As a follow-up to Reasons to Visit Norrkoping, here are four accommodation options for a blissful visit. A bed and breakfast, a design hotel, a luxury hotel, and a boutique hotel.
Can’s Bed & Breakfast
Can’s Bed & Breakfast along Saltängsgatan is an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers. The B&B is located on the third floor of a building that once housed a brewery, non-institutional care by Swedish workers’ organization Verdandi, and ITV offices as well as their heat pumps (they left one by the staircase on the ground floor).
Marin Can, the owner since 2008, first used the place as a collective apartment and eventually turned it into a bed and breakfast with five rooms, including one five-bedroom, one four-bedroom, one three-bedroom and one double room.
During my stopover, the double room was made into a large single with one bed and one sofa. With a low sofa table plus kitchen table for eating or working, wardrobe, TV, “make-up counter” with mirror, view over the river, shared bathroom and shower in the corridor, and a refrigerator outside the door, there was nothing to complain about. Just make sure to bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper because the walls aren’t of the thickest kind.
Accessible through the side of the building facing the street, Hamnkällaren’s Gallery and Youth Hostel, also Marin Can’s creation, offers three rooms (for couples or families) in the space next to the ground-floor gallery and guest kitchen. The gallery shows work of local artists and there’s future hope of a café operation.
All guests receive breakfast free of charge in the morning. For lunch or a coffee break before check-in or after check-out, consider the nearby garden café Gubbens Trädgårdcafé.
If you prefer surroundings of stylish design, Hotel President at Vattengränden, opposite the theater Östgötateatern, will suit your taste. The hotel belongs to ProfilHotels that offers a selection of well-designed properties in Scandinavia.
In every room and suite, natural light, clear colors, emphasis on details, minimalist art work, and high-quality materials contribute to a stress-free zone, where your well-being is highest priority, whether you travel for leisure, pleasure or business.
Comfort in form of hand-manufactured Carpe Diem beds, complimentary Wi-Fi and DVD player in all rooms as well as free weights and DVD with exercise programs add to an enjoyable stay. As does the relax area in the basement. Just be aware that the showers and sauna are shared among ladies and gentlemen. I shared my sauna session with a Swedish Railways’ employee who said he stays at the hotel in between train trips. Understandable.
On the ground floor, the lobby features comfortable seating and colourful art by David Partida and Alberto Ramirez of artLEG.com. Next door, The Side Bar serves drinks and meals in a space where walls, furniture and interior shift in different red nuances.
In the morning, I took advantage of the hotel’s terrific location with a walk through nearby Folkparken and along the river promenades. Turn left outside the hotel, follow Slottsgatan and you’ll reach the park and Matteus Church in a few minutes. Town maps marked with walks or runs are available in the reception.
A generous breakfast buffet, a number of daily newspapers and friendly staff who gladly prepared oat meal (even thought it wasn’t on the menu) topped off a unique hotel experience, which resulted in a desire to experience other ProfilHotel properties.
Elite Grand Hotel
With a focus on luxury rather than design, Elite Grand Hotel also guarantees a relaxing stay – especially thanks to the hotel’s Spa Relax Center with showers, sauna, Jacuzzis, salon services and exclusive spa treatments inspired from Asia, India and Africa.
Centrally located in a building from the turn of the 19th century, between Hamngatan (Harbor street) and Tyska Torget Square only five minutes from the railway station, guests can wake up to views of the river.
From a modest hotel with only 50 rooms in 1906 via a ten-year closure for a large renovation after 1970, Elite Grand Hotel is now Norrkoping’s leading hotel with 205 rooms and first-class amenities for visitors and business travelers. The new hotel director Anne-Lie Boman intends to protect the history and soul of the hotel, and offer a complete experience of quality, opulence and tradition, with the lobby as a focal point for meetings, reading, and socialising. I love her thinking.
My standard single room featured a comfortable bed, sturdy work desk with an armchair (an appreciated change to the usual desk chairs), free Wi-Fi, cable TV, a newly renovated bathroom with shower and hairdryer.
Round off the day in the special ambiance of The Bishops Arms (an English pub) with a large selection of whiskies and beer (taste the veggie dish of cheese-stuffed peppers with warm potato salad and herb sauce).
Even though the shape of my room and slight lack of floor space made yoga somewhat tricky in the morning, I enjoyed my temporary abode and didn’t miss the added luxury of a more spacious room. And the luxurious breakfast buffet proved that Elite exceeds expectations.
If you want the same central location but prefer a smaller place, opt for Norrkoping’s boutique hotel Strand Hotel across the street at the beginning of Drottninggatan. The elegant culture house from the 1890s has operated as a hotel since the 1930s and received its newest owners, Lena and Peter, during the turn of the year 2008/2009.
The serene atmosphere is ever-present here. After check-in I found myself both walking and talking slower than usual.
Anna, the receptionist, showed me her favorite rooms – the white Wedding Suite Dolce Vita with a four-poster bed and bathroom with Jacuzzi, a darker, marine-themed room overlooking the the river, and a double room whose walls were decorated by Palms Fine Art in Norrkoping.
From the single bedrooms to the suite Engelska Magasinet, named after the renowned antique shop on the same address, all 11 rooms have newly renovated bathrooms, flatscreen TVs and free Wi-Fi. My double room Hermelinrummet had, like most of the rooms, a preserved tile oven from the late 18th century.
Apart from a special breakfast buffet (guests can make their own waffles and the hotel’s baker Ronaldo frequently supply freshly baked bread), coffee and cookies are served in the salon every afternoon at 2pm. There, between the breakfast room and the library, a tasteful selection of magazines (BON, Residence, DI Weekend, Your Life) and oil paintings by Gunilla Mann provide appreciated distraction.
When the sky turned grey and a spell of lightning cut the electricity out, I wondered how quick Strand Hotel would return to its usual peaceful state. In less than 15 minutes.
Regardless of how you spend your evening (Norrkoping’s nightlife and restaurants are just around the corner), rest assured that the tranquillity of the hotel is never too far away. In fact, the staff often hears that their guests feel an instant calm the moment they step inside and that “time stands still on Strand”. I couldn’t agree more.