Norwegian American heritage is remembered with the launch of this new hotel in Oslo in early 2019.
Amerikalinjen will fill the original building from 1919 that was once used as the headquarters of the Norwegian America Line, the shipping company that took thousands of Norwegians across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a better life.
Martin Andersen, Amerikalinjen's Commerical Director says there is a clear trend for hotel guests looking for something more than just a bed for the night. “They want to be part of a story, part of something bigger”, he says.
A 100-year history
The building celebrates its 100th anniversary as the hotel opens, and the team behind the hotel are keen to preserve as much as possible of the original character while offering a modern experience.
“The building itself is a landmark building in the heart of Oslo and so the exterior won't change much at all, although we are returning it to its original colour scheme from 1919”, says Andersen.
“Some of the interior features including the main staircase remain intact, but we have also added a few touches such as the indoor courtyard Haven”.
But the team are keen to retain authenticity rather than go all out on the Norwegian American or maritime themes.
This won't be a Disney-style hotel in which all the staff are dressed as sailors with replica ships in the lobby. Andersen wants guests to play their own part in the continuation of the story:
“This heritage of ‘people in motion' is very important to us. We want to breathe new life into this old shell by creating a new meeting place for those willing to write their own story in this melting pot of people, experiences, art and culture”.
Central location, modern rooms
The hotel is located on Jernbanetorget just steps away from Oslo Central Station and the iconic Opera House.
It's perfectly located for the Barcode business district and emerging cultural district soon to include the new library and Munch museum. Trams trundling by outside the entrance will whisk guests away to the city's other attractions.
Yet, with all the historic details that are planned for this iconic buildings rebirth, the hotel aims to be a contemporary sanctuary for the experienced traveler.
The 122 rooms and suites are decorated in a statement ‘modern elegance' style, and are available to book from mid-March 2019.
Where it all began
More than a hundred years ago, Norwegians began to move to the USA in massive numbers in search of a better life.
This was long before the discovery of oil off the Norwegian coastline, when Norway was a relatively poor country in which farmers and fishermen struggled to make ends meet.
Because of that, there are now huge numbers of Americans with Norwegian heritage, and there is quite the community built around them. You can listen to an interview with the editor of the Norwegian American newspaper to find out more about the story.
The hotel will be part of the Nordic Hotels & Resorts group. Find out more and book your stay at Amerikalinjen.
When I get the chance to visit Amerikalinjen once it's open, I'll be sure to let you know if it lives up to the billing!