You probably know and use Instagram, this wonderful source of inspiration, home of dreams and beautiful pictures that simply take your breath away.
And if you use Instagram, you have probably found endless number of amazing travel destinations you have never heard of before but have now been added to your bucket list.
But have you yet executed any of them?
Long before we even decided to spend a weekend in Stockholm, the Swedish capital, I spotted this beautiful night picture of a boat hostel Af Chapman on Instagram.
On that very moment I decided, whenever we travel to Stockholm, we won’t even consider staying in a regular hotel. We would try something a bit different. And so we did, once we finally booked our December weekend trip to Stockholm.
I was just about to book a room from Af Chapman when I realized to have a quick glance at other boat hotels in central Stockholm. That’s when I found MS Monika and never looked back. This four bedroom sailing boat is resting on the waterfront of the island of Kungsholmen, not far away from the central station of Stockholm, and it seemed just perfect for our one night stay in the city.
Welcome to our humble home, our bow cabin on the sailing boat hotel MS Monika.
We had arrived from Turku to Stockholm by boat very early in the morning, long before sunrise. The city was just about to wake up to this chilly December Friday. It was cold outside and we were tired, but we wouldn’t be able to check in until 1 o’clock in the afternoon, so we started walking slowly along the dark streets of Stockholm from the Värtahamnen harbour towards the city centre.
Even the brisk winter morning or a giant cup of coffee didn’t help the sleepy feeling after the night cruise, so we decided to take a risk and head directly to MS Monika. And it was totally worth it – we arrived to Kungsholmenstrand right after 9 am, and we got the keys to our cabin right away.
All four cabins and the common lounge are located under the deck. The staircases are steep and narrow, and therefore they’re not ideal for people with bad legs, knees or hips. In case steep stairs won’t cause a problem for you, I can guarantee, you will love this room!
The cabin had everything we needed, and more. Private bathroom was small but better equipped than in many hotels on land. On the wall next to bed there was a TV with a DVD player and plenty of movies available for watching. We had armchairs, a small table, plenty of room for luggage under the bed… but the best of all was the spot on atmosphere.
The fishing net hanging on the wall. The round little windows. The triangle shaped comfy bed that fits perfectly on the bow of the sailing boat, not to mention the skylight right above the bed. The cabin was so much better I ever dared to dream of! How often can you just lie on a hotel bed and admire views like this?
I can picture myself on the deck of this sailing boat on a sunny day in the middle of the summer. I can even hear the birds singing and the waves gently hitting on the side of the boat. It’s so peaceful and quiet, even if I’m only a stone’s throw away from the heartbeat of the city centre.
The views from the deck ain’t bad in the middle of the snowless December either, exactly the opposite.
Not to mention the night time.
Our bow cabin was completely separated from the three other bedrooms. Next to them there is also a common lounge area where is coffee available and where the breakfast is normally served. The hotel staff is not present all day long, so all details can be agreed by email or by phone prior to arrival or even during the stay.
We had received a code to the gate to get on the boat. We had also agreed the time when we would like to enjoy our breakfast. Instead of the common lounge we got our breakfast served in the private cabin on the deck.
And it was the most adorable hotel breakfast I have ever had.
Even if in this picture our plates are still empty, we had a selection of three different kinds of bread, ham, cheese, cucumber and tomato – also a sweet option, toast with marmalade, was available. Muesli and yoghurt were served in cute glass jars, eggs in their cups and orange juice in a glass bottle. Behind the window the December sun was making our breakfast moment just perfect.
I could easily live my life like this. After the breakfast I would pull up the anchor and sail away towards a new harbour, towards new adventures. I would put my anchor down where life gives its’ best signs and nature shows its’ best qualities. I would let the gentle sea breeze take me wherever it wants me to go. Take a deep breath of the fresh sea air, the one that makes me fall asleep so easily, even if it doesn’t come naturally to me.
All I am missing is a sailing boat and skills for sailing. That’s why it’s great to have hotels like MS Monika that give me a chance to live for a while as a sea captain of my own life. After this experience I am guaranteed we will look for options from regular hotels also for our future travels.
The easiest way of checking the availability is to head to MS Monika’s website. We booked our cabin only two days prior to our stay and got 150 euros room for less than a hundred when booking through the hotel’s own website. It was still more expensive than what we normally pay for accommodation when travelling, but this memorable stay was totally worth some extra euros. To be honest, compared to the average price range in Stockholm, our stay at MS Monika wasn’t expensive at all.
There is a complimentary WiFi but it didn’t reach to our bow cabin. In common areas the connection was working fine. We didn’t feel bad about not having internet connection, just the opposite; for us it was forced but very much needed break from the continuous life online.
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