I’m not one to succumb to any delusions of grandeur but when it’s practically forced upon you, it’s very hard to resist. The Grand Hotel Oslo welcomed me with the belief that every one of their guests has the right to feel grand, and because that sounded all too tempting, I happily obliged. As I said, I seemed to have left my backbone at their front door and resistance was futile… there was nothing wrong with being delusional and lapping up this life of grandeur for just a weekend, was there? The lobby was all luxe and opulence, the staff were all smiles and agreeableness.; I was liking this place already and we hadn’t yet step foot in our room…
The Grand Hotel Oslo is a grand old dame of the city so it’s hardly a surprise that she likes to treat her guests like royalty too. Actually, since the doors opened in 1874, they’ve had real royalty, world leaders, movie and music stars making this their home during their time in Oslo… and now they can add a certain someone and I to their list. Though, I suspect we won’t make it onto their wall of fame! Aside from the old world charm, we also loved the location. With a view of the Royal Palace to the right and the rest of bustling Karl Johan gate, with its shops and bars, outstretched to the left, this was the perfect base for our weekend in the city!
Checking In – Junior Suite
We checked into one of the hotel’s Junior Suites, which was almost the size of our one bedroom apartment in the Wellington CBD! It was furnished with one of those super soft, snuggly king size beds which we couldn’t wait to sink into, a separate living area, and a sleek, modern bathroom. The decor was quite chic and understated, with perhaps the exception of the two chandeliers, which is always our preference. I liked the colour scheme and choice of furniture, all was very comfortable but some of the features could do with a bit of a spruce up.
With all this space, we really made ourselves at home – we properly unpacked into the wardrobe, had our morning cup of tea in the living area, and even caught up on any work at the desk. The nightly turn down service which provided fresh towels and mineral water by the bed was a nice touch, but we did have a small battle with the noise right before bedtime. I put this down to our proximity to the rooftop bar and the fact that our room had the most wonderful outlook. We were treated to large windows and a balcony which opened to a view of Karl Johan gate, a pretty square, and the Parliament building… not too shabby indeed!
Breakfast – Buffet at the Grand Café
Every morning, breakfast is served in the hotel’s iconic Grand Café. The buffet spread was varied and wholesome; there was a good selection of breads and cereals, hot cooked items, and plenty of fruit. Whenever I’m in a new country, I love trying some local breakfast options so most mornings I filled up on smoked salmon, herring, and an interesting pate meatloaf type thing. All were great on a thick slice of multigrain bread, with a cup of tea on the side. And because I’m extremely predictable, I always finish with a pastry and fruit! My only word of warning is that you should be prepared for a short wait before you’re seated; breakfast was extremely busy every morning – I guess many people see it as a good way to set themselves up for the day and possibly even saving a few kroner by skipping lunch!
Dining & Drinking – Palmen Restaurant, Othilia Lobby Bar, Eight Rooftop Bar
In addition to the Grand Café, the Grand Hotel Oslo has three other dining and drinking options: Othilia Bar and Palmen Restaurant located on the ground floor by the lobby, and Eight Rooftop Bar. Palmen serves an a la carte menu everyday but I have a sneaky suspicion that their biggest draw card is their afternoon tea. And who wouldn’t want to indulge in sandwiches and cake in this striking setting; the chandelier is extraordinary and the evocative piece by Norwegian artist Vanessa Marth Baird starts many conversations, I’m sure. Unfortunately our tight schedule meant we only had time to enjoy a pre-dinner drink at Eight Rooftop Bar one evening. The sweeping views were lovely but the cocktails were even better; I sipped on a Bohemian Flirt while a certain someone knocked back a Mjølner. Even if you’re not staying at the Grand Hotel Oslo, stopping in for the cocktails and views at Eight, or a nightcap at Othilia with its Tracey Emin ode to Munch’s The Scream, or even a slice of cake at Palmen, should be on your Oslo itinerary!
So Make A Move…
- Getting here – handily situated on Karl Johan gate, the Grand Hotel Oslo is within an easy 5 minute walk from Nationalthreatret station or a 10 minute walk from Oslo S station.
- Room rates – prices for a Grand Petite Double start at £200/night, but if you want to splash out on a Junior Suite, these are around £460/night including breakfast.
- Breakfast – opening times change slightly between weekdays and weekends so make sure you check these to avoid missing out… as we almost did on Monday morning!
- What to see and where to eat – Oslo is full of history, culture and exceptionally good restaurants, find out more in my full weekend guide to Oslo.
Have you stayed at a hotel with a well-known history? Where in the world was it?
We paid a media rate for our stay at the Grand Hotel Oslo, but as always, all opinions are mine and mine alone.
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