Review: Sheraton Stockholm Hotel

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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.

Sheraton-Free-Weekends

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.

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Sheraton Stockholm exterior

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Sheraton Stockholm exterior

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.

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Sheraton Stockholm lobby

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).

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Sheraton Stockholm reception

We were assigned room 233, a superior lake view queen room on the second floor.

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Sheraton Stockholm hallway

Upon exiting the elevator the room was located down the hallway and to the left.

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Sheraton Stockholm room entrance

The hotel is in a rectangular shape, and is quite large, with ~465 rooms.

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Sheraton Stockholm floorplan

The room was a decent size. There was an entryway, with the bathroom to the left and the rest of the room immediately forward.

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Sheraton Stockholm room entrance

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.

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room

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.

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room TV

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room TV

There wasn’t really much spare space in the room, so the chairs were sort of just smushed into the corner.

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room seating area

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.

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room view

The room also had a minibar, though we didn’t consume anything from it, since I can only imagine what the prices were like.

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room minibar

Then there was a kettle with tea and instant coffee.

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room kettle

The bathroom was sterile and functional. It featured a sink, shower/tub combo, and a toilet in the middle.

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room bathroom

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room shower

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room toilet

As you’d expect, standard Sheraton toiletries were on offer, which for a mid-range brand I don’t mind.

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Sheraton Stockholm queen room toiletries

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.

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Sheraton Stockholm club lounge

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Sheraton Stockholm club lounge

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Sheraton Stockholm club lounge

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.

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Sheraton Stockholm club lounge food spread

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.

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Sheraton Stockholm club lounge Nespresso machine

All soft drinks (including still and sparkling water) were served out of a soda fountain, however.

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Sheraton Stockholm club lounge soda machine

Then throughout the day there were a handful of snacks available, from peanuts to breadsticks to snack mix to cookies.

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge daytime snacks

On top of that there were veggies, pastries, and sweets available throughout the day.

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge daytime snacks

The evening reception was from 6PM until 8PM. There was an open bar, consisting of wine, beer, and liquor.

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge evening drinks

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.

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge evening snacks

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge evening snacks

And then there were three hot dishes… except they were all the same.

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge evening appetizers

They did alternate every night, but on a given night all three containers had the same food.

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge evening appetizers

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.”

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge breakfast spread

The spread consisted of cold cuts, cheese, veggies, fruit, and cereal.

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge breakfast spread

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge breakfast spread

Then there were pastries, bread, and croissants.

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge breakfast spread

And then there was toast and several types of jam.

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge breakfast spread

There were also scrambled eggs and bacon.

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge breakfast spread

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.

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Sheraton Stockholm crowded club lounge

And there was typically one server, so the place was just a complete mess.

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge mess

Like, really messy.

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Sheraton Stockholm executive lounge mess

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.

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Sheraton Stockholm Bar Threesixty voucher

The lobby bar was indeed much more tranquil.

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Sheraton Stockholm Bar Threesixty

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Sheraton Stockholm Bar Threesixty

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Sheraton Stockholm Bar Threesixty drinks

The snack plate was quite good as well.

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Sheraton Stockholm Bar Threesixty appetizers

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).

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Sheraton Fitness Stockholm

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.

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Comments

  1. We stayed at this hotel over Christmas last year and had a fabulous time. My hubby is a SPG Platinum and we used an upgrade cert to get a one bedroom “Superior Suite” corner room upgrade and it was one of the biggest rooms we’ve been upgraded to. In addition, there was a rather large multi-plate welcome gift of snacks, Swedish homemade Christmas sweets, and drinks. We had the lounge all to ourselves one night and again the next morning for breakfast. Then, the club closed for the rest of the Christmas holiday. Instead, we were given daily vouchers for the hotel’s restaurant buffet for breakfast which included a huge spread of Swedish and continental breakfast foods that were all holiday themed. We got the same bar vouchers for the evening each day of the trip. We ended up eating at the restaurant on Christmas eve as well. They hosted a Julbord / Smörgåsbord that was pretty magical with 100s of different traditional Swedish holiday items. Lots to see and do very close to the hotel. We walked most places, but the city’s major transportation hub is right there. I’d stay again in a heartbeat!

  2. While the hotel is in the heart of the city it’s in a pretty sterile part of town. There are much funner neighborhoods to stay in when in Stockholm. I purposely steered us clear on a visit a few years ago…even though Gamla Stan gets very quiet early and some small places on Vasterlanggatan require a walk to get to the atmosphere there is much better.

  3. “We booked three nights at the Sheraton, at a rate of ~$320 per night. ”

    I’m pretty sure if you’d been willing to go outside of the self-imposed Starwood/Hyatt American Hotel Chain Ghetto you could have beaten that significantly, even with the promo kickback. It was pretty trivial to find hotels at $150-200 that look like they match star rating/location/review scores with the Stockholm Sheraton.

    This is where your fellow BA blogger Ric Garrido shines, at getting value for points in Scandinavia (chains like Best Western or Choice)… or even something simple like using hotels.com rates for what is in effect a 10% discount (1 room night at the average of 10 rentals once you get to 10 rentals) and not being locked into what looks to be pretty bad value. This is probably a case where chain loyalty isn’t really called for.

  4. Stayed there a couple times in 2012. Enjoyed location, friendly staff and the club lounge (yes, too small for the peoperty). The really fancy hotels in Stockholm are not chains, but rather historic independents.

