103 27 Travel Guide
OK so normally we wouldn’t be so excited by the idea of a “Nordic spa”. In our heads, Scandi beauty treatments scream naked saunas, self-flagellation with birch sticks and lots of snow. But we’re making an exception for the Grand Hotel in Stockholm which opened a subtly different “Nordic-inspired spa”, Raison d’Etre, yesterday.
Yes, they have the birch – harvested from local forests, don’t you know – but they do far more exciting stuff than beat you with it. The Be Rested package is a massage ad “hot birch pack” to make you sleep, while the Be Balanced treatment claims to “gently realign” your bones through the power of, um, mung bean pillows.
They’re pretty pricey – 2190 Kronor, or $318, apiece, but last two hours. And the website – which asks you questions like “How do you want to be today? Like a raindrop falling from the sky?” and “If you were a tree, what would you be?” – is really calling to us. And how idyllic does that pool look for a winter soak. Gimmicky, us? Never.
While we waited ever so patiently for Nov. 4th to pass, we hardly noticed it was, uh, November. In fact, it’s sorta-kinda almost Thanksgiving, which means the holiday season is about to infiltrate every last cranny of your life (much like Sarah Palin did the last two months, but with fewer Tina Fey impersonations).
In other words: It’s time to shop. And what better way to celebrate our new “socialist” government than with a holiday to Sweden? (We joke!) If you agree--and we think you should--consider the Grand Hôtel Stockholm (AKA the “official Nobel Prize hotel” since 1901).
The ambitiously named World Travel Awards are a set of gongs handed out by travel agents from across the globe who vote in numerous categories. And this year the fourteenth edition of these awards has given three different prizes to the Grand Hotel Stockholm: Best Swedish Hotel, Best Swedish Conference Hotel and Best Swedish Suite.
The hot suite at the Grand Hotel Stockholm is the Princess Lilian Suite (pictured), which is one of the largest suites in any European hotel. As far as suites go it's perhaps excessively well-equipped, with a 12-person cinema, a fully-equipped kitchen, office facilities, a living room with piano, two balconies overlooking the Royal Castle and finally a relaxation zone include a mosaic bath, more than one shower, and even your very own waterfall.
If you're after the Princess Lilian's 330-square meters of space, you'll need to be prepared to pay 55,000 Swedish crowns per night--at around US$8,700, that's not bad considering it includes breakfast as well. And don't forget, it's the best suite in Sweden.
· Escape from LA: Sweden [HotelChatter]
· Hotels in Stockholm [HotelChatter]
· Travel Stories in Sweden [Jaunted]
For a long time now, we have been obsessed with Max Martin--you know the guy behind Britney and the Backstreet Boys' biggest hits? Well Max hails from Sweden so this month's Escape From LA takes us all the way over to Stockholm--practically the birthplace of cheesy pop.
On the advice of a friend who has spent months in the area, we are going to check out the Grand Hotel Stockholm. We figure if we are really going to get inside Max's head, we might as well pimp out like he does.
More Escape from LA after the jump.