What you expect from Sweden is space, water and uplifting design, but you don’t always get it. In the country’s gloriously green, fresh-air capital, it can be surprisingly hard to find the serenity which is Scandinavia’s secret weapon in an increasingly intense and crowded world. Enter the Skeppsholmen Hotel, which offers peace, quiet and high design just a 10-minute stroll from Stockholm’s bustling city centre. In a city full of smart places to stay, it’s the only one of its calibre which is also a secret island hideaway.
The former 17th century Royal Marine barracks is now a member of Design Hotels, but its comforts are pleasingly muted. Rooms are spacious, overlooking water or woodland, with acres of wood floor and state of the art bathrooms with illuminated showers and giant faux
pebbles for sinks. Most rooms come with a sofa, stylish armchairs, free-standing full length mirror and big, comfortable beds dressed with fine linen and luxurious throws.
The restaurant serves an excellent breakfast incorporating the world’s best bread and fine local produce including gravadlax, dispenses cappuccinos during the day, and with the adjacent bar becomes a lively hub by night. “Social dining” is encouraged – the hope that visitors from all over the world will mingle with each other and the sophisticated locals who frequent this affluent part of the city.
There’s an outdoor tennis court right on the water – Sweden’s first, built by the king in 1882 – and a gym, though frankly it’s much more interesting to stroll five minutes to the fantastic Museum of Modern Art on the hotel’s doorstep and then on to the city. Or take the ferry in one direction to Djurgarden, Stockholm’s playground island housing both Skansen, an alfresco presentation of rural Swedish life through the ages, and the highly entertaining new Abba Museum.
In the other direction, the ferry goes to Slussen, where the picturesque old town meets Sodermalm, Stockholm’s answer to Notting Hill, awash with trendy boutiques and cafes.
I want to stay at the Skeppsholmen Hotel. How much is it?
Rooms from £104 per night.
Gröna gången 1,
111 86 Stockholm, Sweden
Tel: +46 8 407 23 00