When in Oslo, don't forget to catch The Thief

Design Hotels, with 42 additional properties for 2013, is now a 250-strong collection of boutique digs worldwide, including the just-opened The Thief in Oslo.

Located on Tjuvholmen, or Islet of Thieves, an island frequented by robbers and prostitutes in the 18th century, it's next to the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, to which admission is free for guests.

The hotel has a permanent collection of original art, including works by Sir Peter Blake, known for the sleeve design for the Beatles' album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

In the nine-storey hotel's 119 rooms, each with views of the area's canals, there are also balcony blankets for crisp days and nights, woollen slippers and verbena tea served at turn-down. Dark-wood and back-lit panels are paired with light parquet floors and gold-toned pillows.

The hotel boat takes guests on a curated tour of art, design and architecture around the fiords during summer.

Rooms cost from 2090 kroner ($357) a night, including breakfast.

In Thailand's Koh Samui, The Library has a custom-made triple king-size bed that's 3.2 metres wide in the hotel's new Bookmark suite. It's room enough for a Kindle and your beloved.

Alternatively, browse the collection of 1300 books that are available to be borrowed during your stay at the property on Chaweng Beach.

An outdoor terrace with jacuzzi and private butler complete the experience at the 26-suite hotel, which also has a glass-enclosed gym. The Library is a 20-minute drive from Samui Airport.

The Bookmark suite is priced from 21,000 baht ($686) a night, twin share, including breakfast.

See designhotels.com.

A glass act

If the viewing gallery of London's newest edifice, the Shard, doesn't provide time enough to take in the city skyline, a longer stay will be possible when the Shangri-La opens its first property in Britain midyear.

Occupying levels 34 to 52 of the Shard, the first new-build five-star hotel in the central London area in more than a decade will have 202 rooms and suites along with an infinity pool and 24-hour gym on the top level, all with views.

On the south bank of the River Thames between St Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London, it's close to the London Eye and Shakespeare's Globe.

See shangri-la.com.

A bit of nip and tuk-tuk

The Peninsula Bangkok has added to its already substantial transport fleet of 10 BMWs, two Rolls-Royce Silver Spurs, a helicopter and four riverboats, with a customised tuk-tuk.

The three-wheel, open-air vehicle, in signature Peninsula green, has wi-fi, drinking water and towels on board and will be available to guests wanting to visit local markets to buy ingredients for the hotel's Thai home-style cooking class.

The hotel overlooks the Chao Phraya River at 333 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan. Rooms cost from 17,000 baht ($556) a night, twin share. See peninsula.com/bangkok.

Send Room Service items to jreddy@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

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