Sunday, August 13, 2017

WAKING UP IN: Comfort Hotel Xpress Central Station, Oslo

      There are a lot of "Comfort Hotel"s in Oslo: Grand Central, Karl JohanBørsparkenXpress Youngstorget... it seems to be a very popular chain among visitors to the capital city of Norway. Browsing through the comments online, I've finally made up my mind.

      Modern, chic and with an advantage of express check in, Comfort Hotel Xpress Central Station is a place to stay where "Budget" and "Comfort" play hand in hand. Turn out, you don’t have to break your bank to have a cozy, private room with en-suite facilities in Central Oslo.

Checking In

      The hotel features a spacious lobby and co-working space combined. There are 3 self-check in desk in front of the lift. Even though the staff offered to check me in, I insisted to try the self-check-in feature since, hey I wanted to experience the “ Xpress” part of the name!

      So there they were, an iPad on each desks and all we have to do is to follow the instructions shown on screen: key in our names and activate a room card… then Viola! You get your room in a blink... talk about efficiency!    

The Staff

      The hotel staffs were accommodating. Anything they do, they do it with a pretty, contagious smile. As we were clueless (a.k.a lazy to plan since we take this as a rest stop of our long travel), one of them actually gave the best recommendations of what to do, see and eat in Oslo. and so we basically took that as our itinerary… what’s better than their authentic local expertise?

The Room

      To use the lift, you’ve got to use the magnetic room card. A little inconvenient for me who never arrange my things nicely in my black-hole-bag, but it sure is a good way to keep other unrelated people away from the rooms. As soon as the metal door opened, I was delighted by the view of the surrounding area.  7th floor is also where you can find the ironing room if you are up for that wrinkle-free sharp look!

      Our room was a Superior Double room at the top floor, featuring a private terrace overlooking the area, and a huge floor-to-ceiling window to keep the room bright with a lot of natural light. The room itself is quite basic, but it is bigger than most hotel rooms of the same price.

      On top of that, the windows are light-sensored so a layer of shades will come down automatically when the sun is shining too brightly. This feature keeps the temperature of the room to an optimum level. Of course, one can also control the indoor temperature by turning the switch on the wall next to the bathroom.

      The terrace is an excellent place to unwind after a long day exploring the city (or shopping). The walls between private terrace are high enough to ensure privacy but if one is interested in making new friends, just walk up to the end of the wall where only some plants are acting as a barrier (such a nice touch-up!).  

      The bathroom was not only spacious, it was also thoughtfully designed. With the pulled-down handles installed next to the toilet seat and shower, elderly and disabled visitors can use the bathroom with ease.

Around the Hotel

        The Comfort Hotel Xpress Central is situated right in the heart of Oslo, where the Railway Station, Oslo Bus Terminal, City Shopping Centre, Akershus Fortress and Oslo Opera House are all within walking distance. Basically, you have the whole Oslo at your doorstep!

        Just head outside the hotel, you’ll find a bus station where the Hop and Off tourist buses stop, 10 steps down the street there is another bus stop where regular buses stop and there are 2 light rail stations located just around the corner.

        If you take a left after exiting the property, you’ll immediately find yourself in a crowd surrounded by an array of designers’ shops, souvenirs stalls, cafes, and trolls. Welcome to Karl Johans gate, Oslo's main thoroughfare. 

Inside the Hotel

        The hotel lives up to its name. Comfort and Express.

        When we arrived at 7 in the morning, we were offered to use the baggage storage and enjoy a cup of coffee. There's a delightful sense of comfort once we stepped into the common area. There is a huge plasma tv on the wall, furnitures are tastefully arranged and the lighting is kept to a warm level, making it an ideal place to get some last minute work done, in our case. We spent the first 2 hours scheduling visits, booking our rental car, uploading photos… half sunken into the sofa. There are also computers, a business corner and a photocopier for business needs.

        The lobby bar serves drinks, snacks and pastries, opens 24 hours. And if you are a breakfast person, grab a breakfast bag from the bar and enjoy it in the common area. If you are not, no pressure! as you can bring one out as lunch… so have it Your Way!

       Apart from all that, you can also rent a bike from the hotel!


       Call me unfortunate, but I seem to have some unexplained connection with the Fire and the Rain God. Within only 7 days in Norway, I’ve encounter 2 incidents where the fire alarm went off on me. One is in the Bergen AQUARIUM (what the heck), and another in this hotel.

       I asked the reception the next morning and the reason was that a guest left the hot water running unsupervised in another room and the overwhelming steam triggered the fire alarm. Well at least we got to know 3 things:
1. The fire alarm in the hotel works well.
2. The hotel is located central enough for the fire department to arrive within 1 minute.
3. You are in good hands.

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I visited Comfort Hotel Xpress Central Station as a guest, however, my opinion is as always, my own.

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