Stockholm and Copenhagen are amongst the most embracing and friendly capitals of the world. They redefine chic to mean fashionable in a most unfussed sense.
Get a head start on Scandi chic with these hot hotels. From the Nordic Light which highlights the sensibility of Scandinavian design in its interiors to the nurturing opulence of the more traditional Berns to the quiet luxury of the Kungstragarden – you have an array to choose from in Stockholm that best reflects where your personality meets the city’s character.
Read on for our hotel guide to Scandinavia.
THE PACKING EDIT
Skt Petri Copenhagen
Situated in the Latin quarter of Copenhagen the USP of this hotel is ‘vibrant luxury’. As you walk into the reception area, the bar and restaurant are opposite and often play live music to disco lights, especially on weekend nights. This open plan creates the sensibility of the entire hotel entrance and lobby area being infused with a most ‘happening energy’. Sitting in one of the lobby’s modern couches and chairs you can enjoy the live music on most evenings.
The hotel is also very convenient to get to from the airport by public transport; and to Copenhagen’s myriad attractions by foot. From the airport you can take a straight train to Norreport Street Station and from there the hotel is a straight four minute walk. The City Hall; Tivoli Gardens (an amusement park and an unmissable Copenhagen attraction); both quaint and high end restaurants; museums and the beautiful Nyhavn waterfront, are all within a twenty minute walking distance from the Ski Petri.
I loved exploring the roads around the hotel – each wander led me to discover a fascinating aspect of this charming city. A simple wander on my first evening led me to the lovely Tivoli Gardens where I ended up having the best (on the spot) chicken Caesar Salad I’ve had anywhere in the world at Café Norden in its ‘world food court’. It was made by a student working there part time who told me how the ingredients were freshly and locally sourced on a daily basis. As I watched him grill the chicken for my salad, the spirit of a ‘no-fuss vibrancy’ that so defines Copenhagen, was all around me.
The views of Copenhagen bay from the Marriott are simply unrivalled. Situated right on the waters you can go kayaking or on a speedboat from right outside the hotel, and the most helpful concierge will arrange it all for you.
My room was on one of the topmost floors and the views were sweeping and simply mesmerising and followed the waters of the bay – for as far as the eye could see. And this hotel knows how to charm, how to sweep a lady off her feet! I entered my room to a big bunch of the most alluring roses; a bottle of champagne tastefully wrapped in a cloth napkin; a fruit topped chocolate pastry and a warm, welcoming hand written note.
To awake to an endless view of Copenhagen’s waters and then again to watch the twinkle of the city lights on it post sunset, was an absolute visual treat and soul food too!
The hotel’s main restaurant – Midtown Grill overlooks the waters and carries the ‘serenade of the waterfront’. Dining here was a highlight of my stay.
The Berns Hotel is just beautiful – boutique, stately and welcoming – all at once. My room, which was more a suite than a room was luxurious but yet, true to the Scandinavian sensibility, without fuss. It just felt pretty, cosy and effortlessly functional.
It was an open plan suite with the living room area and the bedroom quarter, both spacious but not separated by any wall. A lovely balcony stretched to almost 360 degrees around my suite. Beautiful potted plants with bright flowers and short trees made the balcony picture postcard pretty. A green, wrought iron table with cushioned chairs sat in the centre of the balcony to take in the crisp air and the city views.
A regal, ballroom forms the main restaurant of the hotel. Ornate interiors and sumptuous pan Asian buffets make it an unforgettable experience. The grand setting of this restaurant is renowned for Sunday brunch in the city.
Despite the sweep of royalty that the Berns carries, it was the nurturing hospitality that made my stay warm and welcoming.
Situated around the King’s Garden (a central Square in Stockholm) this very genteel, boutique hotel is bespoke in service and conveniently situated. It ‘s 94 unique rooms offer a range of options and is one of the rare high end hotels to also offer single rooms for solo travellers, such as the one I stayed in. It was compact but comfortable.
The restaurant is most elegant in feel and aristocratic in tenor. It serves an opulent breakfast buffet in the morning and turns into an artisan French restaurant for the rest of the day.
The concierge is very helpful and will help you plan your sight seeing itinerary – whether that includes city sightseeing or even day excursions. Recommended island trips include the nearest island of Fjäderholmarnawhich is thirty minutes away by ferry and Sandhamn – a surreally beautiful and serene island. The harbour area from where the ferries leave to nearby islands of the Swedish archipelago is about a 15 minute walk from the hotel. Even the charming old town (Slottsbacken) with the palace, cobbled streets, an array of restaurants serving up local fare at affordable prices, is a 15 minute walk or two bus stops away. It makes more sense to walk as it is a beautiful walk that takes you through Kungstradgarden (the King’s Garden Park) and along the lovely bay area.
Nordic Light Stockholm
A quirky hotel marked by very contemporary interiors. My premium room was neat and minimalist, though luxurious and wonderfully spacious. It was a perfect rectangle but with more than ample space that housed the bedroom area and a very comfortable lounge area. The floor length windows spanned 180 degrees of my room and accorded the room a sense of space and light. I loved the thoughtfulness of some clever and creative board games being included in the room. It is situated just outside Stockholm’s Central Train station which is a straight train ride from the airport.
This hotel is a good spot to enjoy Stockholm’s shopping district, Drottninggaten, and the popular Swedish ritual of a warming cup of coffee and a cinnamon bun at any of its teeming cafes, though I would recommend Wienercaféet or Pom och Flora.
Nobis Hotel Copenhagen
Copenhagen’s beautiful former Royal Danish Conservatory of Music is now a stylish 77-room stay courtesy of starchitect Gert Wingårdh, and the new location for the Danish capital’s downtown social scene. The transformation is breathtaking—think high ceilings, egg-shaped bathtubs, chevron-patterned parquet floors, and furniture from Carl Hansen & Son. The restaurant, which combines 20th-century with the heritage of the building, borrows from the best of Nordic culinary traditions and serves up modern seasonal cuisine. Modernism meets classicism augmented with a gym, sauna with cooling pool and hammam, a bar, and a lounge area.
Ett Hem, Stockholm
Ett Hem literally means ‘a home’ in Swedish, this hotel is like the ultra-stylish townhouse of a friend who’s gracious enough to let you stay the night. A 12-room townhouse hotel in the residential area of Lärkstan, but central enough to be close enough to everything. Guests buzz at the door to be admitted to the courtyard. Walk into flawless and incredibly comfortable interiors,a grand stately staircase, a little library, and interesting art everywhere. Guests are encouraged to raid the fridge, pick a book from the library and settle in for a cosy afternoon in one of the many nooks of the house. Alternatively, you may want to try the Swedish sauna downstairs in the basement.