Pater Noster Hotel : Sweden’s Forbidden Island Turned Luxury Escape

Perched on a secluded isle of Hamneskär in Sweden, Pater Noster hotel has recently been enticing an elite crowd. For centuries, the remote island of Hamneskär, was thought to be uninhabitable, however, after careful renovation, the old lighthouse keeper’s residence has been transformed into one of the most unique hotels in the world. The island’s seclusion is now its most compelling allure.

 The journey out to the island and the lighthouse Pater Noster is an experience in itself. Thrilling from the outset, perhaps no hotel arrival rivals it worldwide. There are two ways to arrive at Hamneskär, either soar via helicopter which offers a smooth, and comfortable way to get to the island, all while experiencing the coastline from above or brave the wave via an RIB boat.

Pater Noster Lighthouse swedenPater Noster/ Erik Nissen Johansen

Although, Pater Noster was always a popular choice amongst Sweden’s elite, what propelled this hotel into the spotlight was its association with the 2021 Oscars, where award winners were surprised with an extraordinary gift: a complimentary three-night stay at Pater Noster.

Looming 100 feet above is Pater Noster Lighthouse, originally built in 1868 by renowned engineer Nils Gustaf von Heidenstam. Today the lighthouse is home to 9 rooms accommodating up to 24 guests. Each room features hand-picked, tasteful decor and vintage pieces from the island’s prime years, from 1860s-1970s. All the rooms come with a beautiful view, wake up and look out over the cliffs to the sparkling sea.

Pater Noster Pater Noster Pater Noster/ Erik Nissen Johansen

Here you can experience nature at its most intense with all your senses, maybe you were awakened by the seagulls, maybe by the crashing waves outside your window. Or it could be the creaking sound of older wooden houses as the storms rage outside. It’s almost like living in an old ship, but with solid ground under your feet and in a more spacious environment. In these stylish homes, you can smell the sea and imagine how the old lighthouse keeper families lived over 150 years ago.  The main house’s bedrooms share four communal baths, while the Old Bakery room has an en-suite.

For the adventurous souls, that want to get even closer to the nature there is also an option to book the outdoor bed, located on the edge of a cliff. Sleep under the open sky with sparkling stars and moonlight as a backdrop. Enjoy the sunset, moon, and sunrise to the sound of birdsong, wind, and sea. This unique experience is available during the summer months, it can be only be booked as an add-on when booking a room.

Pater Noster Lighthouse outdoor bedPater Noster/ Erik Nissen Johansen

 The island has many different shapes and seasons, no two days are the same. In Spring the island is covered in beautiful flowers and sweet smells waft over the rocks. In summer, when the wildlife and birds fill the air with the sounds of nature and the sunsets are like balm for your soul. During storms that make the walls creak and beautiful white wave foam flies around the island. And in the evening and at night, when the darkness is darker and the stars more sparkling than anywhere else.

Resident Chef Johan Bengtsson is not only an extremely talented chef, but also a trained marine biologist and professional diver. Johan’s knowledge of the sea’s pantry, together with his curiosity and skill as a chef, results in menus with a unique character, where modern cuisine is combined with the classic. The dinner takes place in the restaurant, where all 12 guests unite at a communal table for a fabulous 5-course meal. During the summer months, it takes place in the café in the boat house. Sample freshly shucked local oysters, shellfish as well as seaweed that is harvest around the island with wine hand picked by the sommelier. The old food cellar on the island now serves as the Pater Noster wine cellar. Here you can choose to take part in wine tasting with perhaps the world’s best view.

Pater Noster restaurantPater Noster/ Erik Nissen Johansen

Even though the island Hamneskär is a small island at the far end of the sea, there are plenty of activities on offer. The Lobster package is particular is very popular – a contemporary rendition of an age-old survival tradition. It includes accommodation in the Lighthouse Master’s home, lobster lunch & lobster dinner, oysters & champagne in the wine cellar, about 3 hours of lobster fishing with fishermen + fika on board, hot tubs & sauna and more.

Elsewhere, you can climb the stairs to a height of 32 meters and experience the view from the top of the Pater Noster Lighthouse. Up here you can also practice a yoga session, meditate or experience a nice massage in a sitting position while enjoying the wonderful view. Enjoy our outdoor spa in the form of hot tubs with heated seawater, outdoor shower and sauna next to the lighthouse, with fantastic views of the horizon. You can also borrow fishing rods and fish from the island, experience seaweed safaris and harvest seaweed with a marine biologist, take a trip between the islets for a seal safari or go sea kayaking and swim with the seals.

Though it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, this one-of-a-kind adventure excels in providing an escape from the everyday grind.


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