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The Luxury Hotel Insider:Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance.

Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.


Featured Journeys: Luxury Scandinavian Adventure

The newest edition of Featured Journeys takes us to Scandinavia. Land of the Midnight Sun, home of the Vikings, birthplace of Nordic cuisine, and recognized for modern design, the region offers a treasure trove of museums, historic sites, outdoor adventures, and cultural attractions. Recently, I had the opportunity to go on a 10-day excursion to Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. In this Featured Journeys: Luxury Scandinavian Adventure, I'll share a Luxury Hotel Insider's perspective with details on where I stayed along with highlights in each city.

Easily connected via high speed rail, venturing between Scandinavia's capital cities takes about 5.5 hours between Oslo and Stockholm, as well as Stockholm and Copenhagen. Trains are modern and clean, with on-board meal options. If you prefer to fly, there's a variety of direct flight options as well, but traveling by train provides an ideal way to see the landscapes while en route to the next stop. If time allows, I'd recommend at least four nights in each city, perhaps additional nights if you'd like to venture out of the city to explore all of the outdoor adventures each country offers.

Oslo
Stockholm
Copenhagen

 

Oslo, Norway

As Norway's capital city, Oslo is a walkable city with a mix of modern design, such as the Norwegian National Opera House & Ballet where visitors can walk on the roof, and historical sites like the Akerhus Castle. Within the past decade the harborfront has been revitalized, providing a lovely pedestrian-only waterfront area with the Nobel Peace Center, and a variety of restaurants offering plenty of outdoor dining options. From the harbor, visitors can take a short ferry boat ride to Bygdøy, the island of Oslo museums. Home to the royal family's summer palace, the island of museums offers a wide variety of options including the Viking Ship Museum, Fram Museum with the actual ship that traveled to the Artic, Kon-Tiki Museum, and the Norwegian Folk Museum with an open-air setting and 150 historic buildings on display from various times in the country's history. For art enthusiasts, there's the Edvard Munch Museum, the National Gallery with a nice selection of works by well-known artists, including Norway's own Edvard Munch's "The Scream", and the 63-acre Ekeberg Sculpture Park. Along Karl Johans Gate there's the Royal Palace, as well as upscale shopping and sidewalk cafes (during the summer months), and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Ski Museum is a must-visit on a clear day for panoramic views of the city and surrounding area. 

Interested in seeing the famous fjords? From Oslo it is possible to take a "Norway in a Nutshell" trip from Oslo to the fjords with a visit to Bergen, and a ride on the famous Flam Railway. 

Hotel Continental Oslo

Hotel Continental Oslo

During my visit, I enjoyed an Idyllic Stay at Hotel Continental Oslo. Providing a centralized location, the historic luxury hotel was a short walk to the harborfront, and just steps away from the National Theater, Karl Johans Gate, subway, and light rail stations. Since opening in 1900, Theatercaféen offers upscale dining and a bar, while Eik Annen Etage serves classic dishes in a Baroque-infused atmosphere. There's also the seasonal Steamen sidewalk cafe, and a recently revitalized fitness center. 

Check rates at Hotel Continental Oslo

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Stockholm, Sweden

Set along the Baltic Sea behind a natural fortification, Sweden's capital city consists of 14 islands connected via 54 bridges. In the Gamla Stan (Old Town), the Royal Palace has a daily military parade and changing of the guard along with four museums and a chapel, the Nobel Museum tells the story of the prestigious award, there's Parliament tours, and guests can meander about the island filled with Medieval architecture. Stockholm's Djurgården, offers gardens and a variety of museums including the Vasa Museum, which showcases a 17th century warship raised from the seafloor after it sunk minutes after its first departure, the Skansen open-air folk museum, and the Nordic Museum. For relaxation, there are a variety of canal tours where visitors can see the city via the canals, as well as trendy sidewalk cafes ideal for people watching and trying Toast Skagen, a local delicacy with a mixture of prawns and shrimp mingled with mayonnaise and herbs. Not to be missed is the Swedish Fika, a traditional coffee break to mingle with friends and enjoy coffee with a sweet roll such as the Vetebullar with cinnamon and cardamon. 

Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

Sea View Room at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

During my Springtime Stay at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm, I was able to easily explore the city on foot. Set along the Strandvägen, the hotel is a short walk along the boardwalk past cafes and boats to the Djurgården. Overlooking the Nybroviken, Deluxe Sea View Rooms offer exquisite views of the water, and the hotel's restaurant and bar provide a stylish setting for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Afternoon Tea. Built as a private residence in 1911, the boutique hotel was transformed into a luxury property in the 1960s, and features an extensive collection of art by Swedish artists, as well as the Hotel Diplomat Retreat--an exclusive and tranquil space for guests with a sauna, showers, and loungers available by appointment. 

