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The Broom Suite
It always seems to come as a surprised to us highly reticent, self-effacing Britons that other nations dig us – especially since we are a nation of inveterate travellers, always off on our long weekends and citybreaks to escape Broken Britain™.
But dig us they do, and the latest place to show its Britophilia is the Thief Hotel in Oslo, which has just unveiled two suites which it describes as “a homage to British design, art and culture”. Luckily there’s not a Union Jack inside – this is sleek, classy and understated Britain on show.
One is, fittingly, called The Brit Suite, and is entirely furnished with hand-made Conran (as in Terence) loot. The other is The Broom Suite, which gives the furnishings over to Lee Broom, this latest generation’s Conran, for his first hotel project. British photography and art by Bryan Ferry (yeah the real Bryan Ferry) and Sarah Hardacre complete the Anglocentricity. As you can see, this is sleek and stylish Britain on display - not a Union Jack in sight.
Oslo's hottest hotel, The Thief, isn't protesting the Olympics, but it is showing its support for Principle 6, a campaign to uphold the Olympic idea of inclusion and underscore Russia's anti-LGBT discrimination.
For the entire length of the Olympic Games, the hotel will be projecting a video at its entrance called "Russian Kiss," which is a sexy, music-video-esk short that features couples of all different backgrounds -- notably gay, lesbian, and interracial -- sharing some sugar.
"While Norwegian athletes are entering the podiums in Sochi, we are putting human rights on the agenda at The Thief," Owner Petter Stordalen said.
Given that Oslo is considered to be one of the world' most expensive cities for American travelers, we were surprised when we saw that its average hotel rate was lower than that of New York City. And it appears it's not just hostels dragging down the average -- we found three pretty solid hotel options in the city center with reasonable rates. Turns out, a room in Oslo won't cost you an arm and a leg.
The Thief: We did a big write up on this luxury hotel when it opened last year. It is easily one, if not the, nicest hotel in the city (think lights that turn on automatically when you walk into the room). The name comes from its location on an island once referred to as "Thief Island" in reference to its tendency to harbor seedy loiterers. Rates start at $274/night, but the most common rate a few months out was $323/night.
Oslo, along with the entire country of Norway, has a reputation for being one of, if not the, most expensive destinations in the world for travelers. Currently, one dollar will get you about 6 Norweigan krone, which seems like a positive conversation at first, until you realize that a beer costs 70 krones!
But, interestingly enough, according to its tourism board, the 2013 average daily hotel rate (ADR) in Oslo was $212 –- $69 less than the 2012 ADR in New York City, which was $281 (complete 2013 data has yet to be released). And remember that rate in Oslo includes breakfast and Internet, which we know is rarely the case in the Big Apple.
Hmmm... Given the high-priced reputation of the city, that’s surprising, don’t you think? Maybe the city, when approached correctly, doesn’t have to be a burden on your budget. Next week, we’ll dig deeper into Norway's capital and take a look at the options on a larger scale. Stay tuned!
Harry Styles of boy-band One Direction was the subject of an aggressive hugging barrage by a few fans while he was exiting Oslo's $2,175-a night room at the Holmenkollen Park Hotel. Taylor Swift's-ex was taking the intimate attack in stride and even reached out to hug the woman back, but the Norwegian security team shut it down when another girl came out of nowhere to get her some love, too. They quickly ushered him on to his tour bus and sent him on his way.
Apparently One Direction has so many problems with over-eager fans (and ex-girlfriends) they're said to be hiring President Obama's security team for the US portion of their Take Me Home World tour which begins in June.
Man, the life of a boy band member is super hard, huh?
[Photo: Daily Mirror/Video/YouTube]
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On January 9th in downtown Olso, Norway, a former 18th-century prisoner colony became the country’s first waterfront hotel. It’s name? The Thief . Seriously, we don’t make this stuff up! The moniker goes back to the days when criminals were brought to the island just off the coast called Tjuvholmen, nicknamed "Thief Island". Today, you’ll find art galleries, bars, cafes, restaurants, and funky shops along this Scandinavian city’s mile-long waterfront. What won’t you find? Cars. So the primary way of getting around is via foot or bike--the popular local way.
And it’s your feet that’ll lead you to the modern 119-room hotel which is a member of Design Hotels. There are nine-floors at The Thief, including a penthouse suite, that affords panoramic views of the city. Add that and the rooftop terrace and we have a feeling no one will be longing to escape these quarters.
Apparently, the lobby at Radisson Blu Oslo can be a dangerous place. The Daily Mail reports that King Otumfo Osei Tutu II, who was visiting the Norwegian capital for a conference, had a suitcase full of crown jewels stolen from right under his nose in the lobby of the hotel, where rooms start at around $279/night.
Not too much else is known, save for the obvious fact the 62-year-old Ghanian king is pissed.
Though if it's any consolation, ex-Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell had, like, the exact same thing happen to him at a Marriott. And let's not forget the £1 million emerald ring that went "missing" from a Four Seasons bathroom.
These things happen!
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We're not sure whether to be jealous or just plain creeped out—we're a little of both, actually—but we have to give credit to artist Anja Niemi, who really brushed up on her hotel knowledge for a new exhibition, titled Do Not Disturb. In each of the photographs, Niemi takes on a different female character who essentially becomes a 'part' of the hotel room. See if you can spot her in the above shot, "Room 833." Creepy, right?
But rather than settling for just any old hotel, Niemi instead researched for months to find exactly the right room for each shot. Jealous much? Seriously, artists really live the life sometimes. For this project, Niemi traveled to hotels in New York, Vienna, Berlin and Oslo; and when she arrived, all she had to do was play dress-up and pose for the camera. The desire to change career paths completely and become a photographer's assistant has never been stronger.
Read on to find out where you can check out the entire collection!