We keep an informal list of weekend destinations - places that don't require taking holiday days because the flights are direct (or nearly direct) and the travel costs reasonable (for Stavanger.) When I notice a gap in our travel calendar longer than a month, I'll start to peruse flights. More often than not, a return trip over a weekend will end up being too expensive or the flight connections too lengthy to make it worthwhile but occasionally, I'll come across something feasible.
At the beginning of June, in the midst of our crazy travel schedule, the August calendar was looking a little bare and low and behold, flights to Stockholm had come down in price. Tickets were bought, hotel booked and the trip was put on the back-burner as we prepared to travel to North America via France.
Stockholm was one of those places we visited with little planning and few expectations. I think we assumed the city would be quite similar Oslo and while we enjoyed our weekend there, we weren't particularly smitten with Norway's capital city but upon arrival in Sweden, we were pleasantly surprised.
Having come across the Story Hotel in our Condé Nast Traveller magazine, we decided to make it our base for our weekend in Stockholm. The location was ideal - in Östermalm, noted to be a higher end neighbourhood in the city filled with restaurants, shops and a stone's throw from many of the major sites. The hotel was hip and quirky from the decor to the happening lounge on the main floor.
We booked the "Bath Room" (those of you who love baths as much as I do and find yourself living without one will seek them out in nice hotels) and while it was small, it was completely functional. The long glass wall dividing the bathroom from the rest of the room was unique and perhaps for some, a little too 'revealing.' While the sink and toilet are a little more discreet, privacy is definitely lacking should you 'ahem' require it. But, with that being said, we quite enjoyed it for a short weekend in the city and as always, I appreciate hotels with a little personality and this one certainly had it.
Should you find yourself booking a room, definitely ask for an upper floor. As I said, the bar downstairs is happening, particularly on a Friday night, and I'm not sure I'd want to find myself right above it unless I was planning on joining in.
+ Flights were purchased through SAS and required a stop in Oslo.
+We took the Arlanda Express from the airport to centre and found it fast, clean and easy to use. From there, it was about a 20 minute walk to the hotel which was fine with minimal luggage. We did take a taxi on the way back.
**More to come on Stockholm and how we spent our time there but in case you're interested, you can check out our visits to other Scandinavian cities - Oslo & Copenhagen.