rib boat from Marstrand or Gothenburg. Complete packages can be booked with return boat journey, overnight stay, dinner, bed and breakfast. Departures are from Marstrand, around 40 minutes north of Gothenburg. There is also a guest jetty for day visitors.