History and Luxury Collide in Gothenburg, Sweden

History and Luxury Collide in Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg, Sweden -- Though it's long been a popular transatlantic escape, the coastal Swedish town of Gothenburg has always lacked the five-star hotel treatment found in abundance in Stockholm, the cosmopolitan Swedish capital on the other side of the country.

Not anymore.

This charming port city is today dotted with some of the most luxe lodging in Europe, elevating one of the world's oldest cities into a holiday hotspot.

"There has always been hotels in Gothenburg with a bit of luxury," says Patrick Olsson, general manager at Hotel Pigalle, a Parisian-style hotel about equal distance from the city’s Central Station and the main shopping area of Magasinsgatan. "But today the city has added a great many places where one can really enjoy luxury during a visit."

Stylish and innovatively designed, Hotel Pigalle is spearheading a surging trend in Gothenburg: luxury hotels that seamlessly inject a cosmopolitan, contemporary aesthetic into a city packed with Old-World charm.

Set in a 1700’s building, a theme of Parisian charm is threaded throughout Hotel Pigalle’s rooms, including the lavishly furnished suites or Royale Rooms, as the hotel describes them.

All rooms rely on heavy velvets, floral-patterned wallpaper, and gold trimmings to emit an authentic Belle Epoque atmosphere. Yet the room decor also offers a bespoke charm that separates it from some of its cookie-cutter competitors.

A top floor restaurant, Atelier, is a magnet for the city’s hip and fashionable. The rooftop bar and restaurant includes a menu filled with flavorful combinations using mostly locally sourced ingredients. A generous breakfast is part of a night’s stay and includes fresh pastries, teas and juices, breads, and cheeses as well as cooked dishes from omelets to lamb sausages.

The hotel is part of Sweden’s ESS Group, a Gothenburg-based hospitality, and restaurant firm with hotels, spas and restaurants across the Sweden.

Situated off the Göta älv river on the country's west coast, Gothenburg has long been an important seaport in Sweden and is popular for its Dutch-style canals and boulevards. Though the city draws streams of tourists in summer months, eclectic restaurants and trendy boutiques have increasingly made it a popular destination in fall and winter. Avenyn, Gothenburg's main thoroughfare, is lined with some of the busiest cafes and retail shops in the city.

Hotel Bellora, another of ESS Group’s hotels and restaurants, sits directly on the Avenyn.

Centrally located on Gothenburg's’ main street, Bellora is a stylishly decorated boutique hotel with 98 rooms. A lively Italian restaurant and bar on the ground floor serves a menu of authentic Italian dishes. It’s most appealing aspect may be its staff, says Patrick Olsson, the man responsible for operations at Hotel Pigalle and Hotel Bellora.

“The people who work at Bellora and at Pigalle are not only professionals with a strong knowledge of the places they work,” says Olsson. “But they also have a passion for catering to our customers and that’s what really makes them special.”