On December 10, 2009, President Barack Obama is scheduled to be in Oslo, Norway, to recieve the Nobel Peace Prize. You can score a peek at the President and First Lady at one of the hotels mentioned below.
Historically speaking, Nobel laureates have always stayed at the Grand Hotel, located on Karl Johans Gate right across the street from the Parliament Building. Svein Petter Haslerud, the Grand Hotel’s General Manager, confirms that they’re in touch with the American Embassy in Oslo, and suggests that President Obama might stay at the hotel’s Millenium Suite.
(Update: Dec 9, 2009 - President Obama is staying at the Grand Hotel. The best chance to see him in Oslo will probably be at Grand Hotel at 6.55 pm on Dec 10, when he is scheduled to wave to the crowd from his balcony. Here’s his full schedule, courtesy visitoslo.com )
The Grand, which opened in 1874, is also the venue for the official Nobel Peace Prize banquet every year. They even have special Nobel tableware and Nobel menus for dinners. If you’re a fan of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner aka former VP Al Gore, you can order the Global warming cake – white chocolate filled with raspberries and yuzu lemon.
But the lodging requirements of the American President are vastly different than your ordinary peaceful Nobel laureate, or even other visiting Heads of State. Security needs dictate a complete lockdown of the entire hotel where the President stays. This might not be possible at the Grand, which has 52 suites packed to the rafters with dignitaries, Nobel laureates and celebrities during Nobel Week.
In that case, we have a few more options.
Another possibility is the Hotel Plaza. President Clinton, during a visit to Norway, had the entire hotel with its 673 rooms all to himself and his staff. The Radisson SAS Plaza Hotel with its 37 floors offers breathtaking views of Oslo and the Oslo Fjord.
Has to be noted here that Norway’s King Harald V has also offered to put up President Obama at the Royal Palace, if he so desires. Not likely, given the security concerns and the large entourage that follows the President, but a possibility nevertheless.
If you’re planning on being at hand in Oslo, then suitable digs can be found at Grims Grenka, a newish and stylish hotel suitable for romantic getaways, located just a stone’s throw from Oslo City Hall, where the Nobel Peace Prize will be officially awarded to President Obama on Dec 10 at 1 pm.
Grand Hotel photo courtesy the Grand Hotel, Oslo, Norway. Hotel Plaza photo courtesy Rezidor Hotel Group.