The coworkers who fell in love after they shared a resort room

The coworkers who fell in love after they shared a resort room

(CNN) — When Ida Skibenes pulled up outdoors the Solstrand Lodge, her abdomen was in knots, flipping between nerves and pleasure.

The Solstrand is certainly one of Norway’s most stunning resorts, positioned simply outdoors of Bergen, framed by fjords and residential to over 125 years of historical past.

“It appears to be like like a yellow fort, virtually. It’s totally stunning. And it is a very quiet place, there is not any site visitors, it is down by the ocean,” Ida tells CNN Journey.

Yearly, Ida’s Bergen-based office decamped to the dreamy surrounds of Solstrand for a few days of distant working. That yr, 2014, was Ida’s first on the firm. Her colleagues had regaled her with tales of Solstrand and he or she was excited. However her pleasure wasn’t actually about escaping from the town and stress-free among the many mountains. It was all about Hanna Aardal.

Hanna was Ida’s coworker. When Ida began on the firm, the 2 shortly clicked, however they have been somewhere else of their lives. On the time, Ida was married, and centered on her relationship and settling into the brand new job. In the meantime, Hanna was a single mum or dad whose teenage daughter had simply moved to the US to review for a yr.

However because the months rolled on, their circumstances modified. Ida’s relationship fell aside, and he or she went by a divorce. Hanna adjusted to her daughter being overseas, and began spending extra time socializing with coworkers. With time, Hanna and Ida grew nearer.

“Our energies matched,” is how Ida places it. “It was at all times extra enjoyable to be at work when Hanna was at work.”

“I feel we sort of had the identical sort of humor, so we turned mates shortly,” says Hanna.

Hanna and Ida began working collectively on a enjoyable aspect venture, a brief mockumentary within the vein of “The Workplace,” showcasing the quirks of their office. The movie was set to be screened on the Solstrand retreat.

The historic Solstrand Hotel in Norway played an important role in Hanna and Ida's relationship.

The historic Solstrand Lodge in Norway performed an necessary position in Hanna and Ida’s relationship.


The 2 labored on the venture out of hours, and began sharing common dinners and drinks. They messaged repeatedly, typically texting each other goodnight.

Reflecting on this era right now, Ida and Hanna recommend they have been “courting with out realizing.”

“I used to be used to courting males, and I had by no means been in a relationship with a girl,” says Hanna. “Trying again, it is sort of apparent that we had emotions for one another.”

Ida did not know if Hanna can be open to courting a girl. And he or she did not know if her emotions have been reciprocated, or in the event that they have been all in her head. Nonetheless, Ida felt there have been indicators suggesting the connection was one thing extra.

A number of weeks earlier than the Solstrand journey, the 2 had stayed up late at Hanna’s dwelling, chatting. When, at 2 a.m., Ida steered she ought to head dwelling, Hanna had taken her hand and requested her to not go away. It felt like a “turning level,” at the very least to Ida. However she left all the identical — they’d each been consuming, and he or she felt the dialog needed to be addressed below totally different circumstances.

Solstrand, Ida determined, was the right alternative. Particularly when Ida and Hanna have been coincidentally chosen to room collectively.

“I had emotions for Hanna, and I positively had a crush on her,” says Ida. “But when it was all in my head, then I wanted to make clear that. And we have been going to work collectively. So I simply determined that if we find yourself in the identical room, that is an indication for me to truly do one thing about it.”

Plus, Solstrand was a ravishing, romantic setting.

“At the least if she had turned me down, I would not be in like this dump someplace. I might nonetheless be in a ravishing resort,” jokes Ida.

Opening up

Hanna (left) and Ida became close friends in the lead up to the Solstrand company retreat.

Hanna (left) and Ida turned shut mates within the lead as much as the Solstrand firm retreat.

Ida Skibenes

Ida introduced up the subject on the finish of the primary day in Solstrand. It was late within the night, and the 2 girls have been mendacity of their separate twin beds.

Hanna’s response stunned them each.

“I used to be sort of beginning to say ‘I do know that now we have change into shut mates and every part, I like you want a buddy.’ However then, whereas I used to be saying it, I noticed that in fact, it is one thing extra,” remembers Hanna.

“I freaked out when she advised me that,” says Ida. ” I used to be like, ‘Wait a minute. This isn’t occurring.'”

After the preliminary shock, the dialog continued.

“We talked, we kissed. After which we sort of simply settled down and determined that we might determine issues out finally,” says Ida.

The subsequent day, Ida and Hanna have been preoccupied with a busy day of conferences and shows. They did not deal with what occurred the night earlier than, but it surely was a practice at their firm that everybody introduced greeting playing cards to their Solstrand roommates on the finish of the journey.

In Ida and Hanna’s playing cards, they put their burgeoning emotions in writing. And Ida excitedly messaged her shut mates the information.

