The Scottish Mail on Sunday
Making an art of Nordic cool
CONTINUING our series on the world’s hottest hotels and the celebrities who frequent them, SARAH TURNER visits The Thief in Oslo.
STAR QUALITY: Adele, Bill Gates, Jay Z, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Helena Christensen.
VITAL STATISTICS: Opened in 2013, this temple to modernity is owned by billionaire Petter Stordalen and houses some of his art collection, including an Andy Warhol canvas in the restaurant.
There’s more art in the bar, but in summer months nature takes centre stage. Head up to the rooftop bar for panoramic views of Oslo and the surrounding mountains.
The 118 rooms are full of designer touches, including Geneva sound systems, and TVs and air-conditioning controlled by tablet. In the depths of the building is a spa.
Ultimately, this hotel is seemingly made for musicians on tour. Supergroup Apparatjik, whose members include Guy Berryman of Coldplay and Magne Furuholmen of Norwegian pop band A-ha, provided the music for the lobby and one of the suites.
Stay here, and if you’re feeling a bit lonely you can have an image of one of the band’s members projected on the space next to you on the bed (although during Justin Bieber’s stay in October 2015, he had actress and pop starlet Selena Gomez for company). Anglophiles can opt for the Brit Suite, designed by Terence Conran. Most serene – and the biggest – is the Oslo Suite, designed by artist Sir Peter Blake. It comes with its own roof terrace and outdoor shower.
LOCATION REPORT: On a manmade island with its own jetty, meaning that Rihanna could be whisked away from here by speedboat to visit the fjords.
The Thief is around the corner from the Astrup Fearnley museum, stuffed with even more contemporary art – your hotel key acts as an entry ticket.
KEY ATTRACTION: Nordic cool encapsulated in ultra-modern form, containing all the key Scandinavian concepts of the 21st Century – design, locally sourced cuisine and environmental sensitivity in a curvaceous building that juts out on to the water.
IN THE NEWS: Singer Adele was The Thief’s most recent celebrity guest in May last year, and she kept things down to earth. ‘Normally when I do a show I just stay in my hotel but I went fishing this morning,’ she told the audience at her concert. ‘I went on a boat and we caught a salmon trout. Me and my little kid, we cooked it for dinner. It was great.’
GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE REST OF US? Norway is a country that caters best for those on multialbum deals. A meal at Fru K costs about £100 a head, meaning that the £280-a-night rooms including breakfast at The Thief (through mrandmrssmith.com) are a bit of a bargain.
GETTING THERE: British Airways (ba.com) flies to Oslo from Heathrow from £84 return. Norwegian (norwegian.com) flies from Gatwick, Manchester and Edinburgh, with one-way fares starting at £35.30.