Nobis Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden ***

Q: What is it? A: A hotel of high standard. Stay here and you’ll find yourself smack in the middle of the middle of Stockholm – in the same building as where the Stockholm syndrome originated…

Rooms are attractive and designed by Swedish architect trio Claesson Koivisto Rune. Book one with a view over the Norrmalmstorg square, and you’ll wake up to a decent view as well.

Nobis offers a certain coziness. Which is not to take for granted as the aforementioned architects are known for their minimalist style. Still, they managed to create a liveable space that feels warm and inviting.

Not all modern bathrooms are functional. This one was. And although I’m no fan of marble, I found it being on the attractive side. Proof of the no-expense-spared philosophy of this hotel: An Eames walnut stool (approx. price: US$ 935) in a wet room.

Writer’s desk with a small set of funky speakers and the w083 massaud lamp by Swedish producer Wästberg, designed by Toulouse-born designer Jean-Marie Massaud in 2008.

Hand-milled closet door of panga panga wood, which design is an off-spring from the rooms’ curtain pattern, which is in turn a play with a plan of the Örsta Gallery building in Kumla, Sweden. Yhe above according to the architects.

Each room at the Nobis Hotel has a marble angel on the wall. Some of these angels have the head of a goose. Some are glued to the wall at the head. And the majority I’ve seen, come with tiny details in gold. Who designed them? Are they for sale anywhere outside the hotel? The investigation will continue until I find out.

Early morning view from a Superior Room overlooking the Norrmalmstorg square. Had it been in the year 1776, you would be seated in the golden circle to watch the action at the pillory, the whipping-post and the city’s other means of punishing any bad hombres.

Listed as green, meaning building of high historical value. Early documents will tell that the chequered floor and the spiral staircase from where I’m shooting this frame, were there from day one.

The exterior is palace-like. It was built during the years 1890-93. The architect, Johan Laurentz, was the flavor of the month for decades: This gent designed about 50 buildings in and around Stockholm.

The centralest address in Stockholm?
It’s a broken iPhone’s throw away from Kungsträdgården, where the foundation for the yuppie era was laid during the 80s. It’s a mere Champagne bottle pop away from Berzelii Park and Berns, which has been a mainstay of the Stockholm nightlife since 1863. Even these days, when the hottest address in the city has been moving up a few blocks to the area around the Stureplan square… Norrmalmstorg seems to be the pivotal place.

When I heard about the architects, I turned skeptic…
..but they proved me wrong, I’m glad to say. Design studio Claesson Koivisto Rune are known to be the Masters of Minimalism. Having stayed in other hotels of the Nobis Group, my mind had a certain preset when checking in at the Nobis Hotel. I’m happy to report that the minimalist bunch learned a few things about what makes a hotel room nice and cozy. Utilizing textures and textiles to a higher degree than, for instance, at the Hotel Skeppsholmen, these rooms are of the kind you actually do want to stay in. That accounts for about 1/3 of the reasons to pick a certain hotel, if you ask me.

No expenses spared.
If you are a bit of a furniture buff, you will drool over the Nobis. Look up when entering the lobby. Lamps by Bertjan Pot (Random Light for Moooi), Front Design (Camouflage for Zero), and David Trubridge’s Coral Pendant, among others. Rooms are filled to the rim with Claesson, Koivisto Rune’s own designs for the hotel paired with some classics. The result is both pleasing to the eye and adds coziness to your stay. I just hope that it will be maintained well, as environments of this kind have a tendency to not exactly conceal dents and scratches.

Having stayed here a few times…
…I’d still say that the Nobis hasn’t really settled. And this well into the hotel’s seventh year of operation. During one of my stays, one of the bartenders was truly world-class – top grade for social skills. During check-in for another stay, I encountered mechanic hospitality at best. Still, I do recommend this hotel. It’s a welcome addition to an otherwise pretty dull square (despite the Brasserie Vau De Ville, which outdoor seating seems to expand with every summer).
With the Nobis Group’s experience of running bars, nightclubs and hotels, expectations are high, whenever you walk into one of their establishments. I’m the first to say that the Nobis has improved with time. But I’ll also be the first to say it needs to step its game up just another notch.

Nobis Hotel
Norrmalmstorg 2-4
111 86 Stockholm


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Norrmalmstorg 4, the Nobis Hotel building, was erected 1890-93. Architect: Johan Laurentz. Oddly enough, this magnificent building faced the threat of being demolished during the years of ‘modernisation’ of the Stockholm city center at the end of the 60s.
The building is also the site where the psychological phenomenon dubbed ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ was coined. In 1973 bank robbers held the employees of the Kreditbanken office, hostages in the bank’s vault (now the ACNE store). During their six days of captivity, hostages turned oddly sympathetic to their captors (i.e. the robbers). Since this dramatic event, this behaviour has been referred to as the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’.

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