24-Hour Room Service; Berns' Hotel, Stockholm

Squeezed into a glamorous corner of Stockholm, Berns' Hotel is both elegant and bijoux. The rooms are neat and compact and designed to make the most of available space; ours had a spherical cherry-wood cabinet in one corner, concealing an enormous TV, a minibar and a fab sound system (ask for CDs at reception). It took up a mere couple of feet of space when closed, but about half the room when fully opened.

Squeezed into a glamorous corner of Stockholm, Berns' Hotel is both elegant and bijoux. The rooms are neat and compact and designed to make the most of available space; ours had a spherical cherry-wood cabinet in one corner, concealing an enormous TV, a minibar and a fab sound system (ask for CDs at reception). It took up a mere couple of feet of space when closed, but about half the room when fully opened.

Oozing simple style, the furniture is dark wood, furnishings navy blue and white, and the overall feel strongly masculine. Rooms are utterly comfortable, but far too sleek to be lounged in. Not that you'd want to - views of the elaborate rooftops and spindly spires of Sweden's hip capital entice you to explore the city's shops (five minutes away), bars (ditto) and gardens (about five paces away, since the hotel is right on Brezelii Park) - once you've finished playing with all the hi-tech toys in the cherry- wood cabinet, of course.

With all this sophistication, it's easy to see why Berns' seems to be the hotel of choice for everyone from the Spice Girls to Damon Albarn. Continuing the Britpop theme, there's even fish and chips on the room service menu (alongside shellfish bisque, smoked salmon and Thai red curry soup). Downstairs, though, it's a different world - the building was once a tearoom and concert hall, and from the second-floor balcony your eye is drawn to the mirrors, opulence and glitz below. (The space is now a Conran restaurant, cocktail bar and cafe).

Location, location, location

Berns' Hotel is at Nackstromsgatan 8, SE-111 47, Stockholm, Sweden (tel: 00 46 8 566 322 00, fax: 00 46 8 566 322 01, website: berns.se) Whatever you want to do, it won't be far away. The Royal Swedish Dramatic theatre is across the street, or you could stroll to the waterfront and catch a ferry to the Vasa Museum - or pay a visit to Berns' sister hotel, the Grand, to use the gym.

Transport

Like the hotel, Stockholm is pretty compact so you can walk around it with ease. If you need more speed, there are plenty of bike- and skate-hire booths on the waterfront, a bus and tram stop nearby, and an underground stop a few minutes' walk away.

Time to International Airport

Arlanda airport is now only a 20- minute zoom away, thanks to the Arlanda Express, a high-speed shuttle service that started operating last autumn. Single tickets cost Kr120 (£9). Alternatively, there's the cheaper, 45-minute bus service (about £4.50 one-way).

What to book

There are only 65 rooms but, if you feel like really splashing out, go for the hotel's top suite, which comes with its own sauna. Don't panic if you can't go the whole steamy hog, though; the heated bathroom floors and powerful massage showers, which come with all rooms, will also leave you feeling pretty good.

Freebies

Bathrooms are well-stocked with plenty of neat little bottles of Burberry's finest grooming products.

The bottom line

Standard doubles start at Kr2195 (£165) and go up to Kr5500 (£411) per suite.

I'm not paying that

Live life over the edge and stay at the Af Chapman youth hostel (Vastra Brobanken, Skeppsholmen, tel: 00 46 8 463 2266), a ship built in 1888 and now offering beds for around £10 per night.

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