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The 144-room Hôtel Reisen, part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, is set directly on Stockholm’s scenic waterfront and uses historic Old Town (Gamla Stan) as its picturesque and telling backdrop.

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The building’s foundation dates back to 1617, at a time when Gustavus Adolphus the Great was the King of Sweden and the world had just invented telescopes and steam turbines.

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The building has served numerous functions over the centuries, and originates from Dutchman Fredrik Reiss who ran a semi-legal coffeehouse in the 1750’s.

It has also been used as storehouse, drinking den, and an epicentre for some of the most prominent poets in European history. Case in point: Fritiof Nilsson Piraten used room 705 and six half-bottles of Château Margaux to find an exit to his writer’s block. The Russian-American Nobel Prize winner, Joseph Brodsky, locked himself in a corner room drafting poems to make cracks in the Soviet Empire.

How wonderful it’s been to stay in a hotel where your room might very well have hosted a historic figure!

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The hotel offers 12 room types, each and every one with their own unique corners of history, from a handcrafted 1690’s brick wall to scenic Stockholm harbour views.

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Rooms are compact, modern and very functional. The rain shower offers excellent pressure and there are ample places to hang towels, though a bathing suit cord system in the shower would be a welcome addition after using the sauna and pool.

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A good sleep is key when travelling and Hotel Reisen has kept this in mind with blackout curtains, tiny dimmed ceiling lights in the bathroom, and a comfy mattress (though it would be nice to have firm pillows available upon request).

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Binoculars in each room allow guests to check out the harbour scene from the window.

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The well-stocked closet area contains an iron, some shelving, bathrobes and slippers, umbrella, a small safe, emergency flashlight and snacks/wine for purchase.

Italian luxury brand La Bottega’s Votary line is included in the bathroom and shower – mounted and refillable – to avoid small disposable plastic bottle waste.

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Spa, Gym, Sauna

Guests can experience a Swedish “cold forest pond” – with a history. This cellar relaxing area contains seating areas, a large sauna plus a 15º C cold pool housed in a 17th century brick-vaulted room (constructed in the 1690’s), parts of which include the old city wall!

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These brick-cladded vaults contain their own piece of history: As the majority of workers that carried the bricks to build the vault were women, an actual woman’s footprint was left behind in one of the stones and can be seen in the relaxation room.

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The 24-hour fitness center is located one floor below the relax area and contains a state-of-the-art exercise bike, tread mill, multi-gym system, free weights and kettle bells. The receptionist will provide running maps through the city for a scenic workout.

Hotel Reisen also offers several massages, facials, manis/pedis as well as makeup and hairstyling sessions. You can even book a one-hour personal trainer!

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[Dining at Restaurant Reiss]


There’s one dining venue, Restaurant Reiss, two bars (Bar Reiss, Bar Brahe) and a salon.

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[Sweden’s famous cinnamon rolls]

A delicious full breakfast is also served here from 6:30-10 am during the week and from 7-11 am on weekends.

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[A delicious, full breakfast awaits!]

Bar Reiss has a relaxed vibe and offers coffee and cocktails (try the Espresso Martini à la Fredrik Reiss) or take in an afternoon coffee session with a waterfront view. I discovered that coffee was first served on these premises in 1760, and that the coffee tradition lives on to present times.

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Bar Brahe opens at 5 pm, serves up after-dinner cocktails and offers live jazz on Thursdays starting at 7:30 pm.


In the Neighbourhood

Gamla Stan is very walkable! On foot, the Nobel Prize Museum and Royal Castle are four minutes away, the National Museum is 10 minutes, and both Abba Museum and Skansen Open Air Museum (reachable by ferry) is 15 minutes.

[Skansen Open Air Museum’s traditional bakery]

Foodies can walk off their calories after a visit to Östermalms saluhall (an 1880’s food hall about 20 minutes away); the city is also well serviced by trams, busses and ferries.

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[Late afternoon sunny view from my room]

From Arlanda Airport, Hotel Reisen is about 45 km away and can be reached by a combination of Arlanda Express train and taxi (18 minutes to Stockholm’s central station, about 2.2 km away from the hotel) or straight taxi service.

Hôtel Reisen is located at Skeppsbron 12 in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan.

[Gamla Jernkontoret, Stockholm]

My stay was hosted by Hôtel Reisen for the purpose of this feature. Opinions, as always, remain my own.

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