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Bern the midnight oil

With a raft of special events and a vibrant cultural scene, make your Swedish base at the Berns Hotel – where a feast of sophistication awaits guests for an unforgettable trip

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Right in the centre of the up-market shopping district, close to the waterfront and adjacent to the pretty Berzelii Park lies Berns Hotel – an oasis of contemporary culture and a must-see during any visit to Stockholm. What sets this building apart is its interior – the contrast between modernity and history – and the flow of people coming through its doors from different parts of the world and with vastly different backgrounds, but all drawn to the many attractions of Berns.

Berns Hotel offers an extraordinary combination of food, design, popular culture, history, nightlife and much more. You could even say it is a boutique hotel out of the ordinary.

Adjacent to the hotel’s reception, in the oldest part of the building and at its heart, is the Asian-fusion restaurant, Berns Asiatiska. In 1863, the founder Robert Berns opened a concert venue and a ‘Swiss café’ here, offering liqueurs and pastries. Today, guests can still top off their lunch, brunch or dinner with a selection of homemade sweet treats from the dessert buffet. The savoury cuisine served at Asiatiska has an interesting history too, as it was here that Stockholm’s first Chinese restaurant opened in 1944. If you fancy French dishes for a change, Berns Bistro & Bar is well worth a try. Situated in a separate glass pavilion to the front of the hotel, amid the greenery of Berzelii Park, you’ll find delicious authentic cuisine, unpretentious service and a relaxed dining ambience.

As well as eating well at Berns, many guests choose the hotel to see their favourite artist play in the grand concert hall. Since opening, Berns has attracted both renowned Swedish artists and international music stars. Josephine Baker, Edith Piaf, The Supremes and Bob Dylan are just a few of many world-reknowned artists who have performed here over the years. And innovative contemporary musicians such as Erykah Badoo, Robyn, Lily Allen, Regina Spector and Rufus Wainwright have all found their way to the stage at Berns in recent years. They all choose Berns not only because of its impressive historical setting and cult appeal, but also because its relatively small stage allows both artist and audience to enjoy an intimate show. Indeed, as many of the artists also stay at Berns between performances, fans stand a good chance of rubbing shoulders with their idols at one of the hotel’s bars or in its popular nightclub, 2.35:1.

Art exhibitions, a nightclub, several bars and much more – Berns’ calendar of events is a never ending surprise thanks to the versatility of some of the most spectacular meeting spaces in Stockholm. The larger venue halls are often booked for conferences, launches, business dinners or private parties and Berns hosts many large events each year including the prominent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Stockholm Jazz Festival 2012 and Stockholm Design Week.

Whatever your reason for visiting Berns, you are guaranteed a memorable stay. The bedrooms have been individually decorated with fabrics and furniture reminiscent of the playful world of Swedish design icon Estrid Ericson – each further enhanced with colourful modern artworks and stylish bathrooms. Some of the rooms and suites have retained elements from a bygone age – such as tiled stoves and mullioned windows – which, together with handpicked vintage furniture, give each room a homely feel with a fascinating story. However, more than anything, the friendly English-speaking staff at the front desk – and throughout the hotel – will make sure Berns feels like a home away from home.

Further information: reservations@berns.se; 00 468 566 322 00; www.berns.se/e

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