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17 Nov 2022

Oslo’s historic public baths brought back to life as Sommerro unveils urban wellness retreat
BY Megan Whitby

The Art Deco hotel finds its home in the former headquarters of Oslo Lysverker, the city’s original electrical company, after a significant restoration project

The Art Deco hotel finds its home in the former headquarters of Oslo Lysverker, the city’s original electrical company, after a significant restoration project
photo: Sommerro

Nordic Hotels & Resorts’ newest luxury hotel in Oslo, Sommerro, has announced the grand opening of its wellness space Vestkantbadet to guests, locals and members.

Serving as the largest city resort wellness space across the Nordic countries and comprising one of Norway’s last remaining public baths from 1932, Vestkantbadet has been restored and reimagined as a 15,000sq ft subterranean urban retreat.

The urban retreat is set within the former headquarters of Oslo Lysverker – the city’s original electrical company – and is designed to pay tribute to Norway’s cultural heritage.

Restoring a community treasure
With its rich Art Deco details and original mosaic wall created by the famed 1930s Norwegian artist Per Krohg, the building's original swimming pool, public bath, saunas and changing rooms have been restored to their former glory.

Celebrating Oslo’s historic bathing culture, the Roman bath has been transformed into a cold plunge pool which is part of a traditional Nordic thermotherapy circuit that also includes an infrared sauna.

Guests are encouraged to spend time alternating in both experiences as dictated by the original 2000-year-old Nordic contrast bathing tradition.

The public bathing facilities have also been given a new lease on life and transformed into 18 spa treatment rooms, which retain original elements such as the bright hand-painted blue tiles.

Upon arrival at the hotel’s main facade, spa guests can access the space through its former entrance which boasts a historic, restored sign from the early 1900s. They're then welcomed to a spacious wellness lobby and retail boutique.

Vestkantbadet extends from the lower floor at Sommerro up to the roof terrace, with its rooftop heated pool, sunbeds and a sauna providing views over Oslo to be enjoyed year-round.

Wellness treatments and experiences
Spa treatments on offer include massages, reflexology and sports massages, plus a selection of facial treatments ranging from modern – chemical peels, microneedling and LED light treatments – to more traditional options – such as algae wraps and masks.

Spa partners include Elemis, SkinBetterScience, Babor, Skinceuticals, Gharieni, Meline and Noon Aesthetics. Sommerro is also partnered with Dr Dennis Gross Skincare, marking the award-winning dermatologist’s brand’s first-ever hotel partnership.

In addition, the hotel is one of the first in the Nordics to offer specialist medical aesthetic treatments, including a laser treatment skin programme with Fotona Lasers and Candela Medica.

Overnight wellness packages, Wim Hof-style cold water breathing technique sessions, and nutritionist workshops complete the mix, as well as two-day electric sauna boat retreats on the fjord guided by sauna supplier KOK.

For those looking to improve their sleep health, the hotel runs one-on-one sleeping sessions and masterclasses, complemented by a sleep soundtrack and Why We Sleep book in each guestroom, a pillow menu and light-blocking glasses available for rent.

Enhancing the experience
To differentiate its wellness offering, Sommerro has collaborated with a selection of handpicked brands to create a suite of bespoke products and services.

These include Swedish perfume house Byredo’s unisex scents, custom hair products designed by one of Norway’s top stylists and hairdressers, Jan Thomas, and exclusive bath robes designed by local bedding company Abate.

More about Sommerro
The 231-room Art Deco hotel with 56 branded residences opened in September 2022. Additional facilities include seven restaurants and bars, event spaces with a capacity for up to 150 people and a 100-seat gilded theatre.

Drawing heavily on the building’s existing architectural character, Sommerro pays homage to a fusion of neoclassical contemporary aesthetics with original elements developed by local firm LPO Architects in collaboration with New York- and London-based studio GrecoDeco.

Art deco details include oak parquet flooring, bespoke furnishings upholstered with 1930s Norwegian motifs and bathrooms with custom tiles.

A crucial part of Sommerro’s philosophy is its commitment to sustainability, showcased through deploying initiatives and operating strategies that prioritise both the planet and people.

Powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, the hotel has made a commitment to using quality green materials for products and services; sourcing sustainable local produce; investing in long-lasting relationships with some of Norway’s greenest businesses.

Sommerro also provides bikes for guests to rent, offers EV parking with free charging, encourages suppliers to use zero-emission transport and bans all plastic water bottles within the hotel.

In addition, Nordic Hotels has implemented an eight-hour rule for employees to ensure the work-life balance is always considered – eight hours of work, eight hours of fun and eight hours of sleep.



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