The multi-talented Malmström family, owners of eclectic city retreat Villa Dagmar in super-smart Ӧstermalm, wanted the hotel to channel the spirit of their well-travelled, sociable and art-loving matriarch, Dagmar Bergsten. So, under its fantastical glass roof, you’ll find contemporary pieces by Swedish artists, a courtyard restaurant run by two star chefs, a curated concept store, a fragrant flower shop, a soul-soothing spa and a secret entrance to food haven Ӧstermalms Saluhall (conveniently right next door) for the best Swedish delicacies. This bowl-you-over bolthole takes after its trailblazing namesake.
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A selection of Villa Dagmar pralines in room upon check-in
Double rooms from £188.48 (SEK2,296), including tax at 12 per cent.
Rates usually include a buffet or a la carte breakfast. For room only rates, breakfast can be added for SEK365 per person, and SEK185 for little Smiths ages 6 -11.
Make sure to stop by the unique Gazebo, a combination of concept shop and florist on the ground floor that stocks design books, home accessories, seasonal flowers and plants – another homage to Dagmar, whose country villa was always filled with books and blooms.
At the hotel
Free WiFi, valet parking, boutique, wellness retreat, and gym. In rooms: TV with Chromecast, Marshall bluetooth speaker and Lavazza coffee machine.
Our favourite rooms
Maybe our favourite features are the spa-like ensuite bathrooms – each is marble-clad and has toasty heated floors. We’re partial to the Deluxe Balcony room with its free-standing bath tub and – you guessed it – a private balcony overlooking either the inner courtyard or the Ostermalm rooftops.
At Dagmar Spirit and Retreat, you’ll find a detoxifying sauna and steam room. The fully-equipped fitness centre is the place for quick workouts, group yoga classes and punishing personal training sessions.
Throw at least two roomy tote bags in your suitcase for carrying home your haul of lingonberry preserves, crispbreads and licorice from the food market next door.
All public areas and a number of specially adapted Double Superior bedrooms nearest to the lifts on the first and second floors are suitable for wheelchair users.
Try to bag a table ‘outside’ (under the glass roof), which sports an enchanted orangery vibe.
You won’t feel out of place in your finest at the restaurant, but anything goes at laidback Dagges.
There are two very starry chefs behind the all-day restaurant at Villa Dagmar, Daniel Höglander and Niclas Jönsson, owners of Stockholm’s award-winning Aloë. For the Mediterranean fusion menu with a seafood focus, they’ve drawn influences from southern France and Italy as well as the Middle East and North Africa. Dagges is the bistro-cum-wine-bar, serving small dishes and appetizers to pair with wines as well as artisanal treats to take home. In the summer months, Dagges opens its terrace doors and the tables spill out onto Nybrogatan.
There’s a feeling of being on the Amalfi Coast at the chic marble bar under a white awning in the ground floor’s open-plan atrium. Pull up a white bar stool and try a classic cocktail or take your pick from the tome-like wine list of European vintages.
From 11.30am to 10pm, the room service menu features salads, sandwiches, pizzas and desserts. From 10pm to 6.30am, you’re limited to just two (delicious) types of pizza.
You’ll find Villa Dagmar right next door to Stockholm’s historic food hall, Ӧstermalms Saluhall, and just steps from the shops and restaurants of Stureplan square.
Flights touch down at Stockholm’s very efficient Arlanda airport. The easiest way to get to the city centre is via the Arlanda Express which takes just 20 minutes; the hotel can also organise private car transfers for around SEK800 each way.
Stockholm’s Central Station, serving all major Swedish cities (Gothenberg, Malmö and Kalmar) as well as Copenhagen, is only two kilometres away. The closest Metro station to the hotel is Ӧstermalmstorg.
You won’t need a car in walkable Stockholm, but if you do drive, there’s valet parking available for SEK900 a night.
Worth getting out of bed for
Your first order of business is to use the hotel’s secret entrance and immerse yourself in the sights, smells and sounds of Ӧstermalm Saluhall, one of the most famous food markets in the world – it’s full of restaurants as well as vendors selling a wide variety of fresh Swedish specialties and a sight in its own right, too, having occupied this spired brick building since 1888. Once you’ve fortified yourself with plates of Swedish meatballs and cucumber salad, take the scenic walk along the water to Sodermalm to find Fotografiska, the city’s contemporary photography center, where past shows have been devoted to Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton and Andres Serrano (and the top floor café has one of the finest views in Stockholm). On your way back to the hotel, stop in at Svenskt Tenn on Strandvagen, the city’s colourful interior design destination that’s been going strong since 1924. And Smiths of all ages will love the Vasamuseet which houses the restored royal warship Vasa decorated with over 700 ornate figures and ornaments – it sank in Stockholm harbour on its maiden voyage in the 17th century and was painstakingly dragged up from the seabed in the early 1960s.
For a hearty Nordic-style start to the day, walk ten minutes to bistro and deli Broms by leafy Karlaplan square for the heavenly house-made granola or cardamom buns. For lunch, book ahead at the classic Stockholm seafood institution Sturehof in Stureplan square for ‘toast skagen’, dover sole meuniere or the whole shellfish tower. For supper, drop in at Riche to rub elbows with the city’s most fashionable…and sample the best meatballs in town. Can’t hack any more herring? Canter over to Ciccio’s (‘Ciccio’ being the affectionate term Italians use to refer to a chubby boy – too adorable for words) for Italian fine dining, chummy waiters, classic cocktails and an impressive wine cellar.
Walk just four minutes from the hotel’s front door to find Tyge & Sessil, a wine bar from celebrity chef Niklas Ekstedt with a list of natural wines from independent and small-scale producers plus a menu of snacks that pair perfectly with each tipple. On long summer nights, hop to Omaka, a modern brewery and outdoor beer garden with an open kitchen that creates dishes to pair with every beer brewed in the building.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this sumptuous city hideaway in Sweden and unpacked their smoked herring and Schnapps, a full account of their food-filled break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Villa Dagmar in Stockholm…
One of Swedish history’s most fascinating characters, Axel Munthe, lived at the very address that Villa Dagmar now occupies in the smart Ostermalm neighbourhood. He was a man with many hats: royal physician, bestselling author, keen collector of ancient artifacts, amateur architect and general high flyer in European society. So, it’s apt that Villa Dagmar is multi-faceted, too, and full of surprises from the off – though its historic façade betrays nothing of the unexpectedly eye-popping glass atrium behind it. Once your eyes have adjusted to all that dazzling Northern light, you’ll notice that underneath this soaring roof bustles a piazza that could have been lifted from Liguria – there’s an ambitious Mediterranean restaurant, a highly-curated concept store, a flower shop, an organic deli and a direct entrance to the world-famous Ostermalm food hall (conveniently next door). Once you’ve eaten, drunk, shopped and gazed your fill, make your way up to your serene bedroom, where the decor blends Swedish simplicity with a touch of Italian grandeur. Despite being miles from the Bel Paese, Villa Dagmar has definitely mastered la dolce vita.