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It's July and the rain is pouring down. As usual, our umbrellas are left at home, so when we get off the bus stop at Järva Krog, we run the short distance to The Winery Hotel as fast as we can. Nearly out of breath, we step into a huge lobby, designed in industrial style with a raw warehouse feeling and magnificent ceiling height. The lobby with tables made of old wine barrels, stands out from all the hotels we have visited before. We are Nodes have been invited to The Winery Hotel to get a private tour by the hotel’s very own Jan Söder, Design and Concept Manager, and Moa Söder, Marketing Coordinator. Our guides for the day welcome us with big smiles.

The Winery Hotel We are Nodes

Background


The Winery Hotel felt like an exciting topic to write about for several reasons. The increasing curiosity and engagement around wine has created new ways to network and socialize through, for instance, dinners, wine tastings, wine tours and trips to different wineries. The Winery Hotel is therefore very timely. Wineries, a property where wine is produced, in combination with accommodation, food and drinks is already popular in big cities like New York and London. Now, the owner families of Winery Hotel (Söder and Ruhne) hope that the Swedes will jump on the trend too.

Jan Söder has been the concept manager from day one. Together with Lina Östlund, he got the responsibility to create a design concept for the building inspired by the heart of the hotel; the winery. With inspiration from wineries and renowned concept hotels in New York, Jan began to formulate a vision for the hotel (some of his biggest source of inspirations was the New York City Winery, Red Hook Winery, Ace Hotel and Wythe Hotel). Jan and Lina also travelled to Tuscany and visited many different type of vineyards to get additional inspiration.

The Winery Hotel We are NodesThe Winery Hotel We are NodesThe Winery Hotel We are NodesThe Winery Hotel We are Nodes

The location


The urban winery/boutique hotel is located close to the bus stop Järva Krog in Solna, a suburb approximately 10 minutes from Stockholm. The location is strategic from several perspectives. Since the highway (E18/E4) where the airport shuttles stop is only a stone's throw away, the Winery Hotel indirectly becomes an airport hotel. Rental rates are naturally lower than in the city center. Another reason for the location choice is the growth and development of Solna. The city was recently elected Super Municipality of Stockholm and is growing every day. Jan nods when we ask if the fast growth of Solna has something to do with the location choice:

"We probably would not have chosen this location if we had not known everything that was planned for the area. Friends Arena was already built and we knew that Mall of Scandinavia and several big companies would move their headquarters to Solna. The hotel has now become a destination, you come here to take part of a whole experience."

Moa Söder agrees:

" The hotel packages that include guided tours, wine tastings and three-course dinners are very popular. Our impression is that people who come here really want to experience the whole concept."

The Winery Hotel We are NodesThe Winery Hotel We are NodesThe Winery Hotel We are Nodes

Working with concepts is Jan's area of expertise. He created the concept for Nordic Light Hotel and Nordic C Hotel with the well-known ice bar. From experience, he knows that it takes about 1-2 years for a concept to “break through”. It took nearly five years for Nordic Light Hotel to be known as Stockholm's first design hotel. Therefore, he is aware that it requires time and a great deal of patience before the word of Winery Hotel’s unique concept will reach a majority of the public. Despite their expected time frame, the hotel already has received a lot of attention and press coverage, both locally and internationally.

The restaurant


Jan and Moa show the way to the restaurant and it is noticeable how proud they both are of the venue. The same warehouse atmosphere that stroke us in the entrance is also apparent in the restaurant.

The Winery Hotel We are NodesIMG_3214Jan Söder The Winery Hotel we are nodes

The restaurant can fit up to 140 guests. Additionally, there is a chambre séparée which is primarily used for wine tastings. The buffet table, where the breakfast is usually served, is the same place where the popular “Winemaker's Dinners” are held.

"Instead of people saying that they are going to AG, they will start saying that they are going to WK”, Jan smiles and continues the tour.

The Winery Hotel We are NodesThe Winery Hotel We are Nodes

The hotel rooms


Next stop on our tour is the hotel rooms. Our first thought when entering the room (a standard room of 20 m2) is the striking contrast between the industrial interior with colours from the nature and the heavily trafficked highway outside the building. We can see treetops and greenery emerge somewhere far behind the rushing cars. The window itself is framed by a New York-inspired brick wall. Urban meets Tuscany in its purest form. "It feels a bit surreal, right?" Jan says when he notices our reaction. "Like being on the countryside but with a city feeling."

