Sleeping with the balcony door open all night without being disturbed by sounds made The Thief Oslo one of the most relaxing hotel stays of my 13 nights in Norway hotels. Hotel Review The Thief Oslo Room 603 is part one of a two part review. Part one covers the room and part two the hotel’s public spaces and dining.
In general, luxury hotels kind of freak me out. I’d look more appropriate arriving at a hostel than a 5-star hotel in my typical travel gear of shorts, t-shirt, tennis shoes and backpack pulling two small rolling suitcases. The six thin men in tailored suits conversing outside The Thief, and blocking the entrance, parted to let me roll into the hotel.
The Statue of Liberty and an American cowboy in art greeted me in the lobby just before the blonde Norwegian receptionist said “Hei, Hei”, Norwegian for hello. Hei is pronounced the same as English, “Hi”, and repeated twice quickly as an informal greeting. I had grown used to being greeted by Norwegians with “hei, hei”.
Check-in was simple and I had a key card for room 603. The room key is also necessary for activating the two elevators next to the reception desk.
In the elevator there was an unusual piece of art imagery.
Her eyes blinked. The Thief features about $5 million in fine art including the Julian Opie video installation in the elevators.
The Thief has 119 guest rooms and suites on floors 3 to 8.
My arrival after sunset proved a problem upon entering the hotel room. I panned my hand along the wall in the darkness seeking a light button. Eventually I located one and pressed the button. Nothing happened.
Having been in Norwegian hotels for 11 nights already, I knew that most hotels require the room key card inserted into a slot to activate room lights. I felt around in the dark for a key card slot; to no avail. I stepped into the dark room with my suitcase propping open the door for some hall light. I made my way to the bed and ran my fingers across the lamp on the nightstand fumbling for a switch. I found none. I tried the telescopic light mounted to the bed headboard. Flipping the switch did not light the room.
Will someone show me the Light?
There had been a young blonde housekeeper in the hallway who greeted me with “hei, hei” when I stepped off the elevator. I walked down the curved hallway to find two housekeeping women at the far end of the hall. When I explained I needed someone to show me how to turn on a room light, they both laughed and one escorted me back to the room.
Turns out I had been touching the light switch on the wall near the bathroom, yet I had not been touching it correctly to turn on the lights. Simply pressing the button has no effect. The room lights are controlled by how long you hold the button. One button brightens and another button dims. As you hold the button, the room lights get brighter and holding another button dims the lights.
There was one other issue with the lights in the room. The bathroom had no light switch. The lights came on automatically upon entering. That was kind of cool, except for the fact that they did not go off automatically upon exiting the bathroom. Back in bed after a middle of the night toilet break, I had to get back out of bed and close the bathroom door. If I waited the ten or so minutes before the light automatically turns off again, I would likely not fall asleep. I ran into this issue at the last two hotels I stayed with automatic bathroom lights. The solution for the other hotel was pull the key card out of the wall slot. There was no key card wall slot at The Thief.
Can I get a pillow I like? Nine pillows on the bed and none were soft and malleable for my sleeping comfort. My main complaint about The Thief is I thought the pillows were too hard and the least comfortable of my six hotel stays in Norway. I expected a luxury hotel would have been the most likely to have feather pillows.
The bed itself was dreamy. Too dreamy in fact. I woke up wide awake at 1:30am my second night at The Thief after a vivid dream I was leaving my wife for a Norwegian Kirsten Dunst look-alike. It was definitely time to get back home to my family in Monterey.
Apparently there is on demand art available through the interactive TV. Honestly, the only time I remember the TV being on is when I returned the second night to find Tini singing ‘Solitary Me’. I let the song play on a loop for two hours which might be why I was dreaming about Norwegian women a couple hours later.
Just like you, i live in my own world. And i try to furnish Tini-world with things that make sense. If you are anything like me, you have songs that fill the deepest holes in your life. Songs that make you want to live stronger and love better.
I don’t want to be saved. I just want to be loved, and to love – always. One fine day i will record a song that you are going to remember me by.
Just like i will never forget you…
Tini’s first album comes out October 3, 2014.
One of the touches of a luxury hotel like The Thief is my room was cleaned for turndown service despite the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door.
There were two cups of tea and hot water in a thermos waiting for me when I returned to the room in the evening.
All the clothes I had strewn across the bed were folded neatly. This cloth mat lay on the rug beside the bed.
The floor of the shower is a different design feature of The Thief. I did not take a picture of the long line drain which seemed unique for showers I’ve seen.
One area where The Thief stands apart from most hotels were its large, luxurious bath towels to wrap around your body. Is that a feather pillow in the closet?
Most of the hotels I stayed did not have bathroom amenities. There were plenty in The Thief featuring Carita, a luxury beauty product line.
After seeing the prices on their products in the Carita link above, I should have cleaned these out for gifts.
Room 603 is the entry level standard room category. There were two chairs in the room on a hardwood floor.
The room came with an espresso machine, mini-bar and snacks. There were several art books on a shelf.
At 4:30am I was making espresso, wide awake after my encounter with the Norwegian Kirsten Dunst turned out to only be a dream. The espresso machine was already filled with water and it had buttons for three cup sizes. The cups on the left did not fit in the espresso stand space. I placed the smaller cup provided in the room on the stand, loaded the machine with a packet and hit the large button. The small cup filled and spilled over.
When I made a tweet about the incident, The Thief responded within five minutes to my tweet. At 4:30am Oslo time. Wow.
Did I set off the hotel twitter alarm with my espresso blunder?
Room 603 at The Thief is a standard, basic room for the hotel. Even though a relatively small space, this room met my expectations. The balcony was heavenly for allowing the cool sea air to flow into the room at night on a day when it had been in the 70s (22C.) in Oslo.
The Thief has interesting public spaces and a spa. I did not visit the spa.
Part Two of The Thief Hotel Review shares the dining experience, more art and the hotel bar lounge and lobby areas.
Loyalty Traveler –
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
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