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Stockholm's Grand Hotel
In many of Stockholm's panoramic views one of the most recognizable buildings is The Grand Hotel. Ideally located, this 5 star property offering deluxe accommodations is a far reach from lodging offered in the 17th and 18th century.
In the late 18th century the Swedish Pomeranian officer Georg von Pollet commented "The Inns are altogether bad, one could scarce be worse served in the Marburg Post House than in the foremost inn of Stockholm "Malmens Källare". Small unkempt rooms, inferior food and inflated bills are the lot of every stranger".
Even in the beginning of the 19th century conditions seemed largely unchanged although by this time there were a few exceptions. Bergstrahlska huset by Riddarhustorget, Kastenhof on Gustav Adolfs torg, Reisen on Skeppsbron, Franska Värdshuset on Regeringsgatan, and Den Gyllene Freden on Österlångatan were some of the better taverns and eating houses in the city.
The Hotel Garni could perhaps be regarded as Stockholm's first real "hotel" as we know it today. It was opened in 1832 by the court confectioner Abraham Christopher Behrens. The hotel's trade card stated in Swedish and French " In this tastefully decorated Hotel, located at #3 Drottninggatan, are three floors of furnished rooms for travelers , for families as well as individuals, with adjoining Servants' quarters. Stables and servants rooms also provided".
In January 1858 the Hotel Rydberg was opened to the public. Stockholm finally had a continental-style hotel. It was an astoundingly luxurious building for its time. In addition to rooms for travelers, the ground floor contained storerooms, a carriage room, lodging quarters for the hotel manager and a wash-house with a water pump. Gas pipes were installed and the hotel was illuminated with modern gas lamps. There were also bathrooms with bathtubs and bath attendants. Not even the royal family had such splendor in the Palace.
Just one year later Régis Cadier (who would later play the crucial role in the creation of the Grand Hotel) managed to purchase the leasehold for the hotel. Calmly and methodically, he built up the business.
Few things have been more significant to the development of Stockholm than the opening of the rail link to the capital in 1862. In one stroke the journey time from Gothenburg to Stockholm was cut to 14 hours opening Stockholm to the outside world. Never before had the Swedish capital seen so many travelers arrive.
It soon became clear that a new hotel was needed and Cadier was asked to come up with a solution. Attention was turned toward the harbor and Cadier discovered three interesting properties on the southern side of Blasieholmen.
Work began on the new hotel in March 1872. From records it would appear that the roof was completed by the end of the year and work on the interior continued throughout 1873.
How did Cadier finance a project of such magnitude? One story has Cadier filling a wheelbarrow with silver coins at the Hotel Rydberg then wheeling it to the new building site to pay the construction workers. The story may be a myth but it makes for a good antidote.
By the spring of 1874 the interiors were nearly completed and the first guests checked in. It was at this time that the name of the new hotel was made public: THE GRAND HOTEL.
Today elegance abounds in the Grand Hotel's 368 rooms each room being one of a kind. 42 spacious suites, with conference facilities accommodating most needs. To remind you of Régis Cadier enjoy a refreshment in the Cadier bar appropriately named "From the Founder to the Future" and breakfast, lunch or dinner in the Veranda Restaurant overlooking the Bay. A fine dining experience awaits in Mathias Dahlgren's Restaurant specializing in "Natural Cuisine". A 2,800 square meter spa and health club will be completed during 2009 in collaboration with Raison d'Etre and available for hotel guests.
And of course, location in the center of Stockholm with a magnificent view of the harbor.
Portions of the above information are from the web site http://www.grandhotel.se/