Q: What is it? A: The grand dame of Stockholm hotels. Classic in style but not stuffy.
The most touristic picture on this site ever. And it’s from my hometown!
I snapped a pic of the Grand Hôtel standing on the Old Town-side of the harbour,
just in front of the Royal Castle. Yep, that’s where the King lives.
As a Stockholm native, I should probably not write this review.
I pass this hotel on my way to work five days per week and I’ve done so for more than 10 years. Naturally, I will not go oooh! and aaah! over the Royal Palace. But it’s not hard to understand why the Grand Hôtel is banging their own drum over the view. It’s quite alright. In fact, waking up in the Burmanska Palace section of the Grand Hôtel, watching the sun rise over the Old Town turned me into a Japanese photo tourist within minutes.
Only a small percentage of the world’s wines get noticeably better with age.
It’s the same with hotels. They may be called classic or traditional and in my book that would often be synonymous with stuffy and pompous. The Grand Hôtel in Stockholm, however, manages to pull off the aging stunt and land on their feet without spilling any of the Champagne. And it’s not just because of the newly added sections of the hotel. It’s not the updated Cadier Bar. It’s not even the Michelin-starred restaurants. If you’ve read a few of my reviews, you probably already know where I’m heading…
It’s the staff, stupid!
It is the staff that makes this hotel special. You feel very much taken care of. And not only is the service impeccable, it seems like everybody is genuinely interested in taking good care of you, and they do it with both style and a relaxed attitude. At the breakfast buffet they manage to pour you a double espresso, exchange a few friendly words and clean the tables despite the invasion of hotel guests at 9:24 AM. Plus; which really impressed me: The next day the waiter asked Do you want your coffee served a little later today as well? remembering yesterday’s request. In the Cadier Bar, bartenders remain discretely cheerful while guests order from a list of drinks more massive than my tax declaration. The Luxury Mojito must be the greatest invention since The Addam’s Family pinball game.
Finally, a Stockholm hotel with a decent restaurant.
Nine months after opening, the Mathias Dahlgren restaurant at the Grand Hôtel received its first Michelin star with an additional bullet. The second time around it was awarded a second star. It quickly has become a place where locals go to spend their hard-earned cash – which is a pretty good indicator of the quality of the kitchen.
I prefer the more causal Matbaren, (The Food Bar), which also earned a Michelin star recently. It’s the perfect combo of relaxed service and perfectly prepared local ingredients. I also appreciate the bowl of jelly raspberries, (one of the most common Swedish candy types) in the hotel’s reception. It’s just a bowl of candy, but to me it says a lot about this hotel’s attitude.
And it’s five brightly shining stars, if you haven’t figured it out already.
Grand Hotel Stockholm
Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8
103 27 Stockholm, Sweden
ANOTHER STAY AT THE GRAND HÔTEL:
So I went there for another stay. I wanted to check out their spa. This time, I was literally looking for little dents in the paintwork but they did it again and they did it in style. I also did something that I rarely do: I ordered room service. Here’s why: In 2006, the Grand Hôtel added 76 new rooms and suites to their main property. Sadly, no improvements will make the Verandan restaurant, which doubles as breakfast room, any bigger. So in order to ease the pressure on the Verandan, the hotel management decided to offer breakfast to the room without any extra charges. Below you see the result: