Sep062014

Hotel Review Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo, Norway

Hotel review Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo, Norway is based on my one night stay in the modern conference center hotel across the street from Oslo Sentralstasjon train station. My stay was a points reward booked with 16,000 Choice Privileges points. The published rate for this Double Bed Suite at the time of booking was 3,200 NOK or $520 USD.

Nordic Choice Hotels in Oslo, Norway

There are 12 Choice brand hotels in the city of Oslo in Clarion Collection (5 hotels), Comfort Hotels (3), Quality Hotels (2), Ascend Collection (1) and Clarion Royal Christiania. 9 of 12 hotels are available at 16,000 points per night using Choice Privileges points. The Thief, Ascend Collection, Clarion Collection Hotel Christiania Teater and Quality Hotel Expo are 20,000 points per night.

Hotels in Norway are part of Nordic Choice Hotels, a separate division of Choice Hotels. The main thing to know is you can use Choice Privileges points for reward stays at Nordic Choice Hotels, however, you cannot earn Choice Privileges points for paid stays. You need to join Nordic Choice Club to earn points in their separate loyalty program.

Most Choice Hotels have changing seasonal rates for points rewards, whereby the hotel may be 16,000 points some months and 25,000 points other months. Nordic Choice Hotels do not change reward rates seasonally.

I chose Clarion Royal Christiania Hotel for my first night in Oslo due to knowing the location from my 2013 trip to Oslo when I stayed at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo (hotel website link). Here is my 2013 hotel review for Radisson Blu Plaza Oslo Norway.

I was under the assumption I would be tired and in need of a bed quickly after a day of travel from San Francisco. The fact that I was able to book a suite for 16,000 points was the deciding factor for this TripAdvisor #23 of 88 Oslo rated hotels compared to 16,000 points for a standard room reward night at Clarion Collection Hotel Folketeateret, the TripAdvisor #3 ranked Oslo hotel. Clarion Collection Folketeateret is an additional three minutes walk from the train station. Please note that TripAdvisor rankings are dynamic and change. Both of these Nordic Choice Clarion hotels were rated one position higher last week.

Clarion Royal Christiania Hotel Oslo

Clarion Christiania exterior

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo seen from Oslo Central Station

Clarion Royal Christiania is a modern style conference hotel catering to business groups with its 532 rooms. Clarion Collection Folketeateret is modern style too. This is in contrast to Clarion Collection Bastion where I stayed (TripAdvisor #8) last night. I found Bastion more appealing for my taste with its older building architectural style that let me feel I was not in a generic hotel. Clarion Collection Bastion Hotel will be a separate review. I visited the lobby of the Clarion Collection Folketeateret today and snapped some photos. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to check it out more fully when I return to Oslo before flying back to California.

One of the primary differences between brand names is Clarion Royal Christiana only offers breakfast buffet while the Clarion Collection Hotels include breakfast and an evening buffet. There is even afternoon pancake self-service food.

Here is another view of the Clarion Royal Christiania.

Clarion Royal Christiania-2

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo

Clarion Royal Christiania Reception Area

The Shelf is a French brasserie as you walk into the hotel lobby. The lobby is small for the size of the hotel. The main activity area is on the second floor Atrium level.

Clarion RC The Shelf

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo entrance and The Shelf French Brasserie

There is a small seating area in the ground floor lobby.

Clarion RC Lobby

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo lobby seating

The elevators require key cards you wave in front of the pad to reach guest room levels.

The central area of the hotel is the atrium level. Reminds of Hyatt Hotels.

Clarion RC atrium

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo atrium and elevators

Of course, I wanted to see my 4th floor suite.

Clarion Christiania hallway

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo guest floor hallway

I waved the key in front of the pad and voila… a blast of hot air hit me.

The temperature was already 21C/70F outside at 11:30am and at least five degrees (F.) hotter inside the room.

Clarion Christiania suite

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo suite sitting room

View from front door of room 451.

Clarion Christiania suite-2

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo suite sitting room window looks out to hallway.

I was underwhelmed with the basic layout and furnishings. The shutters of the sitting room open up to a view of the hallway shown above. Still, the space was a good size.

Clarion RC bed

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo double bed in suite

Immediately, I opened the bedroom windows and the breeze made the bedroom bearable after a few minutes, but noisy with road traffic below.

