Andrea Belck-Olsen from THE THIEF, Oslo
Andrea is the Director of Sales for Oslo’s coolest boutique hotel, THE THIEF, as well as the international sales coordinator for over 25 hotels (Nordic Hotels & Resorts). A life-long nomad, Andrea caught the travel bug early- she grew up in Peru (her parents were missionaries, and worked in local hospitals and schools), went to high school in both Bolivia and Norway, and then attended college in Perth, Australia as well as in Chicago.
After a limited stint as a career DJ in a few clubs (though none of her friends believe her, she says!), she started working in the hospitality industry at The Peninsula Chicago (at the front desk- where she was first to greet all the guests). Soon after, Andrea was offered a job at THE THIEF with the pre-opening team to launch their new hotel in Oslo. Ever the global citizen, she moved to Europe to take on the role. She now works with partners in the USA, the UK, the Middle East, and China- all of which she travels
Follow Andrea Belck-Olsen on Instagram @andreaoslo
What is the most unique hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?
The uber cool HOBO Hotel in Stockholm has a water gun in the bathroom. It has to be the most original amenity I have ever encountered, and definitely makes your stay more fun!
What hotel room design element can you not live without?
Proper lighting in the bathroom.
What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?
Did you always want to work in the travel industry, and if so, what sparked that interest? How did you break into it?
I spent most of my childhood traveling with my family. We lived in Peru, Bolivia, and the United States as well as Norway. I remember spending lots of time at airports staring at the departure screens. I was so curious about where everyone was going, and tried to memorise all the different destinations. It definitely sparked my interest in the industry, and to be honest I am not sure I could handle having a job that did not involve traveling today. After studying Tourism and Hospitality in both Perth Australia and Chicago, I was hired at the prestigious Peninsula Chicago. After that, the ball just kept rolling, and here I am.
Do you have any favorite travel hacks (ways to score an upgrade, methods of getting your meal first on a flight, etc)?
I have always been that girl that jumps in my seat when the meal cart comes rolling. However, as I have gotten older I have started to skip the in-flight meals. I bring lots of water and power bars on the flight. Then I have a proper meal when I land at my destination instead. It actually helps with the jetlag, and I feel much better.
Have you, or would you ever, travel alone?
Absolutely! Everyone should do a solo trip at least once in their lives. Personally, I crave that alone time as it gives me time to reflect and find my inner creativity. Which is something that I usually don’t find much time for in my everyday life. I am doing a solo trip for Christmas this year to Peru. Ping me for hidden gems and must do’s, please!
Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?
Off the top of my head, I guess this isn’t a literal “coffee” answer, but- a trip to Kuwait is worth it for the local hummus alone! Especially the one at the old and traditional market “Souk Al-Mubarakiya.” This market is also awesome when shopping for spices. Definitely beyond re: “little luxuries.”
What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?
I am a “less is more” type of girl. I think a pair of jeans, nice sneakers, and a blazer gets me far. Comfortable, but still classy. I also try to avoid too many accessories when going through the airport security line- no need to set off any alarms for fashion;)
Anxiety and burn out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so?
Disconnect! Because of today’s technology, we are constantly available to everyone, and I find that my work and social lives collide. It is hard to find balance when you are always “on.” I am a big fan of the “airplane mode” on my phone, and try to use it often – even if I am not traveling. The feeling of not being available all the time is quite addictive to me now.
Name three hotels off the top of your head that you love!
Favorite travel app? Mapstr
Favorite subscription service you’ll never delete? Spotify
In-flight wifi- good idea? No
Fantasy minibar/fridge item? Espresso Martinis