The harbour views are terrific, the interior exudes seaside style. At Stockholm's Hotel J nautical cool meets New England chic

Stockholm diffuses into a glorious archipelago stretching 50 miles or so into the Baltic Sea. It is an area where the Swedish love of the Great Outdoors is almost palpable, the waters offering ideal conditions for sailing. Hotel J sits on an island more or less at the junction of the city and this watery playground, presenting stunning views of one of the world's most beautiful harbours. The hotel takes its name from the famous J-class sailing yachts of the America's Cup; J was a measurement formula used in boatbuilding until the late 1930s.

The location

The hotel, a 15-minute boat or taxi ride from the city centre, is set in its own grounds by the water's edge. The original building is a converted summer residence built in 1912. It has two modern extensions.

The comfort factor

The décor has been modelled on the style of New England sailing clubs, with a blue and white colour scheme and lots of wood trim. Squashy sofas in the living room, cable-stitch blankets draped over chairs and candles lit in the garden at dusk give a relaxed and classy atmosphere. You could imagine JFK mooring his yacht at the jetty.

The bathroom

We had to change rooms halfway through our stay. Although the first bathroom had a Jacuzzi bath fit for a rock star, the second had plumbing with the temperament of a diva. All bathrooms have fluffy towels, bathrobes and toiletries.

The food and drink

The excellent buffet breakfast is served in the lobby-cum-dining room and room service is available 24 hours. Restaurant J, which is a separate enterprise, is in a chic marina about a five-minute stroll from the hotel. The menu's emphasis is on fish including, of course, the obligatory pickled herring. Booking is essential.

The people

Mainly British and American tourists, with local business types during the week and Stockholmers at the weekend.

The area

If you enjoymuseums - and Stockholm has nearly 100 - make sure you include the Vasamuseet, home of the Vasa warship which sank on its maiden voyage in Stockholm's harbour in 1628.

The access

There is wheelchair access and one bedroom is adapted for disabled guests. Children are welcome, and there is a Hobie Cat sailing club beside the hotel.

The damage

Doubles from 1,575 Swedish kronor (£116) including buffet breakfast; suites from Skr 2,975 (£219); singles from Skr 1,275 (£94). Try to book a room near the front of the hotel; those at the back can feel claustrophobic.

The address

Hotel J, Nacka Strand, Ellensviksvagen 1, Box 1220, 131 28 Nacka Strand, Stockholm, Sweden (00 468 601 30 00;

The author travelled as a guest of the Swedish Tourist Board (020-7108 6168; and Scandinavian Airlines (0870- 6072 7727;


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