Walking through the medieval alleyways and cobbled streets of Stockholm’s Old Town, it’s easy to feel transported to an era long past. But finding a historic hotel that oozes old world charm—without sacrificing modern conveniences—is not as straightforward. Luckily for us, we found Stallmästaregården.
Having opened its doors in 1638, Stallmästaregården is Sweden’s oldest continually running inn, depicting the lineage of Swedish design and architecture with a fusion of classic décor and contemporary amenities. The property is located on the edge of the Royal Haga Park, where you might just find the Royal Princess going for a morning stroll with her dogs. From this serene setting overlooking the tree-fringed Bay of Brunnsviken, Stockholm’s city center is a convenient stroll away.
Though the inn dates back hundreds of years, the 49-room hotel building was only recently inaugurated in the year 2000. The façade of the new building matches that of the original inn, and each room has been thoughtfully decorated to remain true to the time period and style. The result is an elegant hotel with a historic setting.
For our three-night visit we stayed in the Junior Suite – a spacious (according to Swedish standards) room with downstairs lounge and upstairs bedroom. The first details we noticed in our room were the elements of Chinese décor, particularly the black and white scroll hung above our bed. Before our stay we were unaware of the Chinese influences that played such a prominent role in 18th century Swedish design. We also thoroughly enjoyed the dark wood furniture, including a lovely writing desk that served as our ‘office’ for a few days, and the bright windows that illuminated both floors to just the right extent. A flat screen TV and bathroom on each floor provided extra convenience, while the in-room espresso maker and large collection of magazines certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
Sitting at the writing desk and pretending to pen my own masterpiece, snow falling outside and coffee in hand, it was easy to see why famed Swedish playwright, August Strindberg, mentioned Stallmästaregården many times in his own works. The idyllic setting and rich history provide plenty of creative inspiration.
After checking in and relaxing a bit in our room, we met the manager for a tour around the original inn and property. The walk was the equivalent to touring an art museum.
Queen Kristina was largely responsible for Stallmästaregården’s creation as a hotel. It is said that in the 1600s, the Queen often rode and hunted in the area around Brunnsviken Bay. When she passed Stallmästaregården (then a house) in the year of 1645, she was so taken by the beauty of the house and its surroundings that she decided to celebrate Midsummer there. She threw such a large party at the residence that everyone ended up spending the night. And thus the inn had its first guests.
Today each room of the original inn is dedicated to a different person representing Swedish life and culture. You’ll find rooms like the Linnaeus Room, after the famous botanist, as well as the Bellman Room, after the Swedish poet-musician. Though the rooms are now used primarily as meeting spaces, you’ll still find original wallpaper and murals, lamps, furniture, and stoves from the 17th and 18th century.
Though Stallmästaregården is certainly known as a hotel, it is perhaps even more famous for its restaurant. Recently refurbished in 2012 with modern contemporary design, the restaurant serves Swedish cuisine with an emphasis on organic and local food. We never did have the time to sit down and dine at the restaurant for lunch or dinner, but the establishment certainly stayed bustling during the entire duration of our stay. However, we did enjoy the romantic ambience and stunning view of the lake during breakfast each morning, with a full spread of cold cuts, cheeses, artisan breads, pastries, salad, and granola.
Things we loved:
- Going for walks around the Royal Haga Park, right outside our door
- Relaxing over a warm breakfast and enjoying the snowy scene outside.
- Late checkout, available with the Junior Suite. (We didn’t leave the room until 4:00pm!)
- The rooms are cozy and charming. The hotel really feels like a home away from home.
- Our room was extremely quiet. We felt like the only people in the hotel.
- Stallmästaregården is an inn that tells a story of Swedish heritage. To become a part of that story is a unique and memorable experience.
Things to know:
- The stairs leading up to the second floor in the junior suite are extremely steep. This might be characteristic of Swedish design, but it is something to know.
- Also in the Junior Suite, the shower was on the first floor bathroom, rather than the second floor (where the bedroom is located). This is a minor inconvenience.
We would not hesitate to return to and recommend Stallmästaregården to anyone visiting Stockholm. Between its unique history, luxurious amenities, and stunning setting, you really can’t go wrong.
To learn more about the hotel, the restaurant, or using the venue for a wedding or meeting room, visit the Stallmästaregården website.
A huge thank you to Stallmästaregården for inviting us into their hotel. All thoughts and opinions are, as always, our own.