Learn more about Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

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Copenhagen, Denmark

Across the Oresund Bridge from Sweden, Copenhagen is Denmark's capital city. Featuring a walkable core, the city offers historic points of interest like the Nyhavn with waterfront cafes and bars, Amalienborg Palace and Square with a changing of the guard, and Kastellet Park with an Anglican Church built of flint, and The Little Mermaid statue in honor of local author Hans Christian Andersen, as well as the Rosenborg Castle of Christian IV. Biking is the preferred method of transit, with biking lanes throughout the city and many hotels offering bicycles for guests to use during their stay. There are cafes and Michelin-rated restaurants scattered throughout the capital of Nordic cuisine, Tivoli Gardens is a seasonal playground for Danes of all ages with gardens, rides, and performances, and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek showcases Egyptian, French, Greek, and Etruscan art under glass domes with indoor gardens. For shopping, the Strøget--Europe's longest pedestrian-only shopping street offers the finest brands interspersed with kitchy boutiques and local designers. While visiting, be sure to try the Danish art of Hygge, which is the idea of taking a moment either alone or with someone to be present in something cozy, charming, or special. 

Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen

One Bedroom Suite at Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen

While in Denmark, my stay in a Deluxe Suite at Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen provided an ideal location for exploring the city. Right on Kongens Nytorv (King's New Square), the hotel was next to the National Theater, and adjacent to the famous Strøget lined with department stores and upscale boutiques. Within the hotel there was the Amazing Space Spa with an indoor pool, saunas, and treatments utilizing exclusive natural products, as well as the Michelin-awarded Restaurant Marchal with fine dining and Kongens Nytorv views. Plus, the Balthazar Champagne bar with a chic setting, Champagne-focused cocktails, and exclusive entry for guests.

Check availability at Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen 

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Posted in: Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm

Overlooking the Nybroviken in a historic Art Nouveau building, the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm offers a chic, family-owned retreat in the heart of the city. Upon arrival, guests enter the hotel via glass doors that open to reveal a vintage elevator and grand staircase. To the left is the reception desk, which is also the entrance to the restaurant, bar, and sitting area. Continue reading below the entry photos.

Entering the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

I recently had the opportunity to stay in a Deluxe Sea View Room on the fourth floor of the hotel. A short stroll from Djurgarden's museums, the property was an ideal base for exploring the city and offered exceptional views of the Nybroviken to enjoy while relaxing within the room's plush velvet chairs. Read more below the photo.

Deluxe Sea View Room 402 at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

Originally built as a private residence in 1911, the Hotel Diplomat features a stylish mix of Scandinavian design, vintage, and plush modern amenities such as large flat-screen TVs, and marble bathrooms with high end bath products. While the interiors of the building are stunning, including a vintage elevator and grand staircase with intricate wood carvings and stained glass windows that evoked the feel of a castle. Read more below the photos.

Interiors of the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

Upon entering my room, I was stunned by the lovely view of the harbor! The sun was shining in beautifully, and two velvet chairs were set with a marble table, providing an inviting spot to relax after a long day of traveling. The entire room felt like a private apartment within the city with wood floors, large windows, and an entry that stepped down into the space, giving it a residential feel. Continue reading below the photo.

View of Room 402 at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

The spacious desk offered plenty of space for getting some work done and reviewing maps to plan sightseeing excursions, while the adjacent minibar provided a delightful selection of Swedish snacks. Read more below the photo.

Desk Area at the Hotel Diplomat

Within the marble bathroom there were Diplomat embossed bath mats, and all the bath amenities travelers need including Argan shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel. 

Bathroom at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

The room also offered a spacious closet area in the entry with additional amenities including a lint brush, shoe shining, and sewing supplies, as well as a blow dryer and adapter for use during one's visit. There's also a charming Hotel Diplomat canvas tote within the closet that is available for purchase--ideal for carrying souvenirs or a picnic lunch. 

Closet amenities at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

Breakfast at the Hotel Diplomat was a wonderful way to start the day. There was a beautiful breakfast buffet within the restaurant offering fresh breads, yogurts, smoothies, sliced meats, sausages, bacon, and make-your-own-waffle station. Along with coffee, tea, and fresh juices. Continue reading below the photo.

