A new restaurant in collaboration with Stefan Karlsson and Götaplatsgruppen, extended meeting facilities for 700 people, new expo facilities, renovated hotel rooms and a new bar. We visited the Elite Park Avenue to preview the hotel’s biggest renovation project since 2005.
“The main changes can be categorised into three parts. One is the new restaurant, a collaboration with Götaplatsgruppen and Stefan Karlsson, who also provide all the food we serve. Another is the new breakfast area with rooms that can be used all year round. The third is the new expo area. We have extended the facilities by 1,000 square metres, making the hotel far more complete,” says Thomas Heden, sales and marketing manager of the Elite Park Avenue, who is giving us a guided tour.
The extension and renovation work started seriously in April 2017. Now, a few months later, it is almost finished. In the restaurant, which has been given a completely new look, we meet Stefan Karlsson, the renowned, award-winning Gothenburg chef. Although there are no guests here now, Stefan has plenty to do. The restaurant recently opened for both lunch and dinner after a soft opening during the Göteborg Book Fair.
“Our aim is for the restaurant to be a natural meeting place for visitors as well as local residents in Gothenburg. The food can be described as Nordic brasserie style. We want to offer flavours that guests will recognise, and we try to mix Swedish and international cuisines,” says Stefan.
So far the response has been positive, both to the food and the restaurant area. Guests appreciate the fact that there is no wall between the hotel reception and the restaurant. And they also like the food. For Stefan Karlsson and Götaplatsgruppen, who already have several restaurants in Gothenburg, the location was their main incentive for opening yet another restaurant in Gothenburg.
“I personally find this address very exciting. It has always been a popular, culture-promoting venue. It’s fun to be part of the renovation project here, and of course we hope our own ideas will fit in,” says Stefan.
In addition to the new restaurant, the Elite Park Avenue has been extended towards Lorensbergsparken. This opens up a greater range of possibilities. For instance, the hotel can now accept larger dinner groups. The new banqueting facilities can seat 700 people, compared to 450 previously, allowing larger conferences to be held here. There are also larger areas for exhibitions and mingling.
Although the whole hotel has been renovated, it still retains a mix of old and new. We stand in the new extension looking out over Lorensbergsparken through the glazed walls. Then we continue towards the classic Taube room. It is still decorated with paintings by Evert Taube, one of Sweden’s most cherished artists; only the floors have been replaced. Many other details from past decades have also been preserved. According to Thomas, the Elite Park Avenue is dear to many Gothenburgers’ hearts, and it is important to bear this in mind.
“Gothenburgers almost see it as their own hotel, and always have done. We want to focus even more on this aspect,” he says.
The Elite Park Avenue has gone through the biggest change since Elite took it over in 2005. But Thomas prefers not to say whether there will be an inauguration ceremony after the renovation is finished.
“There was no inauguration ceremony in 2005, so it would be nice to have one now,” he concedes. “But I can’t promise anything.”
The new extension will be integrated into Lorensbergsparken, and it is hoped that this will liven up the park. Among other things, there are plans to open a new outdoor dining area there next summer.