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Review: Sheraton Stockholm
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This was my first time visiting Stockholm, and I had heard time and again about how expensive the city is. What I find interesting is that even though Stockholm seems to be a super “high end” city, it’s sort of lacking when it comes to luxury hotels. There aren’t any major luxury chains in Stockholm (ie, Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton), so the luxury sector really is limited.
My two preferred hotel chains are Hyatt and Starwood. There are no Hyatts in Stockholm, and there’s one Starwood property — a Sheraton. So that made the decision of where to stay super easy.
We booked three nights at the Sheraton, at a rate of ~$320 per night. Unfortunately no standard rooms were available, so Starpoints couldn’t be redeemed for a standard room. It still seemed like the best option in Stockholm, especially given the money we’d save by having breakfast and drinks included thanks to the club lounge at the hotel, which we’d get access to thanks to my SPG Platinum status (and also thanks to having the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express). Furthermore, this stay would qualify towards the Sheraton Free Weekends promotion.
Anyway, the first great thing about the Sheraton Stockholm is the location. It’s literally a five minute walk from the Arlanda Express station, which is the best way to get into Stockholm (and even though it’s expensive, I think it might be my favorite airport train system in the world).
The Sheraton doesn’t look especially modern from the outside, though given its incredible location in the heart of the city, that’s not something I can really complain about.
The lobby of the hotel was fairly sterile and average for a Sheraton, with neutral tones and a good amount of natural light. The lobby bar was located to the left upon entering, while reception and the business center were located straight ahead.
The associate who checked us in was super friendly. Even though no upgrades were available, she was engaging, shared lots of information about the hotel, provided us with a city map, and mentioned how she had also been to Florida (after she saw the address on my SPG account).
We were assigned room 233, a superior lake view queen room on the second floor.
Upon exiting the elevator the room was located down the hallway and to the left.
The hotel is in a rectangular shape, and is quite large, with ~465 rooms.
The room was a decent size. There was an entryway, with the bathroom to the left and the rest of the room immediately forward.
The room did feel past its prime, but in a charming way, if that makes sense. I was impressed to find that the room had two queen beds, rather than twin beds. That was a nice change of pace.
In addition to the two beds, there was a large desk with a flat screen TV and luggage storage area, as well as two oddly placed chairs by the window.
There wasn’t really much spare space in the room, so the chairs were sort of just smushed into the corner.
The views from the room were gorgeous, however. We were only on the second floor and had great views, so I can imagine they were even better a few levels up.
The room also had a minibar, though we didn’t consume anything from it, since I can only imagine what the prices were like.
Then there was a kettle with tea and instant coffee.
The bathroom was sterile and functional. It featured a sink, shower/tub combo, and a toilet in the middle.
As you’d expect, standard Sheraton toiletries were on offer, which for a mid-range brand I don’t mind.
So the room was perfectly functional and in good condition, even if it could use a refresh at some point. Most importantly I appreciated the two (comfortable) queen beds.
As I mentioned above, we had access to the Sheraton club lounge thanks to my SPG Platinum status. Keep in mind that those with the SPG Business AmEx also receive access to Sheraton club lounges nowadays.
The lounge was on the seventh floor, and could be accessed with a room key. The lounge was open weekdays from 6:30AM until 10:30PM, and weekends from 7AM until 7:30PM.
The lounge was on the small side, with just a handful of tables, a couple of couches, and bar-style seating.
The spread in the lounge during the day was fairly good. The buffet area was located to the right as soon as you entered the lounge.
There was a Nespresso machine which could be used any time during the day. I’ve never seen one like this before, but basically you could push a button to dispense the pods, and then insert them into the machine.
All soft drinks (including still and sparkling water) were served out of a soda fountain, however.
Then throughout the day there were a handful of snacks available, from peanuts to breadsticks to snack mix to cookies.
On top of that there were veggies, pastries, and sweets available throughout the day.
The evening reception was from 6PM until 8PM. There was an open bar, consisting of wine, beer, and liquor.
The food spread was fairly limited in the evenings, at least for a European property. In terms of cold options there were beets, a cheese plate, and then always some type of cold fish.
And then there were three hot dishes… except they were all the same.
They did alternate every night, but on a given night all three containers had the same food.
The breakfast spread was a bit more impressive, though perhaps that was simply a function of me not caring quite as much about breakfast as evening snacks.
There were fresh juices as well as smoothie “shots.”
The spread consisted of cold cuts, cheese, veggies, fruit, and cereal.
Then there were pastries, bread, and croissants.
And then there was toast and several types of jam.
There were also scrambled eggs and bacon.
The food spread itself was fine, I’d say, but there was one major problem with the lounge. It was crowded. Really, really crowded. Like you consistently couldn’t get a seat in the evening between 6PM and 8PM. It was possibly the least tranquil club lounge I’ve ever been in.
And there was typically one server, so the place was just a complete mess.
Like, really messy.
The first problem is that the hotel has 465 rooms and only has a tiny club lounge. But the second issue is that there was no one in the lounge to verify credentials. Typically only people registered in a room eligible for access can use a lounge, while here I repeatedly saw people bring in a handful of people with them.
We used the lounge the first night and managed to get seats since we were there shortly before the evening spread was even put out. We skipped it the second night, and then the third night there literally wasn’t a single seat.
The lounge attendant gave us a voucher for two drinks and a snack plate at the hotel’s lobby bar, which I thought was a nice touch.
The lobby bar was indeed much more tranquil.
The snack plate was quite good as well.
So while the lounge has severe crowding issues, I think the voucher solution is “fair.” Mainly I just liked the club lounge for being able to grab an espresso and drink some water during the day, which translates into quite some cost savings in a city like Stockholm.
The hotel has a reasonably good fitness center, which was open 24/7 (it drives me crazy how many international hotels have non-24/7 gyms).
The last thing worth noting about the Sheraton is that the location is truly perfect. It’s in the heart of the city with amazing views, and you’re a 10-15 minute walk from anywhere you could want to go in Stockholm. I’d say the location is the single biggest asset of the hotel.
Sheraton Stockholm bottom line
The Sheraton Stockholm was a great base from which to explore Stockholm. The rooms were a decent size, beds comfortable, service friendly, and everything was in good condition.
The one issue with the hotel is the club lounge, which was consistently overcrowded during our stay. Maybe that was simply a function of us staying over the tail end of summer, though I doubt it. For a hotel with 465 rooms, you’d think they would have a bigger club lounge, or do something to at least “police” the lounge and make sure people aren’t bringing in a handful of guests each.
I’d definitely return to the Sheraton if in Stockholm, especially given what an underwhelming hotel market the city is.