The effortlessly cool city of Stockholm is made up of 14 islands, floating on Lake Malaren. The modern, dynamic city is renowned for its spotless streets, vivid gastronomy and trend-setting interior design; its infinite, lingering light in summer and ethereal glow in winter.
Stockholm's unique brand of laidback, chic luxury is epitomised by the Lydmar Hotel, an independent, five-star residency housed behind a handsome Art Deco façade on Blasieholmen’s sweeping waterfront.
Swedish hotelier Per Lydmar relocated his eponymous hotel to its current location in 2010. The previous incarnation had a rock ‘n’ roll reputation and the “new Lydmar” is considered a more sophisticated, grown-up iteration. This hipster hotel still packs attitude however, boasting an eclectic live music programme that regularly leads to late-night parties in the penthouse suite. DJs play in the lobby throughout the afternoon and during the warmer months, live bands take over the outdoor terrace. The hotel is popular with actors and musicians (I met Rob Flynn of Machine Head in the dining room).
To coincide with the hotel's upcoming ten-year anniversary, all 46 bedrooms were extensively refurbished by architect Eva-Lotta Axelsson, founder of chic interior design studio Nude Ateljé. Parquet flooring and marble accents are warmed by velvet furnishings, while many rooms offer harbour-gazing waterfront views. Art from the owner's own collection hangs throughout the hotel, including a collection of exuberant dog portraits.
Breakfast is a bountiful smörgåsbord of typical Scandi fare, from cold meats and cheeses to chunky rye bread, while the hotel restaurant is open all day for generous open sandwiches and classic brasserie fare. Guests are also allowed access to the Nordic Spa at the neighbouring Grand Hôtel.
The Lydmar is located within easy walking distance of Norrmalmstorg, home of the Acne flagship boutique, as well as Gamla Stan, the medieval Old Town made up of saffron buildings and cobblestone labyrinthine streets. Catch a boat to Södermalm, the equivalent of Shoreditch, or drop by the Abba Museum in Djurgarden. Explore the city on land and on water and, when you have thoroughly exhausted yourself, retreat to the Lydmar for the best cocktails in the city.
Rooms from £232 per night; lydmar.com