Thon Hotel Cecil Oslo – Review
There are very few chain hotels in Norway. The main two are Raddison and Thon Hotels. A few months back I did a status match to Discovery Loyalty Black, their top tier elite status. Thon Hotels is part of Discovery Loyalty.
For my three nights in Oslo, I picked the Thon Hotel Cecil based on location and value. At about $155/night in late June, it isn’t a budget option but Oslo isn’t a cheap city. The fact that it comes with a highly rated breakfast was a nice addition.
Thon Hotel Cecil is located adjacent to the Parliament building, one block off of Karl Johans gate — the main street through the city. Arriving from the airport, I took the Flytoget Airport Express train to the National Theater stop. Note that not all of the express trains go to National Theater. From the National Theater station, it is a 5 minute walk to the hotel. Some of the airport trains stop at Central Station. If you get one of those, you can either walk about 15 minutes to the hotel or hop on the subway one station (but it will cost you an additional ~$4).
The hotel is also a 5 minute walk to the Harbor and City Hall. It is a great location for exploring the city. The newer Thon Opera is adjacent to the airport train if that is important to you. Overall I prefer the location of the Thon Hotel Cecil.
Check in starts at 3pm. I arrived at that time and my room was ready. The lobby is small but recently updated. Currently it seems that there is some construction in the building so I had to take two different elevators to my room. Not sure if that will change once construction is done or not.
I was recognized as a member of Discovery loyalty and offered a gift bag with a water bottle and candy.
I was assigned room 7003 on the 7th floor that appears to be the top floor of guest rooms. I reserved a Standard Room Double and I believe that the room I got was a Standard Room with an upgraded view. Note that some rooms may only have a view of the interior courtyard. I would do a little research about room types before booking if an outside view is crucial to you.
As you enter the room, the bathroom is straight ahead. The rest of the room is next to the bathroom.
The double bed is quite comfortable. There is a thick memory foam type pad on top of the mattress that the fitted sheet surrounds. The double duvets are actually twice as wide as the look in the photo as they are folded over. Overall the bed is different than I have experienced but a nice Scandinavian set up.
Due to the shape of the building, my room had extra windows at an angle that allowed for more light to come in and a nice view of the park and Grand Hotel and Parliament building.
Opposite the bed is a built in storage area, TV, desk with safe and mini bar and am arm chair.
Everything in the room seems new and in great shape. While the room isn’t spacious, it is bright and cheerful.
Wifi is free, though it was down throughout the hotel during my first day. They apologized and it was up by evening.
The bathroom is quite narrow. The single vanity offers very little counter space. The shower has no door, just a half glass wall divider. The shower has a hand held wand only.
While two bars of soap are provided, the only other bath product is a wall mounted bath gel. There is no shampoo or conditioner or body lotion provided.
There is a standard gym on the second floor with views of the Parliament building and various work out equipment. There is no pool.
On the 7th floor there is a Lounge that currently appears to be open to all guests. It offers a large amount of seating (including a balcony), a TV, coffee machine and water, and a few small snacks and fruit. As it was right next to my room, I stopped by a few times throughout my stay. It isn’t a full service lounge but a nice touch for all guests.
Breakfast is also included for all guests. It is served on the second floor in the atrium of the hotel.
The breakfast is fantastic. In a city like Oslo where everything is expensive, it is great to start the day with a solid breakfast. There are lots of hot options (though I don’t think anything made to order), as well as meats, salads, fruit and veggies, yogurt, breads, etc. Some of my favorite items include the fresh squeeze orange juice machine and the eight varieties of home made jams. I like my pancakes warmed (traditionally they are cold in Norway) and the cook was happy to warm them up for me.
I had to catch an early train for the Norway in a Nutshell tour and breakfast isn’t served until 6:30. The front desk was happy to have a bagged breakfast ready to go for me when I called down the day ahead.
Everyone I encountered in the hotel (and in most of Norway for that matter) spoke English very well. I would say that overall the staff is more casual than in some high end hotels but they were extremely helpful and warm.
Housekeeping did a good job, but oddly they did not replace washcloths either day of my stay. They took the dirty ones but didn’t bring new ones. Not a big deal but I thought it strange. I also deduct a few points from the property for lack of separate shampoo, conditioner and lotion (I’m fine with the large refillable bottles, but they should at least have these products).
Overall I would strongly suggest the Thon Hotel Cecil for a visit to Oslo. In fact, a Rick Steves’ tour group was staying at the hotel during my visit, if that tells you anything about the quality. Good hotel, good location, great breakfast.