With a fantastic location and a gorgeous view of the Oslo Fjords, it’s no wonder that The Thief is not only one of the best hotels in Norway but Harper’s Bazaar recently chose the property as one of the 100 greatest hotels in the world and it made the Condé Nast Traveller Gold list in 2018. A beautiful boutique hotel, famed for it’s Nordic design and fabulous collection of art, The Thief seemed the perfect choice for our one night in Oslo.
With a gorgeous golden facade, the hotel is located on Tjuvholmen (Thief Islet), a place once a haven for thieves and smugglers and now a gorgeous new waterfront development that is home to luxury apartments, galleries and stylish restaurants.
The surrounding buildings are stunning architecturally but it is The Thief itself that will steal your heart.
There’s no boring hotel artwork here – it’s all dramatic designs handpicked by Sune Nordgren, the former director of the Norwegian National Museum. As soon as you arrive you see the Anthony Gormley figure by the entrance, enter into the dramatic foyer with the navy and gold accents and your breath will be taken away. There’s even animated Julian Opie artworks in the lift to admire as you make your ascent.
Our check in was speedy though we were surprised that they didn’t help us with our bags up to the room and reception were slow to respond to our calls but otherwise service was very efficient and friendly.
Theresa and I shared a deluxe room which was decked out in the most sumptuous fabric and marshmallow pillows. The rooms themselves are galleries too with works from Peter Blake and even some by the Queen of Norway herself. Art fans can visit Astrup Fearnley Museum next door (you get free entry with a stay a The Thief) and see works by Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. Or splash out on one of the higher level suites such as the Apparatjik Suite which features music, disco textiles and art installations signed by A-ha’s Magne Furuholmen. Or there’s the Broom Suite fitted out by award winning British designer Lee Broom.
There’s a big screen tv and a mini bar absolutely jam packed with stuff including essentials to buy should you have left your toothbrush at home plus lots of extra cosy blankets.
A sizeable bathroom has a separate bath and shower plus gorgeous luxury products to pamper yourself with.
But best of all was our private balcony with a view of the Oslo archipelago and the fjord. In fact everyone of the 118 rooms has a private balcony.
The perfect place to toast to a wonderful girls trip!
Evenings can start and end at Thief Bar, one of the most lively bars in town (picture taken in the morning when it was less lively!) and we had a glass of wine in there before heading out for the evening. Just like the rest of the hotel, the art theme continues as the bar is lit up by Tom Ford installations and not only is it pretty but it’s super comfortable and warm with an open fire. There’s a rooftop bar too open April to September with a view over the hills of Holmenkollen but in snowy January we didn’t get a chance to see it.
With only one night in Oslo I thought long and hard about our dinner destination and eventually settled on Hanami. It turned out Hanami was pretty much opposite The Thief, about a thirty second walk away, on the The Aker Brygge promenade right on the water’s edge where there’s lots of other trendy restaurants and bars.
Hanami was the perfect choice as it was lively and buzzy and served a great menu of Japanese food. Fellow food lovers may want to looks into booking three-Michelin starred Maaemo, ranked one of the best restaurants in the world. Or michelin-starred Kontrast, a Modern Scandinavian restaurant using local Norwegian ingredients. Those looking for something fun and casual, I highly recommend Hanami!
Thief Foodbar is the hotel’s in house restaurant serving international food with a Nordic twist which unfortunately we didn’t get try.
We were however very impressed with the hotel’s breakfast which featured local produce and the glamorous design of the restaurant which showcases Andy Warhol artwork.
Though we didn’t have time to use it, we took a peak at the Thief Spa located in a separate building from the main hotel area. Apparently the atmosphere is inspired by Norwegian nature but spa treatments are cherry-picked from the best internationally for example Turkish hammam, Moroccan rhassoul and German aufguss. There are also sensory showers, a twelve meter pool and a gym.
Sadly I didn’t get to see much of the city outside the vicinity of the hotel but I can confirm that The Thief in Oslo well and truly stole my heart and it’s a place I’ll certainly be returning to!
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