Checking In: Meet the Hotel That Coined The Phrase 'Stockholm Syndrome'

by  Will McGough | Aug 26, 2013
Nobis Hotel
Nobis Hotel / Photo courtesy of the property

The 201-room Nobis Hotel in Stockholm sits on Norrmalmstorg Square and is in close proximity to the city’s business, shopping and entertainment district. It houses a restaurant and a bistro, offers good service, and it's a pretty good-looking building. The rooms are modern (automated check-in, free Wi-fi) with mellow colors like mauve, creme, and mahogany, and many of them look out over the Square. While these are all reasonably interesting details about the hotel, its most notable attribute has more to do with history.

In 1973, two robbers held four employees hostage for six days at a bank on the same square. National news stations broadcast the criminal event, and what viewers ended up witnessing was a phenomenon that has become a recognized psychological condition. You know it today as Stockholm Syndrome. During the robbery, the hostages began to identify with their armed captors, feeling compassion, sympathy and apparently a strong connection to them. According to reports, they even declined help from the government at one point and testified on behalf of one of them in court after the robbery was resolved via "gas attack" by police.

What's even cooler is that the southern part of the Nobis Hotel building now stands where the bank used to be, meaning you can literally sleep in the same building where the popular phrase was coined. The hotel offers no special themed cocktails or room packages centered around the infamous robbery, though current guests might be interested to know the incident took place exactly 40 years ago this month.

Rates start at around $230/night in low season (January, March, July) and can approach $450 a night during the high season (May–September). There’s a joke in here somewhere about how you might end up sympathizing with the hotel for charging such a high rate, but we’re not touching it.

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