“Quaint, cosy, nautical-themed hotel with a privileged position in Stockholm’s old town”
Victory is so nautically minded, with its wood panelling, polished brass handrails and ship paintings at every turn, that you almost expect to find a ship's cabin when you open your bedroom door. Instead, there are swish furnishings in warm ochres and navy blues: brocades, velvets, a pleasing mêlée of traditional textiles and carefully chosen antiques.
Each of Victory’s rooms is named after a Swedish sea captain. The owners went to great trouble to track down the descendents of each one, finding photographs of the captain - and his wife, if he had one! - and an original painting of his ship. There’s also an antique model ship in each room, and you might find other antiques - ours had a 1900’s dressing table mirror - all of which add character to each individually designed room.
Don’t expect much space though: even the Deluxe rooms are compact, Double Rooms and Single Rooms even compacter, and some of the rooms are in the eaves. The original building was constructed in the 17th century, and many of the rooms retain the original proportions. Ask for the opulent Captain's Luxury Suite if you want to spread out - the original 1640’s ceiling is stunning - or one of the Grand Cabins, which have a sitting room (and a Jacuzzi).
But what Victory lacks in scale it makes up for in details. Each room has a well-stocked minibar, trouser press, hairdryer and sumptuous navy blue bathrobes and satin slippers, all emblazoned with the gold embroidered Victory ship. All rooms have flatscreen TVs, phones, and Bang & Olufsen stereos.
Fortunately, the bathrooms bear no resemblance to those of Nelson’s day: gleaming marble, underfloor heating, walk-in power showers, huge white towels and the most extensive array of Molton Brown toiletries imaginable.
Breakfast is served in the attractive bar upstairs: prepare for some wonderfully unconventional touches. The traditional smörgåsbord of smoked salmon, salami, smoked cold ham, veal brawn, smoked sausage and meatballs is enhanced by pickled cucumbers and pickled beetroot salad, and an unusual choice of cheeses. The homemade mueslis have too many salted nuts for our liking, but delicious orange and apple juice more than compensates. Our 'Eggs Royal' with crispy ham turned out to be a sweet crème brulée, and the rice pudding with cinnamon was a touch salty. Stick to the superb homemade breads instead, with flavoursome berry jams. Allow more time than you think: service is slow when the hotel is full. As breakfast is not included in the room rate, you might prefer to try one of the cheaper options just a few minutes’ walk away - Chokladkoppen and Kaffekoppen in the market square Stortorget are both good.
For other meals you have the Djuret restaurant. The name means ‘meat’ in Swedish and the ethos is for to focus on one animal in the regularly changing menu. Therefore, making the most of the animal while being as sustainable as possible - we’ve yet to dine here, but it certainly sounds intriguing. For after dinner drinks, there’s the Tweed bar which as the name suggests is designed with tradition and comfort in mind.
However, Gamla Stan offers many other fine restaurants for a more atmospheric and typical experience; reservations are essential. For sophisticated traditional Swedish food, try popular inn Den Gyldene Freden, an atmospheric candlelit 18th-century tavern. Wonderfully opulent Le Rouge does red velvet swags, antique lamps, and excellent service. Eriks Gondolen, suspended over Slussen with magnificent views, is a must. Have an evening drink or book dinner – there’s a less expensive dining room in the main building.
Lunch in Stockholm is cheaper than dinner, as many places offer a reasonable set menu. Two favourites nearby: Reisen, on the eastern shore of Gamla Stan and, at the back of the opera house, Bakfickan (Hip pocket) where you sit at the counter for delicious fresh crayfish and herring. The Opera Bar is even more swish, with art nouveau carved wood and stained glass ceiling.
Children up to 3 years of age are free of charge. Those aged 4-12 are charged at children's rates; for children over 13, adult rates apply if staying in their parents' room, or they can have a room of their own, also at adult rates. There’s a lift big enough for buggies and prams.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting available by arrangement