Hotels • December 2015
Embrace the clear skies and crisp winter nights of northern Europe, says Lola Akinmade Åkerström, editor-in-chief of Slow Travel Stockholm, with a trip to one of these must-stay hotels
There are few things more enchanting than watching the aurora borealis while enjoying a tranquil soak in a heated outdoor pool. Set in a vast volcanic landscape, with Unesco-protected Thingvellir National Park as its backdrop, Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel kicks Nordic minimalist boutique up a notch. The 45 rooms are designed with wool accents, ceiling-to-floor windows and monochrome portraits of Icelandic horses. Rooms from £210.
Try this: Book a jeep tour to explore geothermal landscapes, glaciers and volcanoes – including the world-famous Eyjafjallajökull ice cap.
Stargaze directly from your bed at family-run boutique Klaus K Hotel. Inspired by the Kalevala, a classic Finnish poetry compilation, its 171 rooms weave emotions of “desire, passion, mysticism and envy” into their dark décor. Think heavy fabrics, dramatic colours, angular furniture and rounded light fixtures. Check into a Sky Suite with its egg-shaped bed and private access to a rooftop terrace for skygazing. Rooms from £217.
Try this: Enjoy a Cosmopolitan at Helsinki’s first official Finlandia Vodka brand bar, located inside the hotel.
Located close to the city’s trendy Meatpacking District, Absalon Hotel is the perfect base for night owls. Its recently revamped 161 rooms have been carefully curated by the English Designers Guild, and follow three design themes: grass, ocean and berry. The bold colours and textures throughout are the antithesis of Nordic restraint. Superior rooms from £120.
Try this: Join the hotel’s Vesterbro & Vice walking tour to explore the coolest parts of the neighbourhood and sample the local breweries’ creations.
It’s not just the £3m-worth of art adorning the walls at The Thief that will make you look twice. The sleek granite marble, tasteful gold accents and exquisitely hand-crafted furniture have been designed by the crème de le crème of Nordic designers. Check into the penthouse for stunning 360-degree views of the Oslofjord from your private rooftop terrace. Double rooms from £220.
Try this: Kick back and listen to live acts perform as part of the Thief Music Unplugged series, showcasing upcoming artistes.
Find maritime elegance 15 minutes from Stockholm’s bustling lights at waterfront Hotel J. Named after the 1930s J-Class yachts known for their imposing white masts, Hotel J’s 158 boutique rooms are reminiscent of a seaside summer home, with nautical décor and oak wood furniture. Grab a bottle of bubbly and a blanket, and head down to the hotel’s waterfront pier to watch the stars. Seaview rooms from £170.
Try this: Tuck into a traditional Swedish Christmas smorgasbord, complete with warm cider, at the hotel’s 17th-century Tornvilla.