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Hotel history

There are quite a few stories to be told in the area where Active Hotel is situated today. In the old, white buildings behind the hotel, were the famous Svend Foyn lived in the 18th century.

Svend Foyn
Svend was a sailor at the early age of 11 years, and by 24 years he was a captain and also a merchant. He made a fortune on seal and whale hunting, but really entered into the history books in 1873, when he invented the granade harpoon. This made the whale hunting a lot more efficient (and made some species almost extinct…). He is reviewed in the history books as the “father of the whale harpoon”. When Svend Foyn moved to Ramdal at Notteroy in 1877, it is told that it was partly a “tax escape” from the municipality of Tonsberg. His new home was nicknamed the “the sulk corner”. The border between the two municipalities is only 50 meters from the hotel! When he died in 1894, he left a great fortune of more than 4 million NOK, bequeathed to schools and missionary activity.

Restaurant and nightlife
After a few years the property was sold to the district governor Abraham Berge. He is famous for his contributions to national politics and his short period as a prime minister of Norway. In 1930 Abraham Berge sold the property to hotel investor Carl Robert Baglo. A new era began when Baglo started a restaurant and hostel. The establishment attracted local people to dancing and partying with its outdoor scene, pavilion and a well maintained garden.

Ravndal bed & breakfast
After the death of Baglo, Kåre Werner Jahren started Ravndal bed & breakfast. He reconstructed the buildings to serve even more guests. Now he could arrange dinners for 250 people. This was a beloved place to meet for local citizens, especially in the whailing period of the fifties and sixties. Jahren made the garden flourish and it is said that he had 1000 plants and 30 000 roses, and 1100 people on outdoor concerts. Jahren ran the place until 1975, but lived here until the place was sold to the current owners. In 2006 Active Hotel was opened, built in the land that earlier was a outdoor scene and garden.


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