Open, modern and diverse, yet still with an eye to preserving spots like the historic Gamla Stan district, Stockholm combines both old-world European splendour and clean contemporary design. Here, you’ll find a palace and museums cosied up to trendy vegan restaurants committed to sourcing local produce and beautiful minimalist souvenirs that are too good to give away.
Here are my top hotel picks in Stockholm.
Best for unique rooms: Haymarket by Scandic
Each of the 401 rooms at this downtown elegant art deco hotel, built in the 1920s, scream individuality. If you choose a suite, you can expect velvet furnishings in colourful hues, graphic prints on the wardrobe and unusual light fixtures. But even in simpler single rooms, you’ll still find movie-star-style lighted dressing tables and bespoke wallpaper.
In a nod to Garbo, the iconic movie star who stayed here, the hotel’s cafe bistro is called Greta’s. With its candy-striped ceiling and view of the busy street below, it’s ideal for people watching.
Doubles from €128
Best for luxury: The Grand Hotel
Neighbourhood: The Old Town
The five-star Grand Hotel is known for its discretion, especially among its celebrity clientele; but it will admit to hosting stars and power players throughout history including Martin Luther King, Princess Grace of Monaco and Frank Sinatra. Ideally located right opposite the Old Town and the Royal Palace, the Grand also has a full Nordic spa. Rooms are predictably sumptuous and large, with plush sofas, DUX bedding, and Bottega Veneta toiletries.
Doubles from €359
Best for exploring the city: Nobis Hotel
Situated in the Norrmalmstorg Square, made famous by a robbery in 1973 that gave the world the term “Stockholm Syndrome” to describe how the hostages bonded with their captors, this hotel is close to many top attractions: the 13th-century Old Town, the Royal Palace, designer stores, museums and galleries are all within easy walking distance. Take a boat tour to view the archipelago at the ferry terminal just five minutes’ walk from the hotel. Rooms have city or courtyard views and are furnished in a chic, modern design with muted tones of grey and tan leather.
Doubles from €200
Best for personal service: Lydmar Hotel
Neighbourhood: The Old Town
Staff at the Lydmar are local experts who go above and beyond to provide guests with an authentic experience of all Stockholm has to offer. You’ll feel like you have been invited over for dinner with new friends in the laid-back dining room, where you can sample some locally caught oysters. All the individually designed spacious rooms have king-sized beds, a seating area, and you can enjoy your included breakfast in bed at no extra charge. Take your coffee up to the second-floor terrace, which also holds special events during the week. Access to the nearby Grand Hotel’s fitness centre and discounts for admission to the Nordic spa are also included in the room rate.
Doubles from €322
Best for urban cool: Story Hotel
If you’re not claustrophobic and you’ve packed light, reserve the “super squeeze” room at just 123 square foot big. In this compact space, the hotel has still managed to fit an enviable entertainment system including a Smart LCD TV, a double bed, and a minibar stocked with complimentary products. The distressed walls, including industrial looking exposed pipes, might not be to everyone’s taste; but it will suit urbanites looking for a ‘gram-worthy bolthole close to nightspots, restaurants and attractions. Breakfast buffet and WiFi are included in the room rate.
Doubles from €147
Best for budget travellers: Motel L
Far more stylish than your usual motel room, the Motel L offers guests an affordable and comfortable base to explore the city. The whimsical double rooms here are decorated in a riot of colour and pattern by Swedish illustrator and designer Lisa Bengtsson, and feature flatscreen TVs, free WiFi and bathrooms with a rain shower. Guests can also enjoy the hotel’s own fitness centre.
Doubles from €70
Best for romance: Hotel Rival
Why leave the room at all? At The Rival, you can order breakfast in bed while luxuriating in Egyptian cotton sheets, after selecting the perfect pillow using the special menu. Each room represents a scene from a Swedish movie, continuing the design legacy that comes from being housed in an old art deco cinema. Gamla Stan is just a 10-minute walk away if you can bear to get out of bed.
Doubles from €25
Best for a boutique experience: Ett Hem
Neighbourhood: North (Vasastan)
The 12 rooms in this boutique former townhouse, built in 1910 in an artsy neighbourhood north of most of the sights, provide a peaceful retreat from the city. Ett Hem means “a home”, and you’ll feel like you are staying at the house of a very stylish, wealthy friend. Visit the courtyard garden and relax, wrapped in one of the blankets, and order food to eat there or choose to dine in the library, kitchen or greenhouse.
Doubles from €49
Best for fitness fanatics: Downtown Camper by Scandic
This hotel has its own wellness lounge called The Nest, which is covered in sticks and twigs and looks like an oversize birdhouse. Featuring a sauna (this is Sweden after all), a swimming pool and a full gym with a rooftop location, the nest provides amazing views across the city to enjoy after your workout (yoga classes are also available for an additional fee). If you fancy working up a sweat elsewhere in Stockholm, the hotel is happy to loan you a range of sports equipment including bicycles, longboards, skateboards and kayaks. Rooms are modern, Scandinavian in design and feature atrium or street views.
Doubles from €160
Best for design lovers: Hotel Skeppsholmen
Hotel Skeppsholmen is a rare find: a design hotel that has managed to respect the building’s original features, dating back to the 1600s, yet still integrate all the amenities that modern guests expect. This feat was achieved by Stockholm-based architects Claesson Koivisto Rune and part of the Design Hotels group. On this closest of the city’s archipelago islands, you’ll feel far from urban sprawl; yet you’re just minutes from many of the city’s finest attractions including the ferry over to Gamla Stan.
Doubles from €174
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