The Lydmar Hotel is located on Stockholm’s waterfront
But once you step inside the Lydmar Hotel, it’s as if someone has turned on the lights.
Burnt orange velvet club chairs sit against walls the colour of ripe pistachio nuts, chosen perhaps as the subtle backdrop for the dramatic black-and-white reportage photographs.
The two-tiered lobby with tea-lights on the coffee tables, leather butterfly chairs with casually slung reindeer furs on the arms and large pots of greenery set the scene for this welcoming townhouse ‘lifestyle’ hotel.
The historic Stortorget, Great Square, of Stockholm
On Sunday afternoons a DJ sets up his turntables, snuggled into a nook in the cozy foyer.
His audience, all wearing black, naturally, perch on distressed chocolate leather sofas drinking in the views through the large windows across the harbour to the Old Town and sprawling Royal Palace while sipping on brightly coloured cocktails and nibbling dangerously addictive roasted almonds.
Most are waiting for tables in the hotel’s dining room where the pace picks up dramatically with waiting staff flitting among the tables like butterflies.
It reminds me of a large dining-cum-drawing room with the usual clutter of a big family house.
Walls lined with bookshelves reach the ceiling behind leather banquets.
They’re interspersed with wine racks and an eclectic collection of trinkets including Tuscan vases and ornate beer steins.
Low sofas and coffee tables are popular for platter sharing or post-work prandial.
Fussy food wouldn’t work here. Instead, no-nonsense bites such as manchego cheese and serrano ham, tuna tartare, rib eye steak, risottos and moulesfrites are all that’s required.
Like anything in Stockholm, the emphasis is on style and eating well is a given.
The high-ceiling rooms are instantly welcoming with enormous beds and wide sofas
The Lydmar works just as well in winter as in summer. Its waterfront terrace, which hosts live music, is the city’s hottest address during those long summer days with fashionistas vying to be seen, even queueing to get in.
And who can blame them?
It may be due to the unpretentious staff who make you feel like family or the rooms which are so personal and relaxing, you could be in a friend’s country house.
There are five categories within 46 rooms. All are unique and most lead off individual landings where you can simply sit and chill or catch up on work.
The walls of the corridors act as mini art galleries. When I stayed, a very evocative collection of Associated Press photographs of the Japanese tsunami lined one hallway.
Although arresting and disturbing, they certainly sparked discussion; a ballsy move by the hotel’s manager.
High-ceiling rooms are instantly welcoming; thick rugs on parquet herringbone fl oors; coffee tables piled high with picture books, mood lighting, enormous beds and wide sofas.
The eclectic souvenir collection continues into the rooms, too, with keepsakes displayed in glass cabinets, personally chosen by the hotel’s previous owner, style setter Pelle Lydmar who loved to collect mementos while travelling the world.
There are five categories within the 46 unique rooms and most lead off to individual landings
It’s difficult to put your fi nger on a particular style. It’s an assemblage of shabby-chic and vintage, interspersed with classic design statement pieces.
It doesn’t need to be pigeonholed as it works a treat as it is. In 2013, Lydmar decided that he wanted a quieter life and sold out to his bigger, more established next door neighbour, The Grand.
A Stockholm institution in its own right, it’s geared to an older clientele who love sprawling, ornate salons and a drinks trolley.
The hotels share the same gym and spa – a beautiful, serene space where you can bathe in Nordic style, heating up in the pine saunas before chilling under a cold bucket shower – a true Nordic experience.
Or you could just stay cosied up at the Lydmar. It’s a tough call.
British Airways Holidays (0344 493 0125/britishairways.com) offers two nights at the Lydmar Hotel from £329pp (two sharing), B&B.
Price includes return flights from Heathrow to Stockholm.
Stockholm tourism: visitstockholm.com