Why THE THIEF Is Oslo’s Ultimate Lifestyle Boutique Hotel

Aptly named after its historic neighborhood, THE THIEF vows to “steal you away from daily life” with artistic inspiration and sleek exclusivity.

Why We Love This: THE THIEF features numerous original artworks from Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, while many pieces have inspired THIEF BAR’s innovative cocktail menu. The complimentary breakfast highlights local and organic produce that guests can freely bring back to guest rooms, where mini bars store quirky items including: earplugs, underwear, toiletries, even condoms.  


There was a time, when Tjuvholmen was essentially a death chamber for criminals. They were mainly thieves during the 18th century, executed on a former islet molded into a peninsula after postglacial rebound. Over the next century, Tjuvholmen, or Thief Island, slowly expanded into an industrial shipyard bridging Oslo with the rest of the world outside of Scandinavia. Once shipping companies began migrating to Gothenburg, Norway’s capital city commenced an extensive revitalization program on its sordid waterfront that would ultimately transform Tjuvholmen into a glistening, state-of-the-art neighborhood.

Today’s Tjuvholmen is polished with statuesque buildings designed by twenty innovators aimed to forge a concentrated exhibit of architectural trends, accompanied by artistic inspiration planted at every other footstep. Around the corner from Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art and a city beach is the heartbeat of a reinvented Tjuvholmen: THE THIEF. Aptly named after its historic neighborhood, THE THIEF vows to “steal you away from daily life.”


Upon entering the hotel, guests are greeted by Antony Gormley’s “Draw” (1995) – a cast-iron sculpture depicting an anonymous nude body groveling at the face of the Earth, seeming to pray, surrender or mourn. Gliding through THE THIEF’s glossy revolving doors, Richard Prince’s “Untitled (Cowboy)” (1999) majestically drapes over the dark lobby’s high ceiling wall as a splashy welcome. Best known for his Marlboro cowboy images, Prince’s Untitled piece is another bold portrayal of masculinity, freedom and individualism. Curated by Sune Nordgren, the renowned Swedish artist, designer and critic, these are simply two out of a gallery of contemporary art pieces that adorn the hotel’s interior space used as an epitome of a reimagined island of thieves, visually cultivated.


Designed by Mellbye Architects, 114 rooms and suites encompass floor-to-ceiling windows that unveil stunning views of Tjuvholmen canals and the wild Oslofjord flowing into the Baltic Sea. Orange, brown and gold furniture designed by Tom Dixon and Boca do Lobo delivers a sense of Scandinavian modernity combined with an understated coziness. Upgraded rooms include marble bathrooms, while upgraded suites consist of separate living rooms along with private roof terrace baring 360-degree views of the peninsula. Bespoke wool blankets and slippers might be classy touches to THE THIEF’s premium 24/7 room service, but the most surprisingly quirky yet thoughtful items reside inside the mini bar storing: earplugs, underwear, toiletries, even condoms.


Nordic wellness may be praised around the world, but the THIEF SPA is a global, all-encompassing experience. Certainly, one of the best in Oslo. In addition to traditional facials and massages given by qualified therapists, THIEF SPA highlights other cultural wellness options, including: Turkish hamam bath and Moroccan clay treatments. A fully equipped gym is located right below a tranquil swimming pool lit by candles, both exude heightened exclusivity and calming relaxation. Sitting on a lounge chair while indulging in complimentary fruits and freshly squeezed juices complete the ultimate spa experience while inhaling hot steam infused with mint and lavender.


Led by head chef David Taylor who has garnered experiences in several Michelin starred restaurants, THIEF FOODBAR presents a wide array of Nordic’s signature ingredients: fresh catches of fish, shellfish, local dry aged meats, and organic vegetables grown in Oslo. For a truly authentic taste, Gin Cured Reindeer with Lingon Berries and Chantarelle tops the menu. Every morning, complimentary breakfast buffet is a meticulously curated spread of continental produce.


As a tribute to contemporary art, THIEF BAR’s current cocktail menu recounts tasty interpretations of twelve artworks from the neighboring Astrup Fearnley Museet. From smokey, citrusy to bitter, the artistic cocktail series explore Richard Prince’s “The Horse Thief” or Cindy Sherman’s photographs in the form of delectably crafted mixology. A quick glance over the bar’s sophisticated local and international crowd, it’s evident that Tjuvholmen has come a long way from its wretched past. THE THIEF beats to the pulse of an ancient island, enlivened on an artistically charged path.

Wendy Hung


As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!

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