Jamie Ndah heads to to Sweden to discover what the renowned city of Stockholm has to offer
With Sweden proving victorious at the 2015 Eurovision competition, it was fitting that Stockholm would be hosting their winner and favourite son, Måns Zelmerlöw, to perform at the packed Gröna Lund. That very weekend, over 50,000 visitors also came to this gorgeous city to witness Eliteloppet, the prestigious and largest harness racing event in the world. And if that wasn’t enough, 20,532 pairs of feet from 92 different nations pounded the streets of Stockholm in the fiercely contested 37th edition of the ASICS Stockholm Marathon.
I knew my weekend stay in the capital of Scandinavia was perfectly timed, and presented me with the opportunity to see what this wonderful city had to offer. With a history dating back to the 13th century, Stockholm has long been the cultural, economic and political centre of the region. It is located across 14 islands on the southeast coast of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Malaren. It’s surrounded by pure water, of which I got a huge sense of freedom whilst exploring its impressive landscape.
I was staying in Stureplan, an area which is a high-end address in central Stockholm, and is situated between Norrmalm and Östermalm. The square connects the major streets Kungsgatan, Birger Jarlsgatan and Sturegatan. The surrounding buildings house offices of banks and other financial institutions, as well as several corporate headquarters.
Some of the country’s most famous and luxurious restaurants and bars are located in the area around Stureplan such as Sturehof, Spy Bar, Riche, Laroy, Hell’s Kitchen, East and Sturecompagniet. Exclusive fashion houses with shops in the area include Versace, Hugo Boss, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Stureplan has also become a well-known symbol for exclusivity and luxury of which it is now considered a playground for the eclectic mix of the rich, famous, celebrity crowd, and the hipper, more recent members of the Swedish Royal Family. It was fair to say I was certainly in fine company.
At a closer look, Stureplan is more than an address. It is Stockholm’s symbol for luxury and style. Business people, models and celebrities teem past the square’s famous mushroom to visit some of the city’s most exclusive clubs and restaurants. The velvet ropes are very popular in this part of town as are the VIP crowd in Stockholm’s densest party area.
I stayed at the fabulous Scandic Anglais which has 230 rooms, and is perfectly located a short distance from all the shops, restaurants, bars and various other amenities. Places of interest that I found very close to the hotel were the Sture Mall, Royal Swedish Opera and the National Museum, in addition to the Museum of Medieval Stockholm and Stockholm Royal Palace. This is a thrilling hotel coupled with a very creative minimalist design, a trend of this exceptional venue.
The Scandic Anglais is truly superb, light and ultra-modern. The hotel is clutter-free with clean, dazzling lines, modern furnishings and artistic details. I stayed in a superior room which was around 28 square metres in size, and boasted beautiful wooden floors, a private balcony, a bathroom with a shower and a private sauna. It was located on the 8th floor which was in fact the top floor of the hotel, and had a real penthouse feel to it, whilst offering tremendous rooftop views across the city.
My room was equipped with all the necessary facilities I needed, consisting of evening tea, decaffeinated coffee, a hairdryer, iron and ironing board, a large flat screen TV with a good choice of film channels (included), and fast free Wi-Fi. The spacious bathroom area had an array of stylish shower products from FACE Stockholm, a Swedish cosmetics company that offers make-up and skincare that is true to the Swedish beauty ideal – naturally based, trend forward, simple, clean, gorgeous and fun. I really found these products to be most refreshing and soothing to use. Incidentally, when you stay in a superior bedroom at the Scandic Anglais, you can also choose to delay your checkout time of which I took full advantage of during my stay.
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