The Wisløff family have lived at Sorrisniva since 1885 originally farming and salmon fishing. The name Sorrisniva comes from the early Finnish immigration to the Alta River and describes the burbling of the water as it flows over the river bed.
The third generation brothers of Hans Ulrik and Tor Kjetil have progressively developed their tourism offering starting with riverboat safaris through the spectacular Alta river canyon in 1970. Sorrisniva offered the first Norwegian snowmobile safaris in 1989 and added the iconic Lavvu restaurant, whose design reflects the Sami tent, in 1992.
In 2000 the Igloo Hotel, Norway’s first ice hotel, was built for the first time. Since then the ice hotel is built each and offers overnight accommodation from late December through early April. The ice hotel is built by local craftsman and features amazing ice sculptures, ice bar and ice chapel which is popular for weddings and christenings. Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel is the world's northernmost ice hotel.
As of October 2021, Sorrisniva now offers year round premium accommodation in the new Arctic Wilderness Lodge. The lodge is designed to offer guests a premium quality experience in its rooms, lounge and restaurant. The lodge is built on the banks of the river and incorporates extensive glass facades to closely integrate nature into the rooms.
Sorrisniva is also famous for its a la carte cuisine which is based upon local foods and products including salmon, cod, locally smoked or cured fish, reindeer, moose and wild berries. With the new Arctic Wilderness Lodge Sorrisniva creates a unique Arctic lodge experience for discerning guests wishing to experience the traditional Sorrisniva seasonal offerings including the Ice Hotel, Northern Lights, Midnight Sun, snowmobile safaris and riverboat excursions, whilst staying in a premium quality lodge enjoying the world famous Sorrisniva cuisine and hospitality.