Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo, with stunning views from Skybar
General Info and Location
Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel is one of six Radisson Blu hotels in the Oslo area. The hotel is located right in the centre of Oslo, a stone’s throw from the central station and the bus terminal, which means easy transportation to Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport, for example. Next door to the hotel there are also several shopping centres and the Oslo Spektrum events arena.
The hotel opened in 1990 and until 2011 was the Nordic region’s tallest hotel. With 37 floors over 117 metres, it is Norway’s second tallest building after Haldentårnet, and Norway’s largest hotel in terms of number of rooms. The best views can be seen from the restaurant and Skybar on floor 34.
To cope with the hight, there are two different sets of elevators, a set of elevators that go from the lobby up to floor 16, and a set that goes from the lobby and restaurants to floors 16-33. In the lobby there are signs on the ceiling depicting which floors the elevators go to.
Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel has a total of 676 rooms divided into standard rooms, business class rooms and three different kinds of suites – Junior, Business and Signature. We had booked a standard room and was assigned a room on the 11th floor, high enough to see over the rooftops. If you want a really good view you need to book a suite or business room as they occupy the top nine floors.
The room was furnished fairly simply with a large bed, desk with chair, a wardrobe and an armchair with matching table. In front of the bed there was an entertainment unit with a mini bar at the bottom and a flat screen television on top. The bathroom felt worn and consisted of a pretty simple shower, sink and mirrors.
The room was functional and was fine for a short business stay, but the design felt simple and quite old compared to some of the newer Radisson hotels.
An interesting detail was the door lock. The key card had a dual function depending on which end you put in the lock. One end locked the door and the other end opened it, however, the door did lock automatically after you leave the room, but only after a 2-3 minute delay.
Eating and Drinking
On the 34th floor you find ’34 Restaurant’ and ’34 Skybar’, both with great views of downtown Oslo and parts of the Oslo fjord. In the former, one can eat a proper meal, while the sky bar offers beer, wine and cocktails. In addition to these, on the ground floor there is a lobby bar and an Irish pub, ‘Galway Bar’.
We made a visit to 34 Skybar during the evening. The view can hardly be faulted, especially if the weather is nice. It as an enchanting experience to see dusk over Oslo. The actual bar is, however, nothing to get excited about; a simple and rather old-fashioned decor with some couches and bar stools along a panoramic window.
Breakfast was served in the restaurant ‘Gaio’ on the 2nd floor and consisted of a number hot breakfast dishes, yogurt and muesli, fresh fruit, bread with various toppings, and little treats. There was nothing was missing, but also nothing out of the ordinary for a business hotel.
The hotel has a great relaxation area at the top of the hotel. It is strangely divided over four floors due to the hotel’s sloped roof. The entrance is on floor 33, where you then go up a spiral staircase. On the 34th floor there is a sauna area with separate saunas and changing facilities for men and women. From the sauna, there is a pleasant view towards the south of Oslo and the Oslo Fjord. On floor 35 you find the pool, and another two floors up, on floor 37, is the gym. All offer the same great views.
Good facilities for exercise and relaxation are available, but, as I said, it is a little quirky with everything spread over four floors.
The hotel has free WiFi access in all rooms and public areas. It worked just fine. You login with your name and room number, simple.
Service and Status Benefits
The service was nice and friendly throughout the hotel with a fast check-in and check-out. A number of staff members initiated conversation and I was made to feel at home.
Location is Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel’s main advantage; it is within walking distance to most attractions and transport hubs. Trains, subways and buses are all just around the corner. The views from the Skybar and sauna on the 34th floor are also impressive. Otherwise, the hotel is begining to show its age, it is visible both in the rooms and in the public areas. It could do with a facelift.