The Winery Hotel We are NodesThe Winery Hotel We are NodesThe Winery Hotel We are Nodes

We curiously look around in the hotel room. The bathroom has white tile and fashionable gold taps. The closet in the hallway does not have any doors, a result of Winery’s own design in order to preserve their distinguishing interior style. Jan points at the mini-bar: "It is located at a good height. Usually mini-bars are hidden and placed very low, but ours are more visible which has been really profitable - we have increased sales a lot!” Jan does not seem bothered from sharing the best practices of the hotel, an entrepreneurial and modern attitude that we really like.

"The industrial table-, floor- and bedside lamps are from a French company called Lamp Gras. There is an incredibly wide range of industrial lamps today, but these are of very high quality, which was important for us", says Jan.

It’s all about the details


As we walk towards the meeting rooms, we point out how beautiful and carefully thought-out all the details in the hotel are, something even an untrained designer eye easily can notice. Jan lights up: "It's not the first time we've been told that."

The Winery Hotel We are Nodes

He explains how the designer team spent hours on finishing the graphic profile and how time-consuming it has been to apply it to the entire hotel – as far as to material, color selection and fonts on the Do Not Disturb-sign. Jan talks about his passion for design in a joyful tone and claims he could talk about areas like radiators for ages. Speaking of heaters, Jan persistently opposed the radiators that were ordered to the hotel by Faberge. "They asked me if I could for once be happy with something they had chosen," Jan laughs.

However, it did not take us long to understand that Jan is not the type of person who backs down in a discussion about something he believes is important for the hotel experience. It is the same will power that, for instance, has made sure that the notebooks in the meeting rooms have printed wine stains on them as an extension of the hotel’s soul.

We are excited to check out the meeting rooms, especially since Yasmin has a background in event planning and production. The Winery Hotel has chosen shutters instead of the classic blackout drapes and brick walls instead of the typical discreet light colors.  

The Winery Hotel We are Nodes

"The chairs are from a brand called Offecct  that I did not really like because their design is so ‘corporate’. They have tried to sell their products to me for more than 10 years, but when I saw this chair I really got fond of it," explains Jan when we test sit the chairs.

The Winery – The heart of the hotel


"Are you driving? No? Then you can have a glass of Winery Red!”, Jan proclaims as we are done with inspecting the meeting rooms. Our host and hostess leads us back to the winery. The hotel's heart and pride. The same spot where the hotel's wine is produced and where the popular 20-minute guided tours are arranged. The guided tours are always finished with a tasting of the hotel's own wine; Winery Red. The really wine interested can add an in-depth wine tasting to their visits. At some occasions, the hotel fly in renowned winemakers from Italy to host their own ¨Winemaker’s Dinner¨ in the restaurant.

IMG_3287IMG_3297IMG_3295The Winery Hotel We are Nodes We are Nodes' Yasmin Tilles & Sheida Tilles.

Visitors can also purchase an electronic card that can be topped off with the amount of their choice. The cards are later used to try different wines from the hotel’s ‘Vinotek, located on the ground floor. Guests can choose between a small sample, half or a whole glass.

The hotel's own Winery Red is sold as assortment order at Systembolaget for 179 SEK per bottle. The main grape in Tuscany is Sangiovese and it constitutes 80% of Winery Red. The remaining 20 percent consists of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grape. "I think it's pretty damn good," says Jan with a smile and pours up two glasses for us.

Travel Q & A with Jan and Moa:


The Winery Hotel We are Nodes

What is your favorite weekend destination?
Jan: New York, the city has everything when it comes to the areas I like; interior, design and atmosphere.
Moa: I will go for Copenhagen, although it might be a boring answer. It is located on a convenient distance from Stockholm, but has a nicer and more relaxed atmosphere. Plus, many great restaurants!

