Easter in mid-April. Long weekend escape to Stockholm. Sounds like it should be the start of spring, right? That’s what I was hoping for, and that was what happened the week before I arrived. However, Easter weekend and my arrival brought snow and sub-zero temperatures!
Stockholm is fortunately easy to navigate. Upon landing at Arlanda airport there’s a highly efficient train which drops you in the center of town. Trains run every 15 mins or so and take about 20 mins. Just follow the signs in the airport. Tickets aren’t cheap if you buy them on arrival (SEK540 return) but they can be bought in advance on line or via the Arlanda Express app. The earlier you buy, the cheaper they are (as low as SEK154 single for a 90 day advance fare).
Admittedly, the hardest part of navigating Stockholm is finding the way out of the train station! Once you’ve mastered this however, Story Hotel is only an easy 20 minute walk across town. If you’re not feeling like walking, or the weather doesn’t lend itself to a walk, then there is the Östermalmstorg metro station (red line) just around the corner from the hotel.
Story Hotel is yet another example of why you should forego the third party booking sites and book direct. There’s a range of room offers on their website, but by booking directly you also get discounts at Ling Long (as well as the inhouse bar). Check in is also fully automated and once you’ve booked you’re sent an email with the check in code for self-service. There is also free wifi throughout the hotel.
The hotel is modern and funky. Decked in dark wood, sumptuous carpets and low lighting (not to mention the voice announcing floors in the lift), the hotel has been designed to a high standard and the walls are adorned with unique art, some of which can be purchased.
There’s a variety of rooms at Story Hotel, each with individual quirks and differences. Some have a small balcony (as mine did, which when there’s snow isn’t quite so handy), others have a bath and there are suites. If you’re a light sleeper, aim for the rooms on higher floors and away from the bar – certainly that was the advice I’d been given, but on the long weekend the bar was pretty quiet.
The rooms are lovely and warm – perfect for when it is freezing outside and the large bathrooms have underfloor heating. The toiletries are the luxury Malin & Goetz.
The rooms include breakfast which is served in the ground floor Ling Long area and consists of your usual european fare – fresh bread, meats, cheese, eggs, yogurt and pastries. There’s also a range o teas and coffee on offer. Plenty of variety to stock up before a day of sightseeing. Östermalm is rather posh and one of Stockholm’s oldest residential neighborhoods. The houses are beautifully preserved, the streets are broad and airy and the people are good looking.
The location is perfect. Close to the Ostermalm district and within an easy walk of the harbour, Kungstradgarden, Norrmalm and Gamla Stan. The staff at the hotel can also provide restaurant recommendations and book for you (see also the review for Matbaren).
The hotel bar, like its restaurant, Ling Long, is a destination in itself. During the day, it’s a laid-back place to read the paper; by night, every cocktail ingredient you’ve ever heard of (and quite a lot you haven’t) is put to use by first class, experienced bar staff. It isn’t an overly dressy place, jeans and smart trainers will do just fine.
For a weekend in one of Europe’s coolest cities, this hotel has everything you need at prices which won’t offend your wallet too much.