I won’t go on about the “99 not out” thing as people will be sick and tired of hearing about it but believe me it was sweet and I enjoyed it. A reader vote on Don’t Stop Living sent me to Norway for my 99th country and I celebrated in style. I stayed at one of the coolest new hotels in Oslo, I met up with Norwegian travel guru Gunnar Garfors, I toured the fjords, I got the train up one of the world’s steepest train lines and I visited Fram, Bergen, Voss, Meyrdal, Oslo and Gudvangen in a whirlwind week which was the last country on my Scandinavian adventure.
And so to Oslo, the capital of Norway. A city which even my Norwegian mate Lief told me not to spend too much time in. But I liked it and I decided on 4 days here. I found the classy Clarion Collection Hotel Christiania Teater online and as this was a special celebration, I wanted a decent room and a hotel with a bit of style and charm, in a good location and which would include food. So this was the place. I got off the train and headed to Stortingsgata, just past the parliament and in front of a massive square and park.
I was so knackered on arrival, it had been a busy tiring few weeks backpacking hardcore through Denmark, Christiania, Sweden and Finland and finally I had made it to Norway and my 99th country. It was such a relief and feel good moment when I arrived at reception in the Clarion Christiania Teater. I would have a room overlooking the park and I was in suite 519. I could close the door, open a cold beer and relax. And that’s exactly what I did after getting showered and freshened up. This Hotel was a perfect way for me to celebrate my 99th country and I loved my stay, highlighting the following 10 things I loved about this hotel.
1. Spacious Rooms
I’m used to tight dorms, squashed bus rides and sharing tiny flats in Hong Kong and Australia. For once I needed space to relax, open my bags, put things on the floor and not worry about anything else. I had a bedroom, bathroom, lounge and a wardrobe, desk and cabinet. I made full use of the wide open space for a couple of nights. Check out my spacious room!
2. View Over the Park
By Night and Day I could just relax in my room and admire the view over the park. By day, ice skating and tourists, by night a few people out and about ready to hit the bars and pubs.
3. WiFi and Computer Use
OK so if you’ve followed my recent stories you’ll know I was offline for a long time and had major technology problems this month. While there was WiFi in the room, due to my laptops being broken I couldn’t use it. So the staff let me use their computer downstairs to keep up to date with emails and stick a few photos on my Facebook Fan Page.
4. Theatre Feel
I’ve stayed in some cool places down the years, such as the Hemingway Inn in Costa Rica, an English Country Mansion, a Prison in Slovenia and a Boat anchored in Antarctica but this was my first time to sleep in a theatre. Well, OK the theatre was downstairs but I loved the decor and the elegance in the lobby. They still have shows on too.
5. Breakfast Buffet
After a good nights sleep I awoke for the breakfast buffet and the selection was incredible. From breakfast cereals like muesli and cornflakes to dried fruit, fresh bread, salad, cheese and meat, fruit, tea and coffee, eggs and even waffles. The selection was mighty and huge. I’ll let the photos do the talking here! Breakfast is served 7am – 10am weekdays and 8am – 11am weekends.
6. Afternoon Coffee
This was the first time I’d seen an afternoon coffee option included in the room price. It was proper coffee too and you could have fruit and muffins with it. An added surprise late afternoon after my walk round the city’s sights. Afternoon coffee is served downstairs between 3 – 6pm.
7. Dinner Buffet
So I’ve spoken about breakfast and afternoon coffee, but really the biggest culinary charm here lies with the dinner buffet. An extremely exquisite selection of food, which meant my first five course meal in years. I had the following five courses:
1. Spicy vegetable soup with sour cream and bread
2. Pasta and vegetable salad
3. Cheese and crackers
4. Norwegian fish and vegetables
5. Chocolate mousse and cream with a coffee
8. City Centre Location
Location wise, the Clarion Christiania Teater is excellent. 2 minutes walk from the Teater Metro station, with the following key attractions in the city all less than 5 minutes walk: City Hall, Royal Palace, Nobel Peace Prize Museum, Parliament, Askershus Fortress and Castle.
9. Luxury Room
Yes for a budget backpacker and long term traveller, I’m getting older now and I really really do appreciate the luxury in travel these days. Hot water, in room TV (I had two TVs), a safe, a kettle, a desk and even a hair dryer and an iron. The luxury was a pleasant change.
Don’t forget the fact that I like to judge staff when I stay in places. It stems from the fact I’ve worked in lots of bars and hotels down the years. The hospitality here at the Hotel Christiania Teater was superb.
Here are the details for booking the Clarion Collection Hotel Christiania Teater:
Address: Clarion Collection Hotel Christiania Teater, Stortingsgata 16, 0161 Oslo, Norge
Phone: +47 21043800
Here are some videos from my excellent stay at the Clarion Collection Hotel Christiania Teater: