Where Stockholm has long held reign on all-things fashion and Copenhagen a forerunner in the design stakes, Oslo has more often than not been the aesthetic odd-one-out in Scandinavia for far too long. Not anymore. Now, Oslo is the city that's starting to offer everything and undoubtedly climbing its way to the top of our (and pretty much anyone and everyone you speak to's) list, part due to a very sexy, very stylish and very sensational hotel.
Welcome to THE THIEF - an uber-cool design hotel that redefines luxury and exactly what a hotel should be; somewhere to steal you away from everyday life. Though it may sound more like the title of Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø's next blockbuster thriller, it's actually the name of a new waterfront member of the Design Hotels group in Oslo's exceedingly cool Tjuvholmen or 'Thief Island', a destination once known more as a place of disrepute. Between architecture, art and the waterfront, you’ll find the perfect balance of man-made and natural splendor.
THE THIEF is spectacularly located next to the iconic Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, 'the new power center for contemporary art' designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano. THE THIEF's interior designer Anemone Wille Våge, along with curator Sune Nordgren, have created an original environment that echoes the work of architects Melbye Architekter AS, who were responsible for designing the distinctive building constructed with glass, granite and gold. Within the hotel, most of the 118 bespoke rooms offer insane waterfront views that overlook the canals of Tjuvholmen and the Oslofjord, to give not just the utmost in luxury but also an uparalleled travel experience.
Stepping away from a typical Scandinavian style synonymous with stark minimalism and white-washed floorboards that has earned this part of the world it's hip status amongst interior design junkies in recent years, the hotel's interior is a quirky mix of luxe furnishings and installations with pieces a sticky-fingered cat-burglar-come-art-collector wouldn't be able to resist. In case of THE THIEF, definitely not what a Tom Dixon fanatic could refuse. Photographs of Sonja, Queen of Norway, hang alongside works by acclaimed artists Sir Peter Blake and Richard Prince while guests escalating the floors by elevators will be greeted with specially commissioned video art by Julian Opie. In the rooms, spot the work of local retailer Røros Tweed who provide the rooms' textured throws in muted colours, whilst Oslo-based brand Maggie Wonka is responsible for the staff uniforms.
Of course, the fun doesn't stop there. For guests that seek the advice of reception for directions or tips on the area will be presented with carefully curated maps listing the best examples of architecture, art and design, as selected by Oslo's experts. Loyalty to the locality is also in practice in THE THIEF's kitchens. Fru K, the hotel's restaurant, is headed up by Johan Laursen, who makes it her priority to work with sustainable ingredients where possible, sourced from local fishermen and farmers.
For a getaway that will quite literally steal your breath away, THE THIEF hotel has got to be it.
THE THIEF Hotel, Landgangen 1, 0252 Oslo, Norway; nordicchoicehotels.no/nordic-resort/the-thief