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Remote lighthouse hotels across Europe

Lauren Hill

Contributor

Character, seclusion and a connection to the ocean have long given lighthouses distinct appeal. Now, some of these maritime landmarks are being given a new lease of life. Accommodating guests on remote peninsulas and rocky shores, these oceanfront hotels provide a different perspective to some of Europe’s most isolated coastal areas.

Faro Punta Cumplida, Canary Islands

A restored lighthouse on La Palma’s rugged coast, Faro Punta Cumplida now gives guests insight into the life of a lighthouse keeper. This was the experience the founders wanted to provide when they set about restoring the 150-year-old landmark. Now a luxury hideaway, the lighthouse pairs its nautical heritage and wild oceanfront setting with the design and amenities of an upscale hotel. Guests can opt to stay in the Atlantic Suite, Palma Suite or two-bedroom Farero Suite while making use of shared facilities including an ocean-view infinity pool, roof terrace with panoramic views and yoga platform. You can also book the entire place on an exclusive-use basis for the run of all three suites and private use of the social areas. In this isolated spot, time can be spent spotting dolphins and whales from the lighthouse’s vantage point on the coast, seeking out the local restaurants and exploring the volcanic island that’s been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The hotel has garnered widespread attention since it opened in 2019. A stay was included in the latest Oscar’s ceremony gift bags resulting in visits from Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel, Scotland

Corsewall Lighthouse sits at the northern end of the Rhins of Galloway hammerhead peninsula in Dumfries and Galloway. The building accommodating guests lies adjacent to the lighthouse and it all commands sweeping views over the Isle of Arran, Firth of Clyde, Kintyre Peninsula, and on a clear day, as far as the coast of Ireland. The hotel comprises 11 rooms and suites. All five suites—Stevenson, Ballantrae, North Channel, Lighthouse and Loch Ryan—provide ocean views and the Lighthouse Suite has its own private sea-facing conservatory. This accommodation joins the lighthouse’s award-winning restaurant, which serves five-course fine dining menus comprising dishes like roasted Kirkcudbright landed monkfish with a citrus scented redcurrant and Port wine jus. You can use this hotel as a base for exploring the coastline’s sandy beaches, seeking out historic sites such as Culzean Castle, golfing at several nearby courses and sea fishing from the shoreline. 

Arctic Lighthouse Hotel, Finland

The secluded Arctic Lighthouse Hotel sits on the edge of Hailuoto, the third largest Finnish sea island and only permanently inhabited island in this region separating Sweden and Finland in the northern reaches of the Gulf of Bothnia. This island is accessed by boat in summer and by an ice road throughout the cold winters. The hotel at the foot of the still functioning lighthouse encompasses a collection of smart and comfortable rooms, reception area with small lounge and library, the restaurant Aava, a large terrace for summer, sauna facilities and a guest marina. Guests can spend their time getting to know the trails, beaches and traditional buildings of this land boasting National Landscapes of Finland designation. The island has a couple of museums giving insight into local heritage and two art galleries showing exhibitions in the summertime.

Harlingen Lighthouse Hotel, The Netherlands

Harlingen is Friesland’s only seaport city and one that’s situated on the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wadden Sea, which is the world’s largest tidal flats system. The coastal city now reflects its maritime past through its warehouses and waterways lined with canal houses. Harlingen Lighthouse, which has been decommissioned, provides a fittingly nautical base to stay on the city’s waterfront. Having undergone a complete transformation, the interiors combine the unique structure of the lighthouse tower, including original copper dome, with the décor of a modern design hotel distinguished by contemporary furnishings, bright red walls and windows providing 360-degree views. Together, the tower’s three floors make up one luxury suite with dining and living areas. From here, you can explore the port city, try local restaurants and set out on a sailboat.

Flatfesa Lighthouse, Norway

Since it was first lit in 1902, this lighthouse has helped fishing boats navigate the seas from its position on a remote islet in Lyngvaerfjorden, Western Norway, relying on the expertise of several lighthouse keepers until 1988 when it was first automated. In 2018, the landmark underwent a renovation and now it’s a part of the Classic Norway Hotels collection. The hotel consists of four buildings housing eight guest rooms—all with sea views—as well as the main house’s original dining area and boathouse with communal table by a wood stove where chefs prepare freshly caught seafood. Outside these buildings, there’s a sauna, natural saltwater pool that changes its water at every tide and outdoor wood-fired hot tub. Days on this isolated island are spent catching crabs on the islet’s shores, fishing from a boat and visiting nearby fishing villages like Ona and Bjørnsund. 

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