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

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

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

“It seems to be like a yellow fort, nearly. It’s extremely lovely. And it is a very quiet place, there isn’t any 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 12 months, 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 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 rapidly clicked, however they had been elsewhere of their lives. On the time, Ida was married, and targeted on her relationship and settling into the brand new job. In the meantime, Hanna was a single guardian whose teenage daughter had simply moved to the US to review for a 12 months.

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 grew to become associates rapidly,” says Hanna.

Hanna and Ida began working collectively on a enjoyable facet 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 Resort in Norway performed an necessary function in Hanna and Ida’s relationship.


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

Reflecting on this era immediately, Ida and Hanna recommend they had 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 lady,” says Hanna. “Wanting again, it is sort of apparent that we had emotions for one another.”

Ida did not know if Hanna could be open to courting a lady. And he or she did not know if her emotions had been reciprocated, or in the event that they had 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 instructed she ought to head dwelling, Hanna had taken her hand and requested her to not depart. It felt like a “turning level,” not less than to Ida. However she left all the identical — they’d each been ingesting, and he or she felt the dialog needed to be addressed beneath completely different circumstances.

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

“I had emotions for Hanna, and I undoubtedly had a crush on her,” says Ida. “But when it was all in my head, then I wanted to make clear that. And we had 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 wonderful, 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 wonderful 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 grew to become shut associates 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 had been mendacity of their separate twin beds.

Hanna’s response shocked them each.

“I used to be sort of beginning to say ‘I do know that we have now change into shut associates and all the things, I really like you want a pal.’ 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 instructed 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’d determine issues out ultimately,” says Ida.

The following day, Ida and Hanna had 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 offered 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 associates the information.

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

“However aside from that, we saved 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 together with her newly acknowledged emotions.

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

Each Ida and Hanna had 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 had been working collectively, it might have had higher penalties if I tousled — which I guessed I might — in some unspecified time in the future.”

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

“She was actually pleased 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 could be the one to suggest.

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

Ida knew precisely the place she wished 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 standard workplace “mockumentary,” when Ida interrupted proceedings.

“She simply bought 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 pleased tears, Hanna mentioned sure.

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

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

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

Ragnhild Storsletten Åse

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

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

“I had an entire meltdown, bought 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 individuals, as a result of they’ve sort of tagged alongside for your complete total journey of our relationship. So it was thrilling, and loads of enjoyable. Particularly the half the place we bought to rejoice with so many individuals that love us and wish us to be pleased.”

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

“It was a extremely 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 in the future rejoice 50 years of marriage collectively.

Ida Skibenes

Hanna and Ida now not work collectively. When Ida left the corporate a couple of 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 in the future 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 pal there, all the way in which. Like, no matter occurs, you may have your finest pal, and it makes you’re feeling like issues are going to work out ultimately,” says Ida, who provides that turning into a step guardian has additionally “modified her life” and taught her so much.

Hanna says she’s discovered so much from Ida too.

“Ida could be very courageous,” says Hanna. “She’s so much wiser than me in terms of relationships and feelings. And he or she could be very courageous in daring to speak about issues, when issues get robust.”

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