Scan Magazine, Issue 104, September 2017

Page 112

Scan Magazine  |  Hotel of the Month  |  Sweden

Hotel of the Month, Sweden

The key to longevity In a time of big, impersonal hotel chains, Hotel Royal stands out as it remains committed to its tried and tested recipe for success. Familiarity, continuity and charm are the cornerstones of this Gothenburg hotel, which has effectively become an institution in Sweden’s second city. By Pia Petersson  |  Photos: Hotel Royal

Not much has changed at Hotel Royal since its foundation in 1852. That is essentially the whole business idea. “Longevity works. There’s no need to change things just for the sake of it. One of our best appraisals came from a regular guest who entered the lobby, saying he was pleased to see that nothing had changed since his last visit. In fact, we had just modernised and renovated the entire lobby. I suppose it has something to do with the familiar feeling you experience when you get here,” says Markus Oddestad, CEO. 112  |  Issue 104  |  September 2017

A fascinating heritage Keeping in mind that it is the oldest hotel in Gothenburg, Hotel Royal naturally takes a great deal of pride in its history. Family-owned since it first opened its doors more than 160 years ago, the hotel has been owned and run by the Oddestad family since 1980. The first Oddestads in charge were the unconventional sisters Martha and Hanna. Known for their oldschool fashion sense, they were easily recognisable in 1980s Gothenburg, given that they walked around town in long

dresses that had been trendy some 70 years earlier. The sisters began running the hotel as they realised retirement was dull and did not suit them. In addition, the two ladies employed an army of retired carpenter and painter friends to carefully renovate the hotel. When the sisters eventually got too old to continue, their nieces and nephew took over. That nephew, Markus Oddestad, has been CEO for the last 18 years. “My aunts created an incredible atmosphere, which we have continued to build on,” he says.

Take to the floor During its lifetime, Hotel Royal has luckily dodged any insensitive renovations and stayed faithful to its old character-

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