After spending several wonderful days at the Nobis Hotel in central Stockholm, we piled our suitcases into a taxi to depart to the island of Skeppsholmen, where we would be staying for the remainder of the trip. (If you missed the previous post, and wonder why I’m changing hotels – it’s just what I do – I like to stay in different hotels in the same city.)
Turns out the island, an oasis of calm, was only a hop, skip, and a jump from the city center. And yet, it was, quite literally, a breath of fresh air.
The long building with the black rooftop that you see in this aerial photo is Hotel Skeppsholmen, nestled among the trees.
As I described in a previous post, the city of Stockholm is made up of a series of islands, connected by bridges. Skeppsholmen is a small island that was traditionally home to the military.
In fact, the hotel is a historic former Royal Marine barracks, known as the “Long Row,” that dates from the 17th century.
The building has been gorgeously transformed into a boutique hotel with the same skillful design sense as the Nobis – which made sense when I discovered that it was designed by the same architect, Claesson Koivisto Rune.
One of the most exquisitely designed rooms is the hotel dining room. I loved everything about the dining room.
Let me count the ways.
1. The glass affixed to the walls, within the original moldings and millwork – painted gorgeous, subtle colors on the back – a demonstration of that flawless juxtaposition between old and new.
2. The light fixtures – an updated, version of the traditional porcelain ceiling light, with exposed Edison bulbs.
3. Blown up versions of the same fixtures – mounted over the long table in the private dining / conference room.
4. The place settings – classic tea towels used as napkins, and, in lieu of a bread plate, a small cutting board.
5. White geraniums on the deep window sills – that bit of nature that every interior needs.
When I finally tore myself away from the dining room, we headed down a series of long hallways that led to the guest rooms in the “Long Rows.”
The minimalism of decoration highlights the carefully chosen furnishings, artwork, and light fixtures.
A massive David Trubridge pendant light fills an alcove at the end of a hallway – at night, the light turns the space into an art installation.
Love this font on all of the signage. Perfection.
Our guest room was at the top of the building, under the eaves. According to a sign on the wall (there’s that great font again), it was the residence of Commandant Hjalmar Klintberg and his wife, Julie, in the 1880’s.
Like the hallways, the design details – the lighting, artwork, and pops of color – have been carefully chosen for balance and impact.
Above the desk, a photo is tacked to the wall – literally tacked to the wall.
It’s not often that a design detail surprises me – I love it!
The bathroom sink was a bit of a challenge, but oh, so, cool.
Outside the window is a path down to the nearby harbor.
Across the water you can see the rides of the Tivoli Gröna Lund amusement park – you can also hear the joyous screams of the rides’ patrons.
Skeppsholmen’s attractions include a 19th century citadel, whose red brick had replaced two predecessors from the 17th and 18th century that had been destroyed.
And, five minutes walk from the hotel, the fabulous Moderna Museet, Stockholm’s modern art museum.
These unique bike racks were lined up outside like sculptures.
When it was time to explore beyond the island, we headed to the Skeppsholmen public boat stop at the end of the path from the hotel – an easy way to travel to Stockholm’s different neighborhoods.
I’ll soon tell you all about our day in the hipster Sodermalm neighborhood, reached by this boat – but this is not the last you’ll hear of Hotel Skeppsholmen – as I was writing, I realized I needed to do a separate post just about the food.
Delicious, yes – and “style moment” perfection.
Grona Gangen 1