24-Hour Room Service: Hotel J, Stockholm

It may be on the outskirts of Sweden's biggest city, but the best thing about Hotel J is that it feels like you're in the middle of the countryside. Even the boats pounding past in the water below make so little noise that when you step through the trees, over the hotel's lawn (usually past couples snoozing away the afternoon) and into the lobby, the only sound you hear is your slowed-down breathing as you start to unwind.

It may be on the outskirts of Sweden's biggest city, but the best thing about Hotel J is that it feels like you're in the middle of the countryside. Even the boats pounding past in the water below make so little noise that when you step through the trees, over the hotel's lawn (usually past couples snoozing away the afternoon) and into the lobby, the only sound you hear is your slowed-down breathing as you start to unwind.

In fact, the whole philosophy here is relaxation. In the large New England-style area that serves as lobby, breakfast room and lounge there's a cosy Nordic fire and candles scattered round the room in little clear glass holders.

There's no on-site restaurant but Restaurant J, owned by the same people, is five minutes walk away. The décor and waterside setting are fantastic but unfortunately the food, although perfectly adequate, doesn't quite match up.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

In a quiet spot at the entrance to Stockholm's archipelago, overlooking Djurgarden park and the Fjaderholmarna islands. Hotel J, Ellensviksvagen 1, Nacka Strand, Stockholm (00 46 8601 3000, www.hotelj.com).

Transport: unless you've got your own boat (there's a guest harbour), the ferry from Nybroplan in the centre of Stockholm, takes about 15 minutes to reach Nacka Strand. It costs around £2.60 each way and is only a five-minute walk from the hotel. There's also a helipad. Or, you can take the long way round and get there by taxi (20 minutes, around £15 from the city centre).

Time to international airport: around 35 minutes by taxi (£40). Or, take the Arlanda Express train (20 minutes, £11 each way) into the city centre and make your way to the ferry.

ARE YOU LYING COMFORTABLY?

The hotel's good-sized beds come with a thin extra mattress, loads of pillows and cosy duvets covered in crisp, blue and white striped cotton. The overall effect is so comfortable that you could sleep for 12 hours here and still not want to get up in the morning (although that would mean missing the delicious breakfast buffet).

There's a strong nautical theme running through the bedrooms. With dark wooden floors, white wooden walls, sailcloth curtains and black and white sailing photographs, it feels a little like sleeping in an old schooner. All the rooms have either a balcony or French windows, so there's plenty of light. There's also lots of sleek wooden furniture and glossy design books. And bathrooms come with heated floors and stylish free-standing baths. You pay more for a room overlooking the water but the view from the back, over rock, moss and birch trees, isn't bad either.

Freebies: shampoo, shower gel and body lotion, and afternoon tea.

Keeping in touch: satellite TVs, phones and data ports.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Rooms start at SEK 950 (£71) if you're there over a weekend. For a waterside view that rises to SEK 1,550 (£116) and, for a suite, SEK 2,900 (£217).

I'm not paying that: then book in at Af Chapman, a huge 19th-century sailing ship that now serves as a youth hostel. Beds start at £10 (Vastra Brobanken, Skeppsholmen, 00 46 8463 2266).

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