“I texted, like, three thumbs up, ‘We made out!'” says Ida.

“However apart from that, we stored it quiet for a very long time.”

Solstrand is surrounded by Norwegian fjords and mountains.

Solstrand is surrounded by Norwegian fjords and mountains.


Hanna wanted a while to come back to phrases along with her newly acknowledged emotions.

“I had been in some relationships, however principally I had been a single mum or dad and really self-sufficient in a manner, and never superb at shut relationships. So I feel it was actually scary and thrilling on the similar time — and complicated.”

Each Ida and Hanna have been additionally conscious that they weren’t simply risking a friendship, however a working relationship too. For Hanna, this added to her trepidation.

“I feel I used to be actually afraid to mess issues up between the 2 of us,” says Hanna. “As a result of we have been working collectively, it might have had higher penalties if I tousled — which I guessed I might — sooner or later.”

Ida and Hanna took it slowly, however they progressively grew even nearer. Six months after their dialog at Solstrand, the 2 have been on one other work journey, they usually determined they have been prepared to inform their colleagues. Later, again dwelling in Bergen, Hanna shared the information along with her daughter.

“She was actually comfortable for us,” says Hanna, recalling that her daughter joked it might have been bizarre to have a person of their home of ladies.

“She got here out to us, two years later, so it is a very homosexual household,” provides Hanna.

Return to Solstrand

Ida proposed to Hanna on a return visit to Solstrand.

Ida proposed to Hanna on a return go to to Solstrand.


Hanna and Ida moved in collectively in 2016, not lengthy after they shared the information of their relationship with their family members. They began discussing marriage, and determined that, when the time felt proper, Ida can be the one to suggest.

“I like surprises, and Ida hates surprises,” Hanna explains.

Ida knew precisely the place she needed to suggest: Solstrand. Three years after they voiced their emotions aloud for the primary time, Ida and Hanna discovered themselves again on the historic resort on the annual firm retreat. The corporate had simply broadcast the normal workplace “mockumentary,” when Ida interrupted proceedings.

“She simply acquired up in entrance of everybody and mentioned, ‘There’s one other video’ and he or she gave me a field of Kleenex as a result of I am a crier, I cry on a regular basis. After which she had made this actually candy and romantic video with music, portraying our relationship, and ending with the proposal.”

Wiping away comfortable tears, Hanna mentioned sure.

“Would have been actually awkward if I hadn’t,” she jokes right now.

Hanna and Ida got engaged at the Solstrand hotel, and got married in Bergen in 2022.

Hanna and Ida acquired engaged on the Solstrand resort, and acquired married in Bergen in 2022.

Ragnhild Storsletten Åse

“I used to be very nervous,” remembers Ida. “Possibly I advised, like, a few folks earlier than we went, however 5 minutes earlier than I used to be going to indicate the film, I ran round and I advised everybody.”

Her colleagues have been delighted, and inspired a panicked Ida to go for it.

“I had an entire meltdown, acquired two glasses of wine and two cigarettes, after which I used to be good to go,” says Ida.

“It felt very proper to do it at that resort with these folks, as a result of they’ve sort of tagged alongside for your complete complete journey of our relationship. So it was thrilling, and a whole lot of enjoyable. Particularly the half the place we acquired to rejoice with so many individuals that love us and need us to be comfortable.”

Following some postponed pandemic wedding ceremony plans, Ida and Hanna acquired married in summer season 2022. The long-awaited ceremony befell outdoors, in a Bergen park close to the couple’s dwelling.

“It was a very particular celebration,” says Hanna, recalling a day of sunshine and festivities.

Embarking on a journey

Ida and Hanna hope to one day celebrate 50 years of marriage together.

Ida and Hanna hope to at some point rejoice 50 years of marriage collectively.

Ida Skibenes

Hanna and Ida not work collectively. When Ida left the corporate just a few years in the past, her colleagues gave her a present card for a romantic weekend away at Solstrand. The couple look ahead to returning, and hope at some point to rejoice 50 years of marriage at their favourite resort.

Hanna and Ida describe their years collectively as far as a “fascinating and enjoyable journey.”

“It has been this sense of getting your finest buddy there, all the best way. Like, no matter occurs, you’ve your finest buddy, and it makes you are feeling like issues are going to work out finally,” says Ida, who provides that changing into a step mum or dad has additionally “modified her life” and taught her rather a lot.

Hanna says she’s realized rather a lot from Ida too.

“Ida could be very courageous,” says Hanna. “She’s rather a lot wiser than me in relation to relationships and feelings. And he or she could be very courageous in daring to speak about issues, when issues get powerful.”

“We acquired shut very quick and sort of have this entire belief in one another, so we will be ourselves. I’ve by no means been in such a detailed relationship earlier than and it modified my life in many various methods. And likewise having a companion who additionally loves my daughter and being a household — an even bigger household.”

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