Oslo’s First Waterfront Hotel: The Thief

This jail turned hotel has some major style.

Photography Knut Ramstad.

Norway’s capital, Oslo, has yet to have a waterfront hotel until now. What’s even more interesting is that this luxe waterfront property has a storied past — it was formally an 18th century prisoner colony. Jails turned hotels aren’t new (there’s The Liberty Hotel in Boston and the Malmaison in Oxford), and aside from the name, you’d never know The Thief was a destination for criminals.

Opening its doors January 9, 2013, 119-room hotel is located in Oslo’s trendy neighbourhood of Tjuvholmen in the city’s downtown. The Tjuvholmen area is on a peninsula, and over the past few years has been revitalized with contemporary architecture, art galleries, boutiques and trendy restaurants, making The Thief, a perfect addition.

A member of the Design Hotels, The Thief has some major style. “Timeless elegance with clear references to contemporary art,” is how they describe their style. A select group of International and Norwegian designers chose the furniture and decor, while their in-house art curator Sune Nordgren, hand-picked every piece from the suites to the lobby.

Photography ZYNKA.

It’s islet location means that almost all of the rooms offer brilliant views, which is a huge bonus. Plus all of the rooms include private balconies, free Wi-Fi, plasma TV’s, designer slippers and robes, and Nespresso machines. Bored? You can even request a Playstation or Nintendo Wii. For those will allergies you’ll appreciate their on-request allergy-friendly bedding and humidifier.

Our other favourite service available at The Thief? V.I.D, which translates to Very Important Dog. Upon arrival your furry friend will receive a tailor-made hamper, which includes a toy, treat and clean-up bags. They also offer unique pet services including maps for walking routes in nearby parks, “Do Not Disturb/Dog Sleeping” card, dog menu and turn-down treat. Plus they offer dog-walking and sitting, as well as other special pet services.

FruK Restaurant. Photography ZYNKA.

For eat and drink, you will definitely want to explore the neighbourhood, but their in-house options are quite appealing too. There’s the lobby bar, with a cozy fireside lounge and when the weather’s good in the summer, the rooftop bar is open for business. You’ll also find a brasserie-style restaurant, FruK, which serves up locally grown and caught Norwegian fare. There’s not spa as of yet, but it’s in the works for 2014, so in the meantime you can opt for an in-room massage.

Rates start at at KR1890 ($338) per night.

Where to Find:
The Thief
Landgangen 1, N-0252 Oslo, Norway
+47 24 00 40 00