Story and photos by Sharon King Hoge

Hotel Angmagssalik in Tasiilaq, Greenland

Hotel Angmagssalik in Tasiilaq, Greenland

The dictionary definition may not allow leeway, but in some circumstances  "luxury" is a relative term. A case in point is the Hotel Angmagssalik  in Tasiilaq, Greenland. While it would rate as modest, compared to  customary five-star standards, it is the "all-star" accommodation in the principle settlement on the remote East Coast of Greenland.  Travelers come to go dog sledding and to view the majestic glaciers and ice floes clogging the straits and fjords. After an hour or two flight from  Copenhagen or Reykjavik visitors land in Kulusuk and are transferred by  helicopter or boat to the village where they arrive and look up the hill to see the bright blue hotel stretched along a ridge high above.

Hotel Angmagssalik Entrance Lobby

While its outside appearance is modest, once you step onto the lobby's  flagstone floor, you discover the accommodations are surprisingly  comfortable and tasteful.  Guests are received at a black marble topped  counter perched on natural wood siding beside a cozy gas fire which  blazes away in the darker months. Bookshelves line a lobby with seating  upholstered in  black leather and spotted seal fur.  An authentic antique kayak is mounted overhead. One entire side of the hotel is lined with  windows looking down to the town and water Tasiilaq means "like a lake,  snow covered in winter, it is  sunny and ice flecked, and perfectly  calm in summer's virtual 24 hours of daylight.

Hotel Angmagssalik view of Tasiilq from the hotel window

Four dozen guest rooms on three levels are tastefully decorated with seal  skins, silhouette wall paintings, and photos.  Panorama suites on the  top floor, highest of three grades, provide  comfortable king size beds,  wooden armoires beside a desk area, and tidy bathrooms with rounded  curtains enclosing wall showers. Wall mounted televisions sets screen a couple dozen channels including BBC and MTV. Desks are provided with  plenty of outlets although the fee for Wi-Fi in this remote region is  steep -- over $10 per hour.

There  is one treadmill for joggers in the hallway, but a better workout is a  brisk half-hour walk down to the harbor and back up the hill past the  convenience store, post office, and colorful local cottages perched  along the way.

Another sunny lounge with comfortable seating for reading and card games to a terrace and  there a framed wall collage chronicles the harrowing rescue of actor  Richard Chamberlain and his cast who were almost stranded on a breaking  ice floe while shooting a film about Arctic explorers.

Hotel Angmagssalik Reading lounge with polar bear skin

Meals are served at a buffet with seating between the fireplace and windows  or in a lounge lined with watercolor pictures of colorful local flowers  and opening out to a balcony overlooking the valley. Breakfast includes  servings of eggs, sausage, cereals, breads, cold cuts, and cheeses.  Each dinner features both a meat and fish dish -- sometimes whale steak  which resembles dry roast beef.  Best value is the elaborate lunch menu  of smoked and cured salmon, herring, prawns plus several mayonnaise  salads and delicious dark bread and butter. Prepared by a Danish chef,  the foods are remarkably tasty -- each dinner starts with a delicious  tomato, vegetable, Mulligatawny soup, and sauces for the meats are  inventively delicious, the creamy lemon sauce for the salmon was so  delicious I returned for a second helping. Fancy coffee preparations,  beer, wine, and liquor drinks are served at a bar area through the meals and into the evening.  The crowd is diverse and interesting --  Scandinavian tourists mingle with university research teams -- I dined  one night with a CNN crew on assignment to record the drastic  acceleration of climate change.

Hotel Angmagssalik Dining under an authentic kayak 2

The hotel can help arrange helicopter and boat tours to nearby glaciers,  fjords, indigenous settlements.  There are extraordinary sights you  can't begin to imagine -- a glacier's solid wall of compressed snow  surging into the waters of a fjord and mammoth, stadium-size iceberg  chunks bobbing beside your boat . In summer, charming wild flowers  blossom on mossy hills beside roaring waterfalls.  One of the last  unexploited regions of the earth, East Greenland is a place not to be  missed, and the hotel named for this region of the country is an ideal  location for exploring and a comfortable refuge after a day in  Greenland's majestic outdoors.

 

 

 

© December 2017 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.

 

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