Ascend Collection Choice Hotels Choice Privileges Hotel Reviews Hotels Nordic Choice Hotels Norway Oslo Oslo OSL

Rich pretenders at The Thief Oslo, Ascend Hotel Collection

While chatting with a couple of Norwegian football fans during a Liverpool match at The Highbury Pub in the Frogner district of Oslo, we were asked which hotel we were staying at. When I replied, “The Thief”, one of the guys rubbed his fingers in a motion signifying money, and said, “Oh, you must be rich Americans.”

I chuckled at their association of a stay at The Thief with a rich travel budget given that the 20,000 Choice Privileges points per night rate I paid ($104 to buy 20K points) was only two beers more money than the two Norwegians spent drinking 95 NOK ($8.90 USD) pints of beer during the 2-hour football match.

Kelley did not tell the Norwegians that I rolled both pieces of our luggage 20 minutes from the Oslo Theatre train station through the crowded Aker Brygge Marina waterfront walkway on a sunny and warm late-April Friday afternoon to avoid a $12 Uber ride to the hotel.

The Thief Oslo


Aker Brygge Marina waterfront walkway – February 2023.


The Thief was the flagship property of Petter Stordalen’s Nordic Choice Hotels chain when it opened in January 2013. Nordic Choice Hotels name changed to Strawberry Hotels in 2023. Hotel rates at The Thief typically exceed $350 per night. Rates were actually higher ten years ago when the U.S. Dollar to Norwegian Krone exchange rate (< 6 NOK to 1 USD) was about half of what it is now (>10 NOK to 1 USD). The good news is the Choice Privileges points rate for a night at The Thief Oslo has remained unchanged over the past decade at 20,000 points per night.

The Thief is located at the end of Aker Brygge Marina in an area know as Tjuvholmen.


The Thief Lobby

Entrance lobby at The Thief Oslo.


The Thief open space lobby with Thief Restaurant above on Floor 1.


The Thief lobby elevators and bar.


Lobby seating at The Thief.


Lobby bar in The Thief.


The Thief Oslo lobby bar.


There is also a rooftop bar and restaurant at The Thief. I have not yet managed to make it to the rooftop when the bar is open.

Superior Double Guest Room

The Thief Oslo bedroom.


The Thief balcony view of Holland America Zuiderdam cruise ship docked in Oslo in April 2023.


Wall mirror in entry hallway.

Toilet stall door (left) and shower door (right).


One complaint about the room is the motion-sensor bathroom lights turned on when Kelley rolled over in bed. She realized she needed to keep the bathroom door closed at night to prevent the lights from automatically turning on.  

Room Details

The Thief minibar.

The Thief drawer items for purchase.


Preferred Hotels and Resorts Travel magazine.


Snacks for purchase, ice bucket and hard-to-find hair dryer.


Caffitaly coffee brewer.


Tea and chocolate turn down service amenity.


The Thief laundry bag and guest slippers with a note on the bag ‘Take me home. I’m all yours.


The Thief extra blanket.


The Thief closet hangars.


Ice Machine by elevator

Ice machine by elevator is a rare amenity for European hotels.


Breakfast at The Thief

Dining room lobby space outside the elevators.


Breakfast room at The Thief.


Breakfast room at the Thief.


One of the amusing aspects of the breakfast room is a large hanging sheet of metal with printed words. I snapped a photo in February 2023 and when looking at the photo to read the words I realized it was a pornographic story. Of course, when it is a wordscape created by Fiona Banner and is hanging on the wall of The Thief, then it is ‘art’. 

Fiona Banner wordscape.


Breakfast is the highlight of our stays at The Thief. There is a wide variety of locally sourced and organic food.

The Thief Spa and Gym

Kelley had a spa treatment at The Thief Spa. located in a separate building. There is an elevator from guest room floors to a tunnel leading to the spa and gym. She had a late appointment just before closing and she did not have time to use the pool. Her one-hour body massage cost about $140.

The Thief has been the primary hotel I stay at when in Oslo. Booking an Uber to Oslo Nationaltheatret Train Station (about $10 to $12) and riding the slow train ($13 per person for 28 minutes ride) to Oslo Airport takes about 45 minutes altogether. In February 2023 we had an early 6:45am flight to Zurich and stayed at Clarion Oslo Airport for 16,000 points. The round trip bus fare to the airport hotel cost $16 each. That one-night hotel stay in an isolated setting convinced me to just stay in Oslo city from now on when we transit through Oslo Airport on our cheap transatlantic flights between San Francisco and Oslo, Norway.


  • C J June 22, 2023

    Last September I stayed at the Clarion Hub it’s right across the street from Oslo main train station ..Amazing stay and breakfast was one of the best I’ve had in Norway or Sweden .
    Funny story I’m at Chicago seminars and Greg from FF is talking about his trip to Bergen and it turns out we were both in Bergen same time .Bergen has some nice choice hotels many in the center of town .We stayed at the clarion which was nice

  • vishal June 22, 2023

    It looks like a very beautiful hotel to visit. It is a good information from your side. Thanks

  • Jadec June 22, 2023

    Do guests at the Thief still get free entry to the art museum nearby? That was a nice perk when I was there.

  • Ric Garrido June 22, 2023

    @Jadec – Guests at The Thief have complimentary admission to Astrup Fearnley Museum around the corner from the hotel by showing their key card. Kelley is not into modern art and we still laugh about some of the pieces exhibited there like the drain in the wall and the crushed lockers.

    @C J – I stayed 5 nights at Clarion Collection Havnekontoret in Bergen on my first trip there in 2014. The other times in Bergen I stayed at Hotel No13, Ascend Collection when the hotel offered breakfast and dinner at the restaurant in Hotel Oleana, Ascend Collection around the corner.

  • bobby June 23, 2023

    When you take photos of a bathroom you may wish to do so PRIOR to setting up in and using the bathroom……

  • bc July 3, 2023

    Great review, Ric! I’m assuming breakfast was included in the points rate?

  • Ric Garrido July 5, 2023

    Breakfast was included in reward rate at The Thief. I think breakfast is included at all Nordic Choice Hotels.

    There was also a paper menu at The Thief for omelets with prices around 175 NOK (about $17 USD). There is always so much food in the breakfast buffet that I have never asked about the menu items.

    Clarion Collection Hotels in Denmark, Norway and Sweden also include a light dinner meal, which is basically a full dinner meal at every Clarion Collection hotel I have stayed over the past 10 years.

    Many of the formerly Clarion Collection Hotels were rebranded as Ascend Collection in recent years and eliminated the complimentary evening meal service.

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