Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A bustling boutique hotel attached to the train station.
The hotel is housed in the city's original train station, there was a track just 32 feet from the current lobby until 1977. Today, it's a 170-room, colorful boutique hotel. And while the new decor is funky, original touches remain: a beautiful, classical façade; structural beams incorporated into hallways and rooms; and soaring ceilings in second-floor rooms. The Italian restaurant, for example, stands on the site of the original train station waiting room, and has booths shaped like old-fashioned train seats. One guest suite was once the management's office -- where the king would wait for his train -- and an original fireplace, lamp, and wallpaper all remain.
Of the hotel's 170 rooms, 113 are different (because the hotel's architect had to work around original walls and beams), but they're all equally eclectic and eye-catching. And the hotel isn't afraid to take design risks: a suite all in black, one all in white, and a forthcoming space-age public ironing room all in pink. The floor of the fitness center was painted orange after Facebook fans selected the color. And, taking a cue from the vanity of New York, the architect designed the gym to have a glass wall overlooking the lobby.
Today, part of the restaurant juts out into the main hall of the modern train station -- where that track stood until the late '70s. Despite it being in bustling, commuter-filled train station, dining in that portion of restaurant still has a bit of an old-world romanticism to it. You are, after all, dining on a historic spot. Just back inside the hotel, the lobby is decked with high ceilings, several Apple iMacs, snacks and drinks for sale (in lieu of individual in-room minibars), and long library-esque tables for reading or just lounging.
Not very close to most of the sights, but the hotel's adjacency to Central Station makes it very convenient to get around.
Housed in the city's original train station, the hotel's building is connected (you can pass through the lobby) to Oslo's Central Station, which is the city's main hub for intra- and inter-city travel. All buses, trams, and T-bane metro lines pass through here, as do all trains coming from the airport. And although the hotel isn't in the heart of the action, it's located near the city's modern Oslo Opera House (opened in 2008) and the Oslofjord (the city's main body of water).
Oslo is Norway's largest city, and is centered around the thoroughfare of Karl Johans Gate, which leads from the Royal Palace to Oslo Central Station. Visitors can expect to find shops, cafes, and bakeries along this route, and in the summer can watch mounted police officers and a military marching band lead the royal guards to the palace for the daily changing of the guard ceremony, which takes place daily at 1:30 p.m.
The waterfront Aker Byrgge area is also a popular area. In nice weather locals and tourists alike can be found strolling up and down the Stranden, lining up at the ice cream and hot dog stands, sitting on the benches to watch the boats, and dining at the outdoor restaurant tables along the street. The restaurants here, as in all of Norway, are astonishingly expensive -- though visitors trying to keep costs low will be able to find more affordable ethnic eateries (Indian, Thai, and Chinese) elsewhere in the city.
Most visitors should expect to walk quite a bit to get around, and to rely on the tram and bus system. Taxis, like everything else, are very expensive, and most tourists use them sparingly.
This hotel, connected to the city's main train station, is a juxtaposition that works splendidly: The building is from 1854 and was Oslo's first train station, and in spring 2012 opened a stylish, tech-savvy boutique hotel decorated with funky, colorful motifs -- while still preserving some original details. High-tech features abound, and guests can check in on computers in the lobby, use their smartphones as a room key, and store their luggage in a personal lockbox. There's an Italian restaurant on-site, and the hotel's adjacency to the train station makes it as convenient to transportation as it gets (for both within Oslo and outward). Still, it's relatively far from most of the city's sights, and there aren't many features besides the restaurant and a small fitness center.