Q: What is it? A: A quite boutique-y hotel where the interior is a sign of clocks stopping in the late 80s – but don’t get put off by that. The staff is great-y. And the location is awesome-ish.
Where are you?
Tell a Stockholm native that you’re going to Nackstromsgatan and you will be met with question marks and wrinkled-up faces. Tell them that you’re staying at the Berns Hotel and everybody will know exactly where you are at. Berns is nothing but an institution in the Stockholm nightlife. For such a central location the hotel is a rather secluded and private place, which made it the choice for celebrities. Evidence of this may be found on the calf of one of the doormen after a close encounter with Axl Rose’s teeth in 2006.
For Stockholm nightlife it’s big.
When opening its doors in 1863, it was the most elegant hotel in Sweden. In 1989 it was renovated and if it’s cutting edge design that you’re looking for, you’ll not find it in this hotel. As long as grey and black marble doesn’t make you tick, that is.
Fact is that the public spaces look like being lifted straight out of a late 80s time capsule. Quite amusing after you’re over the initial shock. Some of the former conference rooms have recently been turned into suites and rooms and in general rooms have a more contemporary feel. Booking a small room means that you will getting a very small room with some quirky space-saving solutions for storage. Be prepared to look an extra time for the glasses. Hint: They’re behind a cherry wood panel. The large rooms and suites are (surprise!) larger. Much larger, in fact.
A few of the rooms boast a view over the Berzelii park. One of these rooms is #431, (pictured above) which also comes with a kitchen and some trivia: Before 1989, this was a dressing room where Marlene Dietrich, Ella Fitzgerald and Diana Ross received the final touches to their make-up, before entering the Berns musical stage.
Extra points collected:
Staff at the front desk is very friendly and helpful, (thanks again, David!) and breakfast is one of the better in Stockholm, although not extravagant. During the colder seasons, make sure you don’t arrive too late to breakfast, as there won’t be enough seats in the glassed area with the view over Berzelii park. In the summer, there’s no need to fight over tables, as there are plenty of them outside as well. You may notice that the price per night may be fluctuating heavily: On weekends the price per night may be surprisingly low; booking a weekday may give you a whole different price tag. I would also recommend calling the hotel and ask nicely about room availability. Not only has this given me access to rooms that have not been available online – it has also given me quite amazing discounts.
111 47 Stockholm
+46-8-566 322 22
If you’re staying in one of the suites with round windows you will get an excellent view of Norrmalmstorg and the Acne Jeans’ flagship store. The store is a former bank, where in 1973 two robbers took four employees hostage, demanding money and a fast car. During the five-day siege that ensued, the hostages became emotionally attached to their captors, introducing the world to what thereafter became known as the Stockholm Syndrome.