luxe - Hotel Rival, Stockholm
Written by Oryx
Assuming a hotel owned by ABBA’s Benny Andersson, particularly in his native Sweden, would be a shrine to the band would be logical. It would also be wrong, because Stockholm’s first boutique hotel – Hotel Rival – is a product not of Andersson’s fame, but his creativity.
Andersson converted a 1930s Art Deco cinema in the fashionable district of Sцdermalm into a seamless blend of the inviting and the quirky.
The lobby is sleek and modern, while the upstairs bursts with vibrant carpeting and lighting, fitting the building’s cinematic roots – the 700-seat theatre has been magnificently restored and houses theatrical and movie events.
The Rival is about comfort, not excess. Plush carpets in each room with modern, stylish accents offset by an enlarged frame from Swedish cinema above the bed create a hip feel that avoids pretentiousness. The rooms of choice are to be found on the top (7th) floor, which comprises three suites that can be joined to make the entire floor – overlooking Maria Square – a secluded retreat. Furnishings such as 100% New Zealand wool rugs, King size + beds, Egyptian cotton sheets, a pillow menu, and blackout curtains ensure a perfect night’s sleep.
The 608-room palace is the centRE of the Royal Court and home of the king and queen. The Royal Apartments, decorated in the 1690s by French artists, have the palace’s oldest interiors. The Royal Armoury, formally known as The Livrustkammaren, features antique carriages and coaches, adorned with assorted jewels and gilt. Skattkammaren, the treasury, is a must, for its dazzling crowns will take your breath away. Essential viewing is the changing of the guard - a military parade, taking about an hour and featuring several decorated horses.
Explore your creative side
The Sцdermalm district in central Stockholm houses several art galleries that are essential to any visit. The festive season starts December 13, with candle-lit processions and outdoor ice-skating.
The Sцdra Galleriet houses International contemporary art, paintings and sculpture. The exhibits cross generations and styles, featuring varying forms of expression that create a dynamic setting.
The Galleri Metallum won a Golden Chair award for its lighting and interior design, which serve merely as the setting for some of the most creative pieces of jewellery you will ever see, flanked by modern, hollow sculptures boldly composed of assorted metals, glass, diamonds, and semi-precious stones.
For glass and ceramic crafts, visit blеs & knеdas: a boutique and gallery lined with a fantastic array of mugs, bowls, pots, pitchers, as well as some unusual pieces. With more than 40 contributing members to the gallery, blеs & knеdas is always stocked with variety.