The Thief Spa – The Spa

THIEF SPA fasade low res

Photo: Studio Dreyer Hensley

I am back at The Thief, Oslo’s most wonderful hotel, and this time to review their new 800 square meters Spa. Thank you, Siri for inviting me back and granting my wish to return when the Spa was finished, see the post from my stay here: Inside-The-Thief. I did not need to turn up in training gear with a swimsuit beneath – thankfully – but had a full tour guided by Anette Ose, the Spa Manager, and an introduction to the latest and most indulgent treatments you could ever have imagined possible. Entering the Spa felt like entering a space age, previously unknown to man. It was me, that walked around with my jaw constantly dropping so frequently that I had to remind myself to close it. For each room and treatment a small group of us – journalists and me – saw and heard about, I added it to my birthday wish list. Actually the whole Spa menu is now on my list, and all you have to do is ask for a page of it. The posh Gym; the pool with light therapy and counter current system; Oslo’s first hamam – with handsome Daniel Mental scrubbing you with soap bobles no less; Sensor Sky Showers: performance ones with lights and scents; real diamond powder fascial massage lying on a light-therapy water bed; the sauna and the dry ice container the size of a fire place – another item I did not know existed I just felt an urge to have my own. No wonder my head was spinning, really! I could feel my list of addictions grew quite a bit longer. Check out the menu here: Thief Spa.


Photo: Studio Dreyer Hensley

First, the posh gym, with the latest series of machines from Technogym – my kind of gadgets; when talking about speed, I tend to talk about my own running speed while my husband talks about driving speed. Second, a treatment room with a comfortable chair with inbuilt basins for pedicures, again with light therapy and jacuzzi. Third, the make-up room with Philip Starck chairs, fit for a movie star. Fourth, the pool, again with light therapy and a counter current system to make you swim even harder. The Norwegian materials chosen by the Danish architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen, in the interior with a lot of slate and light, give the Spa a masculine feel but it is softened by amazing art chosen by The Thief’s own curator, Sune Nordgren, works by the Norwegian artists: Tom Sandberg and Marit Følstad.

Oslo hamam

Photo: Studio Dreyer Hensley

Fifth, the hamam, the Turkish bath where you lie on a large marble bed surrounded by soap bubbles and receive a cleansing body scrub. It is large enough to take two people at the time and as you might have guessed, you do need to book an appointment soon since numerous hen parties have already been in touch. A magnificent idea though, I think!

Photo: Studio Dreyer Hensley

Photo: Studio Dreyer Hensley

Sixth, the Sensor Sky Showers introduced by Dornbracht’s own representative, to a price of a flashy car if you where considering acquiring your own, with a selection of programs which includes lights and scents. It does take 40 hours just to install but you do not need a remote control nor a user manual to use it, but these showers will guaranteed make you take even longer showers. For technical details, check:

Maletti behandling

Photo: Studio Dreyer Hensley

Seventh, the divine massage bench, filled with both heated water and light therapy for the ulterior comfort experience. The jacuzzi with a view towards the Oslo fjord, make the massage treatment possible for two people at the same time. Above the massage bench, in the ceiling, is a large light box with matching colors. One journalist volunteered and miraculously guessed with her eyes closed the color she was lying on. I would not mind throughly testing if I could feel, through vibrations, the right color.

We also checked out the generously sized Steam Bath, Sauna and another treatment room where the French beauty product supplier Carita offer an anti-age lift firming treatment using electricity to reduce facial lines. It was not as shocking as it sounds, but the electricity merely created a slight stinging sensation on the skin.

The Spa is open not only to hotel guests – who can enter using a lift from the hotel to the lower level of the Spa –  but to everyone else as well. All you need to do is book in advance, and plan your birthday wish list or who you want to bring.

Even the goodie bag was out of this world, one from each main beauty care product suppliers: Carita, Keune, and Babor. Each one containing full size and generous sample products. The testing commenced as soon as I got home…


Letters on Food Exhibition at The Thief

On Tuesday The Thief, a unique hotel in Oslo which promotes Norwegian art & design, and DogA/The Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture presented a new selection of young industrial designers in a pop-up exhibition called “Letters on Food” focusing on serving objects. Where better to present it, than at the restaurant, Fru K/Mrs K, so that the products could be shown in use, and we were able to taste the delicious samples? The initiative behind the exhibition is the List of The Thief which lifts industrial designers up from their narrow niches, and into people’s homes in Norway and Internationally. The main focus was on designers Runa Klock and Marte Frøystad who have created a series of innovative serving objects, produced by Figgjo. They consist of three different shell shaped dishes, each made to improve our taste buds by hitting different places of the tongue. Especially, the crispy bacon in a pea sauce garnished with herbs, was divine with its contrasting tastes and hit the right spot. According to the curator Benedicte Sunde the objects where chosen as examples on how to raise the esthetic experience, and at the same time safeguard the product’s functionality. The two are among the designers to be exhibited as part of 100% Norway at  London Design Festival. The pop-up exhitibion is open to the public until 26th August, and why not try their the breakfast on offer at the same time since it was named the jet-setter and given six out of six points by the largest paper in Norway, see osloby. I have tested it too, see inside-the-thief and totally agree!


