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Cochs Pensjonat
Parkveien 25 N - 0350 Oslo

Telefon +47 23 33 24 00
Telefax +47 23 33 24 10
Org.nr.: 939 194 428 MVA

booking@cochs.no

 

     
History
Cochs Pensjonat was started in 1927 by the Coch sisters – hence the name. Initially there were two guesthouses in the building: Cochs and Mina Johannessen’s. The guests were resident bachelors, two or three sharing each room. There was a bathroom in each wing, toilets on the stairs, and basins with water jugs and washbowls in the rooms. Food was important then: three meals were served daily in the guesthouse dining-room, with coffee and cakes in the lounge opposite.

A lifelong occupation
In 1946 Anna and Anton Gjesdal bought Cochs Pensjonat. Running a guesthouse was a lifelong occupation, and the widow Coch and the Gjesdal family lived and worked at the guesthouse until they died. In the early years most of the guests were residents – they both lived and ate at Cochs. In the sixties and seventies business people were predominant. Many employees in the postal service, policemen and people working in a large Oslo manufacturing company stayed at Cochs Pensjonat. The transition to hotel business took place in 1985.

In 1963 the Gjesdals bought Mina Johannessen’s guesthouse.

The Skram family take over
In 1985 the present owners, Anne-Karin and Isak Skram, took over. They actually met while they were both staying at Cochs Pensjonat in the sixties – she was the daughter of the owners and he was a young student in Oslo boarding there. They carried out extensive renovation work and made considerable investments such as installing bathrooms and toilets in nearly all the rooms.


The Skram family. From left: Anna Gyril,
Anne-Karin, Isak, Johanne
and Ida Victoria

The Royal rooms
In 1996 a large flat was incorporated into the guesthouse, and the “Royal rooms” came into being – looking out on to Slottsparken. These rooms are of a very high standard and are often booked well in advance.

Extensions
In 2001 the Skram family bought the first floor of Parkveien 25. This was also integrated into Cochs Pensjonat during 2002, providing 20 more high-quality rooms. Cable TV was installed in all the rooms, along with bathrooms. Only the prices remained the same.

In 2003 Cochs Pensjonat has 88 rooms, 205 beds, employs a staff of 23 and is managed by Anna Gyril, the daughter, who can boast an excellent hotel training in Switzerland. Most of the guests are Norwegian and foreign tourists, but the guesthouse is also widely used by upper secondary schools, colleges, universities and business companies.

 

Anna Gyril, manager and third-generation guesthouse landlady.
Pictured here with the fourth generation, represented by Lucas (six months) and Matilde (4)

 

From the third generation of Skrams it is the eldest daughter, Anna Gyril, who has chosen to follow in the family footsteps.
From an early age she showed an interest in how the guesthouse was run, and she was an active participant in its operations throughout her youth. The road then led her to the town of Neuchatel in Switzerland and to the famous international hotel management school Sitc Têtê-de-Ran. Anna Gyril enjoyed her studies there and was awarded her diploma in 1989. In addition to learning about running a hotel, her language skills in French, English and German were also enhanced during her stay in Switzerland.

At the moment Anna Gyril is at home with the fourth and so far final addition to the “Skram tribe”. Apart from Lucas at six months, the family also consists of Matilde (4), Daniel (9) and ten-year-old Victoria. The two oldest children were at school when the photo was taken.

Like mother, like daughter; in this generation too it is the eldest daughter who, at the age of 10, has already told her grandfather, Isak Skram, “I’m going to be the boss of Cochs Pensjonat”! So continuity in the future will present no problems.

Like previous generations, Anna Gyril wants to place particular emphasis on what is important to guests: that the guesthouse is clean and tidy, and that a stay at Cochs Pensjonat feels like coming home to familiar people. She points out that to reach this goal you must have continuity in both management and employees – and with employees who have been working at Cochs for ten years or more, this quality is ensured!

    
Cheery faces at Cochs

Here we have some of the cheerful people who make sure that your stay at Cochs Pensjonat is
clean and tidy”. From left: Anita, Harry, Alicia, Nina (housekeeper and responsible for all the chambermaids). Front left: Ayako, with Ana Maria on the right.
 

