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Norway comes to life through Comfort Hotel Grand Central

For anyone seeking adventure in the Norwegian capital, the best starting point is Comfort Hotel Grand Central, awarded Best Business Hotel, Norway in the 2015 Business Destinations Travel Awards

The majority of the hotel's rooms were individually designed, guaranteeing a unique and exciting stay
The majority of the hotel's rooms were individually designed, guaranteeing a unique and exciting stay 

Oslo’s vibrant city centre, combined with its enviable location between waters, woods and mountains, makes it the ideal destination for any business or leisure trip. The region’s stunning natural beauty offers visitors the perfect retreat from the working life, with downhill skiing at Tryvann or cross-country skiing in wintry Nordmarka and Østmarka providing an ideal release at the end of a long day. During the summer, explore countless hiking trails through the nearby woodland or discover the many islands of the Oslo fjord. Norwegians have a close relationship with the outdoors, and so the city’s ferries and other forms of public transportation are sure to get you wherever you need to go.

A world of culture
For those seeking manmade splendours, an array of museums and beautiful architecture can guide any visitor on their journey through the Norwegian capital. The Natural History Museum in Tøyen offers magnificent botanical gardens, while the world’s largest exhibition of Edvard Munch’s works are on display at Munchmuseet. Stroll through the Gustav Vigeland sculpture park and view the famous landmarks, including Sinnataggen and the Monolith, or view the frescoes painted by his brother at the Emanuel Vigeland Museum.

Comfort Hotel’s crew members are hired specifically for their vibrant personalities and positive attitudes, then trained in the relevant skills

Visitors with a passion for architecture will be drawn to Oslo Opera House’s spectacular marble infrastructure. Designed to resemble an iceberg breaking against the shores of Bjørvika (the city’s business district), the building is a contemporary wonder on the edge of this fascinating city. Tjuvholmen, a small district only 1.8km away, should be the next port of call for those visitors with a passion for the contemporary – here guests will find the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Contemporary Art, along with a variety of other galleries, including the Pushwagner Gallery and Sculpture Island. The beach is located only metres away, allowing for a quick summertime dip in the ocean after a relaxing, art-filled afternoon.

Easy exploring
Whatever visitors to the city wish to see or do, Comfort Hotel Grand Central is the ultimate starting point for a unique Oslo experience. Located in the historic Østbanehallen railway hall at Oslo Central Station, the hotel’s reception desk is a mere three-minute walk from the Airport Express Train, along with Oslo’s various other public transportation systems. Buses, trams, trains and the subway are all immediately available, whether you wish to travel within the city or explore the picturesque wonders that the Norwegian countryside has to offer slightly further afield.

The railway hall has undergone massive renovations in recent months. In February this year its doors reopened to reveal Ø, a culinary hotspot comprising stores and restaurants serving local delicacies and fine wine, plus a range of cuisines from all across the world. Even closer to home, however, is Comfort Hotel’s own breakfast restaurant, which serves organic, fair-trade coffee, homemade jam and fresh local food. Promising to provide a tasty, substantial breakfast every day, the hotel also offers a special ‘brekkie in a bag’ service from the lobby for its more time-restricted guests.

However, even for those not looking for a meal, the hotel lobby is still worth a visit. Specially designed to ensure that guests feel at home, the lobby offers free Wi-Fi, music playlists streamed from Universal Music, and a social, playful atmosphere. For those looking to get some work done, the hotel’s staff – known as crew members – are specially trained to offer technological advice and assistance wherever needed.

Varying expectations
Comfort Hotel Grand Central provides an inviting atmosphere for each and every guest. Its crew members are hired specifically for their vibrant personalities and positive attitudes, then trained in the relevant skills – not vice versa. This is a key feature that has driven the hotel’s overwhelming success. With a staff force that is always prepared to lend a hand or provide the very best suggestions for things to see and do in Oslo, Comfort Hotel has been able to maintain an extremely friendly and comfortable vibe that encourages guests to keep coming back.

Recognising that its guests will come from all over the world and will therefore have varying habits and expectations, the hotel aims to cater for everyone: the fitness centre is open 24/7, the lobby shop provides fresh and healthy food options, and workstations are available for those needing access to a computer. Comfort Hotel Grand Central also offers a 6pm late checkout on Sundays, free of charge.

113 of the hotel’s 170 rooms have been individually designed, ensuring that guests return to the hotel time and time again in order to fully explore its many options. Some frequent visitors, however, will request their favourite room when booking in advance. Each and every room in the hotel was decorated by visual artist Ariel McMillion, ensuring that a contemporary style flows throughout the premises. All rooms are equipped with high-quality mattresses and large Swedish Anders Hilding beds. The hotel recognises the importance of a good night’s sleep, and – as the name suggests – does not compromise on comfort.

Comfort Hotel Grand Central offers a contemporary, sophisticated atmosphere
Comfort Hotel Grand Central offers a contemporary, sophisticated atmosphere

Conscientious travel
The green tourism sector is gaining momentum, and across the world travellers are increasingly prioritising the green credentials of potential accommodation above other factors. As a result, the Nordic Choice Comfort Hotels group has created an initiative that is designed to put sustainability on the agenda for the entire travel industry.

‘Dear TripAdvisor’ is a campaign that demands that the world’s largest travel site should add sustainability as a standard rating criterion for hotels worldwide. Including this new option on its website would mean that TripAdvisor customers could rate their hotel stay based on more than location, cleanliness and value. By adding the option to rate hotels based on how much or how little they contribute to the local environment, TripAdvisor would put sustainability at the top of the agenda for over one million hotels worldwide.

All Nordic Choice hotels have also taken a firm stance on the use of palm oil. All 178 hotels in the group have now agreed to only use products containing certified sustainable palm oil. Production of the oil has led to severe deforestation and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, greatly harming the planet’s biological diversity – as such, the company now only uses palm oil sourced by ecological plantations in a bid to support a more sustainable industry. It has also taken steps to push suppliers to stop using palm oil in their products, or find certified sustainable replacements. Finally, Nordic Choice Hotels also protects 100sq m of rainforest for an entire year for every night that a guest stays in one of its hotels.

Food, culture, architecture and sustainability all combine to make Oslo the ideal destination for visitors of all types. Comfort Hotel Grand Central promises to be the perfect starting point for any trip to the city: centrally located, friendly and contemporary, the hotel is a destination in itself. Guests can rest assured that they will leave the hotel feeling inspired, refreshed and with great memories of their trip, feeling ready to take on a new adventure as soon as possible.

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