Inside The Thief

We have a surprise for you, Siri of the Thief wrote as a comment on my blogpost – the-thief-in-oslo – on the fabulous hotel and indeed, it was! I went along, with husband in tow, to receive what I believed to be a goodie bag with their carefully selected toiletries. You can imagine my surprise, when I was invited to stay for a night and asked to select a suitable date. Well, how about our 10th wedding anniversary? So here I am, inside The Thief – thethief – and this is my report!

One of the hotel’s most popular art pieces is the world’s first knitting clock by Siren Elise Wilhelmsen. The Grandfather Clock usually stands in the Library and knits a mesh in half an hour, creating a long scarf, before the ball of wool is changed after several months. The clock is not interactive in any way, but a lot of guests seem to think so, hence it is away for repairs at the moment. How could I have missed it, I thought to myself after reading about it on The Thief’s website? The answer is I did not, and need to come back to see it. Read more about it and the artist at: thethief.

The rooms have a luxurious feeling, with oak floors, leather covered wardrobes that light up when you open them, a drawer stuffed with in-room shopping, Norwegian wool rugs, art books on artists represented at the hotel, large television with installation art, a balcony with views of the fjord and a bathroom to die for. Its rainforest shower is the closest I have ever come to a rainforest (read: yes, I want one at home). For the computer addict is has a desk with a B&B leather office chair as well as free wireless internet access, and for the knitting addict equally fundamental; two comfortable armchairs designed by Antonio Citterio as well as a generous divine bed with proper reading lights. The bed had a total of 9 cushions but still offered another in the wardrobe incase “you are feeling extravagant”. I can also confirm that I have tested the toiletries from Ila, Beyond Organic and wholeheartedly approve of their choice, see: ila-spa! The Thief has designed their own gorgeous wool blankets from Røros Tweed – acknowledged for their design – as well as robe and wool slippers. All found to be extremely comfortable!

Breakfast at the restaurant Fru K/Mrs K, named after the Kitchen Chef, was a proper treat with homemade juices, crisp bread, selections of yoghurts and fruits as well as the more filling egg and bacon dishes, cold cuts just to mention a small selection of the food on offer. Sitting in divine armchairs, having my breakfast and then reading the newspaper, was an excellent start for the day! See: fru-k.

The Roof Terrace is the place to be to sip cocktails, chat and knit – obviously – except on our selected date the weather did not permit it. But with a view of the Astrup Fearnley Museum (see above), the fjord and the wharf I would need to come back on a sunny and warm day to enjoy it fully. The Spa is under construction, and I am more than happy to review it when it is finished! Thank you, The Thief!


The Thief in Oslo

Who? Not who, but what; A new luxurious hotel located at the waterfront at Aker Brygge/Wharf. Named The Thief because of its location at Tjuvholmen/Thief Island which used to be a home to criminals and shady dealings back in the 18th century but has now been turned into a prime location with restaurants and art galleries. My husband and I were curious to check it out, after reading about it in the newspapers. Sunday brought glorious but cold weather as you can see reflected in the windows of the reception at The Thief. I admired and enjoyed the art outside and inside the hotel, curated by Sune Nordgren, several pieces on loan from the nearby Astrup Fearnley Museum. Yes, a sponsorship agreement, highly unusual for an hotel. He claims: “Redefining hotel art is about giving the guests quality experiences, causing reflection and perhaps changing their perception of reality for a brief moment.” Thief Artists in 2013 include Peter Blake, Magne Furuholmen, Antony Gormley, Marianne Heske, Kjell Nuppen and Andy Warhol among others. See the complete list here: thethief

The architects is the award winning Mellbye Architects: “The facade has been given a dark expression giving the arriving guest a bit of surreal feeling. It does take a few blinks to realise it is an hotel and not a mirage or computer rendering.” Granite, black and dark colors and gold distinguishes the five star hotel from its lighter design hotel cousins. One review criticized the dark interior and compared its style with its owner Petter A. Stordalen. More on him in this interesting article: To Catch a Thief: madebyoriginals. And yes I agree, his love of leather trousers and jewellry does make him fit in extremely well. But I would so much rather visit such a dark innovative hotel any day than a neutral one…

You will find more interesting stories in The Thief’s web magazine here: thethief. And finally, I do like their mantra: At The Thief we treat rock stars as guest and guest as rock stars…