Stay at: Hobo, Stockholm

Serial hotelier Petter Stordalen saw an opportunity to create something different with the Hobo hotel, which opened its doors just a few weeks ago. The space has been met with an incredible response from locals and visitors, offering a trendy refuge for tourists, but also becoming a staple part of the city’s nightlife. We spoke to House Creator Pauline Högberg.

Words Bradley Howe

Photographs courtesy of Hobo

Could you tell us about Hobo’s story? How did it start?

The story is a vision of the new way of living: people are becoming more and more interested in experiences, creativity, meetings, and living in the moment than simply comfort and luxury. For me, to have spare time is a beautiful luxury, and I love spending that times with people and learning new stuff or seeing more of the world. The vision of Hobo takes all of this into consideration, and in doing so we’ve created a smart space with as much creativity as possible between its walls.

Where did the original concept and vision for the hotel come from?

From the beginning it was the idea of the stubborn, eccentric, but very lovable owner Petter Stordalen. He wanted to create a chic hotel with a sense of humour, that was all about co-creation and creativity, and a place that connects people. From that first concept, he started to look for the right people to fill up the right places, and today we are over 50 hand-picked people who work under the roof of Hobo. The funniest thing is that a large amount of us have side projects that involve music, art, or entrepreneurship.

Where did the name for the hotel come from? Is there any significant meaning?

We’re flirting with the idea of this new lifestyle — where you can travel and work from a new city or even the jungle, as long as you're connected to the world wide web.

This new generation of backpackers are the digital era’s hobos, working all over the world and travelling.

Hobo has a beautiful artistic direction. How did work with illustrator Karl Grandin come about?

We started our collaboration with studio Vår (Karl Grandin and Björn Atldax) really early on, thanks to the gallerist Jonas Kleerup. It was an instant click with a mutual understanding of our playful approach, but still very stylish and urban, which was what Hobo was aiming for.

What are some of your favourite features of the space?

I have exactly 52 favourite features of Hobo and they’re the amazing faces of my colleagues. The soul of Hobo isn’t just the genius design (by the one and only Werner Aisslinger) — it’s the guys in the reception, the kitchen staff, and the amazing breakfast team who always greet me with a big smile when I come in! Even when they’ve been up since four o’clock in the morning. Dude, that's early! 

But when it comes to more materialistic things, I love our shop. I love the book wall that frames the bar upstairs, and I love our beautiful art piece “The God Machine” by Studio Vår.

And I love our small live music scene and our pop-up space, SPACEby — we have a mini VR-cinema with KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) there. We decided early that we wanted to support young art, creativity and entrepreneurship. That's why we have our live scene and SPACEby, which is free for local Swedish brands, artists and creatives to use with in two weeks. If you want to have a store, that's ok for us. You keep all the profits.

Can you tell us about your work with the Pang-Pang brewery?

Well, there isn’t much more to say other than they’re legendary and that you’ve got to come and taste it! The owner of the micro brewery and our bar team actually made the ‘NamNam’ Hobo beer all by themselves in Hökarängen.

Have you taken any influence and inspiration from other spaces in the city?

Yes, we have several favourite places here in Stockholm. And when I say we, I really mean it. Co-creation is extremely important for us, we want guests and staff to be involved in the journey of Hobo, so we've collated our favourite spots in town on our own map. It's a beautiful art piece made by an artist from South Africa who highlighted some of the architectural goodness in the city.

What’s the hotel’s local area like?

Well, It’s like a scene from Sin City combined with Pride and Prejudice. Add in the Royal Castle around the corner and beautiful water and you’re almost there. 

In terms of entertainment and the arts, what does Hobo offer to its guests? 

We wanted to create a strong feeling of excitement. Somewhere where you never know what type of music will play or what artists will be on stage. Our goal is that our guests and visitors always experience something new. Whether it’s listening to music they’ve never heard, or tasting an amazing piece of food, we want them to get used to being exposed to trying new stuff. Just kick back, relax, and just be you. Just as we’re being us.

Visit Hobo at Brunkebergstorg 4, Stockholm, or online at