When Scandic Sergel Plaza at Brunkebergs Torg closed for renovation, few realized that a whole new type of hotel would grow up in the same place. Since September 1, 2017, one of Stockholm’s trendiest hotels, Scandic Hotel’s new lifestyle hotel Downtown Camper, can be found here, with room for a thousand guests.
Out of Scandic’s 280 hotels in northern Europe, Downtown Camper belongs to a small exclusive crowd. It’s the first of a handful of signature hotels in the group. The target audience is both Scandinavian and international, and the purpose is to attract trend-sensitive people.
“It’s a lifestyle hotel. We work with Downtown Camper in something that can be described as ‘urban exploring,’ we try to encourage guests to discover the city in new ways,” says Mette Von Schack, the hotel’s Marketing Manager.
More than just overnight staying
It requires quite a lot to make this happen, not just the knowledge and imagination of the staff, but also equipment and space to take the guests on different experiences. Bikes and kayaks on the hotel’s equipment list say something about the focus.
An essential part of the idea behind Downtown Camper is to offer the guests more than just an overnight stay. To achieve that wide offer, Downtown Camper collaborates with various local partners to get the skills needed for hotel guests to be able to take part of Stockholm City, but also from the surroundings, for example, old-growth forests close to the city or sightseeing with a focus on the city’s water from kayaks.
An essential part of the idea behind Downtown Camper is to offer the guests more than just an overnight stay.
Avoiding tourist traps
A significant task for a lifestyle hotel like Downtown Camper is to guide its guests past the tourist traps. One way to do this is to connect them with people who live in the capital. Visitors, that through various activities, come in contact with Stockholmers get a genuine experience instead – maybe even the feeling of making genuine, new friends.
“It’s important for us to work a lot with Stockholmers to bring our guests into the world of the locals,” says Mette Von Schack.
She explains that the staff encourages guests to be active and curious when exploring the city through daily activities that start at the hotel. It can be on a bike, a ‘bicycle slow ride,’ or yoga. There are always different events around town, and one of Downtown Campers’ more popular events is Stockholm by Camera, where the guests are encouraged to – and get opportunities – to take photos during a walk in the city.
The person responsible for the hotel’s guest activities is Kristian Hell, with the not that common title Life Style Concierge, which is probably unique to Scandic’s signature hotels.
A sustainable hotel
Out of Scandic’s signature hotels, it’s Downtown Camper that offers ’urban exploring,’ while, for example, the art deco feeling at Haymarket at Hötorget exposes the guests to fashion, style, and retailing.
Stockholm is considered one of the world’s most beautiful capitals, spread out on 14 different islands, all located in the brackish water that has become the product of the meeting between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. The city’s location and surroundings have always attracted the people living here, but perhaps, even more, the visitors who see a city with unique opportunities to develop sustainably.
“Sustainability is important in this way too,” says Mette Von Schack. Downtown Camper offers an opportunity to reduce stress and take part in activities and a lifestyle that is designed sustainably.
“We need the big city, but we can also have one leg left in nature,” she says.
It’s important for us to work a lot with Stockholmers to bring our guests into the world of the locals
– Mette Von Schack, Marketing Manager –
Meetings with Stockholmers
Kristian Hell and the staff in the lifestyle group aren’t the only ones working with urban exploring. All employees are involved in some way. One activity is Walk With Us, which takes place a few days each week. It’s a carefully planned walk in Stockholm that is led by someone in the staff. The walk can’t be too long, often it lasts for half an hour.
“It’s a popular walk to a specific destination, different each time, and the destination can be adapted to the guests’ wishes and interests. The walk seems to be particularly interesting for our international guests.”
Walk With Us begins at 12 o’clock and usually gathers everything from a handful of guests to twenty people. Yoga is another popular activity among the hotel guests, and there are also many Stockholmers participating. In that way, it becomes a meeting place where the tourists, instead of tourist traps, have the opportunity to meet and spend time with the city’s inhabitants, which is not quite common when you stay at a hotel in a foreign place for a few days.
New activities are added to the hotel’s offer steadily. After identifying what the guests appreciate for a couple of years, new programs have been added. Since the hotel has 494 rooms it’s needed, says Mette Von Schack. The activity schedule today is more extensive and different than in the beginning.
The campfire is still important
The menus are a story for themselves. The bars and restaurants are linked to the lifestyle thinking. Campfire has a strong connection to our origin as a herd creature in the primeval forest. The Black Fire burger on Campfire has been on the menu ever since the start. Otherwise, many different dishes have come and gone. The Campfire concept gets stuck in the guests’ minds, not least the foreign ones. No one misses the connection to nature and our origin.
The majority of those who come to Stockholm’s first lifestyle hotel come from the UK, the US, and Germany.
“It is our primary markets, but we have guests from all over Europe, and also many Swedish and Scandinavian guests.”
An important part of the business model is upselling and marketing that’s often done through influencers, social media, and bloggers. But there’s also a self-produced print magazine, DC Paper, which is published four times a year.
“It’s a good tool for communicating menus, activities, and hotel facts, but also interviews with interesting and relevant people,” says Mette Von Schack.
Sponsored article in collaboration with Downtown Camper.
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Om Downtown Camper
Occupancy. Up to 1,100 guests per night certain times of the year. Most guests when there are large conferences and fairs.
Downtown Camper is located on the square Brunkebergstorg in central Stockholm, a city area that has huge growth right now.
Downtown Camper is one of three of Scandic’s signature hotels in Sweden. There are two similar hotels in Norway, and the next is in progress – in Finland.
The two other signature hotels in Stockholm are Grand Central, a little rustic hotel that focuses on theater and culture, and Haymarket with a focus on fashion, style, and shopping.
Always open. Downtown Camper is open every day of the year. For example, many chose to celebrate Christmas 2018 at the hotel. “There is a market for the hotel all year round. Many home-comers who want to celebrate Christmas in Sweden stay at the hotel.” The multi-culture also creates a market since holidays are celebrated on different dates all year round.