In 2011 Stella Maris closed its doors as the last mission hotel in Denmark. Less than two and a half years later, it opened as one of the most beautiful hotels in Scandinavia with a focus on gastronomic experiences. Stella Maris – Hotel de Luxe is set in beautiful, quiet surroundings right by the Svendborg Sund, on the southern coast of the island of Funen.
As some of you may know, I am currently back in my country of Denmark and have recently experienced a lot of new sights, and while that was easy to find, finding new great places to stay was a lot harder. Having already experienced a lot of hotels in Denmark with Nimb, D’Angleterre and Falsled Kro being the best so far, I decided to try Stella Maris based on excellent reviews, stunning photos and gastronomy, focusing on organic and local ingredients.
A warm welcome from Emilie, the receptionist, followed by a little tour of the beautiful hotel ending with my beautiful room.
36 rooms total at Stella Maris in several different categories including single standard, superior, and family rooms based on size, views and features. I stayed in a beautiful modern room with an excellent soft bed, contemporary bathroom, organic bathroom amenities, flat screen TV, very fast Wi-Fi connection and a beautiful view.
Chef Thomas Skovsmose-Falck returned to his hometown of Svendborg from Copenhagen when Stella Maris opened its doors in March 2014. Although Thomas was out of the hotel during my stay, his team delivered an excellent dining experience, comparable with Michelin-recommended restaurants I’ve experienced in Europe. If Stella Maris were in France, I’m sure it would have a Michelin star, but in Denmark, it takes a lot more to get such an honour.
I ordered a three-course menu consisting of delicious fish as the starter, local gourmet meat as the main course, and lemon as dessert. The food at Stella Maris is reasonably priced at DKK425 for the three-course menu, but there are also five and seven courses available. It’s always nice to leave a restaurant full and satisfied like I did at Stella Maris, instead of some restaurants where I’ve left with the opposite feeling.
Like most gourmet hotels, there aren’t a lot of facilities here. There’s a beautiful lounge area with a lot of space and a small gym at the hotel which was a nice surprise. I like the option of being able to work out, even at hotels where the main purpose of visiting is the food.
One of my favourite things to do while travelling is to experience castles and manors. The island of Funen has a lot of them, and with a car, Stella Maris is a perfect base for the many things the island has to offer. Some of my favourites on the island of Funen is Hindsgavl Castle and Hvedholm Castle, while you on the nearby islands of Tåsinge and Langeland (both connected by a bridge) can find Valdemar’s Castle and Tranekær Castle.
While there are a lot of things to do on Funen and the connected islands, there are a lot of smaller islands connected by ferry including the island of Ærø (Aeroe), which has received a number of American tourists after a personal recommendation by Rick Steves. For further activities, I would recommend visiting VisitFyn.com. Stella Maris is not only for a quick gastronomic getaway but also an ideal place to take a proper vacation.
After approximately 1,500 hotels, I am happy to say I can still get excited about staying at great hotels. Stella Maris exceeded my expectations with their excellent cuisine, design and service. Stella Maris is not a part of any prestigious marketing organisation but would be a great fit for Relais & Châteaux or Small Luxury Hotels of the World. They are a lot better than many of the hotels I’ve stayed at in both collections. I appreciate their focus on organic and local food, as well as having a lot of local staff. My stay ended with a warm farewell, but I am confident I will be back at Stella Maris again soon.