Tel: 47 23 33 24 00
Frugal students and other thrifty travelers are drawn to this 88-room hotel, where no-frills (and slightly shabby) rooms start at around $100. Those who can't live without an in-room TV or telephone and don't want to share the bathroom down the hall with strangers should book one of the 30 en suite rooms, added in 2006, with birch furniture and kitchenettes (for about $27 more). There's no restaurant on the premises, but guests receive discount certificates to neighborhood eateries.
31 Karl Johans gate
Tel: 47 23 21 20 00
Decked out in Louis XVI revival decor with a touch of Nordic Art Nouveau, the Grand Hotel has been an Oslo institution since 1874—in the early 20th century, Edvard Munch was a regular at the hotel's Grand Café. The self-consciously elegant ambience in the public areas (chandeliers, crystal sconces, tapestries, and ornate mirrors) carries into the 290 guest rooms, which are dressed with flowing floral curtains and polished parquet floors. The Tower Suite, a romantic triplex that rises above the hotel's rooftop, is a good bet for honeymooners; there are 13 rooms specially designed for females on the Ladies Floor (although gentlemen are permitted to stay in these rooms as well). A gorgeous Scandinavian-style spa opened on the top floor in 2007.
Tel: 47 23 10 72 00
Fax: 47 23 10 72 10
Part of the First collection—a contemporary design hotel chain in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark—Grims Grenka is one of the more centrally located Oslo hotels. While the public spaces, including the sleek lobby and extremely popular summertime rooftop bar and terrace, have more aesthetic appeal, the 50 rooms are very comfortable and quite roomy by European standards. Some of the best views are from the suites overlooking the Akershus Fortress. The room decor is pretty standard throughout, with either dark wood floors or wall-to-wall carpeting, beds with cove lighting underneath, and twin duvets piled on top and soft, angular couches and chairs in chocolate brown. The bathrooms, all with rain-head showers and some with soaking tubs, have frosted-glass walls to let light from the bedroom inside and give a more open feel. A hearty breakfast spread, included in the room rate, features Norwegian fish, cheeses, and meats. Local and organic raw food are the specialty at the stylish, candlelit restaurant, Madu, just off the lobby.—Terry Ward
7 Kristian IV's gate
Tel: 47 22 82 60 00
This lively spot is hipper and cheaper than the Hotel Continental and the Grand Hotel, if a little less luxurious. A Moorish Art Deco theme and a piano player behind a baby grand make the 1920s-era reception area feel more like the set of Casablanca than a Scandinavian inn, and the 261 rooms have a distinctly European air—some have canopied beds draped in toile de Jouy fabric. For a bathrobe and a complimentary paper, you have to graduate to a Club Room or Suite. Late-night noise from the street has been known to aggravate visitors—light sleepers should request a room at the back of the building.
Tel: 47 22 82 40 00
Hotel Continental overlooks Palace Park and is located across the street from the National Theatre (1 Johanne Dybwads Plass; 47-22-00-14-00; www.nationaltheatret.no). Meticulously maintained Victorian decor with brocade walls and oil paintings outfits the public spaces; the 155 guest rooms are furnished with antiques (nearly half of them were revamped in 2006 and 2007). Sporty types can work up a sweat in the small fifth-floor fitness room, and art aficionados will appreciate the hotel's extensive collection of prints by Edvard Munch, which are on display in the relaxed lobby bar, Dagligstuen. The restaurant, Theatrecaféen, is a popular gathering spot for the local intelligentsia.
Closed December 21 through January 2.
