Go directly to content

Thon Hotels

The facade of Hotel Bristol – then and now

The history of Thon Hotels

Thon Hotels was founded under the name Rainbow Hotels in 1989. Today the hotel chain encompasses more than 70 hotels in Norway, Sweden, Brussels, and Rotterdam.

When Olav Thon founded Rainbow Hotels in 1989, his business model was to establish centrally located hotels offering affordable room rates. Following extensive reconstruction and re-branding, the name of the chain was changed to Thon Hotels in October 2005. In recent years we have further refurbished many of our hotels and are presenting our refreshed and dynamic brand to the hospitality market. We have remained true to Olav Thon’s vision – when you stay with us, you can still count on your hotel being affordably priced and centrally located. Yet with our freshly refurbished hotels and enhanced services, we have become so much more – at Thon Hotels you really do get a “full package” hotel experience.

 Year Milestones in Thon Hotels’ history
1974 Olav Thon purchases the Hotel Bristol.
1983 Olav Thon purchases the Hotel Munch and opens Oslo’s first bed & breakfast hotel.
1989 Rainbow Hotels is founded, with 11 hotels in its portfolio. Rainbow Hotel Polar, Rainbow Hotel Munch, Rainbow Hotel Vika Atrium, Rainbow Hotel Cecil, Rainbow Hotel Bryggen Orion, Rainbow Hotel Trondheim, Rainbow Hotel Rosenkrantz, Hotel Sverre, Rainbow Hotel Høyers, Rainbow Hotel Bergen Airport and Rainbow Hotel Astoria.
1990 Signs a partnership agreement with Rainbow Hotel Sandnes. Acquires Rainbow Hotel Gyldenløve in Oslo.
1991 Purchases Hotel Stefan and Hotel Europa in Oslo.
1992 Rainbow Hotel Hallingdal joins the chain. Tulip Inn Rotterdam opens.
1994 Slottsparken Apartments joins the Rainbow chain. Opens Rainbow Hotel Spectrum in Oslo and Rainbow Hotel Gildevangen in Trondheim.
1995 Establishes a presence in Brussels with Golden Tulip Brussels Airport and Hotel Bristol Stephanie. Opens Rainbow Hotel Terminus in Oslo and Rainbow Hotel Bristol in Bergen. 
1996 Olav Thon purchases the Summit Stanhope Hotel in Brussels.
1997 Opens Rainbow Hotel Maritim in Stavanger. 
1998 Opens Rainbow Hotel Oslofjord in Sandvika and acquires Tulip Inn Brussels Boulevard. 
2000 Opens Rainbow Hotel Nordlys in Bodø and Rainbow Hotel Vettre in Asker. 
2001 Opens Rainbow Hotel Opera in Oslo and Rainbow Hotel Brygga in Tønsberg. Purchases Thon Conference Gardermoen Park. 
2002 Opens Rainbow Hotel Harstad and Rainbow Hotel Arena in Lillestrøm. Acquires Carlton Hotell in Lillestrøm (Thon Hotel Lillestrøm). Gausdal Hotell and Austlid Fjellstue join the Rainbow chain. 
2003 Opens Rainbow Hotel Ski and Rainbow Hotel Wergeland in Kristiansand. 
2004 Rainbow Hotel Moldefjord and Rainbow Hotel Åsgårdstrand join the Rainbow chain. 
2005 The chain changes its name to Thon Hotels. Acquires Thon Hotel Triaden in Lørenskog and Thon Hotel Arbedal. Purchases Torghatten Hotell in Brønnøysund (Thon Hotel Brønnøysund). 
2006 Strand Hotell Gjøvik becomes Thon Hotel Gjøvik. Opens Gardermoen’s first budget hotel, Thon Hotel Gardermoen. Thon Hotel Linne joins the chain. 
2007 Thon Hotel Hammerfest joins the chain. Opens Thon Hotel Oslo Airport. Thon Hotels begins the process of gaining Eco-Lighthouse certification for all of its hotels; this certification is granted to businesses with environmentally responsible practices. 
2008 Opens Thon Hotel Kautokeino, Thon Hotel Charlottenberg (Sweden) and Thon Hotel Oslo Panorama. Thon Hotel Vica in Alta joins the chain, as do Thon Hotel Highland and Thon Hotel Vestlia Resort, both in Geilo. 
2009 Opens Thon Hotel Halden, Thon Hotel Lofoten in Svolvær, Thon Hotel Ullevål Stadion, Thon Hotel Kristiansund and Thon Hotel Torghatten in Brønnøysund. Thon Hotels enters into a partnership agreement with First Hotels.
2010 Opens Thon Hotel Tromsø, Thon Hotel Alta, Thon Hotel Kirkenes and Thon Hotel Bjørneparken in Flå. Thon Hotel Prinsen in Trondheim joins the hotel chain. Thon Hotel Sandviken Brygge and Thon Hotel Gjøvik leave the Thon Hotels chain. 
2011 Thon Hotel Sandven in Nordheimsund and Thon Hotel Backlund in Levanger join the chain.
2012 Thon Hotel Elverum, Thon Hotel Saga in Haugesund and Thon Hotel Høvik join the chain. Thon Hotel EU opens in Brussels. Thon Hotel Highland and Thon Hotel Vestlia Resort leave the Thon Hotels chain.
2013 Vårsøg Hotell in Surnadal joins the chain (Thon Hotel Vårsøg). Britannia Hotel in Trondheim and Thon Hotel Kristiansand also join Thon Hotels.
2014 Thon Hotel Fosnvåg and Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz Oslo open. 
2015 Thon Congress Gardermoen opens. Thon Hotels celebrates its 10th anniversary with a countrywide tour.
2016 Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz Bergen and Thon Hotel Stavanger open.