Downtown Camper defies logic by successfully combining and outdoorsy camping theme with nods to its modern, urban location... And somehow it works perfectly!
Scandinavia – and specifically Sweden – has in recent years become known for being cool. Whether it is dark TV drama series or the reasonably priced but stylish furniture of IKEA, the region’s design sense has recently come to the wider world’s attention. The local concept of ‘Lagom’ is all the rage at the moment, as well being used in the world of interior design, it is also a more general lifestyle choice. It roughly translates to mean something like moderation and just the right amount, but this does not completely capture all of its connotations. We got a taste of lagom ourselves at Downtown Camper – A brand new hotel in the heart of Stockholm.
The design of Downtown Camper probably shouldn’t work, but somehow (thanks to a bit of Scandinavian flair) it does. The name really sums it up. The hotel has an obvious “camping” theme, and while we rarely see a theme hotel that doesn't look cheesy or just plain silly – but this one pulled it off perfectly – perhaps thanks to the use of lagom.
There were kayaks hanging from the ceilings and attached to the walls, as well as rope swings and other outdoorsy type objects. At the same time, the space felt extremely modern, urban and slightly industrial. It had tastefully exposed piping, metal staircases, artistic light fixtures, and the reception desk was made from gracefully curved smooth concrete. Perhaps this side to the hotel’s personality is best demonstrated on the outside, which conjures up images of Gotham City – with its dark exterior and hotel name descending the full height of one corner of the building. Somehow, they have taken the warm and cozy vibes you get while camping, and have combined them with a modern and luxurious setting, right in the middle of the city.
The hotel’s designers knew how well they were decorating the space, when they were doing it, as they built in an enormous amount of communal space, encouraging you to spend time enjoying their efforts. If you want to catch up on work there is an array of spaces to do it, with small cubicles, sofas and shared tables dotted around the place and private conference rooms available to book. During our stay they were installing a rope loft with a rope bottom to lounge around in – it looked like the end result would be really cool, and would totally make you feel like you were at camp.
Downtown Camper has a room for every occasion, with their largest sleeping up to twelve people! We obviously didn’t need that much space so we went for one of their Classic Doubles. It was fairly small, yet it felt really spacious, mostly because of the lounge area in front of the window. This was the perfect place to check emails and read. Again, the room’s decoration had an outdoor feel to it, with touches like cozy wool blankets, tree stumps as side table. It was easy to forget that we were in the middle of the busy city.
Besides its function as a place to sleep and relax, the hotel almost acts as a one-stop-shop for its guests. You can rent bikes, or skateboards if you are feeling adventurous. Even those kayaks on the walls are available for use, and Stockholm certainly has enough waterways to make them worthwhile.
Downtown Camper is so new, that it was still having the finishing touches added during our stay. We only got a brief glimpse of the rooftop pool and spa they are building, but from what we saw it is safe to say that this will be a wonderful addition…
One thing which was certainly finished is the restaurant. For breakfast they put on a buffet with homemade bread, jams, fruit and an assortment of other breakfast staples. They also have a station where you can make your own waffles. These were delicious, and after discovering them we found it hard to look past them. They have named their restaurant ‘Campfire’, and like a real campfire, it's a cozy place to gather round, share stories and eat.
Once breakfast is done it transforms into a proper restaurant, and serves excellent lunches and dinners. I don’t know what the setup is in kitchen (I assume they don’t actually build a campfire in there!), but they do use flame to grill their meats and fishes. The menu includes a great selection of entrees, and we recommend the burgers and the tuna appetizers. Oh and don’t forget the marshmallows that you actually roast yourself!
At Downtown Camper the surrounding streets make up part of the modern city center and bustle with activity. You will find shops, cafes, bars and restaurants here, as well as museums and galleries. A few blocks to the south and located on its own little island, is the old town with some of the buildings there dating back to the 1200s. This is a great place to wander, as most of the old winding streets are narrow and inaccessible to cars. It is here that you will also find the grand parliament building and the Royal Palace. Beyond this there are several inner city neighborhoods, and each has its own character and attractions. If you have more than a few days in the city it is worth having a look at a couple of them.
There are many good accommodation options in the center of Stockholm but Downtown Camper offers something a bit more. It has all the comfort, convenience and function you expect from a hotel of this standard, but with the added twist of a fun and interesting design. It should appeal to anyone passing through the area – whether it’s for business or pleasure.
For more information about this hotel follow the link below