Elisabeth C. Brochmann, Hotel Continental

Elisabeth C. Brochmann

The Heart of Oslo

Editors’ Note

In 1985, Elisabeth Caroline Brochmann became Director of the Hotel Continental. She had graduated from business school in Switzerland with a degree in business administration. She previously gained broad experience, working in hotels in London, Hamburg, and Lyon. Under her direction, Hotel Continental opened a new bar, LIPP, in 1991, built a conference center in 1995, and remodeled Annen Etage restaurant in 1998.

Property Brief

Oslo, Norway-based Hotel Continental (hotelcontinental.no) and Theatercaféen opened in 1900, right after the opening of the National Theatre. Caroline and Christian Boman Hansen took over the lease in 1909, and within only three years they were able to purchase the establishment. In 1932 and 1961 respectively, the hotel and restaurant were expanded. It now occupies a whole block located in the center of Oslo. Elisabeth Brochmann is the current and fourth-generation owner. The Hotel Continental offers 155 individually furnished rooms, many of which are newly renovated. The hotel is a five-star property of high international standards, and the only Norwegian member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Hotel Continental has an extensive art collection and, in the lobby bar, “Dagligstuen,” there is a large collection of prints by Edvard Munch.

Hotel Continental is under fourth-generation ownership and is the place to be in Oslo. Running this hotel must not be an easy job.

No, but it’s a very exciting job, and I love it. For me it’s important that we run this hotel as well as we can. I don’t have any plans to expand.

It started with my great-grandfather and grandmother; they were in the old building where Theatercaféen is. Then my grandfather expanded it and, in 1930, built what we call Building 2.

My mission is to renovate and keep the hotel and house in even better shape than it has been in the past.

Oslo, Norway was voted the single place in the world where the people are most happy. Certainly, everybody at the hotel seemed happy to greet us.

This is great to hear. We are currently investing over $100 million Norwegian Krone to update the hotel. I’m happy to do that but, if those who work here are not smiling and doing their best, even if I invest greatly, the product will not be good. This is a people industry and business. If a guest has a nice experience, it’s the result of the people here – myself and my colleagues.

Do you have special arrangements in the hotel for hosting board of directors meetings?

Yes. Our goal is to provide the best for people who want the best. So we have our meeting facilities and top equipment, which are totally modern. Our oldest building is from 1900, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be very modern inside.

Our style is to be classical and traditional but with a modern flair. We refer to our style as classic contemporary, because I don’t want our guests to feel this is just a house – they should feel it’s fresh and that everything works, and that it’s well-equipped.•