- Özgür Töre
Nordic Hotels & Resorts has announced the grand opening of its newest luxury hotel, Sommerro, located in the heart of Frogner in Oslo’s West End.
One of Europe’s most anticipated launches of 2022, the urban retreat is set within the former headquarters of Oslo Lysverker, the city’s original electrical company, and is energising the neighbourhood and its surroundings with a new sense of creative spirit that pays tribute to Norway’s cultural heritage.
Providing a home away from home for both travellers and locals, the iconic 231-room Art Deco hotel is complete with 56 branded residences, seven restaurants and bars, meeting and event spaces with capacity for up to 150 people, a 100-seat gilded theatre, a landmark wellness space with a fully-equipped gym, and the city’s first year-round rooftop pool, sauna, and terrace.
“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, now known as Strawberry.
“We believe that Sommerro will take Oslo to the next level of hospitality, and I am really looking forward to opening the doors to this fantastic project, bringing the building back to life for more generations to come.”
Bespoke Architecture, Design, and Artwork
Sommerro pays homage to a fusion of neoclassical contemporary aesthetics with original historic elements that have been meticulously restored and developed by local firm LPO Architects in collaboration with New York- and London-based studio GrecoDeco. Sommerro was designed as a community in its own right which extends into all aspects of its design, with diverse areas that feel approachable and welcoming to all. The hotel’s thoughtfully designed social spaces and six varied guest room categories, from snug Loft rooms to lavish Junior and Heritage Suites, are embellished with opulent Art Deco details and lush textiles, including oak parquet flooring, custom-designed furnishings upholstered with 1930s Norwegian motifs, hand-knotted rugs, beds from innovative Swedish sleep brand Hilding Anders, and slick bathrooms with custom tiles.
Curated by internationally acclaimed museum director and art critic, Sune Nordgren, the hotel is adorned with an extensive art collection by emerging local artists. The contemporary collection is complimented with a host of original artworks from the 1930s iconic Norwegian artist Per Krohg, including a giant wall fresco in the main hall, a ceiling mural that nods to the building’s heritage highlighting life after the wonders of electricity, and a mosaic feature wall in the basement of the former public baths. Art enthusiasts can enjoy hosted show-rounds of Per Krohg’s collection by local museum curators and the hotel can also arrange private guided tours of Art Deco artwork in the nearby newly opened National Museum.
Curated Cultural Programme
With respect to Frogner’s classic and creative neighbourhood spirit, a vibrant community brimming with chic boutiques, antique stores, museums, and art galleries, Sommerro will be an open and inspiring house designed to revolutionise the city’s hospitality landscape where visitors and locals alike can gather together to experience a range of immersive programming and activities across its buzzing social spaces. Curated by resident jazz musician and composer, Maren Selvaag, the hotel’s dynamic pop-up music and cultural events inspired by the flourishing music scene of the 1930s will kick off in September with performances by British magician Jon Ensor appearing as The Stranger at Lysverker Scene, the hotel’s own 100-seat gilded theatre that takes its cues from the decadent glamour of old Hollywood and Europe's grand opera houses. Other regular highlights will include performances from the Sommerro Soul Band and a series of Brunch & Film Classics, with iconic movies screened in Kinoen, a cinema inspired by Tancred Ibsen, the filmmaker who introduced Norway to its first feature film with sound in 1931.
