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Issue 1/2013

A stylish Thief 
On 9 January, Petter Stordalen‘s luxury design hotel, The Thief, opened its doors in Oslo. It is located in Tjuvholmen, an area known for its contemporary art scene and architecture. But it hasn’t always been such an idyllic part of town. Criminals and prostitutes were executed here during the 18th century and therefore the name of the hotel – ‘”The Thief.” It has 119 rooms (plus a suite) and each one of them have modern artwork by renowned artists such as Sir Peter Blake (who did the classic album cover for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band), Magne Furuholmen (A-ha) and Albert Merz, just to mention a few. This is a dog-friendly hotel and your pooch will get a true five star welcome with services like dog sitting, dog walking, dog room service, dog menus and treats. The Thief is located next to the popular Aker Brygge with direct access to the Oslo Fjord, so as you can imagine, this must be the perfect summer hangout. We can’t wait to check-in and review this place next time we get a chance to visit Oslo. Have you already stayed in The Thief? Please share your opinion with us.

Wikivoyage
This week the Wikimedia Foundation takes on the travel industry by launching its new online travel guide, Wikivoyage, a wiki for travelers. It will be a free resource with practical information, hotel and restaurant recommendations (no advertisements) updated by volunteer contributors from around the world. What do you think? Hit or miss? Is there a need for additional online travel guides next to TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet?

Marseille – European Capital of Culture 2013
On 12 January, Marseille-Provence was officially inaugurated as the European Capital of Culture for 2013.  During the year there will be hundreds of exhibitions and events focusing on Mediterranean culture, from a contemporary as well as a historical perspective. Are you planning to visit Marseille in 2013?

 

Guide (in English) about Marseille, practical tips, news and events.

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Carlton Hotel Guldsmeden in Oslo – perfect for a weekend

Cozy but not much space to maneuver a big suitcase

Cozy but not much space to maneuver a big suitcase

The Carlton Hotel Guldsmeden in Oslo is an eco-friendly establishment that doesn’t fall under the category “luxury hotels”. However, we would still like to review it on our blog since we thought it offered amenities that made this hotel somewhat special. (I shouldn’t use the royal “we” since Alex unfortunately couldn’t join me. I also know that he would have insisted on staying in the Grand Hotel or something along those lines. You know him by now, right?)

Anyway, I ended up at The Carlton Hotel Guldsmeden for a couple of days in July when I was in Oslo doing some research for a travel story for the National Geographic Traveler. I was kind of in a hurry and I was desperate to find a hotel that could accept my fury friend (Sam). The Carlton Hotel Guldsmeden was the first hotel I found where dogs were allowed (that in itself is worth an extra star in my book).

The Carlton Hotel Guldsmeden is small, family-owned and quite centrally located on Parkveien 78. The rooms are nicely decorated in neutral earth tones, but, they are really small. Really, really small. This is definitely a weekend hotel so you should keep your luggage to a minimum (there is no closet, only a coat hanger). But the fact that the room was tiny didn’t really bother me too much. Everything was clean, fresh and the service was super-friendly and that is more important than anything else.

The breakfast room had a warm and cozy atmosphere and the buffet offered a wide range of mainly locally produced, organic food. Natural yogurt, cereals, wide selection of nuts, home-made jams… (I can go on forever). If I wasn’t in such a hurry, this is definitely the place to sit down with a warm cup of tea and chitchat with other hotel guests for hours.

If you are visiting Oslo for a weekend and are not dragging along a big suitcase (and you’re not planning to spend most of your time in the hotel room), I would definately recommend Carlton Hotel Guldsmeden.

Rating: 3/5

Things to do in Oslo – on a rainy summer day

Earlier this summer part of the Sam and the dunes team went to Norway to spend a nice and relaxing weekend in the Oslo fjord region. Unfortunately, it happened to rain non-stop and the travel plan had to be revised. Read Sam and the dunes latest contribution to National Geographic and see what Norway’s beautiful capital has to offer during rainy summer days: Oslo – from under an umbrella

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