(Norwegian version) In 1896 the owner of Loftsgard built a hotel on the farm which he gave the ambitious name Grand Hotel.
Text: Per Erling Bakke
Adapted and translated into English by Ivar Teigum
Grand Hotel, where Solstad Café stands today, burnt to the ground in 1909. Its functions were moved to the inn, which became the new Grand Hotel.
Loftsgard was the farm beside Mostugu and Ottekren to give way for the railway and the urbanizing development which followed in its wake. From 1896 Loftsgard took over the licenced inn with stables where wayfaring people could change horses. In addition to the inn the owner built a hotel on the farm which he gave the ambitious name Grand Hotel. In addition he had established a prospective hotel on the south bank of the Otta River in case the railway station was placed there.
In 1905 Grand Hotel had 55 beds, and it boasted: “First class hotel, close to the railway station. Rooms to let from 1 krone, full pension 3 kroner per day. Good horses and carriages.”
The original Grand Hotel to the left, the inn at the centre, and the main farm house to the right. At the front is the railway park.
After the fire in 1909 the remaining inn was expanded and converted into a modern hotel. Already in 1910 the regional newspaper wrote:
“The outside as well as the rooms inside are kept in light and friendly colours. In addition to a large hall, which serves as the main entrance, the hotel will get two elegant lounges and a diningroom decorated by the painter Enebo. The diningroom can accommodate 30 persons. Of guestrooms there will be 14 altogether, of which most are double rooms. All rooms are large and friendly, and for the countryside, well if not luxuriously furnished.”
Among the prominent guests to stay at Grand Hotel, Otta in the years to come were the Swedish Hollywood star Greta Garbo, and Norwegian born Jørgine Boomer, the owner and hostess of the highrise Waldorf Astoria in New York.
The American multimillionaire and painter William Henry Singer and his wife would stop at Otta on their way to the Fiords.
In 1938 Grand Hotel was sold, and during the war the premises were occupied by the German military command stationed at Otta. The Kampesæter family who took over in 1947 had a huge challenge engaging in the restoration of the building in the years to come.
The King is received at Otta during his ordination journey to Trondheim in 1958.
In 1958 King Olav followed by his daughter, Princess Astrid, had a stop at Otta on his way to Trondheim to be ordained King of Norway.
In 1981 the hotel was taken over by the regional bus and transport company to become its administrative base. But soon a new cafeteria was opened with some guestrooms under the name Grand gjestehus – Grand Guesthouse. In 1990 a new building was added to accomodate public offices.