Where do you prefer to go on holiday in the sun?
Moa: I recently discovered a new destination in India called Varkala, it is a surf town with nice and calm vibes. Those who previously traveled to Bali to surf and find it's too much tourists there now are going to Varkala.
Jan: I am absolutely crazy about Mallorca and a hotel called Esplendido in Puerto de Soller, 5-6 (Swedish) miles from Palma. (Read our Palma guide here.)

The Winery Hotel
Adress: Rosenborgsgatan 20, 169 74 Solna
Website: http://www.thewineryhotel.se 
Phone number: +46 (0) 8-14 60 00
Booking: reservations@thewineryhotel.se


The Winery Hotel We are Nodes

Have you been to The Winery Hotel or do you have any questions? Drop us a comment! We'd love to hear your thoughts!




Want to know more about what to do and see in Stockholm? We have gathered all our previous blog posts about our beloved hometown. Read our Stockholm guide »

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We want to take the opportunity to highlight a couple of our local favorites in Sweden’s beautiful capital Stockholm. We have gathered all our previous blog posts, plus some of our other best spots in about our beloved hometown. If you want to know more about what you should do and see in Stockholm, this is a great place to start

Breakfast places: Urban Deli Nytorget, Gretas at Haymarket, Nytorget 6 (they only have breakfasts on weekdays though), Stockholm Brunch Club, Wilmers Cafe in Kungsholmen and Hobo Hotel at Brunkebergstorg.
Elegant breakfasts at Gretas in Scandic Haymarket
Gretas, influenced by the 1920’s and decorated in pink colours in a glamorous setting, is one of our absolute favorite breakfast spots in Stockholm. Continue reading »
Restaurants, bars and nightclubs: Restaurant Art on Döbelnsgatan, Miss Voon, Yuc, Ljunggrens, Bar Nombre. Kasai, Bergmans, Sturecompaniet/V, Grand Escalier, Nosh and Chow.
Restaurant Art on Döbelnsgatan, Stockholm
This restaurant has it all! Great food for affordable prices, friendly staff, cool vibe and an entrance to die for (we don't want to spoil too much, but the entrance alone is worth a visit). Just reserve a table asap!
Visit their website »
Stockholm's best coffee in Hötorgshallen
Stockholm’s best coffee is served by the ‘Epic Coffee Man’ in Hötorgshallen. His real name is Andreas and he is the owner of Himalayas coffee bar, located in Hötorgshallen, a market hall full of restaurants and stalls with fresh meat, fish, cheese and other delicacies. Despite long queues, the owner does his best to share knowledge about coffee beans and methods with all of his customers. His passionate and friendly customer service, making you walk away from the counter with a smile, is something you rarely run across in Stockholm. Continue reading »
Vaxholms Hembygdsgårds Café
Traditional Swedish dishes and probably one of Stockholms best desert buffets... Vaxholm Hembygdsgårds Café is a real Swedish summer dream in the heart of Stockholm archipelago. Continue reading »
Burlesque dinner at Melt Bar, Stockholm
How about dinner accompanied with burlesque and jazz performances? Every Friday and Saturday evening, Melt Bar has some of Sweden’s best burlesque dancers, jazz singers, magicians and dancers performing until 1 a.m. It's the perfect dinner option if you are looking for something out of the ordinary. The 1920’s restaurant and bar inspired by the prohibition New York, is suitably located at the infamous Malmskillnadsgatan 45 in Stockholm – and it really lives up to its expectations! Continue reading »

