If Stockholm epitomizes cool, then the Lydmar Hotel has somehow managed to improve upon that ideal. How many hotels in grand 18th- and 19th-century buildings feel no need to put a name on the outside? How many give each floor its own distinctive living room—a private lounge away from the bustling lobby that buzzes with a stylish city’s most beautiful and well-connected denizens? And how often is that lobby also an art gallery, a worthy destination in itself and a gateway to rooms where the likes of Damien Hirst would feel right at home? Surely it’s rare to find a rather small hotel like this—home to four of a city’s hottest bars and restaurants, including two with unobstructed waterfront views of the Royal Palace and surrounding harbor. Few are bold enough to acknowledge that the best spa in a city that celebrates wellness is located next door in another hotel, and that it would be better to get its own guests unfettered access to that luxurious haven than to try to build its own. The Lydmar is a hotel unlike any other.
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Facing the Royal Palace across the water, the Lydmar sits in the heart of Stockholm, with many of the city’s top attractions within walking distance. The historic neighborhood of Gamla Stan, with its trendy cafés and picturesque architecture, is just across a bridge, as is the green island of Skeppsholmen, filled with museums and restaurants. The surrounding area, too, is filled with parks, including the Kungsträdgården and Berzelii Park, both abuzz with activity in the warmer months, thanks to festivals and live music; even in the winter, the Kungsträdgården is popular for ice skating and cold-weather activities. The neighborhood is also filled with excellent restaurants, including B.A.R. and the Michelin-starred Mathias Dahlgren.
Need to Know
Rooms: 46 rooms, seven suites. From $335. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: With its bookshelf-lined walls and tufted leather chairs, the library-like restaurant exudes a members’ club vibe that pairs nicely with its classic French brasserie menu—will it be steak tartare or duck confit?—as well as specially designed late-night and lazy Sunday offerings. A gourmet breakfast spread is served daily, with both buffet and à la carte choices included in all stays. The restaurant attracts in-the-know locals, creating a cool, laid-back scene, while the patio bar—with its live music acts and waterfront views across to the Royal Palace—and second-floor terrace bar are hip local hangouts in the warmer months. In the cooler months, it’s the lobby that plays host to designer-clad locals for cocktails and tunes by night, and coffee and conversation by day. Spa and gym details: The hotel lacks its own spa, but guests have free access to the adjacent Nordic Spa and Fitness, located in the Grand Hotel; the spa offers a full range of natural treatments, as well as a fitness center, swimming pool, and sauna.
Who's it best for: Fashion insiders, trendy couples, and anyone who loves city-center water views. Our favorite rooms: Thanks to the hotel’s location, many of its individually decorated rooms have water views, but three of the suites (known as Large King rooms) have different vantages over the harbor from living room and bedroom. Hotel or museum: Don’t just walk by the art hanging throughout the hotel. The lobby, rooms, and hallways double as a gallery, with some of the hottest contemporary artists exhibiting work here.