Breakfast at the Hotel Diplomat

Since the 1960s, the Hotel Diplomat has been a destination for Afternoon Tea. Set within the restaurant, the tea features the hotel’s exclusive tea blend as well as classic scones, homemade marmalades, and finger sandwiches. In addition to the classic Afternoon Tea, guests can also order “The Afternoon Tea-Tox” with rawbars, nuts, berries, and a “super fruit” salad, and there's an Afternoon Tea Wedding options for wedding guests created by the hotel’s dedicated pastry chef. 

The Hotel Diplomat Restaurant is a Scandinavian Brasserie providing an elegant setting with large windows overlooking the Nybroviken, with an outdoor patio for dining on summer days. There's brunch on weekends, and on Sundays the restaurant serves a traditional Swedish Sunday Roast dinner. Within the restaurant area there's also a chic bar with velvet couches and candles, ideal for enjoying a crafted cocktail with classic Swedish ingredients to toast the end of the day. Read more below the photo of the bar area.

Hotel Diplomat Stockholm Bar

For those seeking a workout, the property's recently revitalized fitness center offers cardio machines and strength training equipment. There's also a sauna that guests can reserve for one hour at a time. Plus, the hotel is steps away from the Strandvagen offering a boardwalk-style setting ideal for strolling to the Djurgården, the city's museum island with the popular Vasa Museum and the recently opened Vikingaliv museum. 

Check rates and availability at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

The Hotel Diplomat Stockholm exterior at dusk


Situated on the top floor of the Grand Hotel Stockholm, the Princess Lilian Suite, named after the Princess, is a pied-a-terre with panoramic views of Stockholm's waterfront and Royal Palace. Offering the feel of a residential apartment, there are two bedrooms, a library, sitting room, mutiple bathrooms, and kitchen where guests can hire personal chefs to prepare a meal.  Continue reading below the bedroom and library photos. 

Princess Lilian Suite at the Grand Hotel Stockholm

Princess Lilian Suite Library at the Grand Hotel Stockholm

The living room has a plush sitting area, along with a dinner table with seating for 12, plus a grand piano. There is an in-suite cinema, designed by Ingemar Olsson, a top acoustician, with space to host private viewings for up to 12 people. Within the suite there are three smart TVs and a Sonos wireless sound system, plus a bar trolley filled with drinks and snacks. Read more below cinema photo.

Princess Lilian Cinema at the Grand Hotel Stockholm

For relaxation, the suite has a spa area with a steam or dry sauna, deep mosaic soaking tub, massage and waterfall showers, plus silk bathrobes and Acqua di Parma amenities. Continue below the photo.

Princess Lillian Suite at Grand Hotel Stockholm

The Grand Hotel Stockholm is a historic waterfront hotel. Built in 1874, the property faces the Royal Palace and the Old Town. For dining, Mathias Dahlgren's Matbaren is a Michelin star restaurant, the Veranda restaurant offers a celebratory traditional Swedish atmosphere, and the Cadier Bar is a popular champagne bar. There's also the Nordic Spa & Fitness offering classic Swedish massages, beauty treatments, and wellness coaching, along with a sauna, gym, and a late-summer warm pool. 

Check availability and rates at the Grand Hotel Stockholm

Exterior of Grand Hotel Stockholm


The Grand Hotel in Stockholm, formerly the Grand Hotel Intercontinental Stockholm, opened for the first time in 1874 and has a long and fascinating history. The rooms and interiors are unique, as is the hotel's location in the centre of Stockholm. The luxury hotel just took the wraps off a big refresh of its most impressive suite: the Princess Lilian Suite, which is situated on the top floor of the property. 

First inaugurated in 2006, the 330 square meter suite now has a completely new interior with a lounge area, two bedrooms, a private movie theater (!), a kitchen and two terraces - perfect for looking out over the waterfront or the Royal Palace. The project also added new exercise equipment to the suite's spa section (pictured). 

Bathroom Spa area of the Princess Lilian Suite, on the top floor of the Grand Hotel Stockholm with exercise equipment.

Interior designer Sanna Nathanson, who has headed up previous room renovation projects at the Grand Hotel Stockholm, spearheaded the project. All of the suite's floors have been replaced with parquet flooring, except for the bedrooms, which got new, hand-woven wall-to-wall carpeting. The new color scheme aims for a light, subdued look, with tones of grey-blue, cream and gold. Several pieces of new furniture were specially designed for the suite, with a large portrait of Princess Lilian by the artist Fabian Edstam serving as a focal point. 

All of the hotel's other rooms and suites in the Burmanska Palace have likewise received renovations, with a Scandinavian design in three color palettes: Royal, Sand and Blood (think marble, white- and black-stained wood, velvet-meets-silk curtains, and leather, wool, and linen elements, with brass details). Fine-art photography serves as accents. 

