Sean Naughton

Concierge, The Rival Hotel

  • Stockholm, Sweden, EUR

Born and raised in Hawaii, Sean Naughton studied international relations at the University of Oregon before moving to Stockholm, Sweden, more than 20 years ago. Sean is the head concierge at The Rival Hotel, Stockholm’s first boutique hotel; he has worked at the hotel for 10 years and has held his current position for the past six. He is a member of Les Clefs d’Or International and sits on the board of Svenska Hotell Portierf Föreningen, the Swedish association for concierge and hotel front office staff. Sean blogs at stockholmtourist.blogspot.com.

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  • On July 13, 2013
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    What are the best rooftop bars in Stockholm?

    Photo by Sean Naughton, view from Kaknästornet It is summertime... the time of the year when a Swede wouldn't be caught dead indoors! After a long and dark winter, Swedes prefer to do as much as possible outdoors. Daylight in Stockholm during the summers stretch far into the evening making it quite comfortable to sit outside at one of the many outdoor and rooftop bars in the city. Stockholm is a relatively flat city, geographically speaking, with not too many tall buildings... however, there are still a few places you can visit and enjoy a great view with a coktail in hand.
    Probably the most famous is Gondolen, stretching above Slussen on the hill just south of Gamla Stan. A restaurant, as well as a first rate cocktail bar, they also have a roof top grill during the summer months. High atop of the old tax building (known locally as Skrapan- "the skyscraper") is Himlen, which means "heaven", and offers great views of the cool Södermalm district. There are a few other laid back bars found on the heights of Södermalm, overlooking Gamla Stan and downtown Stockholm, including the popular bars at Södra Teatern and the summery terrace at Sjöfartshotellet.
    Downtown Stockholm doesn't have many tall buildings, but you do have a bit of a view from the rooftop bars at two hotels. The classic Sky Bar, atop of the Royal Viking Hotel, as well as the Spa Bar at Selma City Spa at the top of the Clarion Sign Hotel. The Royal Dramatic Theatre (Kungliga Dramaten) has several restaurants as well as roof top terrace which, while not high up, does have great views of Nybroviken harbour.
    Finally... perhaps a bit touristy, though with arguably the best views in Stockholm, is the tower Kaknästornet with Sky Bar at the top. Happy cocktailing!
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  • On March 5, 2013
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    What are the must-see sights in Stockholm?

    Photo by Sean Naughton In my line of work, I often get asked ”what should we not miss while visiting Stockholm?”. This is actually a tougher question than it may seem as, in my opinion, there are lots of things one shouldn’t miss when in Stockholm! In the end it all comes down how much time you have, what time of the year you are visiting Stockholm and to your own personal interests. But if I was forced to whittle down my recommendations to a top 5 list of attractions, it would look something like this:

    1. Vasa Museum- This is one of the most impressive museums I have ever come across in my travels. So happy that it is in Stockholm! The museum is built around the royal warship Vasa, which sunk on her maiden voyage in 1628. It was found at the bottom of Stockholm harbour in the late 1950’s in almost perfect condition. Impressive, informative and unique!
    2. Fotografiska- Opened in 2010, this museum of photography (the largest in the world) has quickly become one of the top attractions in Stockholm. They have had some great exhibitions, including Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle and Robert Mapplethorpe. Their bistro on the top floor, with views of the harbour, is also a wonderful place for lunch or a glass of wine.
    3. Gamla Stan- The medieval heart of the city! While this area can be overrun with tourists, especially during the summer, it still has its charm with lots to see such as the Royal Palace and Nobel Museum. Otherwise you can walk the cobblestone streets and just soak up the history. A good place to shop for antiques, souvenirs and Swedish handicraft.
    4. ABBA The Museum- Opening on May 7th, 2013. Due to the high level of interest, I am going to go out on a limb and say that this will be one of the top 5 places to visit in Stockholm. It will actually be a large permanent exhibition within a larger museum called the Swedish Music Hall of Fame. Reports say that it will be high tech and very interactive.
    5. Summer- Stockholm has lots to offer visitors year-round, but really explodes in the summertime when it stays light long into the night. The Stockholm archipelago with its 30,000+ islands is a natural wonder and is fun to explore by boat, whether for a few hours or a few days. Stockholm has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites which are best seen at this time of the year… the Drottningholm Palace, the woodland cemetery Skogskyrkogården and the Viking settlement of Birka.
    As you see, I still managed to squeeze in a few extra attractions in my top 5 list!
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  • On February 24, 2013
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    Where is the best shopping in Stockholm?

