Since it´s opening back in 2014, we´ve been guests at the hotel´s restaurants, rooftop bar, and even visited for business breakfasts. Now the time had come to actually stay and review this acclaimed, chic boutique hotel in Oslo, Norway. The Thief boldly claims it steals guests away from everyday life and we were eager to understand if that´s true. And to discover what has made The Thief one of the most awarded hotels not only in Norway but in the whole of Scandinavia. We can certainly testify to its worldly feel, and that we´re pleased to discover that Oslo finally has a luxurious design hotel on offer.
Featuring the best harbor views in the capital, Tjuvholmen,(Thief´s Islet in Norwegian) enjoys an ideal location. Tjuvholmen, once a hideaway for thieves, pirates, and criminals is a small island, just a 10-minute stroll away from the Oslo city center. And it’s just a few minutes stroll from the Aker Brygge waterfront, with its popular restaurants and bars. The Thief is located in the center of this island, and as such, the views are not as good from the hotel itself. Apart from the popular rooftop terrasse, where you get splendid views of Oslo city. But The Thief does profit from a location amongst a myriad of art galleries. The closest neighbor is Renzo Piano´s Astrup Fearnley Museum, perhaps the most influential museum in Oslo for modern art. A stay at The Thief will grant guests free entrance. If you´re in the mood, there is even a beach nearby, a swim in the fjord is highly recommended for the more adventurous. You´re also quite close to the museum boats that take you out to the beautiful peninsula of Bygdøy, where you can see the famous Viking ships, the exploration raft Kon-Tiki made by Thor Heyerdahl or Norsk Folkemuseum, that takes you back in time to see old Norwegian settlements. The Thief is located about 15-minutes walking from Nasjonalteatret, the closest railway station that takes you from the airport.
We decided to go all the way for this stay and chose a one-bedroom suite, although you can get even larger suites. Rooms at The Thief are in general quite spacious and start from 24 square meters or 258 square feet. A nice touch is that they all feature a balcony or two. Our suite offered a whopping 63 square meters or 678 square feet and is the equivalent of two superior rooms. We enjoyed the suite for the separate living room with a pantry and the second balcony with nice views of the fjords and the Riva boats below.
You can also get a somewhat smaller but similar layout with the junior suite that is about 43 square meters. If you consider this smaller size, we would choose “The Apparatjik Suite”, designed by artist Magne Furuholmen, known also as Norway’s legendary pop group A-ha´s composer and keyboard player.
All rooms and suites feature the same design scheme. They are tastefully decorated with solid wooden floors, plush soft carpeting, and an overall sleek and sexy color palette with touches of grey, blue and red. The interior feels modern, although the hotel was opened in 2014. White marble bathrooms with a bathtub and a separate rainfall shower. No bathtubs in entry-level rooms, though. There are many details to mention from the room but we especially enjoyed the comfortable wool slippers, the Babor toiletries, and the ultra-comfortable bed. And we really enjoyed the cool vibe in the living room. An amazing detail is that every room in the hotel offers original artwork. We also liked the tech features, like the 42-inch tv that pops up in front of the bed by the touch of a button. But that´s for the one-bedroom suite and up. After enjoying a nice dinner at the rooftop restaurant, we enjoyed some Henriot champagne from the expansive mini-bar, listening to music in the living room from the Geneva sound system.
Service and facilities 8/10
This is Norway and standards may not be quite as refined as in other major capitals of the world. There is no one showing you to your room or carrying your luggage. But we are warmly welcomed at the reception. The concierge is always ready to assist you with a sound knowledge of what to do in the city and around it. Oslo features an internationally acclaimed opera house, you can do a sauna right on the fjord with perhaps a quick dip in the sea. Or zipline from the famous Holmenkollen ski-jump. If you want to put more time into activities, you can actually go skiing on great and varied ski slopes just a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Service at breakfast was very nice once we got hold of the waiter, and the made-to-order omelet arrived at our table in a matter of minutes. If you catch up with the Guest Relations Manager, Dominic Gorham, you´ll get another feel of the good vibes and warmth of the place. We asked Dom about the artwork in the hotel, and he happily spent half an hour showing us around and discussed the magnificent pieces of art. Babysitters, limousine service, dog walkers, and personal shoppers are available on request. The hotel offers 24/7 room service.
The Thief´s SPA is definitely worth mentioning, with its comfortable, quiet atmosphere. Its dimly lit pool room features stars blinking above you and a view of the fjord. There are two good-sized roman baths, a sauna, and several hot & cold rainfall showers. There is also a gym, with the latest Technogym equipment. You can get a personal trainer and different treatments.
The style throughout the hotel matches nicely with what you get in the rooms and suites. There is almost a nightclub feeling to the hotel, from the very moment you enter. The lobby is of course what greets you first, with impressive ceiling height, towering windows and velvet chairs standing on granite floors.
There is a fireplace burning and there is a lot of black and gold throughout. The lighting is set low. But not on the artwork, which is everywhere. Even in the elevator, where we enjoyed eyes blinking back at us from behind the mirrors. There are some pretty big names behind these pieces of art, like Damien Hirst, Sir Peter Blake, Cindy Sherman, and Richard Prince.
Food & drink 8/10
Thief Roof Grill on the top floor is a good choice for dining in the summertime if the setting is informal.
The fancy rooftop features a wonderful bar that is one of the go-to places in Oslo in the summertime. Breakfast is served on the first floor and was to our satisfaction, with freshly made juices, a good selection of organic choices, and outstanding omelets served at your table.