Stockholm & Oslo
Having had the chance to travel to Stockholm twice this year I couldn’t help but write about this young, vibrant, lively city. Approximately 1.6 million people reside here which is Sweden’s largest City and Capital. Stockholm is also the official residency of King Carl-Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden.
If you are a fan of travelling Stockholm one has many hotels to choose from – one of my favourites is the Grand Hotel Stockholm, which is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and located in the city centre boasting stunning views over the Royal Castle. This traditional yet luxury five star hotel includes one of Scandinavia’s most reputable Spas – The Nordic Spa. Treatments are luxurious and indulgent and include an indoor pool with several saunas and steam rooms. The fitness area also includes a fully equipped gymnasium keeping the likes of fitness fans like myself happy, do try their delicious protein smoothies which make your feel like new!
Across from the Grand Hotel Stockholm is the Lydmar Hotel, an on trend boutique hotel and member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It is a pretty ‘it’ place to stay if you know what I mean – as the bar is packed and crowded with local “cool” people. It is a place to see and be seen. The rooms are spacious, modern but yet cosy.
For all you foodies out there I would suggest a restaurant where one will find a majority of the local crowd and is called Sturehof. They focus on fresh fish, oysters and seafood – a perfect place to enjoy something light with the taste of the sea. Another hotspot is Operakällaren – a high end gourmet restaurant set in one of the most breath-taking venues of the city – the old opera house.
For a healthy Nordic lunch I would recommend to pop into Renee Voltaire Store “Pepstop” – Renee Voltaire is Sweden’s pioneer in the organic raw food market. Her Pepstop is the ideal place to re-fuel the empty batteries after a strenuous morning of shopping.
Speaking of which – La Chemise is the store you should not miss. One for the man in your life as it is a male clothing store – the quality of design, style and service is second to none. Either as gift or to treat oneself, do visit.
Moving on to Oslo
Oslo is an open-air capital with pretty beaches and parks, 19th-century architecture and long classical vistas. The city boasts terrific art museums, fine opera and great fish restaurants. It is also only a few minutes drive from the mountains, where you can hike in summer and ski in winter.
Oslo is the capital of Norway you will find that it is very much like Stockholm however much more modern and cutting edge in its architecture. Oslo also offers extremely high quality everywhere you visit. The Continental Hotel for example – is Norway’s only official five star hotel and member of the Leading Hotels of the World. But again should you wish to revel in its culture traditional and modern I would suggest spending a couple of nights at The Continental then head to The Thief hotel which is located on Oslo`s waterfront which has an Anthony Gormley statue greets you in the lobby, Julian Opie video installations blink at you in the lifts and an Andy Warhol overlooks diners in the restaurant, Fru K, which serves gutsy, updated Norwegian dishes such as venison with fondant potato and poached turbot with Jerusalem artichoke. The whole effect is more serious art collector than edgy artist.
Dine at Hanami – an Asian Fusion restaurant in the centre of the new harbour district. High up there also is Skur 66 a brand new Mediterranean restaurant right by the sea in an old dock house.
Luxury Travel Director H Edition Global