Hotel Esplanade, Stockholm $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
If you've had it to here with design, take refuge in this cute-as-granny's-house, family-run (by the current brood since 1986) harbor-front hotel. The gorgeous 1910 Art Nouveau block holds 34 rooms that are resolutely faded, retaining their original Jugendstil decor, but overlaid with a veneer of random decorating decisions. This means frequent instances of '70s upholstery (often in French blue), bronzed chrome tables and dubious art mixed in with shabby Turkish rugs on parquet or plank floors, Edwardian glass lamps, and handsome oak desks. The best units, along with the cheery breakfast space, have huge, curvaceous Art Nouveau windows and harbor views. Many a film industry and boho guest prefers this not-trying-too-hard ambience to the self-conscious boutique thing.
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