First opened in 1870 to welcome aristocratic Britons in search of the world’s best salmon fishing, Trondheim’s Britannia Hotel will reopen on April 1 after a multi-year $160 million renovation. The fjord city of Trondheim, located just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle, is Norway’s third-largest city, home to 200,000.
Britannia Hotel is a striking domed white building that has been the world’s most northerly luxurious “palace” hotel for 150 years. It has welcomed distinguished guests from presidents to Nobel Prize winners, to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, to Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
The rebirth of the Britannia is the brainchild of Norwegian financier, Odd Reitan, who was born in Trondheim in 1951 and who, at age 14, developed the dream of owning the hotel. He features prominently in the Forbes and Bloomberg lists of global billionaires.
“We are thrilled to have been asked to represent this extraordinary hotel,” says Geoffrey Weill, “adding it to our inventory of some of the world’s most spectacular privately owned ‘grand hotels.'”
A member of Leading Hotels of the World, the Britannia will offer 246 rooms and 11 suites, six restaurants and bars – including its original Palm Court, a spa, gym and indoor swimming pool. The hotel will offer guests the latest technology, sound-proofing, TV’s concealed within mirrors, as well as amenities and lighting that are easily understood and operated.
The Britannia will be a celebration of cutting-edge Norwegian and Scandinavian design and artworks. Beds are by the celebrated Swedish handmade bedmaker, Hästens. Bathrooms are a feast of Carrara marble.
At the heart of the Britannia will be the glass-domed Palm Court, first unveiled in 1918 and long Trondheim’s meeting place for socialites, artists, musicians and intellectuals. The reborn Palm Court will host breakfast, lunch, brunch, afternoon tea and dinner – offering creative Scandinavian fare.
The Britannia’s culinary arts are overseen by Christopher Davidsen, born in the Norwegian city of Stavanger in 1983 and Silver medal winner of the cherished Bocuse d’Or in 2017. Davidsen’s prime focus will be the elegant Speilsalen, his first signature restaurant. The Brasserie Britannia will be classic French, inspired by Paris and Lyon and by New York’s Balthazar. The Jonathan Grill is a casual restaurant specializing in Japanese, Korean and Norwegian specialties. The marble and crystal Britannia Bar is expected to become overnight Trondheim’s chicest cocktail bar and lounge.
The Vinbaren wine bar – with its 8,000-bottle cellar – will provide a lounge, tasting room and bar offering tapas, charcuterie and cheeses. The Britannia Spa & Fitness features a large indoor pool, several saunas, five treatment rooms and personal trainers. The hotel will also offer state-of-the-art conference and ballroom facilities.