Åland has a long tradition of taking care of travelers. Along the old postal route there were inns where tired travelers on horseback and by boat could get a good night’s sleep and a square meal. Today’s visitors get around considerably more quickly and the selection of service areas along the way is more varied.
Most hotels are located in Mariehamn but there are also some to be found out in the countryside and in the archipelago: these include two of Åland’s four-star hotels – Havsvidden in Geta and Silverskär in Saltvik – and three- and two-star hotels like Bastö in Finström, Elvira in Eckerö and Gullviva on Brändö. There is a hotel at the planning stage in Smakbyn in Sund.
Åland has several excellent guest houses and B&Bs that offer a personal touch. Guest houses in a historic setting include Enigheten in an old 18th century courthouse and inn in Degerby on Föglö. An old-fashioned atmosphere with modern comforts is what you will experience at the guest houses in Björnhufvud in Eckerö, Kvarnbo in Saltvik and Amalia in Lemland as well.
Kvarnbo Gästhem was built in the 1880s and is packed with exciting history. It is situated opposite Saltvik church and archaeologists now believe it was a significant commercial hub in the early Iron Age and in the Viking Age in 500–1000 AD. When the owners Ella and Martin bought their old family home, it was in seriously poor condition.
Today most of the house’s 540 square metres have been completely restored. The kitchen, the large dining room and the eight large guest rooms have all been lovingly restored. The interior decoration and colours reflect the house’s age even though there are modern conveniences like a shower and toilet in every room.
The idea is that the guests should enjoy the time they spend here, not try to get the time to pass. People sit out on the veranda or in the dining room by the tiled stove and talk late into the night.
Ella is a sommelier and organises beer, wine and champagne tastings. The accompaniments are produced locally. Her biggest taste exprience was when she was the first wine connoisseur to taste the world’s oldest champagne that had been found in a wrecked ship in Åland waters in 2010.
Ella’s other big passion is music and every summer a musical event tends to be organised in the courtyard. Also worth a visit is the complete workshop from the early 1900s with a bar, pinball and classic bikes, which Martin repairs.
Even though it is in the summer that Åland’s tourist season is busiest, many people prefer to come to Åland at other times of the year as well. The following guest houses and hostels are open all year round, or at least well into the autumn:
Pellas Gästhem in Lappo Brändö and Jurmo Vandrarhem on Jurmo Brändö, Degerby Mat & Café in Föglö, Antons Gästhem on Kökar, Djurviks Gästhem in Jomala, Godby Gästhem and Godby Hostel in Godby, Nybonds Pensionat in Sund, Sandösunds Camping on Vårdö, Amalia in Lemland, Anderssons and Granbergs Gästhem in Eckerö.