The Grand Hotel Saltsjöbaden is beautifully situated in the hotel bay at Baggensfjärden, just a 30-minute train ride on Saltsjöbanan from downtown Stockholm. The hotel dates back to the late nineteenth century when the Wallenberg family had the hotel built with the idea of a Swedish Riviera. Since then the hotel has been visited by royalty and movie stars alike, as well as guests enjoying their holidays and attending conferences.
New owners took possession of the hotel in autumn 2015 with plans to restore it to a new version of its former glory. The hotel has 137 rooms, a restaurant, 10 conference and breakout rooms and a beautiful banquet hall, as well as a pool and spa. Located near the hotel, the Royal Swedish Yacht Club’s (KSSS) guest marina offers mooring and a place from which to set sail for guests who have arrived by boat and those wishing to visit the archipelago.
The Grand Hotel Saltsjöbaden was founded by K. A. Wallenberg (1853-1938), one of the most influential men in Sweden and a central figure of Swedish finance and industry. The Wallenberg family has been expanding the operations he once began for generations and continues to be increasingly influential today.
The idea to build a “Swedish Riviera” was born on a visit to Monte Carlo, and upon his return to Sweden, K.A. Wallenberg began searching for the most attractive location for his dream palace. In 1892, the competition was stiff among the architects vying to build the Grand Hotel, surrounded by the sea and forest along the coast of Saltsjöbaden. Architect Erik Josephson won the contest. Later that year, the Swedish King Oscar II laid the first cornerstone of the new hotel.
The Grand Hotel was built in the French style, inspired by the famous Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. Both K.A. Wallenberg and his wife Alice were deeply dedicated to the process, giving painstaking care to the smallest details of the construction and interior design. When the Grand Hotel was inaugurated in 1893, King Oscar II ordered the entire Swedish navy to drop anchor in the bay in front of the hotel and fire a gun salute. On that day, there were no ships to be found along the entire Swedish coastline to defend the country! King Oscar II also commissioned two valuable porcelain and gold vases featuring portraits of Queen Sophia and of the king himself. These two magnificent vases still adorn the hotel lobby today, standing on either side of the old fireplace – precisely where they were installed at the inaugural ceremony!
The hotel quickly became an incredibly popular getaway, and K.A. Wallenberg had a rail connection built from Stockholm, the capital of Scandinavia, directly to the hotel’s large entrance. This allowed guests to come to the hotel and relax, surrounded by Sweden’s beautiful nature, while making all of the hotel’s establishments – restaurants, bars, banquet halls, conference halls and more – easily accessible. In 1874, Régis Cadier built the world-famous Grand Hotel in downtown Stockholm. The Wallenberg family later took over that hotel as well and ran it for generations. Ever since its inauguration, the Grand Hotel Saltsjöbaden has played an important role both nationally and internationally: peace negotiations have been held here in times of war; heads of state have held conferences here; royal families and Hollywood celebrities alike have enjoyed visiting the hotel. One notable fact is that the main treaty between the Swedish Employers Association and the Swedish Trade Union Confederation was written at the hotel on 20 December 1938, and later came to be called “the Saltsjöbad Agreement”. Two antique flagpoles and a sculpture of an ice skater stand in front of the hotel by the sea in memory of the world’s first Winter Olympic Games.
As of 21 September 2015, the Grand Hotel in Saltsjöbaden is owned by Lustgården Saltsjöbaden AB. Hotel operations were taken over by the recently formed operating company Grand Hotel Saltsjöbaden AB.
Gunnar Järvhammar and Mikael Solberg carried out the deal and will work together to refine and develop the hotel and the surrounding area.