Family owned and operated for four generations, the centrally located and much-loved Hotel Continental, Oslo has been a beacon of luxury since it opened in 1900. With 151 rooms and suites, the property is closely connected to the art world and is renowned for its elegant classically contemporary interiors and handpicked artworks. The property’s award-winning art collection, past and present, continues to decorate the walls and public spaces of the hotel. Of particular merit, the lobby bar features a privately owned collection of 12 graphic works by Edvard Munch. The artist’s works are also showcased in the new Munch Museum in Bjørvika, located on Oslo’s waterfront.
The hotel additionally offers four restaurants and bars including the opulent Viennese-style Art Nouveau Theatercaféen, a fitness studio with Techno-gym equipment, a private garage, a newsstand and one of the finest florists in Oslo.
With an unbeatable location in the heart of old Oslo, opposite the National Theatre and one block away from the Royal Palace in one direction and the Storting (Parliament) in the other, the property is just a few minutes stroll from the shopping and restaurants of Aker Brygge.
The city has two bustling shopping streets within easy walking distance. Karl Johans Gate, which has been pedestrianised, offers everything from well-known chains to global brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Hermès. Bogstadveien is known for its restaurants and a variety of shops offering designer goods, clothes and interior design.
Oslo Airport is located at Gardermoen, about 50 kilometres (31 miles north) of the city and around a 50-minute journey time to the hotel with airport limousine transfers available on request. Alternatively, the high-speed Airport Express will bring visitors to the National Theatre train station in Oslo in about 25 minutes, just a 100-metre walk from the hotel’s entrance. The train runs six times per hour.
The 151 rooms and suites comprising the Hotel Continental enjoy a distinctive character with a modern, contemporary feel in the classically styled rooms.
Room features include LED flat screen televisions and films on demand, Apple TV and Chromecast, Nespresso coffee machines and Molton Brown toiletries. Even the standard single rooms feature queen-sized beds and are an average 18 square metres (194 square feet) in area and each includes a comfortable armchair and a desk. The standard double has a slightly larger footprint whilst the superior offers an average size of 24 square metres (258 square feet), accommodating either a king sized bed or twin beds. The deluxe rooms meanwhile are slightly larger and include an additional seating area.
There are five categories of suites at the Hotel Continental starting with the Junior Suites as around 40 square metres (431 square feet) in size. Some offer balconies, others have views over the Royal Palace, the Storting building or the National Theatre. Two of the Junior Suites include the option of adding a deluxe and a standard room to its layout with its own private corridor.
The Royal Suite is the next category up on the seventh floor, named after the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – commemorating his stay here. Offering majestic views over the Royal Palace, the Royal Suite features a large lounge with dining table, a seating area and desk and a large master bedroom. The suite also includes a spacious bathroom, a guest restroom and a fresh flower arrangement.
The Boman Suite named after the hotel founders is located on the corner of the eighth floor and offers a charming balcony with city views.
The Abel Suite is a truly beautiful space of 73 square metres (786 square feet) with views overlooking the Oslofjord. With a bright and welcoming contemporary feel, there is a spacious entranceway, a large living area with deep yellow velour sofas, dining table and desk, plus a spacious master bedroom. The bathroom is superb with twin sinks, enormous shower suite and one of those deep soaking free-standing bath-tubs that you can lie in for hours. The suite can be joined to a superior room with a private corridor connecting the two rooms. The Hotel Continental collaborates with the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters with the suite named for the famed mathematician Niels Henrik Abel. Every year, King Harald V presents the Abel Prize with the winner staying in the Abel Suite.
The Continental Suite debuted in 2020 and is a stunning 200 square metre (2,153 square feet) split-level space of contemporary beauty with floor to ceiling windows flooding the room with light and a balcony overlooking the city. Occupying a corner position, the suite offers a spacious master bedroom and en-suite, a dining space, a private gym, kitchen and a glamorous glass and wood staircase. It can be connected to a Junior Suite to offer 240 square metres (2,583 square feet) of contemporary living space. Outside space affords views down to the Oslofjord.
There are two adapted rooms for guests with disabilities.
The Fitness Studio offers 65 square metres (700 square feet of space), equipped with a selection of Techno Gym equipment and free weights. The studio is open around the clock and is complimentary to hotel guests. Personal trainers are available on request.
