Story Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden ****

Q: What is it? A: A hotel that is managed a bit differently than others. No front desk. No keys. Still, rooms are stylish and the bar is highly popular among us locals.

The sleeping area in the Lily Dam Suite of the Story Hotel. Note the funky headboard which is a former door to the ladies room, from the time before the buildling was turned into a hotel.

The sleeping area in the Lily Dam Suite of the Story Hotel. Note the funky headboard which is a former door to the ladies room, from the time before the buildling was turned into a hotel.

Look! Not one but two remote controls. In the Lily Dam Suite, you can watch a whole season of Entourage without leaving the bathtub!

Look! Not one but two remote controls. In the Lily Dam Suite, you can watch a whole season of Entourage without leaving the bathtub!

The suite is 581 square feet (54 sq m) and it comes with a cozy reading corner and two balconies.

The suite is 581 square feet (54 sq m) and it comes with a reading corner that probably was designed to be cozy. It also comes with two balconies.

Heavily frequented by locals (like myself): The bar at the Story Hotel. To find many locals in a hotel bar is good sign for any hotel bar, if you ask me.

Heavily frequented by locals (like myself): The bar at the Story Hotel. To find many locals in a hotel bar is good sign for any hotel bar, if you ask me.

A pleasant surprise!
This is what checking in will be all about in the future. There’s no front desk. You click on ‘Check-in’ on a screen and then you’re typing in the booking code that was sent to you as a text message when you booked the room. That same code is also the magic number to open the door to your room, (if you tend to forget codes and numbers as easily as I do, you’d better keep your mobile juiced up). This does not mean that you are left all to yourself when staying at the Story Hotel. Questions are answered by staff members in the lobby. When I call the reception about a malfunctioning e-mail code, I get a swift response and the problem is solved in less than 30 seconds. The philosophy seems to be; let’s have the staff available where they needed the most.

Nice rooms. Nice pricetag.
I’ve tried a few different rooms at the Story Hotel. Most grand is the Lily Dam Suite on the 5th floor. With its 54 square meters, it’s one of the largest of the hotel’s 82 rooms. Two balconies, three TV screens, (one above the tub), separate toilet and bathroom, a writer’s desk and more space than you would expect comes with a surprisingly modest price tag. It’s rather stylish with quirky details. Some well known Swedish photographers on the wall and the bed’s headboard is an old door to the ladies room, (reportedly from the time before the building was turned into a hotel). I discover no major design flaws until I realize that there are no closets for your stuff. Just a bar with hangers. That’s it. Sorry, but it is not enough.

The owners are veterans of the Stockholm nightlife.
Robert Hållstrand and Andreas Philipson are both seasoned veterans of the Stockholm night life. That becomes quite evident as the first impression of the Story Hotel is not very hotellish. It’s a bar and a restaurant and a place where locals meet. Or should I say where account executives and media analysts meet? It’s not something that should put you off. The bar clientele merely reflect the area. Just keep that in mind if you are arriving during after work hours.

It may not be the perfect Stockholm hotel for everybody…
…but it is, quite the pleasant acquaintance. The Story Hotel opened in early March 2009 and I’ve stayed there numerous times since. The staff are young and friendly – arrival at the very last minute of breakfast is met with nothing but smiles. It’s also suprisingly good value for money. I expected to pay much more as the rooms are nice and the location nothing but stellar. The epicenter of Stockholm nightlife is only a minute away but the bar on the ground floor remains popular among locals. In the reviews you will probably often read conceptual caca like ‘vintage’ and ‘bohemian chic’. I would not use those words. I’d rather say that this place makes me feel good. Recommended? Oh, yes.

Story Hotel
Riddargatan 6
S114 25 Stockholm
Sweden

+46-8-545 039 40

Have your say