Lydmar Hotel

city centre, waterside
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This is Per Lydmar's second eponymous hotel in the city. The first Lydmar, which closed in 2005, was known for its avant-garde interiors and a lobby that functioned as a bar, restaurant and (occasionally raucous) live-music venue. Anyone visiting this new property hoping for a repeat of the original will be sorely disappointed. Everyone else, however, will be thrilled: it's quite simply the finest hotel in Stockholm. The location - between the Grand Hotel and the National Museum, with views over the harbour, Old Town and Royal Palace - is ideal. The bedrooms and stone-clad bathrooms are huge. Rather than squeezing in 76 rooms, as the architects originally suggested, Lydmar decided to have just 46, with enough space left over for huge landings on each of the five floors (one has a grand piano on it). The restaurant-bar resembles a living room, with bottles of wine shelved alongside books, and patrons sitting on leather sofas. Decoration in the public spaces is provided by large reportage photographs (this is surely the only hotel ever to open with a display of James Nachtway's war photos in the lobby). While the first Lydmar felt young, rebellious and brash, the new Lydmar is a perfect post-designer hotel: confident, relaxed and at ease with itself.

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