Backstage Hotel Stockholm: Stockholm’s boutique newcomer: an exclusive stay behind the scenes
By Malin Norman
Backstage Hotel Stockholm is more than a new boutique hotel. Here, guests get exclusive treats based on the backstage riders of iconic performers, and insights into the local cultural community and curated happenings. This is a playful entertainment hub where great design, music and art meet.
The recently opened Backstage Hotel Stockholm is a new hotel concept for guests. “We offer something more than a boutique hotel,” says Ingmari Pagenkemper, CEO of Cirkus Venues, the name behind this initiative as well as other renowned venues in Stockholm. “With Backstage Hotel, we curate the experience for the guest, invite them into the vibrant cultural community of Stockholm, and build an ambitious business without being pretentious.”
The concept ensures that guests are treated like stars, with top-notch service and everything that is expected backstage. Guests can even organise private parties in the suites, with their own DJ. For sure, this is not your standard hotel. In the same building, a new restaurant, bakery and boutique Konsthallen serves as the hotel’s eatery and also organises regular happenings with music, wine and culinary experiences.
Our way of consuming culture has changed, according to Pagenkemper, due to streaming possibilities and, of course, the pandemic. “Nowadays, a lot more is required from venues and organisers to attract an audience. It’s not enough with a great concert or cool DJs, or a standard hotel room with a bed. The whole experience has to offer something more. With Backstage Hotel, we give that something extra – an opportunity to get up close and intimate with life backstage.”
Understated luxury and the party of the year
Together with famous Swedish concept designer Robert Bohman, a playful atmosphere has been created to transport the guest behind the scenes. Bohman has 25 years’ experience designing for clubs, restaurants and film productions in Sweden and internationally. “I wanted to create a cinematic environment, where each room is unique – a world of its own with art and interiors that mix vintage and new,” he says. “The lofts, suites and studios are luxuriously comfortable – our take on what it really means to be invited backstage.”
The old building itself dates back to 1880 and has been carefully restored and recreated, revealing details such as rafters and ornately-tiled stoves. With signature design pieces from POLSPOTTEN, furniture by Eichholtz and carefully selected contemporary art – Backstage Hotel certainly means business with a unique stay in understated luxury.
The hotel opened its doors in September with ‘the party of the year’. Some 800 guests came to party, some with personal AAA (Access All Areas) passes. Mötley Crue’s snake occupied one room, Lady Gaga’s mannequin with pink pubic hair another, and Deadmau5’s inflatable friends were found on one of the terraces. No doubt, this was a night to remember. “The launch party was everything we dreamt of and more,” says Pagenkemper, smiling. “We were proud to show off the entertainment hub in Djurgården from its sexiest side.”
Backstage riders and curated happenings
Guests at the hotel can get tailored experiences with real-life so-called ‘backstage riders’ – lists of requests that high-profile performers often demand of the hosting venue. For instance, iconic saxophone player David Sanborn had an intriguing list of things to be placed in his suite before check-in, according to his rider from 2011. Among them were ‘large napkins’ and a ‘bed board under the mattress’, Sanborn also wanted ‘eight ripe papayas’ and ‘one large, sharp knife (for papayas)’. With the hotel’s rider called ‘eight ripe papayas’, guests get healthy goodies such as fresh fruit, coconut and dark chocolate from Konsthallen in their room.
When Missy Elliot and her entourage hit the road, the rider usually contains some particular requests, from Jolly Rancher Lollipops, Grey Poupon mustard and Cheetos, to Bond No 9 Candles in preferred scents of New York, Harlem and Park Ave. Of course, there is also fabulous Champagne on Missy Elliot’s rider. The hotel’s ‘Get Ur Freak On’ rider is an homage to the iconic artist and includes three bottles of Champagne with seasonal treats and goodies.
Backstage Hotel also guides its guests to the city’s most interesting and entertaining happenings. With the curated guide Backstage Happenings, people will know exactly where to go and what to do in Stockholm. “There is so much you can experience in the city, such as concerts and exhibitions, but also bars and restaurants, as well as shopping and wellness activities. Our staff has the local knowledge and will help with tips and bookings,” says Pagenkemper.
“The area Djurgården is a bit like Central Park in New York; you can easily combine an urban atmosphere with some relaxing time in lush nature next-door,” she concludes. “This is a dynamic culinary and artistic hub in Stockholm that is open for everyone. And it’s really close by, only a short walk, tram or boat ride from the city centre.”
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