Sommerro House, Norway hotel review

Why book Sommerro House?

To be in with the cool crowd who flooded in on day one. Since then, they’ve been trying Sommerro Negronis to the rhythms of a talented band, tasting the acclaimed Nordic-Japanese dishes of Chef Frida Ronge in Oslo’s first rooftop restaurant, and immersing themselves in the detail that designers GrecoDeco have sprinkled liberally around the 1930’s building. This is the new place to stay in Norway’s capital.

Sommerro, OsloFrancisco Nogueira

Set the scene

Located in the heart of Frogner, an established, upmarket, residential district in Oslo, it lies within easy reach of the capital’s main sights. The building houses 231 rooms, seven restaurants and bars, a small cinema and a 100-seat gilded theatre. It offers the city’s first year-round rooftop pool and sauna as well as bringing back to life Oslo’s former public baths which will open in November 2022 to in-house guests and outside guests as part of an impressive Urban Wellness Retreat. The hotel, or house as it more appropriately calls itself, also captures the glamour of the 1930s with a hint of the seduction that its sibling The Thief brims with.

The backstory

Another triumph from family-owned Nordic Choice hotels who are starting to make a habit of rescuing parts of the country’s heritage and returning them to the public to play in, gilded and gleaming, as they did with Amerikalinjen in 2014. As Petter A. Stordallen founder of the firm said to me, “I wanted to create a Great Gatsby, a homage to the fabled era of the 30s and that is why we didn’t compromise at all on décor.” But it goes deeper than that with him, this building was the former headquarters of Oslo Lysverker, the original electrical company and as the vast mural in the main hall of the building, now the Ekspedisjonshallen, by Norwegian artist, Per Krohg, shows, the introduction of electricity changed the lives of everyone. “It chimes with me that this in many ways pinpoints the start of Norway’s success.” Petter, a proud patriot, went on.

Having seen London’s The Ned, the powers that be were keen to include its designers GrecoDeco in the tender, a building that is similar in age and style to the Sommerro. Alice Lund and Adam Greco from London and New York-based GrecoDeco won the bid with their extraordinarily committed detail to attention. Hours of research in the Town Hall and the city’s museums have resulted in local references throughout the hotel from elements drawn from Gerhard Munthe’s folkloric paintings to the hand-knotted rugs, many of which are woven with Norway’s migratory birds. Much of the furniture is bespoke as is the wallpaper and there is extensive use of birch wood throughout the hotel. Ash and walnut also come into their own with endless chequerboard inlay. Some headboards are in intricate marquetry with seven different types of wood used.

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