Destination: An archipelago retreat

We found some Hollywood glamour in the Stockholm archipelago, a perfect match with our modernist frames. Meet Marie Gustavsson who run Ruin retreat, a luxury boutique hotel with a killer view.

Marie in OH-12

What was your vision when creating Ruin retreat?

My dream is to offer people something unique and beautiful with exceptional service. I want to satisfy people’s special wishes and customise according to their requirements.

What are the most important features when it comes to creating a hotel according to you?

To pay attention to details in terms of interior and luxury features you might not have at home, but more importantly to make you feel welcome.

How does the historic ruins at Ruin retreat compliment a modern villa?  

The challenge for us was to create a new atmosphere while not competing with the old characteristics. We wanted a modern or rather timeless new body to be subordinate to the old ruins and at the same time enhance them. The walls provide a very secluded feeling and also a better climate on stormy days.

Carl in OH-13

What was missing in the Stockholm hospitality market?

I believe there are quite few high-end hideaways, close to the city and the archipelago where you can enjoy total privacy.

How would you describe your interior style?

My husband and I love styles in between art deco and art nouveau. To break it off and not become too elegant we tried to mix up the interior with lots of concrete, plaster walls and black and dark blue colours.

On lightning, electricity and hardware we fell in love with Buster & Punch.

On furniture and art works we have mixed with old family pieces from Spanish surrealists and new findings from for instance Jonathan Adler. We have designed a lot of the furniture ourselves using square steel and concrete.

What’s your favourite spot at Ruin?     

It is actually to sit on the rooftop overlooking the glittering in-let to Stockholm, watching the big boats passing by and also the feeling of being above the tree line. Since I am brought up in the county of Dalarna, I love the typical Swedish pine and spruce trees. They make me calm.

You’re a former florist, how can flowers add personality?

A nice bouquet in the hall gives a welcoming touch. The same thing in the bedroom and bathrooms, it feels well thought out in addition to the aesthetic that breaks off against the dark colours and concrete. I love bringing in nature to the hotel – an old branch with moss became a lamp above the dining table.

What’s your dream destination at the moment?

We have travelled a lot around the world – but not enough in Europe. We will actually travel through Europe in a little cabriolet this summer (how romantic is that?) and try to stop at castles and ruins in the alps and then continue trough to Monaco and along the French Riviera.