Should you find yourself in Stockholm for one evening or more, we’ve put together an itinerary that offers a unique taste of what the city has to offer. Discover a local itinerary with a cultural twist sprinkled with that luxury appeal that you can experience all in one evening.
Go back in time to when Swedish born American actress Greta Garbo once worked here in the 1920’s. The hotel is actually a restored Paul Urbanus Bergström (PUB) department store building that has been turned into a magnificent 1920’s boutique hotel decked out in a Great Gatsby-esque affair. Think golds, mauves, turquoise and art-deco furniture and accents throughout – each area carefully designed to give off that roaring twenties feel and experience for its guests and visitors.
Each area is unlike the other, take for example Greta’s café, which as we have witnessed, has become a popular go-to for locals. The bistro is replete with dainty accents of pink and white tones, with peacock patterned cushions and marble interiors to match. Serving breakfast and lunch, the menu offers a selection of healthier options including avocado and egg on toast or a Kimchi salad. There are also a variety of cakes and pastries that are sure to whet your appetite, such as the chocolate cheesecake. We propose afternoon tea at Greta’s.
There is also the American brasserie, Paul’s, that serves classic European cuisine in a more laid back 20’s setting and is also where the daily complimentary breakfast buffet is served, which we thought was decent if not lacking in variety. In the evening, the hotel becomes a busy meeting point as locals and hotel guests gather in the Americain, the hotel’s Caribbean inspired bar and restaurant. Just as picturesque as Greta’s, Americain gives off that Audrey Hepburn ‘esque vibe – as in, you could imagine her presence in such a themed surrounding. Serving classic to contemporary cocktails, food can also be ordered from Paul’s and eaten at the bar. We didn’t get to test it on this occasion but judging by the crowd, it isn’t unpopular.
Stay in one of the spacious double rooms or revel in 20’s luxury in one of their three suites, such as the Grand Terrace Suite located on the top floor with its own private terrace. Each in a theme of its own, each offering views of Haymarket and the Concert Hall that lies opposite the establishment. Beds are comfortable, room temperature can be controlled, but overall we suggest it a good hotel for one night as it is suffice to experience what this boutique hotel has to offer. Staff pretty much leave you to your own devices but they do offer a lifestyle concierge should you want that extra local touch. It’s also a good option in case you didn’t have time to plan out your Stockholm itinerary prior to arrival.
The location is unbeatable, especially for a one night stay. Just smack in the middle of Hotorget Square one is near the farmers market, cinemas, and concert halls. Plentiful of shopping and eating can be done here and transportation is within easy reach as the central station is a short walking distance away.
Stay at Haymarket for the 20’s aesthetic as you’ll find nothing quite like it. You’ll be able to marvel at art deco interiors and imagine what the high-life might have been like back then. This is the ideal hotel for those who love style and detail, and of course, picture-taking.
One of the most unique activities you can do in Stockholm, especially if you’ve one night to spare, is to discover Stockholm’s ancient secret – the Sturebadet. Born in the 1800’s, the Sturebadet is Stockholm’s most ancient spa and has today, become a place of ultimate well-being in a stunning milieu that offers rich Swedish interiors in a most luxurious setting.
It is private, it feels exclusive and it is hidden. To find it, you’ll need to enter the Sturegallerian, about a 10 minute walk from the Haymarket Hotel. Within this luxury boutique mall of fashion stores, restaurants and cafés, you’ll find the Sturebad spa reception area. Upon check-in, you’ll be handed a robe, towel, slippers and a locker card for storing your belongings before heading through for the elevators up to the Sturebadet’s Curman lounge which beautifully overlooks the Sturebadet swimming pool. The comfort level is second to none and one will find a handful of locals coming to the establishment during their break-time in their workout gear, sipping on smoothies and delving into salads as they presumably work on their laptops. On a Monday morning, you can tell that the Swedes take their time with health and well-being being at the cornerstone of daily living.
There are a variety of well-being activities one can do here, but we opted to undergo the Spa-day, a pass that allows you to access most areas. We ended up lying about, marvelling at the architecture of the Sturebadet. We also spent some time in the Hydromassage bath.
We were told that Sturebadet offers more than the eye can see and we had the privilege to visit these spaces. One of them being their private Turkish Bath area which can house up to 20 guests and bookable for as long as guests wish however 2 hours is the most common duration. With it, includes a bath and sauna ritual as well as a peeling body scrub. A perfect setting for a hen night or bachelor party should you opt for privacy, something a bit more low-key and attentiveness. To make it extra personal, champagne and alcoholic beverages including a buffet dinner can be catered for or else personalized packages are also on offer and provide a worthwhile experience for groups of friends.
