I’m a real travel planner enthusiast. Seriously.
When I’m planning a trip away I spend day in day out looking where to stay, the best things to do and all that jazz. When it comes to things to do, Google and Instagram pretty much do that for you. You can just search the place you’re going and it’ll come up with all the best sights, foodie spots and whatever tickles your fancy. That’s my favourite way to do it. So many recommendations come up on Instagram and they never disappoint.
But, looking for the right hotel can be quite a long process and is what usually holds me back from hitting that ‘book’ button for a trip. Picking the right place to stay is so important, you do have to sleep, wash, practically live there for however many days after all. I can say thankfully say that I’ve never had that Inbetweeners moment on a holiday yet where you turn up and the place is nothing like what you expected, if anything, a million times worse. Although, that would be quite funny wouldn’t it. My face would be blimmin priceless.
For my trip to Stockholm in February I was on that same path with where to stay and the best spots to get Fika, indulge in its culture and where to see and finally everything finally fell into place. I’d booked the flights way before thinking about where to stay and the countdown was on, so was my searching for the right hotel. The funny thing is with Stockholm is that the city is made up of tiny little islands and I had no idea where the hub was, where the best food was and most importantly, the best stay. I finally booked in with Hotel Birger Jarl* and the stay couldn’t have been more me, more Swedish and more right if I tried.
Hotel Birger Jarl is a 4-star hotel located in the hub of the city, but on a quiet set back street to give you all the peace and quiet you desire from a getaway. Its location was perfect for the trip we had in mind as it was walking distance pretty much everywhere. Although, a few cab trips were involved when the walk was a very long way and it was hitting temperatures of -12 or less. Yes, my lil tootsies were frozen pretty much the entire time I was outside. Going back to the hotel was like getting in a warm bath I tell you, one of the best feelings.
Before travelling to Stockholm we found that the cheapest and in fact easiest way to get to the hotel was by the airport bus called the Flybussarna. It goes straight from the airport to the central station and the hotel was just a 15-minute walk or 5-minute taxi ride from there. We opted for a taxi just because we had quite a lot of luggage and was fairly cheap. However, if you wanted to save yourself some money the walk isn’t too far. The airport bus cost around £20 each return and is around a 45-minute journey. On route you get to see the most beautiful views of the snowy forests – it was incredible.
Hotel Birger Jarl is located on one of the longest roads in the city, Birger Jarlsgatan, so convenient and close to shopping, amazing restaurants, entertainment and also very close to public transport. I was told the subway system in Stockholm is impeccable but we preferred to walk everywhere. Around every corner was a pretty building, a good coffee stop or something new to see so it would’ve been a shame to miss that. An excuse to walk off all the Fika time we indulged in to.
THE ROOM TOUR
The hotel offers 271 rooms from standard doubles/twins to suites and studio rooms. Our 3-day trip saw us staying in one of their suites on the 6th floor and it really was everything I expected of Swedish design. Each of their suites are all decorated with different modern styles, ours being very retro ‘scandi-style’ with deep warm tones, dark woods and geometric shapes whilst being so well lit and spacious.
I always give myself an in-depth room tour as soon as I arrive because I like to know every little inch of the room, just so I don’t miss out on anything. A bit extra I know, but always worth it.
We were very kindly greeted into the hotel with champagne, chocolates and a greeting card in our room. Little things like this really do give me a fuzzy feeling in my lil heart and the fizz was just what I needed before having a lie down and taking it all in.
Our suite had two bathrooms, both a really nice size, one with a bathtub and one with a shower and both had their own toilet and sink. So me and Ollie were both in our element having our own bathroom, as it meant he didn’t have to deal with my beauty products everywhere and taking my good old time in the tub. I obviously claimed dibs on the one with the bathtub because baths are life. The bath was a great size and the perfect end to each of the freezing cold days before we headed out for dinner. A Spanish Tapas restaurant nearby called Mondo is a definite must do, their food was insane and it’s just a 5-minute walk from the hotels front door.
After a very early start our first day we had a very comfortable sleep in the king sized bed equipped with fluffy pillows, just how I like it. Who else loves feeling like their sleeping on clouds? Its fab isn’t it.
The room comes also equipped with everything you could need on a trip. Its amenities include an iron, ironing board, free Wi-Fi, mini fridge, hair dryer, desk and chair, TV, mini fridge, bathroom products, robes and slippers, a safe and to my liking, a Nespresso coffee machine. Oh it was good to be able to make a good old coffee in the mornings just before heading down to breakfast for yet another.
I always liked to sit in the rooms reading chair and read either the newspaper on my Swedish books whilst drinking my coffee. This was also a great excuse to rest up before heading out in the cold all day. Very comfy to.
Thankfully the room was super toasty at all times and we were left a spare mini heater in our room so give ourselves a little extra warmth if we needed it. A nice little touch when the second day was the coldest I’ve ever been. Seriously, I thought I was going to arrive back with serious frostbite. Stockholm and its colder months are in need of all the layers you can possibly get on.
MORNINGS WITH HOTEL BIRGER JARL
What’s a hotel stay without breakfast? I mean, its nothing. Breakfast is everything, right?
Included in the room rates is a drool-worthy breakfast spread I wouldn’t be willing to be for anything, breakfast is my thang. Every morning I was so eager to get down that lift and straight into the restaurant because the spread is just too good.
At the front of the hotel overlooking the Swedish streets is the restaurant where breakfast is held every morning from early to 11am. I love hotel breakfasts that last that little bit longer because it means you can stay in bed and indulge in the hotel room life that little bit longer. Am I right?
The breakfast spread puts on a very tasty buffet with everything you could ever want. From fresh breads (even gluten free), waffles, bacon, eggs, cooked veggies and more hot breakfast goodness to cereals, fresh cheeses and meats, fresh fruit and pastries. Yep, everything you could ever want. My favourite breakfast is cereal, sad I know, so I went for their gluten free bran each morning topped with lactose free yoghurt, seeds and fruit. Followed by cold meats, gluten free toast or pastries with the most amazing strawberry jam. Ollie’s choice was fresh bread with a fry up followed by fresh fruit and juices.
Birger Jarl really do spoil you for choice and if you visit, please try the pastries because oh my word, they are amaze.
I have to mention the drinks line-up because it pretty damn fab. There is anything you could ever want and the most delicious grape juice I’ve had in my life. Teas and coffees all around to.
The restaurant has a dedicated little corner for gluten and lactose free foods and drinks, which of course I was all over. The lactose free cheese was pretty darn tasty, as was the gluten free bread and cereals.
Good sleeps, bellies full, well looked after and warm as a baby we were very satisfied with our stay at Hotel Birger Jarl. The staff couldn’t have been more welcoming and helpful if they tried and the room gave me all the scandi-vibes I had dreamt of.
Thank you so much to Hotel Birger Jarl for having us and giving us the most stay in Stockholm we could’ve asked for. It was a dream and I can’t wait to come back soon. Honestly, Stockholm is too beautiful to not want to go back and I’m v tempted to book another flight back soon. Maybe in the summer when it isn’t quite as cold.
You can find the hotels room rates and more information here. The room rates start from 1125 SEK for a double.
Have you ever been to Stockholm?
* This post contains a part gifted experience, all views and opinions are honest and my own *