With the travel industry bouncing back remarkably well post-Covid, new hotels have become two a penny of late. One hotel opening that has really got the travel industry’s ears wagging, however, is Sommerro, which finally opened its doors to eager guests in September in Norway’s uber-cool capital, Oslo.
Operated under the Nordic Hotels & Resorts (the same group behind the swanky Villa Copenhagen), Sommerro is firmly rooted in its Scandi roots, with a cool design, even cooler visitors and a focus on being a hub not only for tourists but locals too.
The hotel is housed within the red-bricked former headquarters of Oslo Lysverker, the city’s original electrical company. The design, imagined and orchestrated by LPO Architects in collaboration with New York- and London-based studio GrecoDeco, neatly pays tribute to the building’s history with a clever 1930s aesthetic that deftly pulls from modern-day Oslo too.
“Sommerro is more than a hotel. It is an iconic building housing years of history, located in one of Oslo’s most vibrant and exciting areas. We want everyone to feel at home at Sommerro, whether you are a guest or a local seeking a place to hang out with friends, work or simply relax in beautiful surroundings,” said Petter A Stordalen, founder of Nordic Choice Hotels.
With a total of 231 rooms, Sommerro is by no means a small hotel, but the sensitive restoration ensures it maintains a boutique feel. Designed and created by GrecoDeco, each accommodation is carefully decked out in the hotel’s signature Art Deco style with more than a few functional Nordic touches. Expect lavish details like over-the-top chandeliers and ornate vintage furniture combined with modern tech.
The most prestigious of all Sommerro’s rooms are the four Heritage Suites, which range from 753 to 1,076 sq ft and include a separate bedroom and lounge area. The design team really flexed their muscles in these top-range suites, with each featuring super king-size bed with mother of pearl-laden headboards, sumptuous velvet furnishings in rich jewel tones and inviting deep-soaking bathtubs. There’s even a grand dining table with space for eight.
No corners are being cut when it comes to dining at Sommerro. The hotel boasts no less than seven bars and restaurants, which all run under the watchful eye of head chef Jonathan Howell, who counts the likes of The Lanesborough, The Dorchester and The Ritz on his impressive resume.
Aiming to welcome both guests and locals, the dining choices are seemingly endless. For Nordic ingredients prepared through a Japanese lens, head to Tak Oslo – sister to the Stockholm original. The Japanese theme continues up at Izakaya, the 7th-floor street food and cocktail bar. For an elegant afternoon tea, get a table at To Søstre, or for Thai concept food, make a reservation at Plah & Ahaan. There’s also Basque Country-style tapas at Barramon. It feels like all four corners of the culinary world have found a place at Sommerro.
While each of Sommerro’s restaurants has its own distinct cuisine and concept, they all align on a shared sustainability ethos, showcasing the best of local and seasonal produce with zero-waste principles.
Sommerro is home to a vast spa of a size not often enjoyed in a city hotel. As part of the building’s refurbishment, the team restored the 1930s public bath, Vestkantbadet, and reimagined it as an urban wellness retreat, complete with treatment rooms, original Roman baths, infrared sauna, gym and cold plunge pool offering a traditional Nordic thermotherapy experience.
Treatments and therapies on offer will be varied, covering everything from aesthetic services and laser therapy to sleep masterclasses and Wim Hof-style cold water breathing sessions. The hotel has also partnered with KOK to extend its wellness offering beyond the hotel walls with electric sauna boat retreats on the fjord.
As well as the underground Vestkantbadet, Sommerro also has a flagship rooftop pool, sauna and terrace, which will welcome guests and locals alike year-round (yes, even during Oslo’s regular winter snowfall!)
Fitness junkies will also be impressed by the hotel’s gym which, again, is of impressive size for an urban destination and is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and machines.
Oslo is just brimming with things to do and see, from world-class art galleries to outdoor pursuits. The hotel itself is in the city’s swish Frogner neighborhood, best known for its leafy streets and high-end shopping. Just moments away from Sommerro is The Royal Palace, which is open to visitors who want to see how the kings and queens of yesteryear lived. Don’t miss the beautiful surrounding gardens either.
The famous fjord is great all year round; summer months are for swimming, boat trips and picnic beaches, while winter sees it turn into an icy wonderland – just make sure to dress up warm.
For a dose of culture, see a show at the iconic waterfront Oslo Opera House, or head to the National Museum, which is home to Norway’s largest collection of art, architecture and design.