  5. Gosh, this is disappointing…. Stockholm is such a wonderful place, and although I agree there aren’t a lot of high-end American chains, there are some wonderful local options. We stayed in Stockholm for my guy’s birthday this year and had a great time. Several of the Swedish hotels are spectacular… Hopefully you venture out and try something else next time!!

  6. Ben, next time try the Hilton on the other side of Old Town. As a Diamond VIP we had a beautiful upgraded room on the top floor overlooking the river and all of old town. All nights were awards and the last night was free. The room was in a wing right over the freeway, but you could not hear a sound! Lots of charming restaurants in all directions from the hotel. The only negative was the mediocre hotel main restaurant and the executive lounge. We usually avoid hotel restaurants, so only the small executive lounge was disappointing. As you experienced at the Sheraton, the lounge was small, crowded and the offerings limited. The first morning we complained about the difficulty eating a breakfast in the lounge and they immediately offered us complimentary breakfast each day in the huge buffet breakfast room below the lobby. There must have been at least 8 separate buffet tables with one of the most magnificent buffets we have ever enjoyed, including a make your own waffle station with all the fixings. Also a separate egg/omelet station with a cook. There were assigned table servers for coffee, juice and beverages or for any special orders and they came around frequently to make sure you had everything you wanted. The buffet and the extra service is what you would expect at a luxury property like a Waldorf or Ritz-Carlton. The bread and cheese table had all the usual local pastries, breads and croissants stacked high on different platter levels.
    We saw a most unusual bread knife with a handle for cutting the different loafs of bread. My wife spoke with the head Breakfast Chef to find out where she could buy these knives to take home for herself and our daughters. The Chef said he would check into it and let us know before our stay was over. Two days later there was a message at the front desk with four of these knives suitably wrapped up to put in our luggage. The invoice was what the hotel kitchen paid and it was charged to our room. I would have gladly paid twice as much. The front desk staff was also excellent and handled all the usual concierge services with directions, reservations and ideas. This was not your typical Hilton business hotel and I suggest you try it instead of the Sheraton next time you are in Stockholm.

  7. There are so many better options in Stockholm, I wouldn’t have bothered with $320/night for that room just to get the points and room stay, though I usually prefer finding places on airbnb. Even the Radisson Blu and Scandic locations I’ve stayed in looked far nicer. In May I had a very nice two night stay at the Scandic Anglais. Breakfast was in the Jamie Oliver restaurant downstairs and was very good. They did have a quirky approach to room service (I was worn out from work and travel one night), where you go downstairs and they give you a tray to carry up to your room. No room service delivery fee to pay, and excellent food for a hotel. 🙂

    You’ll find a similar experience in Norway where the better hotels tend to be local chains such as Thon.

  8. I’ve stayed in Scandic hotels in other parts of Sweden and have had wonderful stays. Many places offer free breakfast and, honestly, when I’m in a new place I prefer to avoid typical fare and eat with the locals…why spend time in a hotel lounge when there’s so much more to see? Ostermalm’s Saluhall is a nice place to sample different stuff…

  9. This is an example of where brand loyalty isn’t such a good thing. This hotel is at the “center” of Stockholm in the same way that Times Square is in the “center” of New York; it’s a sterile and touristy area that doesn’t capture the local experience. I suppose that’s not a bad thing if you’re genuinely interested in the more touristy shopping areas (to each their own!). But local hotels in Stockholm can offer much more bang for the buck in terms of both local experience and location, especially if you only have a few days to explore the city. Stay in north Sodermalm or Gamla Stan or even on Skeppsholmen, not near the central train station…and save some cash while you’re at.

    But I suppose this website is not for fans of traveling, per se, but those who value miles and points and the perks therein! Not that they’re mutually exclusive, of course, but still…one does recognize a trade-off.

  10. As mentioned above, get out of your comfort zone and try need hotels. Life isn’t all about earning points for each stay. This blog used to be good. Nowadays the only good posts are the ones made by collaborators. Can you spare us from our “views” and post Matt’s final report on his Lufthansa flight…

  11. We stayed at the Sheraton a a few years ago on points and agree the location is about as good as it gets for location and that the center city is absolutely gorgeous. It is one plain Jane building on the outside, especially on such a prominent corner. At the time the hotel was undergoing a top to bottom renovation. The bad news was that the club was closed and the entire first floor except for the restaurant was a construction zone. The good news was that the hotel’s health club was closed so they were giving guests passes to the local health club down the street. Let’s just say I have fond memories of Stockholm!

  12. Skip the chains, there are indeed excellent luxury options in Stockholm that are part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World club, such as Lydmar Hotel, which is excellent. Didn’t you know that breakfast is traditionally included in the room rate for all hotel stays in Stockholm? You absolutely do not need the club floor to get breakfast! Breakfast at Lydmar was wonderful where the restaurant was absolutely peaceful, tranquil and classy, but the best breakfast I’ve ever had in Sweden is at another hotel, Hotel Birger Jarl, not as fancy as Lydmar Hotel, but still pretty good.

  13. I am posting my comments from Sheraton Stockholm now. It’s a business trip and Sheraton is just 10 minute walk from the office, Arlanda Express as well as gamla stan. As Ben said, perfect location.

    The restaurant in the hotel is actually very good. High quality food and service, with reasonable price. I definitely will stay here again next time.

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