The Skram family have always paid great attention to the establishment being clean and tidy: guests must experience it as their second home, and history has shown that the very first Skram was right. More and more companies and private individuals have become regular guests at Cochs.

The team who make sure that you find Cochs Pensjonat clean and tidy are a colourful and humorous bunch from several parts of the world. And in the middle of the bunch, ruling the roost, there is the only man: Harry from Kristiansund. Harry is the caretaker and has been at Cochs for many years. “We have a really good working environment at Cochs,” he says, and adds with a knowing smile, “With so many girls from all over the world around me it’s no wonder I’ve been here so long!”

Jubilee celebrations, October 2002
During 2001-2002 Cochs Pensjonat was once again modernised and extended, this time with 20 new rooms. At that time Lars Saabye Christensen published his book “The Half Brother” in which large parts of the plot take place in “Cochs Hospits”. What could be more natural than to invite the author to the celebrations?


Lars Saabye Christensen was interviewed at the anniversary party, and Aftenposten, Norway’s most popular quality newspaper, gave the following description in its issue of 24 October 2002:

The Half Brother
Lars Saabye Christensen stopped so often outside Cochs Pensjonat in Oslo that he included the guesthouse in his novel “The Half Brother”. But it was not until yesterday that he actually visited the guesthouse to relive old memories.
    
“I often went past Cochs Pensjonat in my childhood and I always slackened my pace. But I never went in,” says Lars Saabye Christensen. He continues, “You couldn’t see in. I imagined all sorts of things happening behind the entrance door.”  And these thoughts became reality in the epic novel “The Half Brother” which by then had sold more than 250,000 copies and was to be translated into English. In the novel, the character Arnold Nilsen spends 4,982 days in room 502.
 
It is a strange coincidence that Isak Skram, the present owner, was also given room 502 when he came to Oslo in the sixties to study and lodged at Cochs Pensjonat.
 
Saabye sits on the sofa and looks out at the back yard – a brick wall, rain and slush, autumn leaves turning yellow.  He doesn’t exclude the possibility of the brothers in the book turning up again. He has plenty of time! And of course room 502 today goes under the name “The Half Brother”.


"This is a great river of a book."
The phrase came spontaneously as I was irresistibly carried along with the flow. The Half Brother is magnificent: a roman fleuve within a single volume. Sub-plots, reflections and inventive sidelines run into the mainstream narrative, with only the odd new paragraph or chapter allowed to break the smooth bulk of the text."
 


Cultural history from basement to loft
One of the former storerooms in the basement is now a meeting place for Allgreen – an environmental network advocating better urban and rural development. See
www.allgronn.org. And it is from here that information advisor, pictorial artist and writer Erling Okkenhaug runs The Gentle Wave. www.okkenhaug.com

Famous musicians
In the seventies Cochs Pensjonat was regularly used by the record industry at a time when new singers started to flourish in the more outlying districts of Norway and were successful in the charts and on TV. The eccentric record mogul Audun Tylden described it as follows:
 
“Most of them lodged at Cochs Pensjonat at the bottom of Bogstadveien, strategically situated diagonally across from Lorry. They had come to the Promised City to make a long-playing record and had generously been allocated the better part of a week to imprint their musical genius on the grooves of the record. They came one after the other, and enthusiastic audiences swallowed the lot with the greatest of pleasure. Svein Byhring sent them to the top of the Norwegian charts in turn, Ola Nergaard presented them by the dozen on TV, and journalists Stein Dag Jensen and Morten Stensland provided the Norwegian public with details about where they came from, what they ate for dinner and their sources of inspiration. This may sound idyllic for younger readers, and in fact it actually was. They turned up one by one: Olav Stedje, Randi Hansen, Unit 5, Beranek, Jannicke, Lava, Vazelina Bilopphøggers, Kjipe-Lars Kilevold…. And the record industry’s main supplier of trophies worked round the clock to meet the crying need for gold and platinum records.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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