As Grand As It Gets

grand hotel norway

Oslo's The Grand Hotel

I had just arrived at my junior suite at The Grand Hotel when I got a phone call of the utmost importance. It was from my new Oslo friends, and they were looking to me to break a deadlock. To play the roll of negotiator, leader, peacekeeper—would it be Thai food tonight or Indian?


Under other circumstances, I might have dithered, but I was staying at The Grand Hotel, with my feet up on the same old wooden desk on which some Nobel Prize winners may well have edited their acceptance speeches. Just behind me, out the window, was the Norwegian Parliament building. I was feeling confident and statesmanlike. We would have Indian that night.

Norway Parliament

A view of the Parliament building from the roof of The Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel is aptly named. Opened in 1874, it retains that classic European touring hotel charm. The living/entertaining room of each suite appears ready for the appearance of a tea set over which topics both light and weighty can be discussed. At least once a year, the discussions likely tip toward weighty. The Grand plays host each December to the Nobel Prize awards and dinner.

grand cafe oslo

The Grand Cafe, streetside at the hotel

The Grand’s not mired in its history, however. The 290-room hotel features a state of the art spa on the top floor, along with a birchwood-enclosed swimming pool and Etoile Bar, a modern rooftop bar that offers spectacular views of the Parliament building the Royal Palace and Karl Johan’s Gate, the main drag in Oslo. Or, if you want to keep it old school, head downstairs to The Grand Café at street level. There, you can order from the Ibsen menu (playwright Henrik Ibsen used to come to The Grand Café everyday for lunch), or simply set up at one of the outdoor tables and watch the world go by. 

Karl Johan’s Gate

A View of Karl Johan's Gate in Oslo from the roof of The Grand Hotel


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