Hotel Diplomat – The Story
The history of Hotel Diplomat on Strandvägen 7 in Stockholm dates back to 1907. Already at the turn of the last century, King Oscar II wished for a fashionable boulevard in Stockholm, which so happened and was called Strandvägen. Around 1860, the part of Stockholm where Strandvägen now resides was a swampy area used for refuse and rubbish. However, at the start of the 1870s Stockholm city started to redeem this piece of land and by 1882 – 83 the first buildings on Strandvägen were standing and 20 years later Strandvägen 7 was the only plot left to build on.The block named Klippan (Strandvägen 7A, B & C) was planned as a residential Art Deco building, built as a U, and turned out to be one of the most magnificent buildings along Strandvägen with huge, light, state apartments. In 1917, the east wing, 7C, was bought by the Malmström family. Carl and Dagmar Bergsten, great grandparents to the hotel’s CEO, Anna Cappelen, bought the building and lived there for a couple of years.
During the early-30s depression, many of the tenants moved out, but the building created an interest among the foreign embassies, hence during the 1930 – 50s the building was let out to the Rumanian, Chilean, Persian (Iranian), Hungarian, Italian and Canadian Embassies. The space left became Strandvägspensionatet that let hotel rooms from the early 40s. In the early 1960s, it was decided to gradually extend the hotel business and in 1962 the premises of the Rumanian Embassy were rebuilt as 15 hotel rooms. The increased demand for more rooms ended in the whole building being converted into a modern hotel in 1966. In connection with this, the hotel was renamed Hotel Diplomat, as a consequence of the many former embassies having resided in the building.
Today, a century later, Hotel Diplomat has 130 individually designed rooms and suites, all with an international, yet Scandinavian touch. Features from the former state apartments have been carefully preserved and internationally renowned architect Per Öberg has been prominent in developing the hotel’s modern, first-class style in both quality and comfort.
Hotel Diplomat Åregården, Åre – The Story
The tradition of greeting guests in Åre goes way back. The railway to Trondheim, inaugurated by King Oscar I in 1882, was the turning point for Åre’s tourism. Guests travelled to Åre to hike to the Åreskutan summit, and for the fresh air, hence they were often called “air-guests”. At the time no hotel existed, and Albin Wettergren who ran a restaurant at the Station, where Dippan is situated today, served food.
A lady called Kristina Hansson already operating in Östersund, saw the business opportunities in Åre and borrowed the money to build a hotel with a first-class restaurant and lounge areas. Hence, Åre’s first hotel was built and the beautiful white, chalet-inspired building, with 18 rooms, was named Åreskutan and inaugurated with great celebration in 1895.
At the time, the upper classes travelled to Åre for recreation and holidays, so Kristina Hansson expanded her business and Societetspaviljongen, a luxury hotel adjacent to Hotel Åreskutan, was ready in 1897. Today, Country Club, Hotel Diplomat Åregården’s popular nightclub is run on the premises. In the same year, 1897, Albin Wettergren opened Grand Hotel, a hotel with 42 rooms, public baths and darkrooms. Kristina Hansson and Albin Wettergren did their best to compete against each other and, as Albin’s business flourished, Kristina got into financial difficulty and went bankrupt in 1906.
In 1910, Agnar Meurling, a well-known restaurateur from Stockholm, bought both Hotel Åreskutan and Societetspaviljongen and rebuilt the hotel to what is today Hotel Diplomat Åregården. In addition to the main building, two wings were opened that today house our period Matsal and our beautiful Sällskapsrum with wall frescos by Paul Jonze. At the inauguration of the hotel in 1918 it was renamed Hotel Åregården.