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The hotel giant Hilton is in the process of building a hotel in downtown Oslo tvers overfor (right across from) The Grand Hotel; it will be a Doubletree Hotel, just like the other 10 Hilton hotels in Europe. With 500 hotels verden rundt (world wide/around the world), Oslo will be the first city in Skandinavia, much less Norway, to be home to the luksuriøs (luxurious) hotel.
The hotel in Oslo will debut with 59 single, double, and deluxe rooms, but will have 103 such rooms by the end of the year. The hotel will also have a full-service restaurant and bar, treningssenter (exercise center) møtelokaler (meeting places), and koferanserom (conference rooms). The hotel will occupy etasjene (the floors) 3-6 in the space above Christiania Teater.
The view from the Hilton will overlook Spikersuppa, the temporary open-air ice rink located in between Stortinget (Parliament) and Nasjonalteateret (the National Theater). The hotel will be in a perfect location for turister (tourists) and folks on business because of it’s central and convenient location near Oslo S (the main train station), Aker Brygge (the famous pier), shopping, museums, and many dining opportunities.
You might be wondering why Oslo has been chosen for the first Hilton hotel in Europe; the answer is that the grandfather (Augustus Halverson Hilton AKA “Gus”) of the founder of the Hilton chain, (Conrad Hilton), came from a farm called Kløfta (translated to ”the cleft” på engelsk), a village located in Ullensaker, Akershus, just north of Oslo. There are approximately 6,000 inhabitants. The village is known for Norway’s main prison, Ullersmo Prison. Kløfta is also known for some of the largest farming equipment companies in Norway.
”Gus” immigrated to the United States and married a German-American woman; they had 8 children together, one of whom was Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotel company. Conrad began his career in the hospitality industry in Cisco Texas by purchasing the Mobley Hotel in 1919, followed by the purchase of other hotels throughout Texas. He eventually formed the Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1946 and the Hilton International Company in 1948.
I want to share a little story about a kind of dramatic PR situation involving the Hilton Hotel Corporation in Norway back in 2007. A Cuban delegation was planning to meet in Oslo in January of 2007. They tried to book reservations at the Scandic Edderkoppen Hotel (where they had met 5 times before), but were denied because Hilton had previously bought the hotel; according to a spokeswoman for Hilton and Scandic, under U.S. law, the hotel hadto turn down the Cuban delegation from staying there because of the U.S. – Cuba embargo. In reaction to the stance taken by Hilton, the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (300,000 people) decided to boycott all Scandic hotels in Norway. Additionally, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions demanded that “the government take steps so that companies like Scandic, which clearly abide by the United States’ illegal boycott and blockade and not Norwegian law, are barred from doing business in Norway.” Hilton’s decision to ban the Cuban delegation clearly caused an uproar. For more information, the following site from Fox news provides more detail: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,241821,00.html
Here is a link to a website called Virtual Tourist that provides reviews for all of Oslo’s 119 hotels: