For all my complaining about the Oslo cold, the city sure has thrown up some gems. A small capital of only half a million people, each turn seems to throw up a new surprise, be it a dandy design shop (and boy do they like their interiors here), a cool cafe or a serene spa. Cold but clean, Oslo is extremely picturesque, every street appearing cookie-cutter perfect with an exciting amalgamation of both traditional and modern architecture. If Oslo were a man, he’d be (in my opinion) the most handsome in Scandinavia. So it’s almost a shame to spend anytime indoors here. However, short days and dipping temperatures can overcome even the most hardened traveller, which is why I feel like I hit the jackpot with my hotel.
Imagine stepping in from the cold to this:
The Carlton Hotel Guldsmeden is a brand new hotel- only one week old in fact- and I felt privileged to be one of the very ‘inaugural’ guests! Arriving in the lobby after a near traumatic journey from the airport (wrong train, long story), I was greeted by a friendly gentleman who instantly took both of my bags and settled me in. Being one of the first guests, I was given an upgrade to a suite!
With only 53 rooms the hotel feels like a big apartment building, especially as staff currently live in the hotel alongside the guests. This last point, I feel, is quite important as I remember in one of my previous posts recommending that both airline and hotel staff spend a day in the shoes of their customers in order to fully understand their needs. Imagine my relief when being welcomed into the hotel from the cold with a mug of hot herbal tea and biscuits. Most guests can’t even expect to get such service in bigger hotels (unless you’re paying through the nose).
The interiors deftly combine a modern, clean-lined aesthetic with warm Nordic touches to create a thoroughly cosy abode.
Notably absent from my room was a television which I was informed that none of the rooms had, instead replaced with iMacs for guests to stream their favourite television programmes onto, listen to music, or get work done.
My only problem is that the screens (there are two in the suite) are a bit too far away from the bed and sofa for me to do any ‘serious’ work on, but it’s nice to have the option to watch something other than BBC World for a change.
The hotel also has locations in Copenhagen (I wish I’d known about when I was in the city; I could have avoided my Wake Up disaster), as well as Bali, Cote d’Azur and Aarhus. There are a few teething problems however. For example, my internet connection was dodgy on the first day, but the hotel quickly solved that by reinstalling a router outside my room! With organic breakfasts included in the 1295NOK per night introductory price, it’s definitely a steal in a city like Oslo, where everything seems to cost five times as much as everywhere else. If you are in the city, I recommend that you try it out.
Carlton Oslo Hotel Guldsmeden
Parkveien 78, T 47 23 27 40 06, www.hotelguldsmeden.dk