An Historic Hotel on a Budget.
The Crystal Plaza is a clean and welcoming no-frills hotel with a great location right between Östermalm and Norrmalm in Birger Jarlsgatan. The area, better known as Stureplan, is Stockholm’s main shopping and nightlife hub where you’ll find some of the city’s best shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. It’s an upscale and exciting neighborhood and, although it doesn’t have many tourist attractions asides from shopping, clubs and dining, it’s a pleasant short walk away from Old Town, the Stockholm harbor, and the northernmost part of Södermalm.
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Built for the Swedish YMCA in 1895, the structure that currently houses the Crystal Plaza was originally meant to serve as lodgings in the Stockholm city center for young male travelers belonging to the association. It was later turned into a hotel for the general public and operated under a number of administrations throughout the last century. The castle-like Art Deco building is considered to be of great architectural and historical importance and the front tower, the sculptures in the bar and the double staircase in the lobby are protected by law from any alterations.
Rooms face either the inner-courtyard or the street. The size of the rooms range from tiny single-bedroom (for solo travellers) to triple-bed rooms with the option of more beds for families, to round-shaped junior suites with views of Stureplan in the building’s main tower. Décor is comprised of a minimalist grey, white, beige and navy color scheme with classic Swedish furniture and small crystal chandeliers that bring a touch of luxury and serve as a nod to the building’s Art Deco origins.
A daily full buffet breakfast is included in the room rate and the hotel will accommodate guests with special diets, such as vegans and vegetarians, with prior notification. Lunch and dinner are available both a la carte and as take-away at the hotel’s in-house Asian restaurant, Ming.
Both Ostermalm and Norrmalm are affluent neighborhoods so expect prices to be high and the crowd to be rich and elegant. Dining options are aplenty and include popular eateries such as Café Vurma, Café Saturnus and Sturehof. Just a few blocks away, is Stockholm’s famous Östermalms Saluhall, a historic food hall where you’ll find some of the city’s best seafood along with pastries, chocolate, prepared foods and fresh produce. The shops at Birger Jarlsgatan range from small local boutiques and high-end designer flagships to large fast-fashion retailers. The area is surrounded by a number of parks that fill up during the summers with Stockholmers napping, sunbathing, reading and picnicking.
Although maybe not as luxurious as its surroundings, the Crystal Plaza is a clean, affordable and centrally located hotel in Stockholm. Room rates including breakfast, unique amenities such as a laundry room and proximity to public transport make it a great option for families and solo travelers who do not wish to pay for features and services that they will probably never use during their stay. This no-frills experience frees up guests’ budgets so that they can invest them into enjoying everything that Stockholm has to offer.