Saturated in good design, Stockholm is a city with the rather inconvenient reputation of leaving travellers spoilt for choice when it comes to a restful night’s sleep. When Ett Hem opened its doors, that choice was arguably whittled down to two for many travellers – to stay or regret not staying?
There are many special qualities about Ett Hem but none quite as much as its homeliness, a sort of warmth that could only come from a much-loved house. Sitting with style in the leafy embassy quarter of Lärkstaden, the property was a private residence for nearly a century until owner Jeanette Mix bought the brick-red townhouse and enlisted Studioilse to renovate it into a 12-bedroom boutique hotel.
As an Arts and Crafts building, Ett Hem still pays homage to the functionality and simplicity of design that characterised the late 19th century architectural movement. It’s an inviting, sun-drenched space, filled with curated objets d'art, antiques and furniture by Scandinavian artists and makers, as well as a library, living rooms, outdoor courtyard and a glazed conservatory – a home away from home. From the herringbone wood flooring to the moss-green mid-century armchairs, the marble free-standing tubs to brass cocktail cabinets in each room, each detail of the hotel combines to create an assured yet relaxed ambience. A generous smattering of sheepskin rugs, chaise lounges and stone fireplaces help make the urge to curl up with a good book ever harder to resist.
Ett Hem isn’t just good to look at - it also tastes pretty special. In the upstairs dining room, the chef prepares a simple menu each morning and whips up a smorgasbord of delectables like entrecote served with truffle and organic veal tartare. Dine at the large communal dining table or opt for a more intimate meal at the conservatory. In the summer months, enjoy a champagne breakfast or fika (meaning ‘coffee break’, a Swedish ritual) in the garden sanctum.
While the hotel may present little reason to leave its cosy confines, the Swedish experience continues outside its doors and you’d be sorry to miss out on making the most of it. Shop for handmade artisan goods in historic Gamla Stan and explore the islands of the Stockholm archipelago by ferry. For more adventurous sorts, introduce yourself to contemporary Scandinavian art at Wetterling Gallery and sample reindeer blood crackers and other such inventive fare at Gastrologik.
After the day’s bustle, come back to the nest and unwind with a glass of red in your four-poster bed, just as you would at home.
There are few places that truly live up to its name. With its features on best hotel edits and a revolving door of high-profile guests, Ett Hem - meaning ‘at home’ - remains at heart a humble offering of homeliness, a kind of wholeheartedness that simply can’t be replicated in a snap of fingers. For those looking for a slice of home wherever they go, Ett Hem is the whole cake.