Hotel J, Nacka Strand, Stockholm, Sweden ***

Q: What is it? A: A nicely located hotel just by the water, a mere 15-minute drive outside Stockholm. Great breakfasts. I find rooms slightly boring, as I’m not a huge fan of the Newport-y New England-style.

Lush garden? Check. Good breakfast? Check.

There are quite a few places that would be less pleasant for a hotel breakfast than the garden of Hotel J. Please note that this hotel is not located in Stockholm but a 15-minute taxi ride southeast of the city.

Looks like an ad for the clothing and interior brand Gant, doesn’t it?

All fans of the New England-style will feel just like at home. Since I’ve had an overdose of Gant and Lexington ads in my days, this doesn’t make me tick.

Some say this is a well designed hotel. I do not agree.
From a design perspective it leaves a lot to be desired. And I am no fan of the Swedish lagom interpretation of the ‘modern nautical’ style (think Gant or Lexington and you’ll get the idea) that suggests that your life should adopt the visual look of the American East-coast, say New Haven, CT circa 1949. Don’t get me wrong. The Hotel J is a cosy and pleasant place and a member of the Design Hotels chain. It’s just not very well designed.

The location doesn’t hurt.
Some are getting put off by the hotel’s location. There’s a 15 minute taxi trip from the city center to the hotel if there are no raised bridges or traffic congestions. In my opinion the off the beaten path location by the inlet of Stockholm is the hotel’s reason to be. The Restaurant J, famous for its wobbly kitchen and the sometimes snotty staff, collects numerous points for being situated on a pier just below the statue “The Rainbow. Lord placing new stars on heaven” by Carl Milles. With a little planning you may also reach the Hotel J by commuter boat from the Nybroviken in the heart of Stockholm. Just be aware of the location and you’ll enjoy it. Mornings at the Hotel J just near the water are a blessing.

Breakfast is superb.
The most pleasant place in this hotel is what’s referred to as the living room. Here, guests operate the honesty bar in the evenings and a generous complimentary breakfast buffet is served in the morning. And if the entire Hotel J delivered like at breakfast, my rating would be higher. The Hotel J should stop to refer to itself as a design hotel. Room design is dull and the place lacks personality. But it’s a cosy and nice place to stay and in my opinion that’s often good enough.

Hotel J Nacka Strand
Ellensviksvägen 1
131 27 Stockholm
+46-8-601 30 00

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