From the Adirondack chairs lazily spread across the pier and the seafood restaurant’s waterfront deck, it’d be easy to confuse the Hotel J for somewhere in New England. Even the rooms are decked out in a healthy dose of Americana, with tasteful white cotton and stars-and-stripes accompanying the natural wood furnishings and nautical memorabilia. And the seafood-focused restaurant—which, frankly, feels like a luxury yacht—channels American favorites in its brasserie-style menu.
But, fear not, the Hotel J is also very Swedish. Located on the far side of the island from Stockholm, it capitalizes on the Swedes’ love of boating, especially in the summer months, when the archipelago’s 30,000 islands become day trip and vacation destinations for the entire city. Not only is it affiliated with the local yacht club—just ask if you’d like to spend a day on the water—but the ferry to and from Stockholm stops in front of the restaurant, allowing city dwellers to make pilgrimages to the eatery at will. The hotel’s sprawling, wooded grounds, too, are exceptionally Swedish, especially with the 19th-century summer mansions that dot them; most are used as event spaces now, but don’t let that curb your exploring.
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Just a quick ferry ride from Stockholm’s city center, Hotel J feels like a rural hideaway, thanks to its perch on Nacka Strand along Stockholm harbor’s Saltsjön waterway. The surrounding town is a sleepy summer holiday destination, with a handful of excellent seafood restaurants, but the focus here is primarily on the outdoors. The hotel can arrange boating and fishing excursions, and bikes can be rented nearby for exploring the picturesque Swedish countryside. For some less sun-soaked culture, take the ferry across the waterway to the Thielska Galleriet, which houses an impressive collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century Northern and Central European art.
Need to Know
Rooms: 158 rooms, four suites. From $148. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:With porthole windows crowning open-air walls and a natural wood-beam aesthetic, Restaurant J—located on the other side of the marina from the hotel—keeps up the New England nautical style found throughout, and pairs it with the freshest of local seafood in its American brasserie–inspired cuisine. The waterfront deck is especially popular in the summer, and the restaurant is a destination for seafood-loving locals. A classic Swedish breakfast is included in all rates. Spa and gym details: In addition to a well-equipped gym, the hotel offers guests the opportunity to go sailing through the nearby yacht club. Spa treatments can be arranged at the neighboring Njuta Spa.
Who's it best for: Stockholm veterans, seafarers, and couples and families looking for something different. Our favorite rooms: Rooms in the new wing are, well, newer in feel, but any room with a sea view and private balcony captures the Hotel J experience. The J Newport Seaview rooms even have a private roof terrace overlooking the water. Plan ahead: Be sure to reserve and inform the staff two days in advance if you want to try the restaurant’s decadent seafood platter.