Step into a sea dog's storybook hotelUmea, Sweden
Ahoy, me hearties! What have we got here? In the maritime town of Umeå, Stora Hotellet has been a refuge for salty ol’ sea dogs since 1895. Then, the Seaman’s Mission built what was the grandest hotel in the city, and soon members of high society were mixing with sailors on leave. To celebrate Umeå’s anointment as the European Capital of Culture in 2015, these historic digs were given a full nip and tuck. The six room categories are named for sailors’ preoccupations and elements of the decor – a chandelier made from rope and plexiglass that resembles a ship’s rigging and antique scientific equipment on display in the drawing room – represent the hotel’s former life.
The Superstition rooms, although compact, have deluxe bunk beds inspired by a boat’s cabin tucked into the hotel’s eaves, while the larger suites are more like you’d expect on the upper deck of a luxury liner (although one from a grander age). The super-cool restaurant, named after the hotel’s first manager, Gotthard Zetterberg, serves dishes given the names of other seaports around the world.
- The attention to detail and commitment to the concept – the rooms are so lavishly decorated and atmospheric it’s almost like walking into a storybook
- Both families/groups and couples are catered to
- With it’s strong mariner theme some may find the hotel a little too kitsch for their tastes
- Free access to a neighbouring gym
- A bar, dining hall and outdoor dining area
- Free wi-fi
Double rooms from AU$155.