Nordic Cuisine with a Twist
Set to become one of Oslo’s most coveted culinary destinations, Sommerro features seven restaurants and bars, including the city’s only rooftop restaurant, and outposts from local favourites Barramon, a Spanish tapas and wine bar, and Plah, one of the city’s most popular restaurants showcasing elevated cuisine by Norway’s “Best Thai Chef” Terje Ommundsen, which will also offer an exclusive chef’s table experience. Ekspedisjonshallen, an all-day dining spot located in the former hall where the public once paid their electricity bills, comes to life with regular musical performances and a lively cocktail bar on an original sunken floor that serves drinks inspired by the Roaring Twenties. Alongside this decadence, Sommerro will also lead the way with an alcohol-free mixology programme, this wellness trend has been spearheaded by bar manager Louika Blouti who has created an innovative menu, named The Prohibitionists. Adjacent to Ekspedisjonshallen is To Søstre – an elegant home for afternoon teas served on decadent cake trolleys, and accompanied by regular classical concerts with a self-playing Steinway Grand Piano, one of the few in Norway. The tea has been designed by British executive head chef, Jonathan Howell and implemented by an award-winning pastry team, it will change according to the season with traditional savoury and sweet treats that have a unique Sommerro twist. Further boosting Oslo’s world-class culinary scene, Tak Oslo is a Nordic-Japanese restaurant by award-winning Swedish chef Frida Ronge featuring hyper-local, seasonal dishes using sustainable Norwegian produce and seafood. As the only rooftop restaurant in the city, TAK Oslo will be the place to be seen.
Commitment to Sustainability
As Norway’s largest-ever preservation project, Sommerro upholds and enhances Nordic Hotels & Resorts’ commitment to eco-sustainability, focusing on traditional sustainable elements that prioritise the environment while also emphasising mental health and career advancement internally along with support of locally owned businesses and community initiatives. This humanistic interest takes a holistic shape through the hotel’s ‘Sommerro Standards’, nine benchmarks that guide all day-to-day operations, partnerships, and hotel philosophies. The hotel has made a commitment to using quality green materials for products and services; sourcing sustainable seafood and local produce; investing in long-lasting relationships with some of Norway’s greatest and greenest businesses and creators, such as social entrepreneurship Sisters in Business that employs female immigrants who create textiles and repair broken items; sustainable footwear brand New Movements to provide shoes for all its staff as part of the uniform; and Røros Tweed who produce high-quality wool products based on a centuries-old local crafts tradition. Sommerro will be powered on 100 percent renewable energy; provide bikes for guests to rent; offer EV parking with free charging, encourage suppliers to use zero emission transport; and ban all plastic water bottles within the hotel.
Sommerro has also implemented an 8-hour rule for employees to ensure work-life balance is always considered – 8 hours of work, 8 hours of fun, and 8 hours of sleep. The hotel prides itself on fostering a truly inclusive, collaborative, and enjoyable home for both employees and visitors alike.
Urban Wellness Retreat
Opening in November, Vestkantbadet, one of Norway’s last remaining public baths from 1932, has been restored to its former glory and reimagined as an 15,000-square-foot subterranean urban wellness retreat, the largest of any city hotel across the Nordic countries. Designed as a haven for health and mindfulness, Vestkantbadet, adorned with a glorious Per Krohg mosaic wall, will feature a series of treatment rooms, original restored Roman baths, infrared sauna, gym, and cold plunge pool offering a traditional Nordic thermotherapy experience. Going beyond the conventional, Sommerro is the first hotel in the Nordics to offer specialist medical aesthetic treatments, along with a range of additional innovative therapies including laser therapy, Wim Hof-style cold water breathing technique sessions, nutritionist workshops, two-day electric sauna boat retreats on the fjord in partnership with KOK, masterclasses with a sleep expert, and complimentary Why We Sleep books in the guestrooms.
Introducing Villa Inkognito
As the second stage in this exciting launch, Sommerro will open Villa Inkognito in March 2023. Housed in a former private residence that dates back to 1870, this 11-suite retreat is adjacent to the hotel with a private entrance and will offer the option to be rented in its entirety. The villa will boast several opulent living rooms, an open kitchen, an intimate bar, a fitness room in the basement and a lovely outdoor area. Its interior design will feature a mix of magnificent antiques, original artwork, decorative details and classic Scandinavian furnishings. Guests can enjoy the privacy of their own villa with full access to all of the amenities and services offered at Sommerro. Villa Inkognito bookings are now open.
Rates at Sommerro, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ prestigious Legend Collection, start from £215 per double room including breakfast.