The Thief Lifestyle Boutique Hotel at Tjuvholmen, Oslo is undisputedly one of the greatest hotels in the capital of Norway – with a canal view. The name Tjuvholmen (The Thieves Islet) arrives from the time back in the 18th century when thieves were executed here. The Thief Hotel is located at one of the most exclusive sites in the Oslo fjord area. The next neighbor is the Astrup Ferner Museum of Moden Art.
Tjuvholmen (Thief Islet) used to be a haven for smugglers, thieves and scoundrels. Today it is home to The Thief, a modern hideaway – right in the middle of downtown Oslo. “If anything gets stolen there nowadays, it’s usually us stealing our guests away from their everyday lives,” says General Manager Robert Holan, and adds that The Thief Hotel has shaped him as a manager.
Luxurious Rooms and Suites
High-quality runs throughout the hotel; the comfort, the efficiency and the cleverly thought-out layout of the rooms. “We are sure you will enjoy the bedside light control, the balcony, the creative selection in our in-room shop, the full body mirrors by the door – or our little prank of having an extra pillow in the closet even though there are already nine pillows on the bed.” This is how the hotel describes the rooms on its website.
With 114 luxurious rooms and suites with cleverly thought-out layout, its size is just about right for those looking for an intimate and exclusive Oslo hotel. The Thief has filled this retreat with top international art pieces, carefully selected designer furniture, global Nordic cuisine, top quality spa and cosmopolitan bars.
A different branding
“The Thief is different – in every way,” says Holan. “We have a completely different branding compared to most other hotels. All our employees act as if they are on a theater stage. We exist for our audience – our guests. This applies to everyone, from room service and reception to restaurants, bars and the spa.”
Located in Oslo’s city center, more precisely along the Tjuvholmen allé, The Thief hotel is just a short walking distance from the Town Hall, the bustling Aker Brygge restaurant and business area and the New National Museum.
The location of The Thief makes it possible for guests to experience central Oslo by foot. The best way to explore Oslo is like a true local. After a long day of walking through Oslo’s exciting streets, end your day with an unforgettable dinner at the Thief Restaurant, one of the first-class dining venues in the capital.
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“We don’t call it fine dining,” smiles Robert Holan “but refined dining.” Indeed, we were welcomed by our knowledgeable waiter Kasia, who in consultation with the chef composed our menu with accompanying wines; a starter consisting of duck egg and caviar and main dish halibut with cognac sauce (Tesseron XO), Petrossian caviar, lemon gel, fresh dill and toasted brioche on the side. Heavenly! The restaurant is worth a visit – even if you don’t stay at the hotel.
A holistic experience
“Aiming to be the very best service hotel is demanding. Exceptional good training is our top priority. The key is confident employees,” says Holan. “Staying at our hotel should be a holistic experience. Everyone does their best as part of our team.” He adds that most of the hotel’s guests come to get away from it all, and for the relaxing atmosphere. He is also proud that they managed to keep the hotel running during the pandemic.
The two favorite spaces at this stylish hotel are the top floor terrace during the summer season – and the charming and intimate bar at night, when the fireplace is lit. At this magical venue, romance happens on the spot.
When we ask Holan if we can expect some surprises at The Thief Hotel in the near future, he looks at us with a suspicious look and says, “Yes, things are happening, but I can’t tell you anything yet. However, there will be a new bar concept where we will focus on the craft of bartending. And we continue our monthly program “Art and Soul” where artists perform together with visual art.
The secret to the hotel’s success, according to Holan, is the hotel’s organizational form. There are short decision-making processes and owners who are open to new thinking. Many of the guests are Norwegians who come to the capital and feel that The Thief is their second home. This, combined with foreign hotel guests, create a nice mix of national and international people who are spliced together in a unique atmosphere.
“I can’t rave enough about The Thief Hotel. It is the epitome of style, modernism and cool. From its location to its bar program and dining options, I could have stayed there forever!” says Carylon Scott-Hamilton, a cookbook author and travel and lifestyle expert.
“A mini holiday in your own city!” wrote Norwegian blogger Travel Hanne. “Superb hotel that delivers on all points. Lovely view from the Junior Suite and fantastic breakfast. As well as a lovely roof terrace that serves great drinks. Really recommend taking a trip to the spa too! We will be back!”
Today, the Tjuvholmen area has about 1,200 apartments and is part of the Fjord City urban renewal program.
The Thief Lifestyle Boutique Hotel in Oslo, written by Tor Kjolberg
All images © Daily Scandinavian / Tor Kjolberg