1. At Six
At Six is – despite the deep un-coolness of this word – 'trendy'. Set in a Brutalist building which used to be a bank, it's now more fine art than finance, with art curated by Swedish artist Sune Nordgren displayed across the hotel.
Expect an upgrade on the standard hotel offerings here. In place of perfunctory two-in-one shampoo-and-conditioner miniatures, bathrooms are instead stocked with their own special edition C/o Gerd toiletries, an organic brand from Swedish Lapland. The classic hotel minibar is reimagined as an extensive in-room drinks cabinet from which you can mix your own cocktails.
And when you want to enjoy a drink outside of the (considerable) comfort of your king size bed, there are three At Six bars. Hosoi is a good option. Describing itself as a 'social living room', DJ sessions and live sets are served alongside beers and spirits.
2. Grand Hôtel
The jewel in Stockholm's hospitality crown. Stockholm's Grand Hôtel has been visited by the illustrious and the influential – from the Dalai Lama to Frank Sinatra – since its opening in 1874. True to its name, it's grand.
Right on the waterfront, you can see the Royal Palace from the hotel, with many bedrooms giving prime harbourside views.
If the natural water doesn't appeal, the Grand's Nordic spa gives you an alternative aqua environment to float around in, whether in Arabic hammam, sauna or plunge pool.
One of the hotel's restaurants, the Veranda, is also the only place you can find a traditional smörgåsbord year-round. For the uninitiated, it's essentially a high-end buffet, full of Scandi delights like caviar and meatballs with lingonberry jam. Go appropriately dressed – and by that, we mean with an elasticated waistband. There's a lot to sample.
3. Lydmar Hotel
Neighbouring the Grand Hôtel, Lydmar offers similar opportunities to water-gaze. Either from suite windows or more up close and personal on the waterside terrace, the Patio. In the summer months, the space hosts live music, club nights – and a drinks fountain brimming over.
Despite its five stars, Lydmar is relaxed, with its interiors giving off an erudite 'lounge' vibe, from the bookshelves lining the walls of the living room to the gallery-esque photography and art running along the corridors.
There's no hotel spa, but guests are welcome to use the Grand Hôtel's gym free of charge, right next door. And more adventure awaits outside the main doors, with archipelago boat tours which take you Stockholm's islands leaving from Strömkajen Harbour, just steps away from the hotel.
More waterfront luxury – this time it's the 2018 Conde Nast Traveler Reader's Choice, Hotel Diplomat Stockholm.
Set in an Art Nouveau building by Nybroviken harbour, Hotel Diplomat takes culture seriously. The lounge often plays host to guest exhibitions and it's got its very own art advisor, Lovisa Malmström, who selects the artwork to be displayed in common and guest rooms.
Having been family-run for four generations, the hotel's focus is on everything done well. That ranges from its creating its own line of linen to cover its beds, to luxury Bamford body and skincare products in all bathrooms.
If you fancy a guilt-free treat, the hotel's Afternoon Tea-Tox could be the remedy. Featuring healthy raw bars, super fruit salads and spirulina shots, it's feel-good food.
5. Bank Hotel
Bank Hotel is a recent addition to Stockholm's five-star set, having opened in August 2018. Despite its youth, the hotel feels like a classic, in part thanks to its past life as one of the city's banks; its grand bronze doors and chandeliers lend it a sense of gravitas.
Bank Hotel has bars and restaurants that you'd visit of your own volition, not just because they're conveniently located in the same building as your bedroom. The highlights are Bonnie's, the hotel's main restaurant offering Swedish and Mediterranean fusion dishes, or the Papillon Bar, which is designed to look like a Bank Director's office in mahogany and plush seating.
To get a sense of the city's scale, visit the hotel's top floor bar and terrace, which give panoramic views over Stockholm.
If peace and quiet is what you're looking for, this hotel on Skeppsholmen island gives you a chance to breathe. The only hotel on the island, it's designed for relaxation – from the cosy reading and writing corners overlooking the sea to the calming grey and blue colour palette, inspired by the Swedish Gustavian period.
But don't feel you're stranded on the island – the hotel is right next to Sweden's Museum of Modern Art and just a short ferry away from Stockholm's Old Town.
Plus, a stay here comes with a clear conscience. The hotel is eco-friendly certified and its restaurant, Långa Raden, serves only locally-sourced seasonal ingredients – think shrimps and foraged wild berries.
7. Berns Hotel
Berns doubles up as a concert venue, meaning you'll never be lost for something to do if lounging in bed or sampling the Malin and Goetz toiletries lose their charm.
Everyone from Marlene Dietrich to Rihanna has performed at the hotel, lending it some serious cultural cachet.
But musical heritage isn't for everyone – perhaps your interests lie more in satisfying your taste buds. If that's the case, you're in luck; Berns is home to the first (and highly-acclaimed) Chinese restaurant in Sweden, Berns Asiatiska. While not traditionally Scandinavian, it's hard to argue with its almost 80 years of Asian cookery know-how.
Featuring its own wellness retreat, The Nest, this is a hotel that knows about relaxation. Designed to look like a bird's nest and looking out over Stockholm from on high, here you can choose between indulging in a spa treatment, a yoga class – or, you know, a cocktail on the roof terrace.
To experience some of Stockholm's great outdoors from up close, head to the reception, where there are, among other things, skateboards and kayaks to hire.
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