What’s so special
This was the very first inn to be built in Sweden. Queen Kristina stayed here in the mid-1600s and since then a host of royals have been drawn to the hotel’s grand, stately style.
How they rate it
“There’s something a little bit ‘through the looking glass’ about the Stallmästaregården hotel in Stockholm,” says Lonely Planet Traveller. “Its entrance runs along one of the busiest roads in the city, but once you step inside and warm up by the fire, all the hustle of the capital falls away.
On the other side of the building you’re greeted with the tranquil sight of Brunnsviken bay, an idyllic tree-fringed stretch of water that lies in the centre of Haga Park, Stockholm’s royal park and a year-round favourite with the locals.” The bedrooms “display hints of 18th-century grandeur mixed in with the modernist design for which Sweden is now more famous”.
The hotel restaurant serves modern Swedish cuisine with dishes including chicken with mushroom-filled Swedish dumplings and assorted herring with spiced cheese and crisp caraway and fennel bread.
Prices start from £150 per night for a classic double. See www.stallmastaregarden.se or call 00 46 8610 1300.
What’s so special
The Lydmar opened in 2008 and promptly stole the title of Stockholm’s best hotel from the illustrious Grand Hotel – which had held the position since the 1800s. Since then the hotel has gone from strength to strength, winning numerous awards and positive reviews.
How they rate it
“The Lydmar feels like a country house in the heart of the city,” says Condé Nast Traveller, which included the hotel in its Gold List in 2009. “The 46 neutral-toned rooms are wonderfully spacious, while the dining room/bar, with its walls lined with books and the sort of artfully arranged clutter that can be achieved only by a lifetime of luxury travel, feels like a living room.”
The views of the harbour and the Royal Palace are “superb”. However, what really sets the hotel apart is its “faultless style and an atmosphere of relaxed comfort that’s made it the talk of the town”.
Fantastic food is on offer in the hotel restaurant, with dishes including steak tartare or duck breast with foie gras.
Prices start from SEK3,200 (£302) for a classic double. Find out more at the website at www.lydmar.com, or telephone 00 46 822 3160.
Head for some winter sun in Miami
Need some sun to brighten up your winter? Head for one of these Miami beach hotels.
The SLS Hotel (pictured) on Collins Avenue “brought sparkle to the shores of South Beach when it opened” in November, says Laura Holt in The Independent. The interiors are by Philippe Starck, “with a helping hand from rock star Lenny Kravitz, who designed the penthouse”. There are two restaurants, including a sushi restaurant. “Several cocktail bars, two outdoor pools and direct access to the beach, complete the all-star line up.” Doubles from $410, room only (SLShotels.com).
“The man with the Midas touch for designing Miami hotels was Morris Lapidus”, the godfather of the 1950s neo-Baroque resort. He built the Fountainebleau hotel, Eden Roc and the DiLido – which is now the Ritz-Carlton. The hotel has just completed a renovation of its 375 rooms and “Miami’s rolling waves and sandy shore acted as inspiration: expect shell motifs, with soft blue, green and coral shades”. Doubles from $428, room only (Ritzcarlton.com).
Situated on a barrier island in the Biscayne Bay, The Standard Spa offers a “serene escape from the city’s lively party scene”. Enjoy the views of the water from the infinity pool before trying a Turkish hammam, Finnish sauna and mud baths. The Lido restaurant “serves healthy, wholesome food”. Doubles cost from $297, bed and breakfast (Standardhotels.com).