While bound by the commonality of their rich heritage, culturally and linguistically, the countries of Scandinavia—Denmark, Norway and Sweden—each offer unique sights and sounds for travelers (Though some debate the inclusion of Finland and Iceland, we’re simply going with the historical context, rather than strictly geographical). With so much to see and do, it’s important to find the right accommodations in order to explore the area’s famous landmarks in the height of luxury. Here are six of our favorite Scandinavian hotels from which to take in these alluring countries and their capital cities.
Sweden: The Grand Hotel
Situated on the harbor staring directly across the water at the Royal Palace, The Grand Hotel has been a high-class staple in Stockholm since 1874. It’s easy to explore the surrounding sites, with the National Art Museum and the Houses of Parliament just a block away, and Stockholm’s old town, Gamla Stan, a short bike ride or walk across the bridge. Inside the rooms and suites are tastefully decorated in rich fabrics and stocked with Molton Brown toiletries.
The Nordic Spa offers everything from massages overlooking the Royal Palace, to Nordic Bathing Rituals incorporating products with local herbs and oils. To top it all off, dining is also an elegant affair, with its restaurants Mathias Dahlgren receiving two Michelin stars and Matbaren holding one. It’s clear The Grand Hotel is more than prepared to show guests what a five-star experience can be in Stockholm.
Sweden: Hotel Rival
The young, trendy district of Södermalm is full of art galleries, vintage stores and quaint cafes; it’s also home to Hotel Rival, a 99-room property in Maria Square. Originally opened in 1937, the hotel received a complete transformation in 2002 thanks to funding by former ABBA member and current owner, Benny Andersson.
It now contains a cocktail bar that welcomes Stockholm’s best DJs on Friday and Saturday nights; a cozy “Swedish” bistro featuring photography by Ulla Montan; and a café that makes its own baked goods daily. Even more of a reason to visit is the theater with 700 red-velvet seats that hosts live concerts, stand-up acts and a variety of performances. The décor is sumptuous, yet light-hearted and mixes modern Scandinavian style with classic Art Deco touches to attract the old and new, local and tourist.
Denmark: Nimb Hotel
Although Copenhagen offers many stunning four- and five-star hotels to choose from, Nimb is one of our favorites. It may be smaller than other hotels in the city, but its intimate size and location next to Tivoli Gardens are what make it stand out. The property has just 17 rooms with nine junior suites, including the new 2,600-square-foot Suite Louise.