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Nordic Light and Nordic Sea, Stockholm 

See the Stockholm Guide ›
7 Vasaplan
Tel: 46 8 5056 3000
view web site ›'s insider take:

A pair of sister buildings face off across a side street in what disconcertingly appears to be the business district. In fact, these lodgings are near everything—especially shopping. Each hotel betrays its shtick by its name: The former is all about natural light, with shapes and colors dramatically projected onto its white walls. In its Mood rooms, you can completely bathe yourself in cobalt or aquamarine or fuchsia at whim (this long predated Schrager's version). Sea's theme is, yes, maritime, which translates to an all-blue-and-white palette with stylized porthole motifs and shiplike wooden built-ins, plus aquariums and wavy art. This place also has the world's coolest bar—literally. You've heard of ice bars, but here's the first permanent one (sponsored by Absolut), with its subzero ice fixtures, fittings, and glasses made entirely of ice, and parkas handed out to would-be drinkers. Even if you think you're over it, it gets you. Despite that, the Light remains the cooler of the two hotels. There's also a third Nordic, by the way, the new Nordic Blue, perched on the northernmost tip of the Elfvik promontory in a grand, startling 1969 structure built by IBM to train European employees.

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