    Photo: Jeppe Wikström, Stockholm Visitors Board Where is the best shopping in Stockholm? Well... that depends on what you are shopping for! But here is a list of some popular things to shop for in Stockholm and where to find them:
    • High-end fashion- The mecca for posh fashion is the NK department store, which is Stockholm's version of Harrod's, Barney's or Gallerie Lafayette. Besides fashion, they also offer beauty, food, books, flowers, interior design and more. Nearby you will find the newly opened Mood Stockholm, a shopping center filled with high-end boutiques and restaurants. Also worth noting is another nearby shopping center: Sturegallerian.
    • Funky- Less posh, more street? Head to the island of Södermalm, especially the SoFo neighbourhood. A play on NYC's SoHo, this stands for south of the street Folkungagatan. This area has a very laid back vibe and you can find some great stores selling fashion, vintage, music & design. Also some fun cafés. bars and restaurants!
    • Swedish designers- Swedes have made some real inroads of late in the world of fashion with some labels (Acne, Filippa K, Whyred, J. Lindeberg, Wesc, etc;) becoming internationally famous. Besides the abovementioned SoFo, the best place to find these designers is on the pedestrian street called Biblioteksgatan... a stone's throw from NK.
    • Interior Design- Swedish design has become very popular around the world. Explore the Östermalm neighbourhood to find some wonderful design stores, especially the streets Birger Jarlsgatan, Grev Turegatan and Nybrogatan. The store Svenskt Tenn has become synonymous with upscale Swedish design.
    • Food items- These days, with all of the restrictions, it can be a bit tricky to take food home with you. However, if you want to go through the trouble or just want to buy local produce during your stay, head over to the indoor food market Östermalms Saluhall. A great place for lunch as well! Another good place? The basement level of the NK department store has a great grocery store filled with Swedish goodies.
    • Souvenirs- You have to, of course, take some knick knacks home to family, friends and co-workers... whether cheesy or sublime. On the island of Gamla Stan (the medieval heart of the city), you will find the street Västerlånggatan. This is the perfect place to find Stockholm postcards and t-shirts, Viking horned helmets and stuffed moose. If you are looking for something less cheesy, my personal tip is to check out the gift shops at different museums where they have some great Stockholm mementos to take home with you. A good example of this is Moderna, the modern art museum.

    Happy shopping! The Swedish economy thanks you!

  • On February 23, 2013
    Sean Naughton answered the question: Sean Naughton

    Where is the best shopping in Stockholm?