We also had the chance to view Sturebadet’s Penthouse which we were told, not too many people know about. Unconventional for a spa, the Penthouse oozes Scandinavian interior by Svenskt Tenn’s interior design studio. It is surprisingly cosy and it feels like you’re within the confines of a hotel but you’re not. Almost like a private members club, the Penthouse offers privacy and comfort and caters for meetings, a get together, a special occasion or what have you. The Penthouse can house up to 65 people and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to afternoon tea and canapes.
We recommend purchasing a day pass if you only have one night to spare in Stockholm, as the pass gives you access to the 29-degree swimming pool, steam and dry sauna, Hydromassage bath, group fitness classes, gym and fitness training as well as Kerstin Florian skincare products. Treatments are also available throughout the week, which we highly recommend.
For a story-telling ending to your visit in Stockholm, banish all the other world-class restaurants in the city and head for a home away from home retreat in a private townhouse residence called Ett Hem.
We love that not many outsiders know of this hidden gem and we’re sad to have missed the opportunity to have reviewed their accommodation but lucky enough to have made it to their dining table to taste not only the freshest produce available in the city but produce crafted right in front of you knowing that each day/week is something different. An anticipated surprise waiting to be devoured with an open-mind in a setting unlike any other.
Ett Hem is as mentioned, a private residence that was built in 1910. It was later turned into a hotel offering 12 beautifully Scandinavian designed rooms each featuring comfortable interiors. Inside, one will find themselves within a cosy abode replete with furniture collections, antiques and designs. Ett Hem is a done up home with all the functions you would have of a hotel and perhaps offers more exclusivity and privacy. It is intimate, tranquil, private, and furthermore, it boasts a wonderful courtyard garden. When lit up at night, it becomes a heavenly oasis and in the morning, it turns into the perfect setting for breakfast or teatime.
On this occasion, we tested out Ett Hem’s private kitchen which welcomes both guests from outside and from the hotel. We were not told beforehand of what the menu would consist of but instead, left it up to the Chefs to prepare our meals and present it to us. The menu is decided upon in the morning and uses, of course, local produce. There is also an extensive wine and liquor selection to go with your meal.
During our tasting session, we were given homemade bread and butter to start off with – word of warning, this was delicious. If you’re careless to consider the starters and the main course, expect to be quite full. But we disciplined ourselves and were soon introduced to our three different starters, made for sharing between two people. A vendace roe which is a type of white fish harvested on an archipelago of the Baltic Sea in northern Sweden was served together with potatoes, capers and elderflower, a milk curd, green tomatoes and dried olives, and mushrooms with cabbage, lardons and hazelnuts. The starters offered a great introduction to the produce Ett Hem uses in their kitchen, and we were privileged enough to have tasted the new menu of the week before any of the other guests had. The good thing about the starters is that each of the three dishes come in a separate bowl, so you’re able to spoon a portion of each onto your plate, and taste them all together. We realized that in totality, the starters were created to be light, textured and provide contrasting flavours. From crunchy, sour, savoury to familiar tastes that made you question, it was quite the experience. And although light, consuming this proved to make us quite full!
One main course was served, which, given the carbs and the three starters, sounded just about right if not balanced. Presented to us was a dish of lamb, broccoli and grilled onion served with a side of vegetables in lavender oil. The lamb was decadent, a 4-week aged rack of meat, cooked to medium rare, was balanced off with the vegetables and jus. The portion was good enough for two and we proceeded to take a break before the final send-off of our meal, the cloudberry, liquorice, meringue and lemon curd dessert. As if our appetites were reset, the dessert was an exceptional experience, something we never tasted before, something that made us uncertain yet highly curious to try more. It is a dessert that really made the experience at Ett Hem memorable. For those who absolutely quell at the thought of liquorice, this dessert will change your minds. A vanilla-ish, liquorice mouse combined with the salty-ish meringue made the dessert sweet with a hint of savouriness that just kept our taste buds wanting more. The cloudberry interrupts with its sourness and creates the roundness of the dish, which is the freshness, a good palate cleanser. Needless to say, the dish was licked clean.
Within one day, we felt we were able to absorb some Swedish culture, taste the freshest produce the city had to offer, explore Swedish creativity and innovation whilst revelling in a bit of luxury.
We highly recommend giving one of these experiences a go.