This Stockholm hotel is so offbeat, it’s actually marching to a completely different drum from all else. It all started with Häringe Palace’s 1930s owner, a safety match baron, who had a slide installed from his bedroom window straight into the swimming pool. Well, it was Sweden’s first outdoor Olympic-sized one, and he was going to enjoy it! Bit of a bracing way to wake up though – one feels for his extremities. The next owner was a bit of a killjoy and tore the slide down, but the building has been adding to its character since it was first built in 1657, with a succession of madcap schemes and eccentric custodians putting their stamp on the property.
It is the turn of Care Of Hotels to look after the palace these days, and although by nature business-minded, the company has given the accumulated oddness of c/o Häringe Palace free run of the place. With so much going on, it’s a testament to the designers that the interior doesn’t descend into chaos. Far from it in fact, the palace is an impeccably-ordered showcase of period pieces, like a stately home in which the red velvet cordons have been removed so you can sit down.
If the history takes some explaining, so does the interior, but it boils down to another wealthy benefactor, Olle Hartwig, aka the Cray Fish King. He embarked on a mission to repurchase the furniture and art that had originally been bought by his predecessor, the founder of Electrolux, and sold off after his death. That’s the abridged version, the full story could fill a booklet, suffice to say that if you’re thinking of staying at c/o Häringe Palace, make sure you stay long enough to take it all in. If I could briefly snatch back the word “epic” from the clutches of emo teenagers, then this place fits the description perfectly.