Kasai Nightclub 
Things to do and see in Stockholm
Photo museum "Fotografiska" in Slussen, go ice bathing in Hellasgården, Djurgården, Old town (Gamla stan, Rosendahls Garden at Djurgården.
Roller skating at Rollers n Bowlers in Haninge, Stockholm
Rollers n Bowlers in Haninge Centrum offers an typical American diner, a cool bowling alley and roller skating rink which makes the venue optimal for a fun date night! Continue reading »
Sweden's first Hobbit Hotel
Sweden’s first Hobbit Hotel has opened – and it’s located in the middle of a residential area in Stockholm suburb Nacka, 15-20-minute drive from the city center. You can now spend the night in a replica of the Frodo and Bilbo Baggins-house, and experience the magical Hobbiton setting IRL. Continue reading »
Mini-getaway to the Stockholm Archipelago
How amazing as the vibrant capital of Sweden can be, sometimes it is nice to leave the city pulse for a calm and relaxing weekend in the Stockholm Archipelago. We had a great fishing weekend at a charming red cottage in Mytting, known from the Swedish Elle Interior. It was the perfect weekend escape; offering both fishing, sauna and barbecue opportunities. Continue reading »
Hallwyl Museum in Östermalm, Stockholm
The Hallwyl museum in Stockholm is more than a hotspot patio with a jam-packed outdoor seating during the summer. Behind the gates hides a unique and preserved building which belonged to a Swedish upper-class family from the turn of the century. We met the museum Director Heli Haapasalo and got a full tour of the museum! Continue reading »
Winery Hotel Stockholm – wine tastings and dinners for wine enthusiast!
Wineries, a property where wine is produced, in combination with accommodation, food and drinks is already popular in big cities like New York and London. Now, the owner families of Winery hope that Swedes will jump on the trend too. We got a private tour of the winery (the hotel’s heart and pride), hotel rooms, restaurant and meeting rooms. Continue reading »
One last stop… ’Pontus in the Air’
When you are about to leave Sweden, make sure your last stop in Stockholm is worth remembering. ‘Pontus in the Air’ is the latest addition to Pontus Frithiof’s collection of restaurants in Sweden. The restaurant is located at Arlanda Airport, terminal 5, and is probably among the better airport restaurants in Europe! We recommend the Market Breakfast Buffé för only 99 SEK (10,40 Euro) or the amazing Lobster Salad for lunch. It is also worth mentioning that ‘Pontus in the Air ‘ is one of three restaurants in Sweden who are official Krüg ambassadors. Continue reading »

Other Stockholm guides that we recommend


Sandras Guide to Stockholm http://sandrabeijer.se/2015/03/20/sandras-guide-till-stockholm/

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We originally wrote this travel guide for Travellink Sweden, published 2016-07-11 on Travellink's Travel Blog. 

Barcelona's little sister and a popular charter destination for Swedes. That was basically all we knew about Palma when we boarded the plane for a week of much-needed vacation. Instead of letting Google and TripAdvisor setting the itinerary for us we decided to try a new tactic; asking locals to share their best travel tips. So we asked. The cashier at Mango, the waiter at our daily breakfast spot in Plaza España, a trendy couple on the bus and of course; our Airbnb hostess. The result? Paradise beaches with white sand, turquoise water and exceptional beach clubs. We are Nodes have listed our top 6 things to do in Palma de Mallorca.

Pool day at Puro Beach puro beach we are nodes

Mallorca's best beach club is (without a doubt) Puro Beach Palma. The beach club opened 2005 by the Swedish entrepreneur Mats Wahlström as a complement to the concept hotel Puro Hotel. With its excellent location on a secluded peninsula, 180°-view of the coast and a fantastic pool area, it is not difficult to understand why the beach club was a success from the moment the gates opened.

If a full day at Puro Beach won’t get you in vacation mode nothing ever will! Park yourself on a sunbed by the pool, order a bottle of chilled rosé (We are Nodes recommends Puro’s own house wine for € 27/bottle) and take a refreshing dip in the Zen-like pool to the sound of relaxing lounge music. When it’s lunchtime, head over to the restaurant area to enjoy a delightful meal from Puro’s "M3-inspired" menu with influences from Miami, Marrakech and Melbourne.  puro beach palma we are nodesbild 2 bild 3Today's lunch: Salmon and avocado Tiradito with fresh coriander and yellow aji-sauce that is best enjoyed with a bottle of Puro Rosé. No room for dessert? Take a siesta in the shade and order a Gino for dessert a few hours later. Fresh fruits gratinated with white chocolate and vanilla ice cream does wonders during hot summer days and is the perfect ending to a relaxing pool day!

bild 4 bild 6 bild 7 Price: A regular sunbed costs 40 € for a full day and includes (N.b: during low season, until the end of June) a bottle of water, a small fruit platter, a little after-sun lotion and a smoothie in the afternoon.

