The Thief is a striking, design-led, boutique hotel located in downtown Oslo. Opened in 2013 it has since gained a reputation for innovation and creativity. The curved, nine-story building features 114 rooms and suites and is particularly known for its art and design, its stunning rooftop views - as well as for the Thief Spa, complete with indoor swimming pool, hammam (Turkish bath), steam room, sauna and a fitness centre.
Other facilities include four popular restaurants and bars and six meeting and events spaces catering for up to 150 people. For those who wish to drive to the hotel, there is secure underground parking.
The Thief is based in the Tjuvholmen islet, a city district which in the 18th century was known for its criminal activities, hence the hotel’s name. Located on the western side of town, the area has now been transformed into a powerhouse of contemporary art and urban living at the edge of the Oslo Fjord and features international-calibre restaurants and eateries, high quality galleries and the harbour front Astrup Fearnley Museum, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the hotel’s nearest neighbour. All hotel guests receive free entrance to the museum. Piano also designed The Shard in London – one of the tallest buildings in Europe.
Oslo’s city centre is a 15-minute walk away, with attractions including the Viking Ship Museum, Oslo Opera House and Frogner Park with its collection of more than 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland.
The property lies around a 50-minute limousine or taxi ride from Oslo Airport Gardemoen, or the Airport Express Train has a journey time of around 22 minutes to Oslo Central Station. It is then a 15-minute walk to the hotel.
An eye for design and for detail flows throughout the hotel and pervades the guest rooms, with a cleverly thought-out layout dedicated to providing both comfort and efficiency – bedside light controls; Geneva sound systems; docking stations; Nespresso machines and kettles; safes with power outlets for charging laptops; full length mirrors by the door; large baths with rain showers; bathroom amenities by Babor and more.
All the room furniture and furnishings from the executive desks to the chairs, to the beds and even the blankets – are hand-picked from national or international designers, deftly complementing an interior design rich with texture and geometric shapes and a palette of earth tones, enlivened by pops of intense colour. The premium suites offer more space and larger balconies with incredible vistas, also incorporating more iconic pieces curated from brands including Maxalto and Citterio.
The Apparatjik Suite for enjoys a completely unique vibe with video art, music, disco textiles and art installations signed by A-ha’s Magne Furuholmen and his Apparatjik supergroup. The Thief Suite on the eighth floor looks out across the beautiful Oslo Fjord as well as the canals of Tjuvholmen whilst The Oslo Suite is the largest, a penthouse with the feel of a private residential apartment. It boasts a private rooftop terrace, separate bedroom and dining rooms, a fully equipped bar and pantry kitchen and original artworks by Sir Peter Blake.
There are twelve rooms, fully equipped for those with disabilities and in fact the whole hotel is completely accessible.
Families are welcomed with a Very Important Kid programme and if a four-legged canine comes along, the Very Important Dog programme assigns special rooms for those with pets and delivers a doggy bag of treats and custom dog beds with blankets on arrival.
The 800 square metre (8,611 square foot) Thief Spa takes inspiration from the best of spa cultures around the world, serving it up in an intimate atmosphere inspired by the rugged beauty of the Norwegian landscape – slate, moss, sea and Nordic light. Accessed by lift directly from the guestrooms, the Spa offers a wide range of beauty treatments, massages and rituals; Sensory Sky showers by Dornbracht; a 12-metre (39-foot) indoor swimming pool overlooking the Oslo Fjord; Thief Rhassoul Steam Room; Thief Aufguss Finnish Sauna and the Thief Hammam. Spa products are from Natura Bissé, the Zo Skin Health Range, Babor and Carita. There is also a Spa shop, a fully equipped Thief gym, LuluLemon Hiit workouts and yoga and for the hardy, the opportunity for an icy dip in the nearby Oslo Fjord, accessed via both a bathing jetty and a beach.
A range of activities can be easily arranged for those who want to pursue an outdoor Norwegian adventure in the clement months. Take a cruise on the Oslo Fjord in one of the hotel’s two Riva boats, hire a bike, try stand up paddle-boarding or kayaking on the Oslo Fjord, go fishing with the experts or try a running route which incorporates a city sightseeing tour.
For those travelling on business or wanting to host an event, there are six meeting rooms with natural daylight at The Thief accommodating anything from a boardroom setup for 12 to a party for 150 in the largest room, Fjord, with unbeatable views over the city and the sea from its own roof terrace.
For music lovers, Thief Music Unplugged runs throughout the year, showcasing the work of some of today’s current and future stars. Concerts start at 7.15 p.m., and they operate a first come, first served door policy.
The Thief also has a partnership with Norwegian fashion brand, As We Are Now (AWAN), with the option to try on – and purchase - a 24-hour lounge dress in the privacy of the guest room.
The hotel offers room service around the clock.
The Thief is a hotel like no other - an urban lifestyle retreat based on the fundamental principles of good design and contemporary living with an ingrained philosophy of sustainability and a motto, a playful take on its name - “to steal its guests away from everyday life”.
To that end, the property is alive with art and design, used for both function and decoration – a chosen aesthetic which runs throughout the entire property. From the building’s strikingly curved architecture by Mellbye Arkitekter and Antony Gormley’s crumpled sculptural form outside the main entrance, to an interior design with sleek furnishings sourced by Anemone Wille Våge to an art collection carefully curated by Sune Nordgren, this hotel is purposely designed to inspire, surprise and delight.
It is the human element however that makes a property memorable and underscoring the cultural edge of the hotel, is a central core commitment to 24/7 customer service with the approachable staff known to be among Oslo’s most connected with a reputation for making the impossible possible.
There are four restaurants and bars in the hotel. The Thief Foodbar is the main restaurant and creates delicious dishes using local and Nordic produce, cooked with French techniques with a decidedly Norwegian flair. The restaurant is housed in a light bright space with floor to ceiling windows contrasting with dark tiles, leather seating, dark wood tables and banquettes and views through to the kitchens.
The Thief Bar has an intimate and discreet ambiance, just off the hotel reception. With rich, dark tones, bookcases, an open fire and plush seating, Thief Bar serves signature cocktails from award-winning bartenders in a cosy and relaxed setting.
The unique penthouse location and the breathtaking views makes Thief Roof Grill the perfect place for outdoor dining. There is seating for 80 guests for a menu of light summer dishes and grilled meats and seafood. Executive Chef Tim Wanless has also created his latest dining concept of The Table – a tasting menu for four to six guests featuring the best Norwegian delicacies from the sea and land cooked over Binchotan Cuban charcoal on a Jasper grill.
The adjoining Thief Roof Bar is hailed by many as Oslo’s best and is open from April until late Autumn. This spacious bar with views out to the hills of Holmenkollen, offers a range of small and larger seating groups set around tables designed to conveniently accommodate an ice bucket. Portable glass walls, heater lamps and a sliding roof keeps patrons snug and warm in stormy weather.
The Thief’s owner Petter A Stordalen is a passionate environmental activist. Since the opening in 2013, his then wife Gunhild has overseen the property’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme. The programme includes menus featuring an array of seasonal seafood and produce from Norway and Scandinavia and energy-efficient solutions to reduce energy and water consumption and for waste handling. Every room at The Thief is an individual energy zone so energy consumption can be optimised according to requirements at the time. The hotel has been built to comply with the TEK 07 energy regulation and has its environmental certification. The hotel’s foundations were focussed on improving the water quality of the fjord around Tjuvholmen. Artificial reefs were constructed underwater to provide an ideal habitat for fish, crabs and mussels. The Thief is a cashless hotel for added guest security and for reducing theft and burglary.