At Home at Ett Hem

If you can sweep me off my feet with the details, you’ve literally stolen my heart. I’d like to think of myself as an extremely detail oriented person but walking into Ett Hem it was almost as if they read my mind. How did you even know that I love that shade of blue crockery? How did you know that the soft cashmere throw you left on the bed was exactly like the one I had at home? How did you get everything so aesthetically right that it actually hurts? Yes I’m being dramatic.

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During our four-night trip to Stockholm we spent our final night at Ett Hem, one of the highest acclaimed boutique hotels in the world. I had been reading about this place for the past couple of years after seeing its stellar reviews in Monocle and literally every luxury travel publication on earth. Not to mention I am a huge fan of Ilse Crawford’s design work, whose firm Studioilse transformed the over 100 year old home into a unique 12-room hotel in 2012. When we planned our trip to Stockholm I was fervent on staying at Ett Hem, but with quite a hefty price tag we booked it for one night just for the sake of experience.

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Ett Hem is located in a quiet but charming residential area of Stockholm. Upon arrival we rang the doorbell at the wooden gate and the staff immediately buzzed us in with a warm greeting of “welcome home.” The hotel prides itself on straying away from the typical hotel service with a handcrafted feel at home approach. In the words of Ilse Crawford “The idea is a comfortable cultured house you can enjoy as if it is a friend’s. Sit in the kitchen, have a drink in the sitting room, pick up a book in the library or snuggle down by the fireplace.” The entryway is a beautiful communal mishmash of rooms including a casual reception area, bar & dining room. We were given a tour of the bright greenhouse, lush outdoor courtyard, fully stocked library, and the wine cellar & spa in the basement. Each area is so different yet somehow amalgamates perfectly.

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But its the details, those beautiful details that literally take your breath away as you tour the hotel. The variety of prized antiques, the eclectic selection of books, the curated collection of swoon worthy artwork on the walls, the cozy fireplace, the gorgeous vases of fresh flowers in every corner, that Scandinavian dim light peeking through the glass windows, the feel-at-home plush couches swimming in cozy cushions…they got it so right. And how can I  forget kitchen of the gods with fully stocked cupboards of dream crockery, copper pans, baroque flatware, Scandinavian ceramics, wooden boards and antique silver platters galore. It was literally heaven.

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After the brief tour we were escorted to our room (#8) which was a loft style space with a staircase at the entry. I had read that each room is different with its own quirks and aesthetic touches. We were given the 411 on the features and amenities of the room including an iPad & Apple TV for guest usage. The bathroom was pure decadence with an all marble interior, brass fixtures, luxe toiletries and that heavenly spa rain shower. The bedside tables had a lovely variety of books to peruse and the bed itself was fluffy as a cloud.

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After settling in we headed down to the open kitchen where guests can request meals & snacks as they like. There is also a counter that has nibbles such as dried fruit, nuts and usually a cake for guests to help themselves to. We had a deliciously fresh smoked salmon open sandwich full of all sorts of house-made condiments and local produce that we enjoyed in the indoor greenhouse on the sofa, we also helped ourselves to a slice of chocolate cake at the snack bar.

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We had spent the past three days exploring Stockholm all day without rest so it was nice to just chill at Ett Hem and enjoy the room. We opted to go out for dinner that evening but there is a set menu dinner service available. We did enjoy a beautiful dessert when we returned of Swedish summer strawberries with buttermilk ice cream and vanilla meringues.

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The next morning, after a sound sleep we had breakfast at the communal table in the greenhouse which was a stunning spread of fruits, yogurt, granola, breads, jams, butter and eggs your way prepared in the kitchen next door.

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The remainder of our time at Ett Hem was spent mostly chilling and just relaxing in the room before we checked out. The whole experience was incredible unique and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to stay there. I would’ve loved to stay for a few additional nights, but let’s save that for a celebratory occasion 😉

I’ve put together some extra notes about our stay below. When you’re paying a hefty price tag it’s nice to know exactly what you’re in for so I hope this helps:

  • The communal rooms/dining are quite cozy and not private at all. You may have someone sharing a couch with you or dining right next to you. I felt a little conscious when we were in the common rooms because I just felt like everyone could hear each others conversation so it was almost like I had to whisper as not to disturb anyone else.
  • You can enjoy your meals wherever you like in the common areas of the home. I really liked this because it changes things up. When the weather is nice the outdoor courtyard area is absolutely stunning, while sitting in the kitchen next to the chefs is also lovely.
  • Everything has a price tag. The cake/snack station is complementary but everything else is charged as per consumption. There isn’t any dialogue on price as there isn’t any menu so it can be a little uncomfortable not knowing how much whatever you order costs. I should’ve spoken up and asked, but I just felt shy. I think the wording on the website is a bit misleading when it says “Ett Hem is there for you to use as if it were your own house, which means that you are welcome to help yourself to a snack or a drink in the kitchen anytime you like.” I didn’t feel it was so casual that we could just stroll in whenever we wanted, in fact when we asked for lunch I noticed that one of the kitchen staff did a bit of an eye-roll as she looked at the time (since it was quite late in the afternoon). That annoyed me. The breakfast is included in the room rate, but the set tasting menu at dinner was 995 SEK per person. I would’ve liked a few extra complementary perks such as a little snack left in our room or just something a little extra to make me feel that the high price tag is completely worth it.
  • The gym is open 24 hours and well equipped and the spa offers hamam & massage services: massage 60 minutes 1700 SEK, massage 90 minutes 2100 SEK, hamam 1500 SEK per hour
  • This is not a resort and it doesn’t offer much beyond being a beautiful place to sleep and enjoy a meal. If you’re looking for activities onsite you won’t find them. I had emailed the hotel a few weeks before I arrived to see if they might be able to bring me into the kitchen to learn about special dish they make or if someone might be available to explain more about the aesthetics and design of the hotel, but it never resulted in any effort from their side.
  • The service is lovely and personal but the staff isn’t too chatty and didn’t strike up much conversation.
  • If you’re a sucker for the little details and aesthetics this place is for you.

Find out more about Ett Hem at the below links:

http://www.etthem.se

http://www.cntraveler.com/hotels/sweden/vaxholm/ett-hem–stockholm

http://www.dezeen.com/2013/02/20/ett-hem-hotel-by-studioilse/

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/hotels/ett-hem-stockholm-the-fine-art-of-making-you-feel-at-home-10200953.html

http://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/travel/hotels/ett-hem-stockholm

Noreen

Comments 2 comments on “At Home at Ett Hem

  1. Absolutely amazing pictures Noreen, you’ve captured the details and essence of the space so well. How I’d love to go here!

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