Great grandma and great grandpa Brita and Per Eikum were pioneers in their field. They started small and attracted the first visitors to Eikums Hotel, as it was then known. The hotel opened in 1919, and the first tourists to check in were English. Then as now, the biggest attractions were the Jostedalsbreen glacier and the Sognefjord.
Grandma and grandpa Ella and Sigmund Kjos-Wenjum carried on the legacy of Ella’s parents. Sigmund was a taxi owner and horseman, while Ella was the hotel’s hostess. The hotel changed its name to Eikum Gjestgiveri when the government introduced the Hotel Act.
Mum and dad Aud and Birger Kjos-Wenjum moved back to Hafslo after graduating in 1967 and took over Eikum Gjestgiveri in 1977, when they changed the name back to Eikum Hotel. Since Birger had obtained a trade certificate, he was permitted to use the word “hotel”. Birger worked at Smestad Hotel in Oslo before attending hotel college in Stavanger. Aud served as a housekeeper at Hotel Continental is Oslo and later at the KNA hotel in Stavanger.
Ståle, the present owner, has wide-ranging and varied experience of the hotel industry. Every school holiday he would work at Eikum Hotel, and after studying business he enrolled on a 1-year cookery course before becoming an apprentice at the SAS Scandinavia Hotel in Oslo. There he worked under chefs such as Lars Erik Underthun, silver medallist at the 1991 Bocuse d’Or. Ståle obtained his trade certificate at the SAS. He then gained further experience in Germany, where he worked as a chef at the Radisson SAS Plaza in Hamburg. After a year in Germany he enrolled at hotel college in Stavanger, specialising in hotel administration. Alongside his studies he worked at the Radisson SAS in Stavanger as well as the restaurant Jans Mat- og Vinhus. During two summer holidays he worked as general manager at Hafslo Gjestehus. After his stay in Stavanger he was appointed chef at Schwatzwald Hotel in Titisee, Germany, before becoming a receptionist at Storefjell Høgfjellshotell in Golsfjellet. Ståle also had a second job in the restaurant at Pers Hotel in Gol at the same time. He took up a full-time position at Eikum Hotel in 1998 before taking over the running of the hotel in 2000.