The Thief, a hotel in Oslo, Norway robs visitors of all that is mundane, familiar and stressful. Instead they find themselves immersed in cutting-edge architecture, art and world class cuisine.
The Thief, a member of Design Hotels, in Oslo, Norway, opened to business as recently as January 2013. There may be other new hotels as well in Norway but The Thief has clearly become the most famous and spoken about in this short spell of time.
The Thief’s immediate neighbour is the newly opened Renzo Piano-designed Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art which houses an enviable collection that has all the big names – Koons, Hirst, Barney and many more. But of course thanks to The Thief’s owner Petter A. Stordalen, who is a private sponsor of the museum, art is periodically borrowed from the museum and placed in the public area galleries of the hotel to add another quotient of spoiling the guest.
Some more culture comes the way of the guests thanks to Sune Nordgren, the former director of Norway’s National Museum of Art, who has handpicked original artwork for each of the 119 rooms. But that’s not all – interactive TVs in each room will offer ‘art on demand’ which allows you the privilege of shopping for art right in the comfort of your room.
Offering some more one-of-a-kind activities, the hotel also provides themed maps such as Oslo Escape Routes which can take you on curated tours of art, design and architecture in the city and the hotel’s boat is more than happy to take you around the fjords all summer long.
The attention to detail and comfort at this uniquely named hotel, with 119 spacious rooms, all with luxurious down-duvet bedding, rainfall showers, Antonio Cittero armchairs and decorated in an ultra-chic style, with LCD TVs, video on-demand, sound systems, Nespresso machines, high speed free WiFi and superbly loaded minibars, is way above any bench.
The Thief’s interior was designed by Anemone Wille Våge, one of Norway’s most prominent designers. Exquisitely furnished, art-filled spaces are carefully endowed with cutting-edge designer pieces. Thanks to floor-length windows the hotel is not only flooded with natural light but wonderful views of the surrounding area too are possible.
It was exactly due to the proximity of the Tjulholmen quay, that Wille Våge took inspiration from the maritime world. “The use of subdued hues, punctuated by strong, arresting colours such as orange and turquoise, is inspired by the classic Riva yacht. It is such a perfect example of timeless elegance,” she says.
The play with contrasts is the strongest in the rooms where dark wood-panelling is interspersed with back-lit panels, and rich brown carpets are paired with light parquet floors and sand-coloured curtains. Gold-toned pillows and coffee tables provide vivid accents throughout the otherwise muted colour scheme. The well-designed bathrooms have white Vittorio marble floors, Corian sinks and toiletries by the holistic Cotswolds, UK-based beauty brand Ila-Spa.
With iconic neighbours like the Astrup Fearnley Museum and other new architectural highlights on Tjuvholmen, the exterior of The Thief had to not only fit in with the neighbourhood, but it had to do so ever so sensitively. The award-winning architectural firm of Mellbye Architects AS who were at the helm of the architecture of the hotel not only fulfilled this aspect ‘to a tee’ but also based the design on a fundamental philosophy of sustainability and local qualities.
The hotel has clever, energy-efficient solutions that reduce energy and water consumption and also handle the waste. New technology allows this process to operate efficiently for the hotel and seamlessly for the guests.
At the hotel, guests can enjoy good food, with an array of seasonal seafood and produce from Norway and Scandinavia. With a vision to revive the wild and pure flavours experienced due to a life lived on a farm, head chef Kari Innerå regularly changes the menu to make the most of nature’s seasonal offerings.
The life-affirming comforts, style and the general uniqueness, whether it’s the name of the hotel or its amenities, keep getting the hotel a constant supply of patrons who want to willingly be ‘robbed’ not once or twice but over and over again.
Text By Mala Bajaj
Photographs By The Thief Hotel