The tale of tourism at Brakanes Hotel began in 1860 when coachman Sjur started a local coaching inn, arranging transportation of both people and goods. His daughter Kari and her husband Hans Lindebrække took over the coaching inn from Sjur in 1884 and expanded the inn with several rooms.
With better communications between Norway and Great Britain, tourism flourished in the 1880’s and in 1891 the first major expansion of the hotel took place. After the renovation the hotel had 50 beds and the façade of the hotel got all the ornaments that characterized the Swiss chalet style with beautiful wood carvings so common for hotels at the time.
Kari died in 1902 and her two daughters Mrs. Marta Nielsen (né Lindebrække) and Miss Sara Lindebrække eventually took over the running of the hotel in 1907 carrying on the traditions of the Brakanes Hotel. The present name “Sara & Marta Dancing” stems from the name of these two sisters.
Ulvik was by the end of the 19th century a rather isolated village, but in 1901 the village got a road connection to Granvin and Voss, increasing the number of guests substantially. The years leading up to the First World War were a period of bustling tourism with many cruise ships and private yachts making port at Ulvik.
1928 – 1930 saw another extension and renovation of the hotel, modernising it with sanitary installations, more rooms and a larger dining hall and kitchen. The front of the hotel was also renovated, and the old Swiss chalet style was replaced by a more modern architectural expression.
The Second World War came to Norway in 1940, and on the morning of the 25th of April 1940, uninvited guests appeared in Ulvik. Five German motor torpedo boats and one minesweeper entered the fjord and shelled the village. 51 buildings, including the Brakanes Hotel, succumbed to the fires.
The Lindebrække family did not accept the tragedy that had struck the hotel and decided that it should be rebuilt from the ashes. In 1949 they built a boarding house on the site of the fire, planning further extensions in the years to come.
Tourism flourished in the years after the war and the capacity of the boarding house turned out to be insufficient. A new hotel was constructed based on designs by the well-known architect from Bergen Mr. Kristian Bjerknes. The new hotel was completed May 8th 1952, and offered 124 beds and 44 rooms with private baths.
The 1970’s were difficult years for tourism and the Brakanes Hotel and the Lindebrække family decided to put the hotel on the market in 1980. The Pedersen family bid on the hotel, but lost to the Norwegian hotel chain, Müller Hotell who was then the new owner of the property. In 1982 the Pedersen family leased the hotel from the Müller Group.
Extensions and restorations followed, increasing the capacity from 74 to 107 rooms. The hotel became a member of the hotel chain InterNor alongside the Grand Hotel in Oslo and the Hotel Norge in Bergen, among the best hotels in Norway. Despite the increased capacity, it was still not enough. In 1995 further extensions increased the total capacity to 143 rooms in addition to new guest areas and a new restaurant.
Ulvik Conference Centre was built in 1988 on the site where the boarding house had been after the war. The centre was organized with public funds and private investors, which was a new way of organizing such projects. Some years later, the congress centre became a part of the Brakanes Hotel with the same owners as the hotel.
In the beginning of the 21st century running hotels in the district became more difficult, especially on the conference market, where the airport hotels provided stiff competition. After a period of expansion with a few more hotels in the Brakanes Hotel Group, the period up to 2015 – 2016 proved to be very difficult with substantial losses eventually leading to bankruptcy. Brakanes Hotel was then bought by DNB Bank and ran by Stay Tuned Hospitality, where Björn Kovacs was owner and chairman.
Björn Kovacs and Ole Lilland bought the Brakanes Hotel in 2018 and own and operate the hotel. Brakanes is now named Brakanes by Fjordtind and the conference centre, reception area and restaurant have had extensive refurbishments. Moreover, a new brand profile has been developed, as well as new food and beverage concepts.
Fjordtind Hotels also has leasing agreements for the Vøringfoss Hotel in Eidfjord and the Hardangerfjord Hotel in Øystese. Fjordtind Hotels is steadily developing, and our vision is to be a competent host for all our guests and visitors as well as an attractive employer in order to maintain a great work place for all.