From: Stockholm Hotels
The First Hotel Reisen is one of Stockholm's oldest inns. It began as a coffeehouse named after its founder, a Dutchman named Reiss, in the 18th Century. When the owner died in 1970, his widow turned the building into a guesthouse, and today Reisen (Swedish for "The Reiss") is a popular five-star hotel in the Stockholm old town of Gamla Stan.
The Hotel Reisen's 144 guest rooms are extremely attractive, with a warm decorating scheme that features large expanses of dark wood. Standard rooms have brick outer walls, wooden floors, louvered closets in the entrance foyers, queen-size beds, and full bathtubs. Most face a neighboring building in the old town, but 30 of the standard rooms have sea views. (The Reisen has very cleverly placed metal mirrors outside the windows to bring extra light into the rooms without views.)
Superior queen and executive twin rooms are fancier, with balconies in the corner rooms. The 11 deluxe rooms offer freestanding desks, two easy chairs, and huge bathrooms with Jacuzzis and saunas. (Guests in deluxe rooms may bring a friend to the Reisen's buffet breakfast.) The Reisen also has two large family rooms, each with a sofa bed for children, and seven suites.
All rooms have broadband Internet connections, and North American guests are catered to with an ice machine on every floor. As a bonus, the hotel has a resident female ghost who is believed to be a former employee.
The Hotel Reisen has a modern restaurant on the ground floor that's popular with locals. (Thanks to its location near the Royal Palace and Parliament, the Reisen also hosts occasional political banquets and government functions.)
If you're traveling with a group, try to book a dinner or cocktail party in the hotel's salon. This consists of the second-class dining room and first-class ladies' parlor from the Per Brahe, a ship that was built in 1908 and moored in front of the hotel during its many decades of passenger service between Stockholm and Finland.
Don't miss the hotel's sauna and indoor pool in vaulted brick cellars of a storehouse that was built in 1690. (Look for a footprint in one of the cellar's bricks, which was made by a female hod carrier more than 300 years ago.)
The Hotel Reisen is on the waterfront in Gamla Stan, just below the Royal Palace and within walking distance of downtown. See the hotel's Web site for taxi, bus, and parking information. The nearest Tunnelbana or subway stop is Gamla Stan, on the opposite side of the island from the hotel.
To reach the Vasa Museum, Skansen, and other attractions on Djurgården, walk a few blocks south and catch a pedestrian ferry to the Gröna Lund amusement park. (But check with the hotel reception desk first if you're traveling in the off-season.)
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