The Hotel Diplomat story began in 1907. During the previous century Swedish King, Oscar II, envisioned a grand boulevard running alongside the harbour – today known as Strandvägen.
Between the years of 1882 and 1883 the first buildings were done – and by 1904 there was only one ground plot left, Strandvägen 7. This area was named Klippan and included Strandvägen 7A, B and C.
King Oscar II and his brother Karl XV were both advocates of building Strandvägen, but passing away in 1907 the King never got to see his grand boulevard.
Strandvägen 7 – a beautiful Art Nouveau palace with two wings flanking a central courtyard – was the most magnificent building on the boulevard. It was named Boströmska Palatset in honor of the developer, the renowned A. Boström. The building was divided into 7A, 7B and 7C, and until this day Strandvägen 7, is considered to be the most beautiful buildings on the street.
The notable architects H&E – Georg Hagström and Frithiof Ekman – have designed more than 200 buildings in Stockholm. To improve living standards, they installed elevators and exploited spaces by adding more floors than allowed by the city plan. 7C became a residential house with six floors, despite the local development plan, that allowed five floors.
The new apartments were bright, airy, and practical with parquet flooring and decorated ceilings. Each floor had two large residences, that were 550 and 350 square meters. These were expensive to rent, even for senior officials. Strandvägen became a street were merchants and New Money settled down. During this time Villastaden was the most desirable neighborhood and Old Town was still the city center.
In 1917 the east wing, Strandvägen 7C, was bought by the Malmström family. The new owners were Karl and Dagmar Bergsten – grandparents of the hotel’s current chairman, Anna Cappelen. During the Great Depression in the 1930’s, many of the tenants moved out. In the following decades the building housed embassies of Romania, Chile, Persia, Hungary, Italy, and Canada. Some of the remaining space became a small guesthouse, Strandvägspensionatet.
In the early 1960’s the hotel business gradually extended, and in 1962 the Romanian Embassy’s sites were made into 15 hotel rooms. Demand grew and in 1966 the entire building was converted into a modern hotel, a project led by owner Sune Malmström.
In honour of its history, as a home to many ambassadors, the building was named Hotel Diplomat. Interior designer Gunborg Ström and furniture designer David Rosén from NK Inredning were assigned to decorate the hotel; and after consulting with the hotel owner Sune Malmström, it was decided that the hotel should be decorated in an airy, subtle, and Scandinavian style – leaving the darker colours of the 60’s behind.
Today Hotel Diplomat is still a privately held hotel with 130 individual and unique rooms and suites, combining an international air with Swedish design. Elements from the former state apartments have been carefully preserved and internationally renowned architect Per Öberg has been responsible in maintaining Diplomat’s design vision: combining classic and contemporary.
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