Arrival/Check-In: Whenever we arrive from the airport at 9:30 a.m., we don’t expect our room to be ready, but we always dream. Our dreams came true at the Grand, where in less than five minutes after stepping out of a taxi, we were standing on our third-floor balcony looking out onto Oslo’s wide, tree-lined Karl Johans Gate. So smooth and quick was our welcome (no search for our names, and our waiting package delivered without asking) that we’d barely had time to notice the elegant lobby with its grand staircase, art and intimate seating.
Guest Quarters: Our deluxe room was spacious but not grandiose, with a king-sized bed wrapped in high-count sheets and individual down comforters. Each side had a lamp on the large nightstand and an adjustable spotlight for bedtime reading. There was plenty of room for the wide desk, two comfortable armchairs and small table. The large windows opened onto a small balcony designed more for waving than sitting; heavy curtains blocked June’s almost ’round-the-clock daylight while we slept. A crystal chandelier in a carved ceiling medallion and three watercolor fashion sketches added grace notes. The closet had non-removable wooden hangers, iron and board, two soft terry robes, cushioned slippers and one luggage rack. The bathroom was small but included a large, deep tub and a glass shower enclosure with L’Occitane amenities.
Services/Amenities: The concierge was always there, remembered names and preferences and gave excellent directions. Breakfast featured a spectacular display of fresh fruits; delicious pastries and breads; hot entrées; and a wide choice of cured and smoked salmon, pâté, cold cuts and fine cheeses. I chose from eight varieties of loose tea, a fine way to begin a day. In the Grand Café, which is the place to be in Oslo at lunch and tea time, murals depict famous habitués including Henrik Ibsen and Charles Munch. We had the opportunity to dine in the recently opened fine-dining restaurant, Palmen, in the hotel’s elegant palm court, providing one of the finest meals we have ever savored. The hotel includes a full-service spa with a birch-lined pool open to hotel guests and a unique women’s floor with guestrooms designed by prominent Norwegian women.
The Experience: The location is superb, on the best shopping street and a short walk from the theater, museums and the new arts district. This beautifully maintained grand hotel has progressed with the times without losing a bit of its grace and charm.
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item check=yes]Separate tub and shower[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality towels[/item]
[item]Powerful, unattached hair dryer[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality bed linens[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, flat-screen television[/item]
[item check=yes]Large desk with convenient outlets[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, complimentary laptop safe[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary in-room WiFi[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary bottled water[/item]
[item check=yes]Stocked minibar[/item]
[item check=yes]Ample lighting[/item]
[item check=yes]In-room coffeemaker[/item]
[item check=yes]Iron and ironing board[/item]
[item check=yes]On-site restaurant[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour room service[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center[/item]
[item check=yes]Turn-down service[/item]
Grand Hotel Oslo
Karl Johans Gate 31
tel 47 23 21 20 00
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