It doesn’t matter how many times you may read that Scandinavia has great design, it takes visiting a city like Stockholm to completely comprehend how much interior design is a part of Swedish culture and life. Beyond the restaurants, or design shops (which are plenty), our design journey began strong with our sojourn at Nobis Hotel.

Located on Normalmstorg, in the very heart of Stockholm, it’s hard to miss the prominence of Nobis Hotel. The structure itself is a combination of two 19th century buildings–one of which was the location of the infamous Stockholm Syndrome affair–that have been artfully combined into a restful retreat from the excitement of the city. In our experience, design hotels tend to look better in pictures than in real life, but this wasn’t the case at Nobis Hotel. Immediately, there’s a sense of grandeur when you walk up the black glossy entrance and head to reception. You are struck immediately with several beautifully designed spaces, from Cainas Bakficka, the chic Italian bistro, to the slick Gold bar, and the breathtakingly grand lounge with soaring ceilings and an enchanting glow of many of our favorite modern European-design lighting.

The overall design of the hotel, including the rooms is meant to celebrate the specific mood created by the winter light in Stockholm. The dark, neutral color palette references this light to create a calming environment. But beyond the design, the hotel itself is set up to be the perfect R&R environment. From the Swedish style frame beds with two fluffy comforters, to the extensive and delicious breakfast buffet, you’ll wonder whether you want to venture out at all. It was definitely hard for us to tear ourselves away from the jam and pancakes, and ACNE studios located on the ground floor.