Star of the show is Dr Holmes Hotel, which is highly rated: “Dr Holms in Geilo is without a doubt the best apres-ski in the world. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven – a truly amazing place,” said a reporter. The hotel also features Bowl&Dine: Norway’s highest-altitude bowling alley. This is a 50s-style American Diner complete with red leatherette seats, lots of chrome, black-and-white floor tiles, and six modern bowling alleys.
Essentially a family resort and not the place to find wild apres-ski
Apart from this, the village has a few bars such as Jegerbaren and Lille Bla, which are both popular. The Pianobaren in the Highland has lots of ambience. Highdance is the disco and Off-Pist Lounge features parties and karaoke.
As Norway in mid-winter can be bitterly cold, a lot of people chose to ski for half days and try some of the alternative activities on offer. These include husky-sledding across the frozen lake, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowscooter safaris, and ice-fishing through a hole bored into the lake.
The resort organises some exciting and often unusual events. These include the World Chair Sledge Championships in January which has a fancy dress category, the Norwegian Cup Snowboardercross in February, a Biathlon competition in March, the Geilo Grand Prix ski race which is open to everyone in April, and the Skarverennet 38km long-distance cross-country race also in April.
Come to Geilo for an extremely unusual experience
Most unique is The Ice Music Festival, held annually at the end of January, which is the world’s only music festival with all instruments made from ice. The festival takes place in an outdoor arena high above Geilo, with two large igloos housing the stage. The ice is taken from a small lake 100m away and artists include jazz musician Terje Isungset who crafts his own instruments from Norwegian natural elements such as arctic birch, granite, slate, sheep bells and – in this case – ice.