Norway - Jon & Anna Aga
Vega Havhotell, Viksås
Personal service with a smile near the Arctic Circle

The Vega Archipelago - a cluster of dozens of islands centred on Vega, just south of the Arctic Circle is home to Vega Havhotell, a small hotel that offers gourmet cuisine, good hospitality and a personal service. It is run by Norwegian chef, Jon Aga, Maître Hôtelier (known in Norway for his TV series, Vegamat) and his wife, Anna, Chef de Table.

It may be an inhospitable location, exposed to the elements, but Jon and Anna Aga have created a very hospitable environment within the four walls of Vega Havhotell. The way of life on the islands of the Vega Archipelago is typically frugal, based on fishing and harvesting the down of eider ducks.

Nevertheless, the Vega Havhotell offers its guests an uncompromising attention to service and a cuisine based on local ingredients and inspired by the modern classic kitchen.

Jon loves to cook and says the secret to the success of his food is the freshness of the ingredients. The Vega Havhotell serves a combination of Continental and traditional Norwegian fare, based on the fresh ingredients that can be found on its doorstep. The four-course menu changes every day, designed around their availability.

These ingredients include fish and seafood often directly from the fishermen, game and other meat from locally reared animals, herbs and vegetables. Tarragon and basil grow particularly well in Vega and the hotel cultivates its own. Berries also thrive - even strawberries - and local farmers prosper with tomatoes and cucumbers.

Jon and Anna have created a hotel with the kind of style, ambience and food they would themselves like to enjoy when on holiday. Food is a very important part of the overall experience, and Jon points out that as much as 50 per cent of our holiday memories are based on taste!

At the Vega Havhotell time is taken to deliver the very best experience for guests to ensure they leave with good memories that will last for years.

Equally important is the service that Jon and Anna offer to their guests, as they personally serve tea and coffee with a smile and a ‘good morning’ to guests in the breakfast room. “We know that most people appreciate such hospitality and care.”

The islands around Vega were awarded world heritage status by UNESCO in 2014.

Amanda Roberts
Publishing Editor, Revue internationale de la Chaîne