In Denmark the kroer (singular kro) inns, some old and some quite new offer pleasant and comfortable accommodation, full of character. Also good and reasonably priced are the mission hotels (members of the Danish Mission Hotels Federation) to be found in most Danish towns.
In Norway there are luxury hotels in Oslo and other large towns. In the mountain regions, away from towns, there are comfortable turisthotels and h&yfjells-hotels. Pensjonater and hospitser are smaller hotels with an adequate standard of comfort. Below these are turiststas-joner and fjellstuer (mountain lodges). The turisthytter are mountain huts, often accessible only on foot, which provide simple accommodation, usually in rooms for 4-6 persons. A gjestgiveri is an inn.
In Sweden there are excellent hotels often called Stadshotellet or Stora Hotellet even in the smaller towns. There may be a Jarnvagshotell (Railway Hotel) near the station. A gastgivaregard is a country inn, in earlier days a post-house. The turiststationer, run by the Swedish Tourist Board, are usually excellent.
In Sweden there is a system of Hotel Checks which cover bed, breakfast and reservation of the next night’s hotel at a fixed rate. The budget check costs 85 Skr. per person per night in any one of the 245 hotels which accept the checks; the quality check, for hotels of higher standard, costs 130 Skr.
In Finland there are luxury hotels in Helsinki and other large towns. The Finnish Tourist Board also runs tourist hotels offering a high standard of comfort, in the main tourist areas (reservations advisable). In the remoter parts of the country, there are inns (matkustajakoti), which are of more modest standard but are usually clean. A majatalo is a country inn.
Finland also has a hotel check, the Finncheque, costing 85 marks per person per night. This is accepted in 145 hotels throughout Finland and covers bed and breakfast (in more modest hotels, a midday meal as well). In category 1 hotels there is an additional charge of 35 marks. The minimum number of checks that can be purchased is four.
Finland is the home of the sauna. In the traditional Finnish sauna, a simple wooden hut, stones are heated in a wood fire and water is thrown over them to produce steam and fierce heat. This regular alternation of dry and moist heat distinguishes the Finnish sauna from other types of steam bath. In orderto enhance the sweat-producing effect and promote the circulation of blood, the bathers whip themselves with birch twigs.