Housed in two strikingly refurbished historical buildings on Stockholm’s finest square, the 201-room Nobis Hotel designed by Swedish architects and designers Claesson Koivisto Rune combines tradition with a contemporary Scandinavian aesthetic. The result is an understated luxury that welcomes visitors and locals alike.

“Old classic hotels always have their own special ambiance that is usually quite enjoyable. As we build this new hotel in two historic buildings, we have the chance to create something with such an atmosphere from the outset, which is one of our main ambitions in our design. The real challenge is achieving this effect while at the same time being modern, edgy, sharp and contemporary, without the standard features of most traditional luxury hotels — the gold, the velvet, the thick red carpets and all that. We’ve worked both with and against the buildings in achieving the effects that we want here.” Eero Koivisto.

The two grand 19th century buildings housing Nobis Hotel in Stockholm were originally built and used as residential apartments. “It’s always been a fascinating place in Stockholm,” says owner Sandro Catenacci, of Norrmalmstorg Square, the most valuable real estate in the Swedish version of the Monopoly board game within walking distance of the city’s best shopping and sightseeing.

The hotel’s interiors ooze history, yet they still have the crisp look typical of the renowned Swedish architectural firm Claesson Koivisto Rune, whose understated, yet always luxurious Scandinavian aesthetic shines through. A cathedral-like lounge with 25-meter ceilings is situated in a vast 800-square-meter public space. The smaller Gold Bar sumptuously exemplifies its name with walls and ceilings covered with golden mirrors. Several restaurants include the new version of Stockholm’s legendary Italian restaurant Caina, which now serves a menu of simple and delectable Italian cuisine by award-winning chef, and the owner’s brother, Stefano Catenacci. Service is always personal; guestrooms were designed to feel like rooms in an elegant home, put together over time and not merely assembled. Tying it all together is a sense of individuality and a uniquely Swedish brand of luxury that’s far less about show than it is about feel.

“We feel strongly in Sweden that luxury is not always big spaces and the most expensive things,” says Sandro Catenacci. “It’s a quality that feels different.”

“In the rooms, and in the rest of the hotel, we’ve worked with the ambition of creating interiors of the kind that you would encounter in a private home, assembled over a longer period of time. It sounds simple, but it’s far from easy to achieve this effect in a hotel. It takes a lot of care and effort, for example by carefully selecting products from different manufacturers and designers, instead of many products from one and the same brand which will give that `corporate´ feel that we’re trying very hard to avoid.” Mårten Claesson.

Nobis hotel in Stockholm by Claesson Koivisto Rune opens December 1st.