The first traces of the citizens of Askim, we find by the river Glomma for about 7000 years ago. At that time, sea level was 50 meters higher, causing Glomma’s estuary to be where the Kykkelsrud power plant is located today.
The river and the land provided food and employment for the people settling her, but it was not until the late 1800’s that Askim as a village was formed. In 1900 the hotel’s first building were built in the city centre. The hotel was named Granheim Hotell, and run by Ms. Svenneby.
Hotelier Sandsmark tragically died in an accident, and again the wife had to step up as the new manager. Inger Sandsmark continued to run the business until 1997, when Jørn and Jon Witzøe bought the hotel and changed the name to Smaalenene Hotell – using the old name of Østfold County. In the year 2000 the Witzøes did the final, major upgrade, combining the to buildings with the restaurant, called Marens Have.
Through the years that followed, the hotel has been gradually renovated, and today’s holds a modern standard.
In 2016 Lykstad and Owren Eiendom AS bought Smaalenene Hotell, with the intention of continue running the hotel with it’s spirit and history in mind.
The oldest part of today’s hotel structure was built in 1925. In 1919 the hotel got a new manager. Maren Haugen was a strict and authoritative lady, with a very distinctive way of running the business. Later she also became the hotelier of Grand Hotell in Fredrikstad, and her own private chauffeur driving her back and forth. In 1948 Maren moved to an apartment in Oslo, leaving the business to her son, Alf. Still, she kept her room at the Granheim Hotell – number 210 – and even died there in the mid fifties. Some say her ghost still haunts the hotel halls. If it’s true, we can’t say for sure, but it’s a good story, nevertheless.
Alf’s wife Johanne continued to run the hotel, due to her husband’s early death. In 1971 Sandsmark bought Granheim Hotell, and four years later six new hotel rooms were built. In 1983 the hotel expanded with a new restaurant section, and in 1988 with the section called Tårnhuset.
Dersom de over 100 år gamle veggene kunne snakke, ville de nok kunne fortelle mang en historie om både gjester og vertskap. Smalenene Hotell er et hotell med sjel og sjarm, der herskapelighet møter moderne fasiliteter, og hvor enhjemlig ro møter historisk sus. Den rettmessige følelsen av å besøke hotellet kan knapt beskrives; den må bare oppleves!
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