Where to stay in Stockholm

A former royal hunting lodge hotel, and a grandiose national treasure in Stockholm.

The Grand Hotel

What's so special

Since it opened in 1874, the Grand Hotel has secured its reputation as one of the very best Scandinavian hotels. It enjoys a regal setting on the waterfront opposite the palace and so all of Stockholm's major sights are just a stroll away.

How they rate it

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"From Greta Garbo to the annual Nobel Prize winners, everyone who's anyone has stayed at the Grand," says Mark Skipworth in The Daily Telegraph. The bedrooms are "havens of calm". With all the usual mod-cons and black marble bathrooms, they are a mixture of "understated opulence and exquisite taste".

The public spaces are, unfortunately, less peaceful. Many of the hotel's interiors are designated national treasures so there are tourists aplenty and "a constant buzz about the place". The hotel's Cadier cocktail bar, with its glass-fronted veranda, "offers an unforgettable panorama of the city".

The menu

Head to the Food Bar to experience "Swedish superchef" Mathias Dahlgren's Nordic specialities. These include cream of nettle soup, pork dumplings and horseradish herring. There is an "excellent" selection of classic wines to choose from.

The cost

Doubles from £238; www.grandhotel.se.

Hotel Hellstens Malmgard


What's so special

Hidden on Stockholm's Sdermalm island you'll find this 240-year-old historic gem. It's a listed building that was once a royal hunting lodge. Now it's one of the best hotels in Sweden.

How they rate it

Each room in this beautiful hotel is "decorated in vibrant colours and retains original features, such as tiled ceramic stoves known locally as kakelugns fireplaces and stone floors", says Genevieve Roberts in The Independent. When it was renovated and turned into a hotel the structure of the building had to be carefully preserved, "so expect to find modern bathrooms, of variable size, tucked into archways and corners".

There is no spa, gym or restaurant; instead, "this is a carefully thought out three-star hotel with excellent service and a sense of history".

The menu

There may be no dinner service here, but you can still enjoy breakfast, "served under the arches in the brick-vaulted basement". The croissants and pickled herring were "delicious", but the fish roe is "more of an acquired taste".

The cost

Double rooms start from £139, including breakfast. See www.hellstensmalmgard.se/en.

The best Mediterranean villas


If you're looking for a villa near the Mediterranean this summer, here are five to consider, says Julian Allason in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine.

The Garden Villa in Vis, Croatia, is located on a cobbled street seconds from the sea and comes with a speedboat. The villa sleeps six and costs from £2,500 per week with Dalmation Destinations (Dalmatiandestinations.com).

Set on empty sands in Porto Palo Di Menfi, Sicily Profondo Blu offers "total tranquillity" it's even got "a mouflon sheep herd as well as an ostrich at large in the grounds". It sleeps six and is priced from £2,377 per week with Think Sicily (Thinksicily.com).

Villa Sancha Ronda in Ronda, Spain, comes with its own horses, so you can go riding in the nearby Grazalema National Park. It sleeps 12 and costs from £3,403 per week with Abercrombie & Kent (Akvillas.com).

The Hidden Villa in Antiparos, Greece, has won design awards for its unique architecture. It is "subtly lovely" and "almost invisible", thanks to its roof sown with grass. It sleeps eight and costs from £800 per person per week with Five Star Greece (Fivestargreece.com).

Set in hills 15 minutes from the Medina, La Malletiere (pictured) in Tangier, Morocco, has "riotous gardens". It sleeps eight and costs from £495 per person per week with CV Villas (Cvtravel.co.uk).