Hotel J’s Ivy League Yachting Vibe Wins Us Over in Stockholm

The 158-room Hotel J is affectionately known as “Stockholm’s Newport” because it’s inspired by the clean lines and all-American aesthetic of places like Rhode Island and Nantucket. The hotel is owned by the local Nobis Group and its interior design is courtesy of Sweden’s Gant clothing company, well known in the U.S. for its Kennedy-era, Ivy League sensibility. We arrived by boat to Hotel J’s small private dock located on the outskirts of Stockholm at the entrance to the sprawling archipelago, and fell in love with the place immediately.

It’s a beautiful combination of old and new architecture on a breezy tree-lined shore removed entirely from the hustle of the city. But you can be in the thick of Stockholm’s cosmopolitan energy or some of the small island towns in just a few minutes via the many ferries stopping at Hotel J.

A few steps up from the dock, you enter the hotel lobby inside the historic 1912 brick building with a large kitchen pantry and living room. The chairs are draped in American flag cotton throws. Models of sailing sloops decorate the window sills and a few guests are lounging ever-so contently while reading books about seafaring around the world. Overall, it feels like a wealthy captain’s home where you could spend countless comfortable afternoons with a cup of coffee watching ships pass by in the channel.

For years the original old brick building stood alone on this site with Adirondack chairs in the front yard and a garden path leading to the Tornvilla and Fabrikörsvilla buildings on the shoreline dating back to 1889. The historic buildings are now used for group gatherings inside a surprisingly wide variety of small to mid-size conference rooms and a private restaurant serving 80 pax. Renovated in 2012, the charming restaurant is filled with large windows facing the water, and again, it very much feels like you’re living in a Tommy Hilfiger lifestyle ad.

In 2011, Hotel J added a couple modern wings with large windows and balconies, so now there’s a total of 158 rooms. They also added a bright conference room for 160 pax theater-style, with wall-to-wall windows and a large outdoor pre/post function terrace overlooking the central lawn.

The overall ambience is completely fresh and airy, and the design capitalizes on the local landscape incredibly well. The secluded setting means planners have a captive audience but the flow of the spaces is very freeing, where you always feel completely connected to the outdoors.

Inside the new guest rooms, there’s a nice play between the wide black plank floors and the white wood plank walls. The fabrics are all supplied by Gant with more American flag-inspired motifs, and there’s a solid wood work desk with super fast in-room WiFi.

Book the top floors for the largest balconies, which are almost the size of the rooms.

Lunch here was a total treat. The indoor/outdoor J Restaurant juts out into the channel right next to the main dock where old steamer ferries pick up and unload passengers, so there’s a constant sense of movement and great people watching. The outdoor patio is extremely popular for locals during the warmer months, and the indoor section can be blocked off for private group dinners and functions.

The seafood is super fresh and bursting with flavor. Our salmon caesar was exquisite with sharp parmesan and big fat homemade croutons. Even if your group doesn’t stay at the hotel, it’s a great place for lunch and dinner to get a feel of the local scene.

Hotel J is just a 10-minute boat ride to Fjäderholmarna Island where attendeees can shop for local crafts and dine in casual seaside restaurants. Definitely check out group meals at Fjäderholmarnas Krog.

The bucolic island promotes itself as the gateway to the archipelago, and it’s a shame but these islands are vastly undiscovered by the U.S. MICE market. You really have two destinations in one, completely removed from each other in terms of overall attitude and energy, and Hotel J is perfectly situated in the middle as a bridge between the two.