If arriving by car, the hotel has its own garage and several 24-hour car parks are nearby. The hotel offers a CareCenter product which will valet cars both inside and out.
The property is awash with sculptures and artworks from over a century of arts patronage. It includes one of Norway’s largest private Munch collections seen in the lobby bar, Bar Boman. Bought by the second generation of family owners, Arne Boman Hansen chanced on the prints at an Oslo art dealer in 1932 and quickly snapped them up.
The portraits in the Theatercaféen meanwhile pay homage to various prominent figures from Norway’s cultural sphere with over eighty portraits hanging there. The founder of the hotel, Caroline Boman Hansen, bought 30 portraits from the artist Henrik Lund who had drawn his friends from his café visits, and she then started the tradition of hanging portraits in the restaurant.
The hotel also offers a fine display of sculptures by the entrance of the property to be enjoyed by both guests and passers-by. Works by both Norwegian and foreign artists are displayed in a rolling exhibition changed several times a year in collaboration with Oslo’s Kjeldaas Gallery.
Family run properties are becoming an increasingly rare phenomenon at the top of the hospitality tree, particularly in capital cities, so it is a pleasure to see the Hotel Continental continuing to thrive in the hands of the fourth generation of the Brochmann family.
The largest renovation in the hotel’s history was completed in 2018 and saw a new reception, lobby bar and lounge - Bar Boman - and the remodelling of 59 hotel rooms and suites. This renovation included the unveiling of the duplex Continental Suite. The final piece of the puzzle, the Casbar, opened in January 2020, a new bar and pizzeria on Olav V gate.
Now decorated with a classic contemporary feel intermingled with more historic features dating from the 1900s, the Hotel Continental continues to attract an affluent clientele through its doors. The hotel’s founder asked her descendants to “take care of the artists” and today’s generation are continuing the tradition as patrons of the arts with a flourishing and innovative collection of artworks displayed right across the property.
Theatercaféen, the Viennese-style Art Nouveau restaurant, is the showstopper at the Hotel Continental, opening at the same time as the hotel. It features an opulent interior with vaulted ceilings, columns and walls covered with portraits of those in the arts from the past to the present, a tradition started in 1924. Named for the National Theatre located opposite, the Theatercaféen is one of Oslo’s most popular restaurants and was the venue where the acclaimed Norwegian pianist, Robert Levin, played in the orchestra early in his career. With dark panelling and leather banquette seating, the restaurant, with its private dining room seating up to 36 people, is open for lunch and dinner whilst its Afternoon Tea is not to be missed. Equally popular is the Beats&Brunch - a lazy champagne cocktail Sunday brunch to the backbeat from some of Oslo’s most talented DJs.
Restaurant Eik Annen Etage is the hotel’s signature restaurant, dedicated to exploring new culinary tastes, changing the menu every week. Guest can choose a three, four or five course menu, along with a wine paring package. The set menu is supplemented by a small selection of classic dishes. The restaurant’s bar offers a wide selection of whiskies, wines by the glass, an abundant wine list and a great selection of other drinks and cocktails.
Start the day with breakfast at Caroline, the property’s breakfast venue. This stylish space offers a wide range of breakfast delights and looks out over the bustling street scene around Oslo’s National Theatre.
Bar Boman is named for Caroline Boman who together with her husband Christian Hansen were the first-generation owners of the Hotel Continental and the Theatercaféen. A beautifully styled contemporary space, Bar Boman is both bar and lounge, perfect for light bites, coffees and cocktails to the sounds of a resident DJ.
Casbar is the Hotel Continental’s newest food outlet serving the “best pizza in Oslo”. Located on Olav V gate, it delivers locally or can be ordered from the room service menu.
The Hotel Continental has been Eco-Lighthouse certified since 2011, committing to taking sustainability seriously and fulfilling strict criteria around the working environment, purchasing, energy, transportation, waste and emissions.
Along with the rest of the Norwegian hospitality industry, the hotel has set a goal of reducing food waste; has invested in a high energy station that enables them to save 20% of the power they use; is reducing general waste each year by 10% - equivalent to 30 tons; are encouraging their suppliers to deliver goods with less packaging and plastic and have moved their information output to a digital format. During their restoration of the property, 80-85% of the waste generated has been recycled. The property also offers guests the option to reuse bed linens and towels.
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