Be prepared for many a pun in this post – The Thief stole my heart. Having taken a look at other reviews of this Oslo hotel, the focus seems to have been on the design aspects of the hotel which, granted, are pretty extraordinary (the hotel even has its own curator), but won’t be central to my review. While the sculptures, installations, artwork and lighting are indeed worth note, on visiting I found the attention to comfort was the outstanding feature of the hotel.
Comfort is vital in Oslo. You see, during the May days I spent in the city, it was rather chilly. As this is so often the case in Oslo, the hotel is well prepared – when the breeze on the waterfront where the hotel is situated left us in need of warmth after a walk, we snuggled under the copious blankets dotted around the room and guzzled the variety of Pukka teas left out. In a bid to warm from the inside we also ate an enormous amount, and in this The Thief also assisted, leaving little pastries in our room at the end of the afternoon and chocolates at bedtime (and, by the by, breakfast at the Thief is absolutely not to be missed).
When we weren’t eating, we were raiding the ‘beauty mini bar’ allocated to each room. This stock of seriously good beauty loot didn’t stop at the usual shampoo and conditioner – there were face masks, body oils and even hosiery available. These, coupled with the Ila products (hearty applause to whoever made that decision) and Samsung tablet/huge TV/bookshelf, provided ample excuse to stay in and avoid the cold while admiring the view of the dock from the coffee table set up by the balcony. I almost did, but Oslo itself beckoned.
The hotel is situated a fifteen minute walk from the centre of the city on an island in an up-and coming area called Tjuvholmen. As well as being surrounded by galleries and restaurants (Olivia makes a spectacular pizza), there is a bathing beach and two-kilometre seafront that wraps around the nose of land.
The city centre is itself a hub of activity – just beware of the exorbitant cost of everything in Oslo – we were unexpectedly stung by a rather hefty bill for our modest dinner. Having said that, the cost of living in Norway seems to be reflected in the living standards – the infrastructure of the city was infallible, the streets pristine and dwellers given access to a huge range of cultural and temporal treats.
When time for us to leave came, we requested a late check out. The receptionist seemed baffled: ‘just check out whenever you’re ready.’ We enquired as to the price of a late check out and, once again, were met with confusion and told this wasn’t policy. It seems The Thief didn’t want us to leave. The feeling was entirely mutual – I’d most dearly like to steal away to visit once more.