Amerikalinjen, Oslo, Norway

Amerikalinjen, Oslo, Norway

The jazzed-up former Norwegian America Line
headquarters-turned-luxe boutique (complete with its own nightclub)
breathes a dreamy new life into central Oslo.

In sharp suits from hot Norwegian designer Holzweiler paired
with white pumps and silk scarves and other custom-made Holzweiler
accessories, the effervescent staff with glowing complexions and
tireless pizazz are moving about the light and lively lobby of the
new Amerikalinjen hotel.

If you thought the offices of a cruiseliner might be fairly
uninteresting, try to imagine this place in the early 20th-century
as Norwegians gear up to depart across the Atlantic to begin a new
life over in NYC.

Today, the nautical theme is explored and enjoyed – old
artefacts are celebrated, several being repurposed in design
details such as small, chic library. Original details such as the
elevators and elaborate ceiling stuccos remain.

The bustle is such that you feel like a traveller in an unknown
locale; somewhere between boarding an opulent liner and entering
Gatsby 2019’s cocktail brunch. Oslo is relatively sleepy but in
recent months has been invigorated by a smattering of new
restaurants, fjordside saunas, eco-initiatives and human rights
conferences, the continuation of the Future Library and a rebirth of the Munch and National


There’s an elegance and opulence here that avoids overt
lavishness or clinical vibes. A lot of glass and white tiling, for
example, is beautifully balanced by touches of brass, original
porcelain fixtures and a roll top. Edison bulbs and lamps from
Birger Dahl and Hadeland Glassverk hang gloriously among subdued
palettes of white, blush, navy-blue cotton, velvet and mosaic in
the bathrooms.

Make like the king of the sea and book the Triton Suite, which
has a balcony with views across the Oslo Opera House and the fjord,
and delectable toiletries from Sprekenhus.

What’s for breakfast?

Guests kick-off the Nordic-meets-Americana morning with rich
coffee and toasted rye or bagels with lox, edging towards mimosas
to wring off the edge of the Gustav hangover (see below). You can
also fashion your own fresh waffles, served with yoghurt or cream.
Falling-apart delicate croissants and conserves also impress; as do
the fresh juices and smoothies, part of their Atlas Café.

What about lunch and dinner?

Stepping up for an eclectic jazz brunch on weekends (not a
Marnie from Girls in sight), the Atlas brasserie serves excellent
salads, sandwiches, steaks and seafood with just the right amount
of golden, crispy indulgence that will please both of the
traditional city-roamer and funlover. The food is consciously
modern, using lots of locally sourced Norwegian ingredients. Order
the goat-cheese salad with walnuts and a shared shellfish platter
and enjoy the low-lit, spacious ambience. Evenings here are coveted
– make sure to book ahead.

Is there a bar?

Ever felt like a martini while you and your guest (in lieu of a
fight over two lonely, overpriced bottles of red and white wine
from the minbar)? All hail your favourite new hotel concept,
launching this autumn: the Floating Bartender. A dapper and
friendly real-life mixologist and his magical cabinet of spirits
and botanicals on wheels, will roll into your suite on request to
shake up something special while you pamper and preen. Truly
experiential. And then there’s Gustav. He’s the one who, darkly
mysterious and surprisingly loud, will coax you out of your fluffy
white robe, into your gladrags and into his nocturnal clutches.
Gustav (albeit named after the original Mr Amerikalinjen) is the
hotel’s Harlem-inspired basement jazz club with a killer sound
system and exciting live guests each weekend. En route here, you’ll
pass Pier 42, a natty little cocktail bar named after the New York
port pier, where the menu includes conconctions from each decade
between 1919 and the present.


The basement spa has rain showers, the type that thunder down
heavily on your neck and shoulders post-workout (there’s a 24-hour
gym, too), as well as beautiful heated mosaic beds and a Finnish
sauna. Concierge and room service are white-hot – they even dashed
out to find me an HDMI-cable before they’d got Apple TV set up. All
rooms have Nespresso machines and cosy monogrammed pink or blue
slippers to take home.

Things I should know…

The much-celebrated five-year art programme for osloBIENNALEN launched in May
and will see continued unveilings of site-specific performance art,
installations, sculptures scattered across the city and much more
over time. Check in on its website to time your visit to the city’s
most historic new gem with this important (extended) moment in art

Within a short walk I can find…

The hotel’s heavy front door faces the Central Station hub, from
which different modes of transport will take you many places other
than the airport (which is 20 minutes via train). Take the tram to
Nordmarka forest in just half an hour, or visit Ekebergparken Sculpture Park in just 10 minutes’
drive. Amerikalinjen’s classy derriere faces the famous
Snøhetta-designed Oslo Opera house.