Nearly 150 years ago, a grande dame hotel opened in Trondheim, Norway to welcome the wealthy Brits who flocked to scenic Trøndelag for salmon fishing. Just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the Britannia was considered the most northerly “palace hotel” in the world—a pied-à-terre for celebrities and royalty. Now, after a $160 million renovation that lasted four years, the Britannia has swung open its stately doors to show off the results.
Swathed in Italian marble, the lobby has an English chess pattern floor and artwork by Anne Kyyrö Quinn behind the reception. We like the sound of the high-tech elevators that whisk you to your floor after you hold up your key card or mobile phone.
In completely revamping the 246 rooms and 11 suites, the focus was on modernization with soundproofing and top-notch technology (TVs hidden behind mirrors; touch-of-the-switch temperature control and lighting). All rooms come with Carrara marble bathrooms and handmade beds by renowned Swedish company Hästens.
It’s an ambition for owner Odd Reitan, the Norwegian billionaire, that the Britannia reclaim its place as one of the best hotels in Scandinavia. So, the Britannia—a member of The Leading Hotels of the World—is covering all its bases. The six restaurant and bar choices are overseen by Bocuse d'Or Silver medal winner Christopher Davidsen. Highlights include Speilsalen, the fine dining restaurant; the glass-dome Palm Court, the social heart of the hotel; and the Vinbaren wine bar serving selections from the 8,000-bottle cellar. The all-new Britannia Spa comes complete with a heated indoor pool, Jacuzzi, saunas and ice bath. There's even spacious conference and meeting facilities.