THE THIEF steals you away from everyday life
Make your escape at an exceptional Oslo hotel
Mona Anita K. Olsen
Innovation Barn AS
When teaching university-level hotel management classes in Norway, I often start the semester by asking my students to define their most memorable experience at a hotel to date and then define what that hotel experience was selling. Many different perspectives come up during these discussions that make me reflect back to my own experiences as a student in Introduction to Hotel Operations taught by Reneta McCarthy in 2001 at the Hotel School (now known as the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel).
From location, location, location to a comfortable bed to safety to an art experience, the question opens the door to lectures on how to define a hotel property’s target market and a respective service experience for a customer.
While discussion and textbooks are a key foundation to classes, nothing compares with an experience to not only visit a hotel property for a tour but to also encourage networking in the hospitality industry by connecting with hotelier leaders.
Recently, I had the opportunity to tour THE THIEF, a lifestyle boutique hotel located in Tjuvholmen—“Thief Islet”—in Oslo, with one of my classes to explore the idea of how a hotel can steal one away from everyday life.
Known for its location, art, and staff, THE THIEF is part of the growing art movement in Oslo. The property’s location allows easy access to explore amazing architecture in the city. You can check out the building for the Norwegian Opera and Ballet, attend the National Art Exhibition in the fall, or visit art facilities such as the new National Museum, the Munch Museum, or the Astrup Fearnley Museum.
The hotel has 102 pieces of art on its property (of which all are owned, except for five pieces). Directly upon entering, on the left, the famous Richard Price piece “Untitled (cowboy)” from 1999 is on display.
While close to the busy streets of Oslo, the central location of the hotel on the waterfront allows for rooftop and city spa feels yet easy access to local transportation and on-site parking with electric car charging areas.
With a range of room styles offered, from a standard room to a one-bedroom suite to a junior suite, each room at THE THIEF has a private balcony, so you can enjoy the refreshing views of Oslo.
On the hotel website, several packages are offered that combine overnight experiences with other amenities at THE THIEF. For example, there are packages that cater to those overnight guests who want a sea plunge experience in the Oslo Fjord to those who are interested in exploring culinary delights on property. There is also a package that caters to those with a VID—Very Important Dog.
THE THIEF Spa offers massage and facial treatments to both overnight and external guests. THE THIEF also has culinary options that cater to those passing through for a meal or drink. THE THIEF Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. THE THIEF Bar is directly to the right of the main lobby entrance and features a very cozy atmosphere with sleek seating.
Weekly themed events take place for culinary experiences to share with friends, family, or business associates. The summer Lobster Tuesday program features lobsters that are caught locally. Rooftop outdoor events take place from May to September, featuring a variety of events from music to culture, all with a stunning view and lighting.
If engaging with the local restaurant scene is a goal, a stay at THE THIEF provides you with proximity to a range of wonderful restaurants within a five-minute walk from the property.
All in all, THE THIEF aims to create an environment that “steals you away from everyday life.” For the past 10 years, THE THIEF has been delivering five-star service in an informal and friendly way. With a Scandinavian approach to hospitality in an international atmosphere, experienced international guests feel welcomed along with local travelers. The people on property are truly the foundation for the service delivery. Culture is built on a daily basis by the team and the joy and passion for service shines in the interactions throughout the property.
THE THIEF Executive Officer Robert Holan, who is known for his ability to lead with passion and build strong culture on hotel properties, is known for walking the property daily. He is also known to be in the lobby often—not only meeting guests but also meeting employees to gain different perspectives to continue to provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Stop by and say hello to Robert and his team.
Learn more at thethief.com.
All photos courtesy of THE THIEF
This article originally appeared in the February 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.