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The First Hotels’ logo-a winged elephant-seems an appropriate symbol for this formerly frumpy hotel, which has taken off as a fashionable but affordable place to stay.
Located on Kungsholmen, arguably the most up-and-coming part of central Stockholm, it’s a member of Scandinavia’s biggest hotel chain and has 423 rooms, but a thorough renovation a few years ago has given it a boutique hotel atmosphere, complete with its own (small) spa.
The lobby bar is packed at the weekend, thanks in part to the proximity of Scheelegatan, one of the best streets in town for food and drink. Within a few blocks of the hotel there are Indian, Cuban, American, Swedish and various other restaurants, as well as a slew of bars that are busy from the minute the working day ends.