No wonder Stockholm is a major conference destination: it's a compact city full of effortlessly multilingual people – and lots of mid-range hotels.
In the past many of Stockholm's hotels lacked character, but recently there have been some positive additions. A new Lydmar (Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2, 08 22 31 60, www.lydmar.com) – the previous incarnation was closed – has been built next door to the Grand Hôtel, itself enjoying new lease of life following an extensive renovation. A giant Clarion hotel (www.clarionstockholm.com) was built near the central station. And the new Hotel Stureplan (www.hotelstureplan.se), in Östermalm, is a boutique hotel in a 19th-century building (retaining period features, natch), located a stone's throw from some of Stockholm's most fashionable shopping and clubbing.
Sweden's Hotel & Restaurant Association oversees the star ratings for the country's hotels. Stockholm's five-star offerings include the First Hotel Reisen, the Grand Hôtel, the Hilton, the Radisson SAS Royal Viking (www.radissonblu.com/royalvikinghotel-stockholm), the Radisson SAS Strand, the Sheraton and the Victory, plus the Sigtuna Stads Hotell which is in the small town of Sigtuna, 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Stockholm.
When you're hotel hunting, don't ignore the chain option: they may have a corporate feel, but you can expect high standards and service. The following chains have websites available in English:
Choice Hotels Scandinavia (www.choicehotels.se)
First Hotels (www.firsthotels.com)
Radisson SAS (www.radisson.com)
Rica City Hotels (www.rica.se)
Scandic Hotels (www.scandic-hotels.com) – Sweden's largest hotel chain, part of the Hilton group, which has hotels in the centre and the suburbs.
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Although Stockholm is not cheap, it has plenty of youth hostels. These aren't just scuzzy pads for backpackers, but clean lodgings ideal for families, often offering single and double rooms. Be aware that you may have to buy (usually cheap) membership if you are not a member of a recognised hostelling association, and bedlinen, towels and breakfast will cost extra.
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One of the cheapest ways to stay in Stockholm is in a private home. The following agencies can arrange a room in a private home for you usually in the range of 200kr-500kr per person: Stockholm Guesthouse (www.stockholmguesthouse.com); Bed and Breakfast Service Stockholm (www.bedbreakfast.a.se); and Gästrummet (www.gastrummet.com).
Hotel standards are high in Stockholm, and wherever you stay staff will almost certainly speak excellent English. Breakfast is typically a buffet of cereals, fruit, cold cuts, fish, cheese, hot dishes, crispbread, juice, tea and coffee. Swedes value the quality of beds and bedding (some hotels even have a pillow menu); note that double beds tend to come with two single duvets rather than one double-sized one.
Since Stockholm is a business hub (most visitors are here on business), hotel rates can drop by as much as half on weekends. This means you can often enjoy deluxe surroundings for much less than you might expect. Always ask about packages and special deals (you may have to book two nights to get a discounted rate). Rates in July, when most Swedes take the month off, are usually cheaper.
Because of the volume of business travellers hotels can get booked up, especially during major trade fairs, so it's a good idea to book ahead. The tourist office produces a free hotel brochure and runs a very good reservations service: book online (www.stockholmtown.com), by phone (789 24 56), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in person at the Hotellcentrallen office on the concourse of Central Station. If you visit the office in person, there's a 50kr fee for a hotel, or 20kr for a hostel (same-day hostel bookings only). Alternatively, you could try Destination Stockholm (663 00 80, www.destination-stockholm.com), which offers hotel and sightseeing packages off-season.
We've divided the hotels according to the average price of a weekday double room. The categories are: deluxe (from 2,300kr per room); expensive (1,900kr-2,300kr per room); mid-range (800kr-1,900kr per room); and budget (under 800kr per room), which also includes youth hostels. Breakfast is included in the price unless stated otherwise.
While every effort and care has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this guide, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors it may contain. Before you go out of your way, we strongly advise you to phone ahead and check the particulars.
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