Thursday, February 3, 2011

malmen makeover.

i have a special relationship with hotel scandic malmen. although i visit stockholm irregularly, for the entire c21 my location of choice has been medborgarplatsen and the big hotel right in the epicenter of södermalm.

it was never the swankiest establishment, but an easily accessible and affordable choice. in the early 2000's my friends and i had the habit of hopping on the boat just to see a band and with people's differing financial statuses it was easiest to book rooms where everyone could afford one. even though i otherwise prefer small, design savvy hotels, it would be fair to say malmen had other perks.

as long as i can remember, the corridors and elevators of malmen have provided encounters worthy of namedropping to the point of nausea. the place enjoys a surprising status as the official rock cradle and bands from all over the world have chosen it as their temporary resting place.

warning: an abundance of indie-infused namedroplets about to follow.

i have shared the elevator with the members of interpol. not once, but twice. i slept on the sofas by the entrance with some members of the strokes. i waited to check out behind block party's kele followed by the singer from the secret machines. i hugged beth ditto outside one summery night and tried to lure her to mcdonald's with me only to witness her being adviced otherwise by css's lovefoxx. i had breakfast with erlend øye who just happened to walk in (although i did know him from before). there were others that i vaguely recognized and many that i didn't.

whoa, that was ostentatious.

if we ever considered not staying at malmen when visiting sweden for a gig, it was never voiced out loud. it was the place to be if you had a drop of indie stalker in ya.

a bit over a week ago i stayed there again. this time courtesy of visit sweden, i had the opportunity to meet the hotel manager and hear about her work in creating the new malmen. after my last visit the place had seriously changed and i was eager to find out where they were headed.

they had renovated the rooms and the public areas. what used to be a basic hotel restaurant was turned into a colorful hub for people to meet and party. as the most thrilling surprise i realized that they had taken their popularity with music people seriously, and opened den lilla hotelbaren, a small venue for up-and-coming artists to showcase their talent.

detail from the restaurant. both photos courtesy of scandic malmen.

they had done something right: our room was cosy and the hotel was full of life until the wee hours. it truly seemed a regular stockholmer would consider opting for a hotel for a night out – something that i've only seen happen in nyc before this.

our room.

what remains are the affordable prices and the perfect location. the only thing i miss are the large sofas by the reception desk – there are never too many places for great naps. with the strokes.


Anna said...

Hei kiitoskiitos tästä kuvauksesta ja infosta!! Malmen on ollut myös meidän tukikohtamme lukuisilla Tukholman (lue: Söderin) lomilla, mutta hotellin geneerisyys on ehkä vähän rasittanut. Täähän kuulostaa nyt vallan mainiolta. Pitää testata heti lähitulevaisuudessa!

stellagee said...

anna, mä olin todella yllättynyt, kun marssin sisään aulaan. koko hotelli on todella uudistunut ja hienoon suuntaan. edelleen siis loistava tukikohta!