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Adventures & Experiences

Robbers, vandals and royalty – the story of THE THIEF

The name doesn’t suggest anything close to the feeling you’re left with when leaving THE THIEF after a stay. Whereas similar hotels have chosen ordinary naming, THE THIEF is an unusual name for a luxurious hotel. Read about the name, story and go behind the scenes of the mythical luxurious hotel.

The story behind the name

The reason behind the name is where it is located. Tjuvholmen (or THE THIEF’s islet) is an islet with a rich and interesting history. Back in the 1950’s the islet was nothing more than a bare grass plain. When thieves, robbers and bandits were caught for their mischief, they were isolated to this part of Oslo. Thieves were sent to hang here the 1600. At that time, it was usual for correctional facilities to be located along the coast. Tjuvholmen was once known as the home of the city’s thieves and vagrants. These days, the little islet is full of world-class architecture and art.

Today, it is home to one of the world’s most mythical luxurious hotels. THE THIEF is located near the Astrup Fearnley museum. It is a beautiful 15 minute walk from Oslo Central Station, which takes you past cafes, burger joints and fine dining restaurants in Aker Brygge.

Home of the world’s biggest artists, icons and royalty

When you enter through the revolving doors, it’s like a sense of haughtiness washes over you. Which should not be strange. In fact, many royals have walked through the same doors. Since it’s opening in 2013, THE THIEF has been home to some of the world’s biggest artists, icons, and royalty. The hotel staff and hotel in general – are very secretive when we ask if they can share if other famous people have stayed there.

Lobby area at THE THIEF. Photo: Marcel Lelienhof

We are two people visiting the hotel, writing this story on THE THIEF. When we enter, we’re met by a charming man, who is even more friendly than his big smile leads him on to be. We just shook hands with Dominic – the Guest Relations Manager at THE THIEF. I have met him before. I just can’t place him anywhere in my memory. It’s hard not to remember having met Dominic. Between the dreads and his always sharp attire, his whole being radiates sincerity, respect and passion for what he does. He is loved by hotel guests and looked up to by fellow coworkers. Dominic lives for the moment between a guest enters the hotel, and the moment they shake his hand and thank him for the stay. 

Dominic Gorham, Guest Relations Manager – The Thief. Photo: Kristian Jøranstad.

A room tour of The Oslo Suite

Andrea just came out of the elevator – the Sales Director of THE THIEF. Dressed in black from head to toe – with a golden “T” on her suit lapel, she takes us over to the new bar at THE THIEF. We take a few quick pictures and are rushed to the elevator. It turns out that the “Oslo Suite” and other fancy rooms are available for us to look at. If you think this suite has gotten its name from the city it’s located in – you’re mistaken.

The inspiration for the name and the art that hangs on it’s walls comes from an artist called Sir Peter Blake, an artist with a series of pieces that’s called “The Oslo Suite”. THE THIEF bought the whole art series and it’s now adorning the walls of the biggest suite at THE THIEF.

One of the pictures that’s displayed in The Oslo Suite. The simmering effect you see on the bottom might look like sand, but it actually is diamond dust.

The room is big and airy. Most of the rooms except the bathroom is facing the Oslo fjord with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow you to take in the gorgeous view, regardless of where in the room you stand. Suddenly we are thinking of cozy winter mornings, when the fjord has frozen and the only sound you can hear is the crackling from the fireplace in the middle of the room. But that might just be the Norwegian in us talking. The room carries a rather warm and mystical color palette. Andrea tells us the colors are taken straight out of Norwegian nature. From mussels inspiring the blue lamps, furniture inspired by riva boats, and other aspects that refer to how the different seasons paint the Norwegian landscape with beautiful and light brush marks.

The Oslo Suite.

A toned down color palette in the Oslo Suite.

Andrea leads us to a door at the far end of the room, and tells us they built the whole neighbouring room for a single guest. A few weeks before, two high profile guests wanted suites and so they built one so they could accommodate both guests. Andrea tells us about their mission: we treat guests like rock stars and rock stars like guests.

Andrea Belck-Olsen, Director of Sales at THE THIEF showing us the beautiful view from the Oslo Suite.

It’s not surprising that Standard.co.uk describes the hotel as a design dream. Hospitality.net reports that THE THIEF is a new benchmark for luxury hotels. The Independent says the hotel allows you to enjoy art that wouldn’t be out of place in a museum. Huffington Post gives THE THIEF their vote for one of the best hotels in the worlds. The devil is in the details, Andrea says. It truly is. The attention to details are outstanding. From the faucet, the japanese style electronic bidet to cater travellers from Asia, and the drawers in the closets.

One of the drawers in each room is filled with essentials you’d need while travelling. You might have forgotten your tie, or that special matte lipstick. Don’t worry. You’re covered. Ties, shirts, socks, toothbrush, hair products, nail polish or anything you might think of.

Detailed faucet in the bathroom.

In-room shopping drawer filled with travel essentials

Fancy some crisps? Grab a bag of bespoke Sørlands Chips.

Get whatever you want in your room

The Deluxe rooms are just as inviting as the suites although not as big. Regardless if you live in a deluxe room or in a suite, you’ll get a king-size bed, the in-room shopping drawer, and other amenities. THE THIEF is also one of the few hotels in the city that has turndown service. This means that when the guest is out of the room, the guest bed sheets are turned down and the room is freshened up. Do you want an orthopaedic pillow and allergy friendly bedsheets? Done. Want to spend your time in the room playing Playstation 4, humidifier or ioniser? Done. THE THIEF is also dog friendly. Which means you can bring your four-legged friend to stay over with you. The hotel will also provide you with dog requisites. There are a total of 12 bespoke rooms that cater for those with disabilities.

Andrea insists that we see the Spa before we leave. You can access it by riding the elevator directly from any floor. People flying red-eye flights often come down here to squeeze in a session at the gym and relax in the spa before starting their day.

As we are writing this, it’s been a while since we took this trip to THE THIEF. While we could give you all the intricate details that makes this hotel an experience in itself, we will leave it for now. You are in for so many treats and surprises. We’ll sign off here, and hope that you will take time to visit the isle of thieves and let THE THIEF steal you away for an experience you won’t forget.

Book your next stay at THE THIEF here.