Q: What is it? A: A very central hotel in central Stockholm, so close to the central station that you can smell when sandwiches are brought out on platform 4. And the ‘Light’ refers to a rather whimsy ‘light’ concept described below.
One of Stockholm’s more prominent modernist buildings. Built in 1957-1960. Architect: Lars-Erik Lallerstedt. In 2000 the section which houses the hotel was added. That’s basically a glass and steel container with 175 rooms.
Yea and behold, people! This is what gave the hotel its name. I can’t but say that I find it a rather ‘thin’ concept. Two lamps projecting patterns on the wall and a button that will let you control the light over the bed. That’s it. That’s all.
The bathroom is… nice. A shower cabin and a bathtub. In the shower cabin you have pump bottles for shampoo and soap. In the bathtub area you have none of this. Wouldn’t be a problem if the bottles weren’t bolted to the wall.
Location is either terrible or the very best.
Most locals will just pass this area very quickly on their way to anywhere. It might put you off or you might find it this hotel’s best asset – located as it is less than a minute’s walk to the railway station and the high-speed trains to Stockholm’s international airport, (to which you’ll in 20 minutes). With this being said, be prepared that the surroundings may not be very scenic. But if you’re in town for business, or if you must continue your journey, you will find yourself in a place from where it’s very easy to escape this city.
A few things have been written about the façade…
If modernism makes you tick, you won’t be disappointed. The whole complex was built 1960-1961 and rebuilt in the late 90s. In 2001 it opened its doors and 175 rooms to the public. Inside, the designs of architects Söder and Pihl, totally fail to dazzle me. To be honest it looks just like any other modern hotel, (international magazines seem to wet their pants in appreciation for this ‘Scandinavian’ style). The ambitions to stay up-to-date are reflected in a never-ending influx of DJs and art projects. To me they come across as a bit nervous, like they are always trying a bit too hard, but I’m thankful that somebody’s trying.
Now, what about this light thing?
There are rooms and there are mood rooms. In the latter, light architect Kai Piippo has made his mark with the aid of a little knob above the bed that will change the colour of some LED lights inside and above the headboard (see the effect in the images below). Then there’s a spotlight projecting patterns on the walls. A call to front desk and they will send a light-theraphy lamp to the room. The light concept is all over the lobby as well, but to say that it feels very special would be to give it way too much credit. The St. Martin’s Lane hotel in London did the same thing in 1999 but didn’t build their entire concept around it.
I shouldn’t write this review as I’m grumpy today.
It may sound like I don’t like the Nordic Light Hotel. Don’t get me wrong. I do. Rooms are nice and clean although beds are not of the highest standard. Bathrooms used to be better. Now, with the stupid pump bottle arrangement (read the captions above) it’s less practical. At breakfast, they offer more than you would normally ask for, (it’s actually very good). Staff members come across as reasonably pleasant and service-minded. My friend, who is DJ-ing there during weekends, says that their brunch is a hit. And they updated their lobby, which means that you won’t feel like in a 2003 time capsule.
Mr. Guidebook’s verdict: A pretty good place to stay. In a pretty awesome location for travelers.
Nordic Light Hotel
S111 20 Stockholm
+46-8-505 630 00
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