Clarion RC bedroom

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo bedroom in suite.

The door between the bedroom and sitting room was the most charming feature of the room. I kept the door open hoping to get some cool air from the bedroom into the sitting room.

Door between rooms

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo door separating bedroom and sitting room of suite. Bathroom door on left.

My first wish was a shower and then came the biggest surprise in the room. The bathroom floor was heated with no way to turn off the heat and the sitting room faced an interior hallway with no way to cool the room. Heated floors were great when I stayed at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo in March 2013, but no need for heat when the summer air outdoors was already warm.

I did not take photos of the bathroom. Blame it on jet lag oversight. Water pressure and temperature worked fine, but I imagine it would be difficult for a physically challenged person to get in and out of deep tub shower. Also, minimal toiletries. Both Clarion Oslo hotels simply use large wall mounted soap dispensers at sink and shower.

There was an AC switch on the bedroom wall numbered 1-2-3. I cranked it to 3. There was no effect whether the dial was 1, 2, 3 or off.

The most common complaint I read on TripAdvisor about Oslo hotels this summer was the inability to cool down rooms on hot days. I slept four hours in the afternoon with the window open. At night I slept a couple hours before I closed the window due to noise. The bedroom had cooled off by midnight, but the sitting room was still warm.

All in all, I did not get a restful sleep due to the hot room temperature.

And that is my final comment on the room.

Clarion Royal Christiania Breakfast Buffet

As I mentioned in my earlier post Oslo, Norway walking on a summer day, my dinner was one banana I purchased during my four hour walk. That was no problem since I was jet lagged from the time change and not hungry.

By morning I was ready to eat. I also did not take photos of the breakfast spread since there were about a hundred people in the large dining room. There were chef made-to-order omelets and a few different egg items. Loads of what my wife calls ‘cardboard bread’. That was exactly what I desired for some multi-grain roughage in my stomach.  Salad materials, a variety of fruits, juices, beans and sausages, loads of dairy products with yogurts and cheeses provided plenty of choice. Making your own pancakes is apparently a prevalent activity in Norway.

My morning joy was the double cappuccino button I used three times to kick start my day. An hour long breakfast eating slowly while deciphering Norwegian newspaper articles seems like that will be my regular breakfast routine for this two-week Norway trip.

Clarion RC dining room

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo atrium dining room

A hotel bar they call Living Room offers seating and a patio deck adjacent to the dining room space.

Clarion RC wood

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo ‘Living Room’ Norwegian wood

Clarion Loves Music” on sound system in background.

I can’t resist, “Isn’t it good, Norwegian Wood.”

Clarion RC patio

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo ‘Living Room’ outdoor patio seating

Sit anywhere. The bar patio was where all the smokers congregated.

Norwegian Wood-2

Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo ‘Living Room’ (aka ‘bar’) design

One tip to share on alcohol in Norway. I checked prices for beer in Duty Free at Oslo Gardermoen Airport that tempts you with a forced walk through the store before reaching the baggage carousels. Six packs from 45 to 55 NOK ($7.50 to $9.00 USD) with a variety of European beers. Kronenbourg 1664 (France) was tempting, but I have decided to go alcohol free for two weeks in Norway. The price of a 0.5L beer at my hotel last night was 90NOK ($15). A bottle of basic wine from Spain, Italy or Chile was $60 to $80. In the stores the average price for 0.5L cans of beer in an Oslo market looked to be 27 to 33NOK ($4.50 to $6.50).

Clarion Royal Christiania Pool in the Basement

Closed and inaccessible during my stay. Picture on the Nordic Choice website looks good.

Clarion RC pool

Nordic Choice Hotels pool photo. Pool was closed during my stay.

Free Wifi

Wifi for internet access has been fantastic in Norway. The speed is much faster than what I get at home in California. I need to upgrade my Wifi. I have had no problem using Wifi at all hotels, on trains and even on a bus.

Final Hotel Rating: Probably not again

Bottom line is the Clarion Royal Christiania hotel room was adequate and the breakfast was satisfactory. I would be unlikely to stay at this hotel again based on my experience. Nearby options of two other Clarion Collection Hotels offer a more interesting hotel environment and complimentary evening food.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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