    Photo: Jeppe Wikström, Stockholm Visitors Board Where is the best shopping in Stockholm? Well... that depends on what you are shopping for! But here is a list of some popular things to shop for in Stockholm and where to find them:
    • High-end fashion- The mecca for posh fashion is the NK department store, which is Stockholm's version of Harrod's, Barney's or Gallerie Lafayette. Besides fashion, they also offer beauty, food, books, flowers, interior design and more. Nearby you will find the newly opened Mood Stockholm, a shopping center filled with high-end boutiques and restaurants. Also worth noting is another nearby shopping center: Sturegallerian.
    • Funky- Less posh, more street? Head to the island of Södermalm, especially the SoFo neighbourhood. A play on NYC's SoHo, this stands for south of the street Folkungagatan. This area has a very laid back vibe and you can find some great stores selling fashion, vintage, music & design. Also some fun cafés. bars and restaurants!
    • Swedish designers- Swedes have made some real inroads of late in the world of fashion with some labels (Acne, Filippa K, Whyred, J. Lindeberg, Wesc, etc;) becoming internationally famous. Besides the abovementioned SoFo, the best place to find these designers is on the pedestrian street called Biblioteksgatan... a stone's throw from NK.
    • Interior Design- Swedish design has become very popular around the world. Explore the Östermalm neighbourhood to find some wonderful design stores, especially the streets Birger Jarlsgatan, Grev Turegatan and Nybrogatan. The store Svenskt Tenn has become synonomous with upscale Swedish design.
    • Food items- These days, with all of the restrictions, it can be a bit tricky to take food home with you. However, if you want to go through the trouble or just want to buy local produce during your stay, head over to the indoor food market Östermalms Saluhall. A great place for lunch as well! Another good place? The basement level of the NK department store has a great grocery store filled with Swedish goodies.
    • Souvenirs- You have to, of course, take some knick knacks home to family, friends and co-workers... whether cheesy or sublime. On the island of Gamla Stan (the medieval heart of the city), you will find the street Västerlånggatan. This is the perfect place to find Stockholm postcards and t-shirts, Viking horned helmets and stuffed moose. If you are looking for something less cheesy, my personal tip is to check out the gift shops at different museums where they have some great Stockholm mementos to take home with you. A good example of this is Moderna, the modern art museum.

    Happy shopping! The Swedish economy thanks you!

  • On February 23, 2013
    Sean Naughton answered the question: Sean Naughton

    Where is the best shopping in Stockholm?

    Photo: Jeppe Wikström, Stockholm Visitors Board Where is the best shopping in Stockholm? Well... that depends on what you are shopping for! But here is a list of some popular things to shop for in Stockholm and where to find them:
    • High-end fashion- The mecca for posh fashion is the NK department store, which is Stockholm's version of Harrod's, Barney's or Gallerie Lafayette. Besides fashion, they also offer beauty, food, books, flowers, interior design and more. Nearby you will find the newly opened Mood Stockholm, a shopping center filled with high-end boutiques and restaurants. Also worth noting is another nearby shopping center: Sturegallerian.
    • Funky- Less posh, more street? Head to the island of Södermalm, especially the SoFo neighbourhood. A play on NYC's SoHo, this stands for south of the street Folkungagatan. This area has a very laid back vibe and you can find some great stores selling fashion, vintage, music & design. Also some fun cafés. bars and restaurants!
    • Swedish designers- Swedes have made some real inroads of late in the world of fashion with some labels (Acne, Filippa K, Whyred, J. Lindeberg, Wesc, etc;) becoming internationally famous. Besides the abovementioned SoFo, the best place to find these designers is on the pedestrian street called Biblioteksgatan... a stone's throw from NK.
    • Interior Design- Swedish design has become very popular around the world. Explore the Östermalm neighbourhood to find some wonderful design stores, especially the streets Birger Jarlsgatan, Grev Turegatan and Nybrogatan. The store Svenskt Tenn has become synonomous with upscale Swedish design.
    • Food items- These days, with all of the restrictions, it can be a bit tricky to take food home with you. However, if you want to go through the trouble or just want to buy local produce during your stay, head over to the indoor food market Östermalms Saluhall. A great place for lunch as well! Another good place? The basement level of the NK department store has a great grocery store filled with Swedish goodies.
    • Souvenirs- You have to, of course, take some knick knacks home to family, friends and co-workers... whether cheesy or sublime. On the island of Gamla Stan (the medieval heart of the city), you will find the street Västerlånggatan. This is the perfect place to find Stockholm postcards and t-shirts, Viking horned helmets and stuffed moose. If you are looking for something less cheesy, my personal tip is to check out the gift shops at different museums where they have some great Stockholm mementos to take home with you. A good example of this is Moderna, the modern art museum.

    Happy shopping! The Swedish economy thanks you!

  • On February 4, 2013
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