In the middle of repeated visits to Oslo and I keep booking this place so I guess by revealed preference theory, I have revealed that the pluses outweigh the minuses. Externally, the building is visually striking. It's central, it's close to my office and my client, it's within a few minutes walk of the airport train - and needless to say the area around any central train station isn't exactly salubrious, but it isn't as bad around most central London train stations for example - bed is comfortable enough and there is plenty of choice at breakfast, internet is fast enough and free. No problems logging on or getting to my company's network on wireless at all.
On the other hand, the decor (colour/pattern scheme) in some of the rooms gives the impression the designer must have been having a fit at the time or just experimenting with LSD or other mind altering drugs, the furniture in the rooms would shame Ikea, many of the rooms have bizarre small little wet rooms with walk in showers as bathrooms. Toiletries are by and large crap - I think they give you Molton Brown on the "business" levels, which was nice. No "business" lounge, erratic mini bar replenishment and come to that I couldn't see that the business room was a step up from the standard. Certainly the designer was still having a fit/hadn't come down from his/her trip at the time.
The crowning problem is the maths of the place. There are about 30 floors with bedrooms and 27 rooms to each floor, so do the maths - that is a lot of rooms to fill. I appreciate Radisson is part of the same group as Carlson Wagonlit, so basically you have this dichotomy where half the people in the hotel are miserable sober business people, and the other half are Chinese tourists on a bus tour of Norway/doddery Spanish pensioners. This does not make for a stress free relaxed check in process, and as for breakfast - I have not seen such chaos at mealtime since I was at boarding school and 100 teenage boys would display the etiquette of a particularly rowdy group of baboons fighting over a banana.
The solution is to split the hotel into two and have separate entrances. One half should focus on the tourist market and the other half should focus on the business market. At the moment there is a tension between the two markets that in shared locations (ie, lobby and restaurant) have very different needs and wants.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel is the largest hotel and the tallest building in Norway, featuring 673 rooms and suites. The hotel is conveniently located next to the central railway station, with easy airport access. Shopping and sightseeing is within walking distance. Guests enjoy complimentary access to the swimming pool on the 35th floor and Plaza Fitness on the 37th floor. Concierge service, valet parking and room service is available. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo Hotel Oslo
- Radisson Oslo
- Oslo Radisson