Berns For You: Stockholm’s Hottest Hotel
Some hotels occupy legendary status in their cities, becoming more than simply places for visitors to sleep. In Stockholm, that hotel is Berns, a hotel/dining/entertainment destination where locals outnumber visitors in their quest to enjoy the best of the Swedish capital’s hip accommodation, buzzing restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. There is no other place in Stockholm like Berns; since 1863, it has been THE hotel of choice for people who want something more than a place to sleep in their accommodation, dining, and entertainment experience.
The stylish guestrooms are comfortable, of course, varying in size, shape, and decor. Some rooms and suites on the fifth and sixth (top) floors have French doors to let in even more of light and fresh sea air. Berns is situated next to Nybroviken, the departure point for many boat excursions favoured by visitors keen to explore Stockholm on water. Berns‘ location is the best in Stockholm for exploring the city on foot, too, a rewarding way to see this picturesque city; the atmospheric lanes of the Old Town, the chic shops of Birger Jarlsgatan, and quiet parkland are all within short distances. The front desk staff here ensure guests are warmly welcomed and follow up on that first encounter with repeated assistance throughout their stays. Lenny, Louise, Sara―all of them effuse a positive, youthful spirit that personifies Sweden today.
It is the amazing Grand Salon, though, that makes Berns the phenomenon it is. Today known also as Berns Asiatiska thanks to the excellent Asian cuisine found on the lunch and dinner menus, the voluminous space is at once large and cosy, its historic design elements retained and complemented by furniture suitable to the hall. Tables on the balcony give a lofty vantage point for observing the goings-on below and places diners closer to the huge chandeliers dangling from the high ceiling that make the room so alluring. After dinner, the same attractive restaurant space is cleared of tables and chairs to become a nightclub, the place to see and be seen in Stockholm in the wee hours, as is the rooftop bar (open during the warmer months). Asiatiska’s bountiful Sunday brunch, an extravaganza of pan-Asian dishes, is famous throughout the city.
Berns Asiatiska is one of Stockholm’s most fashionable restaurants, but it is not the only one at Berns. In the pocket-sized Berzelii Park in front of the hotel is Berns Bistro, a delightful garden gazebo surrounded by greenery in summer that is very popular with the pre-theatre crowd since the historic China Theatre is also located on the park and is also managed by Berns. The theatre has a rich history of its own, having hosted such acts as The Supremes and Aretha Franklin in the past. China Theatre still attracts big names to its stage for concerts and hosts local versions of Broadway musicals.
Berns is more than a place for fun, it is also a favoured venue for meetings and corporate events in the private rooms such as the famous Mirror Hall and Red Room. The latter is linked to Swedish writer August Stringberg, who was a regular at the hotel and wrote a novel, The Red Room, inspired by his real-life discussions with fellow bohemians of the era.