Thursday, Jul. 09, 2009

The Lydmar Hotel

The Lydmar Hotel, tel: (46-8) 223 160, meets the harborside promenade in a flounce of sun umbrellas, shading smartly attired, espresso-sipping Swedes. Inside, beyond a light-filled lobby, is a restaurant fit for lingering, lined with bookshelves on one side and windows on the other. The lunch set look as if they've stepped straight out of a gallery, and they probably have — the Lydmar is a short stroll from Skeppsholmen, Stockholm's island of museums, and the National Museum is next door.

This is the marvel of the Lydmar — it's known as Stockholm's best new boutique hotel, but it also brings in locals. Its creator, Per Lydmar, ran another Lydmar Hotel in the '90s. This Lydmar opened last year with a new look and location — a perch on the point, with views across the water to the Old Town and Stockholm Palace's Baroque bulk. The position even trumps the Grand Hotel's, a few paces along the promenade. Where the last Lydmar had avant-garde aspirations, providing a venue for live music, the new version plumps for elegance and ease. It's supremely comfortable, yet retains the ambiance of a showcase of contemporary art, its walls bearing host to regular exhibitions.

New as it is, the Lydmar is perfectly polished and with just 46 amply proportioned rooms, it's a personal affair. Staying here is like, as Per Lydmar puts it, "being an undisturbed guest in someone's home." Someone's exceptionally lovely home. And someone who will hopefully have you stay again sometime soon.