Stockholm's Grand Hotel aims high with newly-renovated suites

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Stockholm's Grand Hotel aims high with newly-renovated suites

Stockholm's storied Grand Hotel is set on being one of the top-ten luxury hotels in Europe by 2015, and recently offered a rare, behind-the-scenes look at a set of newly renovated suites that owners hope will help it get there.


Ever since its opening in 1874, Stockholm's Grand Hotel has been the hotel of choice for celebrities and well-heeled visitors during their stay in the Swedish capital.

At the time of its opening, the Grand boasted more bathrooms than the Royal Palace situated across the water on Gamla Stan.

The hotel also played host to the first ever Nobel banquet back in 1901.

As the city's only five-star deluxe hotel, the Grand has long offered amenities unavailable at other Stockholm hotels such as eateries run by Michelin-starred chef Mathias Dahlgren.

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But more than 125 years of history had left some aspects of the hotel somewhat below the standards expected by the types of guests that frequent Europe's five-star hotels.

"The rooms themselves were actually something of a weak point," Grand Hotel sales manager Martin Gunnarsson told reporters during a recent tour of the hotel.

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However, the Grand has been taking pains to renovate its rooms over the last ten years, and last month unveiled the most recently updated set of luxury suites that it hopes will help raise its stature among Europe's top-flight luxury hotels.

"Our goal is to be among the top-ten luxury hotels in Europe by 2015," said Gunnarsson.

The sparkling set of 19 rooms is situated on the hotel's third floor and each provides stunning views over the Strömkajan waterfront and the Royal Palace.

Interior designer Sanna Nathanson, who two years ago gave a facelift to rooms on the first two floors of the Grand Hotel, worked with architects at Tengbom on the third-floor rooms to recreate details harking back to the hotel's early days.

"It's important to preserve the Grand Hotel's classic spirit but also dare to renew and modernize," Grand Hotel CEO Marie-Louise Kjellström said in a statement.

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The most magnificent of the newly renovated suites is the spacious, 165-square metre Bernadotte Suite, named for Sigvard Bernadotte, the Swedish prince who became an internationally renowned designer.

It was Bernadotte who was responsible for the interior design of the Grand Hotel's third floor when it was unveiled in 1965, and his spirit lives on in what is characterized as a modern interpretation of the Empire style.

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The four-room suite includes two bedrooms with sky-blue walls, as well as a private dining room that features a hand-painted, Greek-motif panorama wall covering by De Gournay.

Of course, living in the lap of Grand Hotel luxury doesn't come cheaply, with the Bernadotte suite boasting a listed rate of 35,000 kronor ($5,400) per night.

"The room is popular with families with small children who want to be able to havea little privacy," Gunnarsson explained.

While the four rooms of the Bernadotte suite make up the Grand Hotel's "signature suite", it nevertheless pales in comparison to the magnificent, 330 square metre Princess Lilian Suite.

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The opulent "home away from home" features four televisions, a fully-equipped kitchen, a dining room that seats twelve, a grand piano, a private spa and relaxation area, as well as a movie theatre.

The one-of-a kind room, named for the recently deceased Princess Lilian, has a list price of 70,000 kronor per night.

David Landes

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