In a country that heats its sidewalks, hosts the world’s only carbon-free festival (back for a second edition in June), and sends its infirm on free trips to Spain, what more could one ask for? How about a hip, new design hotel. Norway’s first is Grims Grenka, which softly opened this year in central Oslo, and promises to deliver cosmopolitan style “without the attitude.” Forty-two rooms and 24 suites with modern Scandinavian interiors (what else?) feature wireless Internet, flat screen TVs and a maxi bar (think drink recipes and a cocktail shaker), while those who prefer not to do their drinking alone can hit the rooftop lounge.
By year’s end, the hotel will also have a private cinema, a club that aims to “transform Oslo’s nightlife scene,” and an Asian fusion restaurant modeled after Hakkasan in London and Tao and in New York. Until then, visitors can settle for one of four Michelin-rated restaurants in town, or the just-opened $680 million Opera House (exterior pictured). Sheathed in white marble, the roof of the futuristic-looking structure rises from the Oslofjord bay and doubles as a public park — which, with the mercury rising and the northern nights lightening, makes it Oslo’s in-place to come and chill. Just come flush: the city now boasts the world’s highest cost of living.