Embrace the enchantment of the season
Christmas elegance at Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic
Mona Anita K. Olsen
Innovation BARN AS
In the heart of the city of Oslo on Karl Johans gate, Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic stands as a beacon of luxury and refinement with shopping and attractions right outside its doors. Opened in 1874 by confectioner Julius Fritzner after Professor Christian Heiberg’s three-story residence had been converted into a hotel, this iconic property has been a witness to Oslo’s evolution and a provider of unparalleled hospitality.
Oslo has long been a city that beautifully blends past and future. These days, the 22-foot Boonji Spaceman exhibit by Brendan Murphy nearby at Aker Brygge highlights the idea of bridging the gap between Oslo’s past and future with the question for the city of “What’s Next?” But there is also no doubt that the Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic will be involved as a dynamic contributor to the ecosystem in Oslo as it continues to win coveted awards for its development yet retains its commitment to its history.
The 283-room property includes 54 suites. The property was awarded the official Nordic environmental certification Nordic Swan label in 2019. The World Travel Awards 2023 named the property as Norway’s Leading Hotel Suite for the Nobel Suite in addition to Norway’s Leading Business Hotel and Norway’s Leading Hotel for the ninth and seventh consecutive years.
The property is memorable from multiple perspectives, and as the holiday season approaches, this legendary hotel embodies the spirit of warmth and sophistication, making it the perfect destination to transport guests into a world of festive enchantment and joy of the Christmas season.
In enjoying conversation and coffee with the very impressive general manager of Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic, Toril Flåskjer, it became apparent that there was no shortage of opportunities to embrace the enchantment of the season at the property. Toril effortlessly exudes grace as she communicates, seamlessly navigating the big picture of Christmas planning, while demonstrating an unwavering focus on meticulous execution with her dynamic team. As she speaks, it becomes evident that her team is strongly committed to making the season impactful, ensuring that every detail contributes to a truly memorable experience.
The hotel’s Christmas décor is a testament to the timeless beauty of its architecture and the festive spirit that has enveloped its halls for over a century.
Starting on Nov. 13, guests are welcomed to the property by two nutcracker drummers, the grandeur of the lobby adorned with tastefully decorated Christmas trees, and a symphony of twinkling lights. The historic charm of the building, combined with the contemporary elegance of the decorations, creates an atmosphere that is both nostalgic and exciting that is worthy of both reflection and solid photographic captures for social media enthusiasts.
Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic offers a variety of options to experience the magical journey of Christmas. One of the highlighted offerings leading up to Christmas is a Grand Pre-Christmas Break. When the darker season arrives in Norway, many look forward to the decorations of the season to light up the streets and spirits, especially as the sun begins to set each day in November before 4 p.m. Oslo is one of the best locations in Norway to see Christmas decorations and the Grand Pre-Christmas Break is an option to consider for a trip. The Grand Pre-Christmas Break includes a one-night stay in a double room, a glass of bubbly in the Othilia lobby bar or in the Eight Rooftop bar, and a memorable breakfast in the Grand Café. At the top of the property, Eight Rooftop Bar transcends the typical bar experience; it is a place where locals and travelers converge in an inviting atmosphere overlooking views of Oslo’s enchanting rooftops. Othilia lobby bar offers a meeting space to enjoy a beverage and appreciate impressive art.
Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic also offers an opportunity to indulge in an experience in one of the Grand Christmas Suites. The Grand Christmas Suites are decorated elegantly in Christmas décor with nutcrackers and glistening ornaments; each suite has its own Christmas tree that is decorated to perfection. The Grand Christmas Suite experience is a wonderful opportunity for families, friends, and couples to come and enjoy the city of Oslo.
A nod to its illustrious past, Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic also invites guests to experience a touch of nostalgia with afternoon tea at Palmen Restaurant. Palmen Restaurant is a continental culinary journey that blends international flavors with a Nordic twist. Afternoon tea is served on a three-tiered platter filled with delicious sandwiches, fresh scones, and brewed tea, provided by the Palais des Thés. On select Saturdays, there are ballet performances at the tea. Afternoon tea can be an appealing complement to embarking on the final leg of Christmas shopping as Palmen Restaurant’s location is an ideal launchpad for festive retail exploration close to department stores like Steen & Strøm, Egertorget, or Paleet.
Afternoon tea can also complement a visit to the Norwegian Christmas in Winterland market called Jul i Vinterland. Jul i Vinterland is a stone’s throw away from the property and features various vendors, rides, and experiences for all ages to enjoy the magic of the Christmas season. The ferris wheel and starry sky walkway are just two of the favorites for many that attend.
For Christmas Eve, Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic offers food and beverage options and an overnight package. Palmen Restaurant has a Christmas Eve buffet and will be offering two seatings for the 2023 season. There is also a Christmas Eve package that includes two nights in a double room for two people, mulled wine and gingerbread in the Library, a Christmas buffet in Palmen Restaurant on Christmas Eve, and Christmas breakfast in Grand Café.
In the end, celebrating Christmas at Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic is not just about the luxurious accommodations or the exquisite culinary offerings; it’s about creating memories that last a lifetime. It’s about embracing the spirit of joy, indulging in the festive magic of the season, and being part of traditions.
As the city of Oslo transforms into a winter fairy tale, Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic opens its doors to welcome guests into a world where the echoes of history harmonize with the joyous notes of Christmas. For those seeking an iconic Christmas celebration, the hotel stands as a beacon of elegance, inviting all to unwrap the magic of the season in a truly grand setting.
To learn more about celebrating the Christmas season at Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic, visit grand.no/en.
All photos: Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic
This article originally appeared in the December 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.