Q: What is it? A: Pelle Lydmar’s genius is found everywhere in the ‘new’ Lydmar Hotel. Rooms are superb. The staff is great. I just wish that the kitchen was a tad more solid.
Two blocks from my office…
…the antiseptic and very corporate headquarters of a Swedish power company has replaced the old Lydmar Hotel. Passing it still means that I get the feeling that something is missing in Stockholm. Some of the free, unadvertised concerts at the Lydmar were amongst the most amazing I’ve ever attended. On March 16, 2002, the house-diva Adeva made the packed lobby go bananas during a three hour live set with a band of Swedish musicians. The concert with the alternative L.A. hiphop group People Under The Stairs is still considered a classic. Not to mention… Naah, I’d better stop there. This shouldn’t be a place for nostalgia.
When entering the new Lydmar, don’t expect the old one.
The original Lydmar opened in 1993, with most of the Stockholm nightlife within Bluetooth range. The new Lydmar is located between the Grand Hôtel and the Swedish National Museum of Art. Some rooms are facing the water and the Royal Castle – but those are just a few so don’t expect to get glimpses of the royal family. In total there are 46 rooms available in a building known as the Edelstamska house, built in 1829. Until the hotel opened on October 6, it had remained mostly unnoticed, with the exception of it being the address of the German embassy between 1919 and 1945.
The new Lydmar kicked off with a photographic exhibition featuring the dramatic works of the American photojournalist James Nachtwey, but unlike the old Lydmar art doesn’t get in your face. In fact, most things in the new Lydmar Hotel feels more laid back and more low-key than I’d expected.
Drinks are superb but there’s no bar.
The new Lydmar’s restaurant is way better than its predecessor. Try the scallops and the superb entrecôte. It’s also way more inviting; a chesterfield couch here, low tables there. A custom built bookshelf (it WILL get copied, trust me) filled with children’s books, bottles, a well used underwater camera housing and some odd artifacts. The members of the staff work completely surrounded by guests as there is no bar to hide behind. It’s not design perfection and that hasn’t been the ambition. It is cosy, comfy and a place where you will find yourself sitting for way too long.
And you can’t complain about the rooms.
Rooms are very comfortable and individually furnished (props to interior architect Nissen Johansen). In room 314 there’s a vitrine filled with… weird stuff (check out the image above). The bathtub is super and the only thing in the room that felt out of place was the TV. The Lydmar instantly came across as a hotel that had been around for a while. Plus; the staff is excellent. Had breakfast been included (or been more generous) it would have been awarded the fifth star right away. Now it’s four stars, with a bullet…
Maybe I’m tougher in my judging just because it’s the Lydmar?
I will stay there again soon and let you know what I think.
Box 161 96
103 24 Stockholm