Norway’s capital Oslo may not be top of mind when one thinks of Scandinavian design—neighbouring cities Copenhagen and Stockholm still dominate the scene—but the arrival of Amerikalinjen, a boutique hotel that opened in March 2019, is hoping to change that. It has clearly invested a lot of thought and effort in architecture and design, and it serves as a great base to discover why Oslo is one of the world's least stressful cities.
A member of the Lifestyle Collection of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Amerikalinjen is housed in a carefully converted landmark building. It retains all the bygone charm of a heritage property and yet is designed for the way we travel today. The interiors have a retro-eclectic feel, a direction pursued by local practice Kritt Architects, who consciously kept elements such as the building's maritime trimmings and ornate mouldings while infusing it with a touch of modernity through sleek lighting fixtures and contemporary furniture.
The iconic building that houses the hotel was the former headquarters of the cruise ship company Norwegian America Line, which once served as the starting point for many hopeful Norwegians making their journey to the United States. Conceived by Norwegian architects Andreas Bjercke and George Eliassen in 1919, the 20th-century structure is now positioned as a place for today’s modern explorers exactly a century later.
As a fan of adaptive reuse, the fact that they transformed a corporate building into a 122-room hotel was already a strong draw. The history of the storied space was evident from the moment I saw the preserved facade and entered the hotel's heavy carved wooden doors. There are plenty of other facets that showcase its Neo-Baroque roots—vaulted ceilings, grand staircase, and even a gilded lift were all retained to form the foundation of this unique hotel.