High ceilinged and chanderliered, the rooms at this superb Stockholm offering are all different from each other but all quite special. Gustavian architecture, with carefully preserved details from the early 18th century, lends a luxurious touch, the rooms all muted colours and cossetting beds. A flourish of sweeping staircases connect the chic bedrooms – each a haven of fine linen and muted tones – to the magnificent champagne bar, private wine cellar, gym, sauna and fine dining restaurant.
Pancakes and smoothies and a huge buffet choice at breakfast, a fine wine cellar and inspired French cuisine in the evenings make the in-house Brasserie Makalös something of a destination venue. The restaurant sprawls out beneath a huge glass roof, with the selection of dishes almost as extensive, though firmly Med, with boeuf bourguignon and foie gras flambéd to finesse. The ambience is just as South European buzzy, lending a frisson to the laidback Scandinavian décor. In turn, a show-off bar sidles around the edges, serving fabulous cocktails and schnapps.
Even the smallest rooms here are a treat, with beds decked out in fine linen and carefully thought-out bathrooms. There are 94 to choose from, and, of these, the King rooms are indisputably the most glorious, some with fireplaces and all with lovely street views, separate seating areas, fine rugs and splendid bathrooms. The Queen rooms have a lounge suite and are just as spoiling. But, almost as pleasing, there are sweet single rooms here that are special too.
The concierge at this well-placed hotel is a fount of advice. Charming, and ever-ready with handy hints and local knowledge, a quick word on check-in will ensure a stay that opens up Stockholm’s secret pleasures. The hotel is so close to the major attractions that city sightseeing is effortless, the Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town and a perfectly preserved medieval jewel, is just steps away. Its narrow cobbled streets are lined with buildings in various hues of gold, housing museums and frescoes and galleries and palaces. And, of course, there are sweet islands just a short skip away by ferry or boat, waiting to be explored.