Learn more about the hotel and then check rates and availability at the Grand Hotel Stockholm >>

Bedroom of the Princess Lilian Suite, on the top floor of the Grand Hotel Stockholm

Living Room of the Princess Lilian Suite, on the top floor of the Grand Hotel Stockholm.


Hotel Stockholm SwedenYou have questions, we have answers! Explore our blog series Your Questions Answered to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: We are looking to stay in Stockhom and need a room for 3, what do you recommend? 

Answer: Hotel Rival Stockholm is the epitome of cool. Hip, lively, colorful, and chic, the city's first boutique hotel is a modern masterpiece of design. With its on-site bakery and cinema, stylish lobby, and gorgeous bar, the Hotel Rival is the kind of friendly and exciting boutique that every city should wish for. The hotel belongs to Benny Andersson, the ABBA legend. The gorgeous cinema -renovated to retain its original historical touches- is now the scene of fashion shows, parties, concerts, and film screenings. The cinema motif is dominant in the hotel's design- the comfortable bistro features wall paneling with a mosaic of 924 film star images, and each guestroom is adorned with a scene from a vintage Swedish film, the glass-covered canvas suspended above the beds.

For Your Needs, We Recommend:

Deluxe Balcony Room. The guestrooms embrace a sleek modern minimalism which hasn't abandoned function over form. They are perfectly comfortable and highly sophisticated. The DUX beds are heavenly, with luscious linens, Egyptian cotton sheets, a special pillow menu, and the signature teddy bear from Debenhams. Some rooms feature a windowed wall between the bathroom and bedroom, allowing guests to soak in the tub while gazing out into the room. Of course the guestrooms and suites are loaded with technology,from plasma screen TVs, DVD/CD players (and plenty of DVD rentals), PS2's, and wireless internet access.  

Book a stay at Hotel Rival Stockholm >>


Grand Hotel Stockholm
We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series Your Questions Answered to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

QUESTION: We are a family of 5 and looking to stay is Stockholm, Sweden. What hotel offers the best accommodations for our family?

ANSWER:
Grand Hotel Stockholm 

Staying at the Grand Hotel Stockholm is an experience beyond the ordinary. It opened in 1874 and has a long and fascinating history. The rooms and interiors are unique, as is the hotel's location in the centre of Stockholm. The hotel is on the waterfront facing the Royal Palace and the Old Town. Each room has destinctive decor and its own colourful history. Fine dining restaurant  Mathias Dahlgren was awarded two Michelin stars 2010, and Mathias Dahlgren Food Bar was awarded one star 2010. The Cadier Bar, with its award winning drinks, bartenders, location, and buzzing atmosphere, has an extensive cocktail menu serving drinks from all over the world. Relax in a sauna and take a refreshing dip, just like in the archipelago. Feel tranquility in the beautiful, late-summer warm pool. Fit an energizing and empowering visit to the gym into your daily schedule. Spa treatments are also available. 

For Your Needs, We Recommend:

Ask for the Superior Courtyard Room connecting to another Superior Courtyard Room or for a Superior Street View Room to a Superior Street View Room. There is no charge for a rolloway bed.

Superior Double has classically attractive and individually furnished rooms from 20 sqm. Here you'll find a comfortable seating area and a nice work area with desk. The comfortable double bed is 180 cm wide. Rooms are available with stunning views over the water in front of the Royal Palace and the Old Town. For more peace and quiet , book rooms on a side street or courtyard.

View rates, details, and more images of Grand Hotel Stockholm >> 

All rates are based on double occupancy and extra person charges may apply. Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.

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Posted in: Stockholm

A bouquet of festive lights brightens up the lobby at Nobis Hotel Stockholm.

Posted in: Stockholm, Hot Spots

Intercontinental Hotel Stockholm, Sweden

The underground suite at Sala Silvermine in Sweden is a sight to behold, if you can find the light switch. Once Sweden’s most profligate, and profitable, source of silver, when the deposits began to dry up, the mine closed down for business. But some entrepreneurial spirits bought up the space to bring travelers a unique accommodation. Why choose such a property? Well, a mine is a terrible thing to waste.

Located 155 meters below ground, the suite itself was carved out of the rock around it by silver miners in the 16th century. The fixtures and furniture match the quicksilver hues of the rock, and the lighting makes the room itself seem to gleam. The only downside? Because of the limitations of running water that far down underground, bathrooms are 50 meters away and the showers itself are upstairs. You might find other locations that are more luxurious, but nowhere will you find a room as a unique as this one.