By Dian Hasan | July 25, 2009
It’s a puzzling irony: the sort of modern, minimalist design that’s so often described as Scandinavian is actually quite rare in real live Scandinavian hotels. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part they’re a conservative lot. That’s about to change, though, if the opening of the First Hotel Grims Grenka, in Oslo, is any indication.
It should come as no surprise that the Scandinavians themselves do Scandinavian better than anyone else. The rooms and suites are clean-lined but neither bare nor boring, decorated in verdant greens, soothing blues, or dramatic red and black, and lit with a soft indirect light to match the quality of the Northern sunlight. And in keeping with another Nordic stereotype, they’re completely wired, with high-tech lighting control, iPod docking sound systems, and the obligatory Bang & Olufsen LCD televisions.
The ground floor is home to an Asian restaurant and a cocktail lounge, both of which do a brisk business in feeding and watering the young professional types of central Oslo. On the rooftop is an open-air lounge, which, weather permitting, is possibly the Grims Grenka’s greatest asset — and when it’s colder, the lobby bar has been known to pour a mean cup of tea.