Tel: 47 22 00 57 00
Tel: 47 22 00 57 01
Just a few minutes by foot from Karl Johansgate (Oslo's main pedestrian drag), this Clarion Collection hotel puts a theatrical spin on your stay: Hotel Folketeateret shares a connecting atrium with the Oslo folk theater of the same name. The 160 rooms, spread between seven floors, have a moody boudoir appeal, with beds clad in crocodile-skin-patterned spreads, jewel-tone throw pillows, and cove lighting under the bed and on the walls that makes for a romantic glow. Some rooms have wooden floors, while others are carpeted, so if either is important to you, be sure to specify when you book. The signature suites are particularly decadent, and several are two-level affairs with meeting spaces or, in the case of the bridal suite, an enormous bathroom furnished in all white with a Jacuzzi tub. A huge gym with boxing balls, treadmills with TVs, and Techno Gym equipment is in the basement. Among the hotel's others perks are free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea with homemade pastries, and a light evening meal served in the comfortable lounge area that also has access to an outdoor rooftop terrace—the perfect place to lounge in the summer.—Terry Ward
Tel: 47 23 27 65 00
Fax: 47 23 27 65 60
Don't let the fact that this hotel is part of the Clarion Collection sway you into thinking this is just another nondescript chain experience. Housed in an ivy-covered, five-story brick building that dates to 1921, the Hotel Gabelshus is a very elegant place to base yourself. Here, you're within a 10- or 15-minute walk of Aker Brygge and Solli Plass. The 113 guest rooms are spread between two wings. The older rooms have a stately appeal, with high ceilings, wooden parquet floors, and antique chandeliers paired with mid-century modern-style furnishings, flat-screen TVs, and big billowing beds piled with duvets. Rooms in the newer wing have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking an inner courtyard, dark wood floors, and modern furnishings. Public spaces include a small sauna and steam room, a cozy library, and a few sitting areas where you can relax with a cup of coffee and Norwegian waffles, which are offered free to guests between 3 and 6 pm every day. If your dinner plans fall through (or you don't want to brave a chilly night), a nightly buffet that features a spread of hot dishes and pasta salads is included in the room rate, as is a full organic breakfast.—Terry Ward
Tel: 47 23 27 40 00
Fax: 47 23 27 40 01
On a leafy street in Ruseløkka, a short walk from the bars and restaurants of Solli Plass and the Aker Brygge, this boutique hotel is a perfect mix of comfort and class. Opened in January 2011, the 53 rooms are bright and cheery and full of Balinese imports, including hollowed-out river-stone sinks in the bathrooms, colorful woven rugs, and gourd-shaped floor lamps. The Indonesian pieces are balanced with rugged Norwegian touches such as the goatskin pelts draped on the four-poster beds. The bathrooms are outfitted with organic towels made in India from 100-percent cotton, and the bath products, in large, refillable bottles, are made by Denmark's Fischer Pure Nature. A small Turkish-inspired hammam in the basement with a steam room, dry sauna, and a lounge area is perfect for warming up on a cold Nordic night. The hearty buffet breakfast is included in the room rate, and coffee and tea are available throughout the day in the cozy dining space just off the lobby decorated with seashell lamps and knotted wood furniture.—Terry Ward
This nine-story, stark white angular building rises like an iceberg on the outskirts of the Grünerløkka neighborhood, a ten-minute tram ride from Oslo's Central Station. And if you're looking for contemporary digs in the more alternative part of town, this fits the bill. The 149 clean-lined rooms have smooth wood plank floors, color block walls painted gray or purple, and oversize lamps hung over the beds. The bathrooms, tiled white, are simple tub-in-shower combinations, for the most part. Some nice perks for guests include free Wi-Fi and use of the hotel's bicycles for urban exploring and walking sticks if you want to take advantage of nearby hiking trails. Breakfast, included in the room rate, is a typical Scandinavian spread of meats, muesli, cheeses, yogurts, and breads served in a pretty room strung with retro Edison bulbs. There's a small gym on the third floor with weights and workout machines, but walking around Grünerløkka's happening streets is a far nicer way to get your exercise.—Terry Ward
5 Christian Frederiksplass
Tel: 47 24 10 30 00
Located steps from the railway station and near the shops on Karl Johans gate, this hotel, opened in 2001, is a boon to businesspeople and budget travelers alike. The 434 rooms are well equipped and modern, and most have views of either the fjord or the city. It's not the best place for romance (double beds are two singles pushed together), but the complimentary buffet breakfast of sausage, eggs, fruit, and cereal keeps visitors otherwise satisfied.