The Thief, Oslo

Reviews / July 1, 2014

Contributor/ Imran Hussain

Best Known For
The location was known in the 18th century as “Thief Island” due to its time serving as a prison. Since opening, The Thief have procured a string of awards and have just launched a series of collaborations such as the, British inspired, Lee Broom suite and the Sir Peter Blake suite, where the man himself was the very first overnight guest in the room. They’ve also collaborated and currently exhibit some of the most famous pieces of art in a manner that hotels should, but often don’t. Each of these finely curated pieces, by Sune Nordgren, are symbolic of the personality and attitude of the hotel itself. On our visit we caught legendary pieces from Sir Peter Blake and Andy Warhol hanging around. The Thief bar, Fru K and Thief Roof(top) are famous in their own right, the latter offering a striking view over the sublime Oslofjord.

The Good Stuff
The name itself makes promises of coveting, and boy, do they know how to covet. Between the achingly hip restaurant, beautiful bedrooms (119 in total) and the sweetest spa upon which you might ever lay your flip flopped foot, you’ve also got the thing that most hotels omit, a genuinely helpful staff. Truth be told, you’d be hard pressed to find a team in a hotel that would do more for you. The entrance and lobby areas certainly have a flare for theatrics serving up the right balance of functionality, drama and curiosity with huge glass windows and light pendants hanging from the double height ceiling, the velvet brushed furniture also ensures a plush first encounter. Back to those bedrooms, so with interior design from Anemone Wille Våge, they have essentially removed the majority of discomfort from hotels, added a balcony and created a sense of glamour and intrigue. The latter is done courtesy of a very minimalist, but sumptuous, bathroom and a dark wooden console table that starts from the moment you walk in and continues towards the floor to ceiling, wall to wall glass sliding doors. This table has more compartments, cupboards and drawers then Bruce Wayne’s Manor, but the design gives you a luxury minimalist feeling. Complete with plush furnishings, a shag pile carpet and tinted wall mirrors, its tough to not feel magnanimous.

The Vibe
This is best summed up as cool, slick and fun because this hotel intuitively understands both art and culture, putting it amongst the rare few. The crowd is young and hip, but not so hip that anyone might feel alienated, instead it’s accessible, but don’t be fooled, The Thief is undoubtedly world-class. To me a good hotel has always been a slice of the city its in, and this place is a sanctuary, a bolt-hole and a party much like Oslo itself.

Inside the hotel – 9/10
It’s easy to feel like you’re in the best spot in town when you’re parked at this hotel. The Thief spa, which opened just three months ago is located lower ground, but an external glass elevator takes you right down to it. If you like spas and you live to be pampered, don’t visit here. Instead just ask them nicely if you can move in, because leaving isn’t something you’ll entertain. The area includes a Hammam, steam room, pool and treatment rooms. Upstairs in the bedrooms, each features in-room shopping concealed away within said console table, where you can get your hands on everything from earphones, shirts, cufflinks and even tights from the ladies. 

Outside the hotel – 7/10
Located in Tjuvholmen The Thief and its neighbourhood are Scandinavia’s booming centre for commerce, art, and lifestyle. Oslo is fun, expensive and full of art galleries. The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art is across from the hotel, and their exhibition Elmgren & Dragset is not to be missed, your room key offers you benefits. Both the Mathallen and Grünerløkka areas are a lot of fun, the food hall at the former is a true delight and reminiscent of Spitalfields. But for social dining experiences we’d recommend Thief Bar or hip Japanese restaurant Hanami across the canal.


Image courtesy of The Thief

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Imran Hussain
Current Editor of The Hotel Culture. In previous roles he has worked within the boutique hotel sector for over 10 years including myhotels group & the Great Northern Hotel holding the title Marketing Director at both. He has secured European Hotel Design nominations, best website awards and created cultural marketing initiatives as well as delivering strategic brand partnerships with the likes of Film4, Tiffany & Co., Somerset House, Coco de Mer and A Hedonist's Guide to. Follow Imran @Imran_Hussain Or read more about him at his contributor page

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