In a city of old-architecture and fancy over-the-top hotels, HOBO bucks the trend. A breath of fresh air, the hotel is a community-centric, fun and colourful place to stay. It’s innovative, surprising and a magnet for a millennial, or young-at-heart clientele.
If WeWork made hotels, it would be the HOBO Stockholm. Occupying a Brutalist building in Stockholm‘s new commercial district, the property is trendy, urban and youthful, a far cry from the city’s more conventional Swedish-style hotels. Actually, it tries extremely hard to be everything but. It’s keen to be more Instagram than Facebook, electric scooter instead of taxi, dubstep before EDM, “snatched” if anything, but definitely not “cool”, if you get our drift.
There are over 200 rooms here, everything from a budget non-window “sleeper room” for those who plan to be out all the time (or doing some nomadic-working on their laptops in the lobby bar all day), to more spacious, superior rooms with views of this low-rise city. We checked into ours on an iPad on the ground floor.
Our room at HOBO Stockholm was simple, but well-appointed, with an Ikea-esque vibe. Swedish “lagom” (an idiomatic word that means “just right” … not too much, but not too little) is the theming here: surfaces are kept clear, with thought-about amenities found conveniently arranged on the wall, from a hand-drawn map to a back-pack and umbrella, as if to say, “go out and explore, for God’s sake!”
There is no phone in-room, you’re expected to text/chat with reception on your own mobile should you have a query, stream your favourite shows via Google Chrome and, oh, bathrooms are shower only. As for housekeeping, no one cleans your room or replaces your towels unless you ask them to “do disturb.” It took a while for us to undo everything we knew about hospitality, but once we got with the vibe, we enjoyed our stay. We will say that It’s not going to be for everyone, OutThere travellers used to their creature comforts may be better off at sister hotel At Six, next door.
Breakfast each morning is school-canteen style and as you can imagine, chia-smoothies and smashed-avocado are what goes first… we didn’t ask for bacon, we’d expect that might not be on-brand. The coffee is great, though.
HOBO Stockholm was surprising in more ways than one. It’s playful, a disrupter to the way Stockholm does hotels. If you’re looking to experience a contemporary taste of Sweden during your stay here, HOBO is a solid pick.
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|While you’re Out There|
|You’ll be spoilt for choice for places to wet your whistle. HOBO’s lobby bar is a fab, social place to grab a beer, TAK on the rooftop of the building is a chic bar with stunning cocktails (and the Scandi-Asian grazing menu in its raw bar is excellent too) and connected to it by a sky-bridge is Stockholm Under the Stars, a fabulous place to watch the sun go down late in the evening during the summer months. Next door, you’ll find the upscale At Six hotel, HOBOs older, more sophisticated sister, which has a fab cocktail bar if you’re feeling a little boujie.|
Photography courtesy of HOBO