Hotel Hellsten a must in Stockholm

You expect a certain sleekness when you step into a Scandinavian hotel. The region is known for its nascent design talent, and a pedestrian property would detract from your experience. To get the full flavor of Stockholm, park yourself at the Hotel Hellsten. Comfort and style come together easily in these boutique digs. You’ll close your eyes in the warmth of a soft bed and open them to slick internal scenery.

The hardwood floors are nothing short of charming, and the bathroom is more spacious than what you find elsewhere in Europe. Stretch out in the bathtub (unless you’re taller than I am … in which case you don’t deserve to be enveloped in liquid heat), and forget about home, work and the stack of bills on the kitchen table. This is your time, not theirs.

Most views look out to the street or inward to the small courtyard. My situation was a bit unfortunate, however, as my window opened to the breakfast room. If you occupy my former spot, don’t forget to close the curtains. It’s awkward for everyone, otherwise.

If you stay at the Hotel Hellsten, you’ll find yourself right around the corner from Sweden‘s most amazing hot dogs. The stand serves grilled dogs in a pita with mashed potatoes, onions, lettuce, mustard and ketchup. It sounds unusual (and is), but try it anyway. Then, get a plain hot dog with only mustard, because these dogs can stand on their own. The mustard tastes like that in Iceland, with a hint of the cheese flavor from Oscar Mayer cheesedogs. There’s nothing like it — except in Iceland or at your local supermarket.

[Photo thanks to Hotel Hellsten]