Wondering where to stay in Oslo, Norway, if you’re traveling with kids? We ended up booking rooms at Thon Hotel Panorama in Oslo, after extensive research on family-friend Oslo accommodations. I was pleased as punch with our choice and figured I better share it with the world.
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Why We Chose Thon Hotel Panorama
Three words: location, location, location. Everything everyone says about how expensive Oslo can be is true, and we had the unfortunate timing of being in Oslo during a gigantic youth football tournament, which meant every hotel room was full.
We were only in Oslo for two nights at the end of our Norway trip before flying home. We were coming from Denmark via ferry, and I wanted a hotel that was walkable from the ferry cruise dock.
Thon Hotel Panorama turned out to be in an excellent beyond its proximity to the ferry dock, however. I loved how close we were to Akershus Fortress, as well as how easy it was to walk to the ferry to Bygdøy, which took us to the Viking Ship Museum.
I have nothing but glowing things to say about the rooms at Thon Hotel Panorama, but I should note we got extremely lucky and were given upgraded rooms.
Even “family rooms” in Europe are often designed for four people max, and we are a family of five, so sometimes I just had to bite the bullet and book two adjacent rooms; this is what I did at Thon Hotel Panorama.
When we checked in (with our kids in full melt down mode after walking from the ferry dock in a freak Norway heat wave) the lovely manager upgraded us to the penthouse suite because the hotel was so full.
As you can imagine, my family LOVED this (who wouldn’t love this??). There was a lot of whooping and hollering and I expect the manager may have done this partly out of respect for the rest of the hotel’s guests.
No matter — we had a kitchen and a gigantic dining room table and, best of all, three full bedrooms and two bathrooms. As well as a TV and sitting area.
Best of all, we had a deck overlooking Oslo. There’s a reason this tall hotel is named “Panorama.” All the balconies have views, so ask to stay as high up in the hotel as you can.
Thon Hotel Panorama is advertised as a business hotel that is suitable for other travelers. It does have the feel of an older hotel that’s slowly being upgraded. I wouldn’t call it the fanciest penthouse suite I’ve ever been in (but then, I’ve been to Vegas…) and it definitely had a business feel, with all kinds of office supplies easily accessible.
And it had perfectly comfortable beds, lovely linens, and very nice bathrooms with toiletries…all of which I greatly appreciated.
One thing to know about staying in a hotel in Norway is EAT ALL THE BREAKFAST. Food and lodging are expensive in Norway, but this hotel breakfast was a far cry from the pre-packaged pastries and juice (and a waffle maker if you’re lucky) you might find in other countries. Healthy, filling and with every option you could dream of, Thon Hotel Panorama’s breakfast was the stuff of my brunch dreams.
Plus, they had a great coffee stand that was available all day long. And since we were barely recovering from jet lag and I was traveling with three sons, you better believe I needed as much coffee as I could get.
Possibly my favorite thing about Thon Hotel Panorama was the small outdoor courtyard off of the lobby. This calm oasis where I could drink my coffee (or, alternatively, drag my loud children when they got too rambunctious) was greatly appreciated.
The staff were lovely and helpful. They looked up airport trains for us, ordered taxis, and never even twitched at our children melting down in the hotel lobby. For a “business hotel,” we found their patience and helpfulness to be very family friendly.
Thon Hotel Panorama is a great choice for a traveler who wants to stay in the city center, have a view of the city, eat a great breakfast in the morning, and be able to walk nearly everywhere.