Address: Carrer de Pagell, 1, 07610 Can Pastilla Tel: +34 971 74 47 44 Website: http://www.purobeach.com/purobeach/purobeach-palma/

Eat the best icecream in Palma at Amorinoamorino we are nodes

Making a well-deserved stop at the ice cream-parlour Amorino on Plaça de Weyler is an absolute must when your feet gets tired from all the walking. Not only will the ice cream at Amorino make your taste buds jump of joy – they are also a treat for your eyes! With a large selection of ice cream flavours, the staff creates beautiful (and photo friendly) 'ice cream roses' in rainbow colors, and the best part is that you are not limited to a specific number of flavours. Regardless of what size of cone or cup you choose; you are allowed to pick as many flavours as you want! It is safe to say that Amorino is any ice cream lover’s dream come true, us included.

bild 9 bild 10 Price: One medium cone/cup (note: the portions are in general very big) costs €4.60 and is worth every cent! Address: Plaça de Weyler, 11, 07001 Palma Website: http://www.amorino.com/

Playa IlletasIlletas beach Palma Mallorca we are nodes

One advice we got from several locals was to skip the beach in central Palma (which wasn’t very pleasant) and take bus number 3 from Plaza España to Illetas instead. Just 30 minutes from Palma’s city centre, you will find a small but magical beach with turquoise water that quickly became one of our favorite places in Mallorca. Here you can reserve sunbeds with charming straw parasols for only € 6.50/person (our favorite spot was on the cliff) and swim until the sun goes down. The nearby beach restaurant has a great view and is well suited for ice cream or coffee, but we wouldn’t recommend the food there. Bring fresh fruits, a lunch box and plenty of water with you, and you will get a beach day to remember. And come early, the sunbeds run out quickly!

Illetas Palma mallorca we are nodes bild 13

Address: Passeig Illetes, 54B, 07181 Illetes. How to get there: Take bus number 3 from Palma, and get off at the final destination. Once there, you can choose between two different beaches – our favorite is the small beach located on the far right.

Visit the paradise beaches of Sa Rápitasa rapita mallorca we are nodes

Making a day trip to the village Sa Rápita on Mallorca's south coast and visiting the beaches S’Arenal de Sa Rápita and Es Trenc was well worth the 1.5 hour long bus drive from Palma. When we arrived at the beach and saw the white sand and crystal clear turquoise water, it was hard to believe that we were still in Mallorca and not on a tropical beach somewhere in the Caribbean. Who knew there were beaches like this in Europe? We have our Airbnb hostess to thank for discovering Sa Rápita. When we asked her which her favorite beach in Mallorca was, the answer came quickly: S’Arenal de Sa Rápita. Said and done. We set the alarm early and jumped on the 8 a.m. bus. Curious as we were, we wanted to see both beaches, so we started our day with a walk along the kilometre-long beach of S’Arenal all the way to Es Trenc (which is said to be one of Europe's most beautiful beaches). Later, we "beach hopped" our way back to S’Arenal (and the bus station). In this way we managed to see everything and didn’t get too tired from walking in the heat. It is easy to be deceived by the cooling breeze here, so don’t forget to put on a lot of sunscreen!

sa rapita mallorca we are nodes bild 16 bild 17How to get there: Bus 515 or 530 from Palma bus station. A single journey costs 5€. 

Harbour Dinner at Port BlancPort Blanc palma we are nodes

Just like the name suggests, Port Blanc is a luxurious port restaurant with white interior and a stunning view over the luminous yachts. You come here to eat seafood, fish and drink champagne – an excellent dinner option before a big night out. Port Blanc, like most other restaurants, closes at 1:00, which really is a shame; we would have liked to stay there longer! If there is something Palma should learn from its “big sister” Barcelona, it definitely is the night life. There are only two clubs in Palma; Pacha and Tito's. The clientele consists mostly of young students, and thus it is the bar streets in Santa Catalina (with the Swedish-owned Havana Bar in the lead) and Paseo Marítimo that has become popular for the older crowd. We would have loved a real nightclub close to the port. But who knows, maybe that’s something for the future?

port blanc palma we are nodes bild 20 port blanc palma we are nodes port blanc palma we are nodes Address: Marina Moll Vell, Local N ° 2, 07012 Palma. Tel: +34 971 25 54 22 Website: http://portblancmallorca.com/

