Though the Birger Jarl isn't as hot as it was when it launched in 2000,  it's still the best place to stay in downtown Stockholm if you're a sucker for Scandinavian design. Many of the 271 rooms were individually crafted by local designers, both known and unknown, and the lobby serves as an exhibition space for Nordic art. In fact, the entire inside is packed with Swedish design, especially the 7th floor. Units start small with inexpensive, windowless "cabin" accommodations, and move from there to renovated mini-doubles, studios, and suites. For a flashback experience request room #247, aka "The Retro Room," a 1974 holdover accidentally overlooked during the 2000 makeover. The house restaurant specializes in modern versions of classic Swedish dishes, augmented by some southern European cooking. There's also a suitably sleek lobby bar. The hotel is set in a a quiet residential streets but is still within walking distance of the Stureplan entertainment district—a wee-hour bonus.