Finishing my two week trip to Norway with two nights at The Thief Oslo by design placed this loyalty traveler vagabond in Oslo’s top luxury hotel.
Sitting at breakfast the first morning after a night at The Thief Hotel, I struggled to name the faces of the Londoners seated at a nearby table engaged in a long conversation with a staff member of The Thief. I could not name them despite a recognizable familiarity. I am not good at faces. Film types look so similar. Skinny. They commented that they were pleased with the hotel restaurant dinner the night before at Fru K. That is as close as I can offer to a recommendation for The Thief fine dining restaurant.
My dining at The Thief was limited to the complimentary breakfast buffet each morning. I stole away from The Thief after two nights with 40,000 fewer points in my Choice Privileges account, and a $0 check-out bill after two nights at this Ascend Collection brand hotel and #1 ranked hotel for Oslo on TripAdvisor.
Aker Brygge is the harbor quay across from Oslo Fortress. Follow it all the way to the end and you will find The Thief to the right after the last small footbridge.
Overhearing the conversation in English between the Londoners and the Norwegian employee gave me quite a bit more information about dining at The Thief than I likely would have gained eating a budget-busting meal for dinner. My focus would have been the price of all the items. I eat, but I am not a foodie for rating meals. I like numbers. The cost of things stacks orderly in my memory far easier than flavors and subjective tastes.
The Thief strives to source its food locally in Norway. Many of the items at breakfast were organic with options for gluten free and lactose free and all kinds of other healthy choices.
I strived to keep Norway, one of the top three countries in the world for cost of living expenses, from busting my travel budget for the remainder of 2014. Key to that effort was staying 13 nights on hotel rewards at Nordic Choice Hotels using Choice Privileges points. I stayed seven nights at Clarion Collection hotels where breakfast, afternoon pancakes and an evening dinner buffet were included.
The other six nights, including two nights at The Thief Oslo were hotels where only breakfast was complimentary.
These photos were the primary offerings for breakfast with some salads, fruits and breads too.
A grocery market about 200 meters away filled my other meals while at The Thief.
Environmental Friendliness in Art and Design
There is an environmental friendliness to The Thief hotel opened in January 2013. The first sign of the design that captivated me were lights in the hallway brightening as I exited the elevator and walked to my sixth floor room.
Since the stairs were adjacent to my room, I used the stairwell more than the elevators during my stay. After a week in Bergen hiking Floyen and Ulriken, walking five flights of stairs was easy. Lights brightened as I walked and admired stairwell art on each floor.
The Thief was a $110 million hotel built by Norwegian billionaire Petter Stordalen, chairman and owner of Nordic Choice Hotels. His profile description: “Stordalen is equally prominent as an activist, environmentalist and philanthropist, concerned with sustainable business, climate change and renewable energy.”
The Thief Oslo Lounge Spaces
The lobby lounge spaces of The Thief sometimes offered a quiet relaxing room in a library type environment or at times a social hub of entertainment, all depending on the moment you were there. I saw the social buzz, however, my photos were taken in the quiet time when the room was a place to chill with a fine book.
Sometimes this same space offers live music.
The Thief is a member of Design Hotels, some of the more original hotels existing in the world today.
Drama in Light and Shade
At THE THIEF the interior features a lively interplay between light and shade.
“With the fjord and sky outside large glass surfaces I have chosen to create an intimate and sensual environment with deep sofas, warm colours and golden tones. Guests should have a feeling of well-being and comfort and it should be pleasant to be in the space, both in summer and winter.” – Wille Våge
In the evening the space was kind of dark, but in a good way. My camera flash lightened up the room quite a bit. The flash brings out features of the room design visible with your eyes when standing there in the room’s natural lighting, yet harder to see in a photo without a flash.
The second floor with bar and restaurant were the real focal points of activity during my stay at The Thief.
Thief FoodBar and Fru K Restaurant
Given breakfast is complimentary, you will spend some time in the FoodBar restaurant area.
Tjuvholmen – Thief Island
The Thief is located on the small island neighborhood of Tjuvholmen, “Thief Island”, where the shady waterfront of Oslo housed vagabonds in the 18th century. This area is now a trendy upscale urban renewal project of residences, art museums and urban restaurants.
This loyalty traveler was a modern-day vagabond of Tjuvholmen hanging out for two days around Aker Brygge and the luxury hotel The Thief on Choice Privileges reward nights.
Reaching The Thief still involves crossing a small bridge to the island.
Boats are docked in the canal beside the hotel.
There are plenty of water views when walking around the hotel area. Blue fountain is one block away from The Thief.
The Thief is one of those hotels where I like to sit my ass down in a variety of chairs and take in the design layout and art.
There is The Thief Roof, a rooftop space I never explored. I don’t know if the rooftop was still open for summer hours during my stay.
The Thief is a hotel I enjoyed for its style and location as a tourist in Oslo. The balcony is small, yet the feel is grand to stand out in the fresh air with Oslojford sea air breezes.
The balcony is a great summer sensation since I found it can get hot in Oslo hotel rooms, even if there is a room window. The noise in many city areas of Oslo from traffic and screamers can be disturbing. The Thief is in a quiet location, unless, kids start playing in the small urban playground nestled between tower blocks outside the hotel too early in the morning for your sleep-in with the patio door open.
P.S. Happy Wife makes Happy Life
Since The Thief publicized my piece yesterday on my hotel stay in Room 603 where I mentioned I had a dream of leaving my wife for a Norwegian Kirsten Dunst lookalike, I’ll follow up with real life events. K and I have a happy life. Kelley, not Kirsten.
Much of my last day in Oslo while staying at The Thief was spent walking around town on a jewelry shopping mission. I hate to shop. Kelley was not too happy about me taking off for Norway to hang out in nice hotels and hike around the countryside on my own for two weeks. Her eight weeks of summer vacation were spent having foot surgery and recovery, then designing a first grade classroom before going back to work for the school year.
I spent 688 NOK ($115 USD) on my travel expenses using credit cards in Norway for train tickets and one Norwegian Air ticket from Sandefjord TORP airport to Bergen. I started out with 2,200 NOK ($367) on day one at the OSL airport. On my last day in Oslo I went jewelry shopping with 1,200 NOK ($200 USD) still in my pocket.
I believe in signs.
Oh, I’m sailin’ away my own true love
I’m sailin’ away in the morning
Is there something I can send you from across the sea
From the place that I’ll be landing?
No, there’s nothin’ you can send me, my own true love
There’s nothin’ I wish to be ownin’
Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled
From across that lonesome ocean
Bob Dylan’s ‘Boots of Spanish Leather’ was playing over an outdoor loudspeaker on a pedestrian street when I passed by The Body Shop in downtown Oslo. I entered the next jewelry store I came across on the street.
This Saga pendant is a replica of a piece dated to 200 to 300AD found in a gravesite near Sandefjord-TORP Airport 75 miles south of Oslo. The Norwegian woman in the jewelry store commented, “Happy wife makes happy life”, after I told her my deal with Kelley was I would bring her a piece of jewelry from Norway. This piece was 1,020 NOK, about $170 USD.
Kelley is happy, especially since I had warned her prices in Norway might keep me from buying jewelry. A few missed meals in Norway, several lost pounds from extensive hiking and a happy wife wearing Norwegian jewelry after my two week trip. All good in our real life California Dreamin’.
Nordic Choice Hotels played a big role in the success of my trip. The only reason we had these two weeks of interactions between Loyalty Traveler and Nordic Choice Hotels across Norway were a bunch of Choice Privileges points I redeemed for an incredible vacation value.
Norway rocked me in a folksy Dylan kind of way.