Central Oslo is bounded by Oslo Fjord, Slotts Park and Oslo's main train station, and according to Frommer's, most of the city's hotels sit in this area. Staying in this section of Norway is convenient for tourists and business travelers alike, since it means being within walking distance of everything from the Nobel Peace Center to its main business district.
As a rule, hotel prices in Oslo are expensive, with Frommer's putting them on the same scale as London. Yet in an interesting twist, the peak period for Oslo's hotel industry is the opposite of the peak season for the rest of Europe. Because Oslo's hotels cater primarily to business travelers, and those travelers are largely absent from late June to early August, summer is the off-season in Oslo and the best time to hunt for discounts. Late spring and early autumn are when Oslo sees most of its conventions, making these the busiest periods for the hotel industry and when bargains will be scarce.
Best Western Bondeheimen
Set up in 1913 as a hostelry for visiting farmers and rural villagers, the Bondeheimen is now part of the Best Western chain and offers mid-range lodgings only one block off of Karl Johan's Gate, the main street of Oslo. The small, efficient guestrooms have wood floors and come decorated in a simple, but comfortable fashion with pine furnishings. Amenities include in-room internet access. Fodor's considered this Best Western a sound choice for families, and the room rate includes a hefty buffet breakfast.
Cochs Pensjonat is both one of the longest-lived hostelries in Oslo and among the city's cheapest lodgings. Lars Saabye Christensen, one of Norway's most famous contemporary authors, was so enamored with the place that it features prominently in his novel "The Half Brother." The hotel occupies a spot just north of the Royal Palace, but offers few amenities. The rooms have no telephones, and the hotel has no in-house restaurant. The single rooms are small and narrow, with wood floors and a few simple, but comfortable furnishings. The doubles and triples offer more space, but feature an equally spartan decor.
A New York Times Travel Pick with an "Exceptional" rating from Frommer's, the Grand Hotel is one of the best hostelries in the city. Conde Nast Traveler described it as Oslo's "grand dame," and it is the choice of dignitaries visiting the Norwegian capital or attending Nobel Prize events. Built in 1874 and sitting on Karl Johan's Gate, the exterior of the building is a fine example of the Louis XVI revival, while the interior decoration blends contemporary style with late 19th century inspirations. Guestrooms are found either in the old core building or one of the newer wings, with the older rooms featuring more traditional decoration and the newer rooms more modern amenities. As a result, guests should inquire ahead about the specifics of their room.
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