Watch the sunset at Nassau Beachnassau beach palma we are nodes

Nassau Beach's slogan is "sea, sand and sunset", and yes, we’d say that sums up the vibe at Nassau pretty well. The restaurant/bar is located a roughly ten-minute walk from the beach in Palma, and is well suited for a chilled-out sunset dinner or cocktail. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, and when the sun starts to go down, the staff lights up torches that burn nicely in the sunset.

nassau beach palma we are nodes nassau beach palma we are nodes nassau beach palma we are nodes nassau beach palma we are nodes nassau beach palma we are nodes bild 28 Address: Passeig Portitxol, s/n, 07004 Palma Phone: +34664 44 90 53 Website: http://nassaubeach-palma.com/

bild 29 We are Nodes super travel tip: Download the free app Maps.me and have access to maps in offline mode. This app saved us many times, for example on bus rides without names on the bus stops.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSP6GndN8oI[/embed]

Do you have any questions or have you been in Palma and want to share your favorite places? Please comment or email us at info@wearenodes.com!

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Last time I was in Rhodes was more than 10 years ago. When I (Yasmin) return from my stay at one of Greece's most visited and beloved islands, I note with satisfaction that I:
1) at least have advanced from the cheap and pool-less hotel I stayed at the age of 19 to a luxurious all-inclusive hotel (stay tuned for a separate review).
2) am still able to keep up with the young kids on the notorious bar street. Sort of.

Nevertheless, the highlight of our latest trip to Rhodes was to explore the island by car. Our best discovery? A wonderful sandy beach with clear water and a super Instagram friendly photo motive as backdrop! Follow us as we spend a full day at the locals’ very own favorite beach; Tsambika Beach in Rhodes.
Tsambika Beach We are Nodes 2 Greek flag Tsambika Beach We are Nodes

Getting to Tsambika Beach


Tsambika Beach is located on the east coast of Rhodes, a roughly 40-minute drive from the city center. We rented a Suzuki Jimny (cab) through Galaxy Cars, a car rental company whose price, customer support and quality of cars we were really pleased with. The rental price for two days was 120 euros, but the prices vary depending on the car of your choice. The delivery and return of the vehicle took place smoothly at our hotel.

Galaxy Cars Suzuki Jimny We are Nodes Tsambika Beach

Tsambika Beach


The cooling breeze catches our hair as soon as we hit the roads. It is more than 35 degrees and the soaking sun makes us really look forward to reach our destination.

Tsambika beach is named after the Monastery of the Virgin of Tsambika, located on the top of the enormous rock that surrounds the beach. Unlike many of the other beaches in Rhodes, Tsambika consists of a bed of sand instead of rocks.

We quickly understand why so many of the Greeks we have met in Rhodes call Tsambika their favorite beach. Although there are many tourists on site, the beach is far from crowded and the relaxed atmosphere makes us forget that we are in one of Europe´s most popular charter destinations.

Tsambika Beach Restaurant We are Nodes 1 Tsambika beach sunbeds we are nodes tsambika beach we are nodes 4Tsambika beach is well suited for both families with kids, couples and teens. The restless beach visitors do not need to worry; Tsambika offers several watersports and an adventure area with water slides and a climbing wall. And for the brave ones; a sign at the parking lot tells us that there is a naturist part further down the beach…

After a couple of hours in the sun, we decide to take a long anticipated lunch break with Gyros plates, fresh orange juices and cold beers. The beach restaurants offer priceworthy food and drinks, but remember to bring cash to the beach, since a majority of the restaurants or sunbed rentals do not accept credit cards. In the heating sun, there are plenty of other things you would rather want to do than to drive to the closest village to find an ATM (like we did).

Tsambika Beach Bar We are Nodes Tsambika beach Orange Juice We are Nodes Tsambika beach restaurant We are Nodes Rhodes Tsambika beach restaurant We are Nodes Tsambika Beach We are Nodes Beer

The perfect photo motif


At the end of our beach day, we head over to the beautiful Greek flag that rises over the beach and creates a popular backdrop for photos. Definitely worth a stop – and a snap? Despite several Google searches, I cannot manage to find the story behind the flag. Does anyone know more?

Greek flag Tsambika Beach We are Nodes
Kalimera for now, but we will be back soon with more blog posts about Greece!

 

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