UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE by Andrew Harvey. For me, two of the most exciting hotel openings for event planning companies are in one of my favourite European cities, Stockholm (both scheduled for spring 2016). What a beautiful city, set amongst fourteen islands and often referred to as ‘The Venice of the north’. No, I believe Venice should be referred to as ‘the Stockholm of the south’! You have a city equally divided by one third green space, one third water and the remainder amazing architecture with stunning examples of buildings from the 13th Century through to 21st Century, from ‘Gothic to the ultra modern’.
Since my first visit over 25 years ago I am regularly drawn back by its beauty and contrasting appeal in both winter and summer. Arrive in mid June (with over 20 hours of daylight) and you can enjoy crayfish parties on the beach, late night theatre and midnight marathons. Come in mid March you could catch a ski race around the Royal Palace.
This is a destination of contrasts, ‘northern Europe’s largest and best-preserved medieval city’, Stockholm is a place that showcases creative genius in every form, on every island! We are all familiar with iconic Swedish brands highlighting this creative flair: IKEA, H&M, Skype and Spotify through to newer brands like Acne Studios and Our Legacy.
For event planning companies, you can also add Scandic Hotels to this list. They are creating and designing some of the most exciting new openings in Europe. Founded in 1963, Scandic is the largest hotel operator in the Nordic region with a network of 224 Hotels’ and almost 42,000 hotel rooms in seven countries. In recent years they have launched HTL, Scandics new cutting-edge hotel concept that offers hotel rooms in downtown city locations with high quality, modern design and an attractive price combined with smart digital solutions, such as mobile key and mobile check-in. Similarly, the changing design within hotels globally is being rolled out in 2016 with Signature hotels being characterized by their individual history and personality, developed as clear social meeting places.
There is no finer example of that than Haymarket (opening spring 2016). Arguably one of the most exciting hotel openings in Europe this year, Scandic Haymarket, is housed in the former PUB department store. Situated on Hotorget Square with its unique character and history, the hotel will become the catalyst for the new character in the Square with its concert house, movie theatres, hotel, restaurants and marketplace.
Inspired by the building’s rich history yet contemporary in its style, Haymarket is a union of the old and new Stockholm. Local design and architectural firm, concept, have fused and restored the building’s historic art deco details with modern design and an international atmosphere. 400 guestrooms and 16 suites, each infused with a chic 1920s ambience, one restaurant, a smaller extended café, a cosmopolitan bar, an event floor for up to 600 people, an intimate cinema and a unique suite, complete with private roof terrace for up to 50-60 people. The hotel aims to be a hub for social meetings and events in Stockholm’s city centre.
If you are looking to create a ‘unique impression ‘for your internal or external customers the Scandic Haymarket offers the perfect venue. A fabulous contrast to the Haymarket is another ‘new Scandic project’ with the re-opening of the Continental Hotel. Located in the heart of the city and part of the new Central station project this is a great location for event planning meetings. The hotel offers over 390 guest rooms and 25 meeting and conference spaces with a capacity of 900 persons. A premium meeting floor/room offers a modern board room called The View which offer a unique outdoor event area, the Sundeck, at 44 meters above the city with stunning views of Stockholm.
So there are two great new openings in a city that truly over ‘events for all seasons’ well connected from all major European cities, corporate event planning companies… take a look at Stockholm in 2016!
See you next month, with our DMC or Hotel Representation portfolio, and may I wish all of you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2016!