I haven’t been hip since I was in my 20’s, but it was pretty much impossible to not feel cool when checking into Hobo, a six month-old hipster haven hotel in the Brunkebergstorg area of central Stockholm.
Here are five reasons this hotel is definitely one worth checking out:
It’s near everything that’s anything.
Because it’s minutes from Stockholm’s best sights, you can walk (or take bicycles that are of course offered by the hotel).
Hobo overlooks the overhauled Brunkebergstorg Square and is close to Gamla Stan; hop-on-hop-off boats and buses; and Drottninggatan, a lively pedestrian street that runs between Old Town and Observatory Hill. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more perfect jumping-off point for touring this city of 14 islands.
And because Hobo’s bar, café, and pop-up studios pull in locals (all part of its community-oriented vision), my daughter and I got to sip smoothies and sample small plates and trade itinerary suggestions with a wide assortment of the city’s coolest millennials and artists.
Prices are millennial-friendly.
Hobo’s friendly vibe resembles that of a hostel, except for the Scandi-cool lobby with its flip-dot message boards, barber’s chair, and combination of vintage and contemporary museum-quality artwork. While not quite hostel-cheap, Hobo is notably affordable for such a brand new, innovative hotel.
The amazing breakfast, which doesn’t end until 11 am.
Think fresh-squeezed organic juice, chia seeds with honey and yogurt, espresso drinks, and just-made sandwiches with avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and herbs grown right in the main lobby’s forest of hydroponics. After breakfast, the two-story restaurant dishes up such communal plates as porchetta with gnocchi, sage and tomato; torched carrots with green curry, coconut and crispy rice; and polenta with lemon confit and trevisano.
Every Thursday, the chefs write the upcoming week’s menu with the freshest locally-sourced ingredients they can find.
The rooms may be small, but they’re incredibly cool.
Peg walls offer space to hang clothes, and a selection of city guides detail vintage shops, trendy museums, pop-up restaurants, and gypsy breweries. Beds come from Swedish designer Anders Hilding. Flat screen TVs allowed us to stream content from our phones. And there was even a squirt gun in our bathroom and a comic book next to our bed.
The owner channeled Houdini for the grand opening.
Norwegian entrepreneur and billionaire Petter Stordalen outbid 75 international operators and ponied up 53 million pounds to buy the former red light district building that beceme Hobo and a sister hotel called At Six. To draw attention to the project (which he deemed “a great escape” – get it?), he swung from the rooftop in a locked safe attached to a rope. The rope was set on fire and Stordalen, an amateur escape artist, had to free himself before it plunged to the ground.
So, like Stordalen, who has opened 180 other hotels, I got to be hip... at least for a couple beautiful days in Stockholm.