Smooth sailing and a few bumps along the way to reaching 200 hotels
Once upon a time, there was a young man who bought a hotel… That was the beginning of a wonderful tale about a group of people who travelled far and wide in pursuit of historical buildings, exciting locations and fantastic employees. Now we have reached a real milestone with 200 hotels! And that, boys and girls, is where the story does not end.
The year was 1997 when Petter A. Stordalen first stepped into the world of hotels. It all started with a hotel in the Norwegian town of Langesund: Skjærgården hotell og badepark (hotel and swimming park) – now Quality Hotel™ Skjærgården. In the three years that followed, the company grew with an average of one new hotel every fortnight, and every ten days 50 new employees were hired.
The pace slowed down gradually, but never stagnated.
On a glorious late summer day in 2019, it was revealed with a mild amount of glitter and confetti that the Finnish hotel chain Kämp Collection Hotels was to be included in our family, and this increase meant that we finally, finally, finally have over 200 hotels.
Quality Hotel™ Skjærgården
Great for us of course, but why is it pretty awesome for you too?
Because for you, this means you can now choose from 200 large, small, budget, boutique, historic and super-central hotels in the Nordic and Baltic regions.
Regardless of whether you are staying at the Helsinki luxury hotel Hotel Kämp or the lovely Clarion Collection® Hotel Grand Bodø, you will earn bonus points that you can spend on free accommodation, receiving gift cards or donate to a charity. You also get membership benefits (If you are a member, of course).
A small selection of happenings from the journey
The first without an ashtray
In January 2007, we became the first hotel chain to quit smoking and became completely non-smoking. On the news poster you could read:
“As of January 1, 2007, all of our hotels are 100 percent non-smoking. An overwhelming number of our guests have wanted this, while the demand for smoking rooms has been minimal. We are therefore delighted to be able to fulfil your expectations and welcome you to a 100% non-smoking new hotel year! Book your non-smoking hotel room at www.choicehotels.no. Choice Hotels Scandinavia – The Nordic Region's first non-smoking hotel chain”
Don’t go bacon my heart
In 2015, some of the hotels in Comfort Hotel® tested removing bacon and sausages from the breakfast buffet to make the meals a little healthier for the body and the world. It turned out that the world was not ready for the initiative, and it became an international topic of debate so big that even the Daily Mail wrote about it. In retrospect, this short period of time is remembered as “bacongate.”
5000 days for the refugees
In September 2015, after a meeting with the Directorate of Immigration in connection with the refugee crisis, it was announced that our hotels would together give away 5000 free nights to refugees in need of emergency assistance.
When it almost went all wrong
It is well known that the founder has a fondness for memorable hotel openings. He has, among other things, rappelled down the hotel wall at Clarion Hotel® Arlanda Airport, flown with a zipline from the roof of Clarion Hotel® The Hub and during the opening of Clarion Hotel® Malmö Live, he came ashore on a watercraft in true James Bond spirit.
The problem with the latter was that the speed was too high when he hit land, and when the fireworks went off, his thumb almost did the same thing. It perhaps wasn’t as dramatic as all that, but his finger was sprained nonetheless.
From 0 to 200 in 22 years. If we were a car, we would have been a very slow car. But it hardly matters when the journey is so nice.