Radisson Blu Waterfront, Stockholm *****

Last stay: March 2014

Okay, to be fair, I had a room on the 16th floor facing the southern part of Stockholm, with town hall right in front. What a spectacular view, especially at sundown or even at night.

The room was fabulous - very quiet, never a sound from the rooms next door (I don’t know if anyone was in either one), never a noise from the hallway. The bathroom was spacious enough albeit not huge, but it had a thermostat - a real boon if you’re not fond of being scalded or shock-frozen by wildly varying water temperatures while showering.

The room had a Nespresso machine in it (though likely not all rooms do), a large bed, a handy desk with plenty of outlets and a comfortable business chair that made working at the laptop less of a chore. The bed was huge and comfortable, and strewn with four huge pillows (which seems to be the fashion at the upscale hotels) which always made me feel bad putting three of them on the floor.

The only caveat was the complete lack of a drawer anywhere in the room, as in: one to put underwear or socks into. I ended up putting these on the bottom of the cabinet under the coffee machine, which also held the very strange room safe that opened up by pulling the door down and towards you, a little like a mailbox. You won’t be putting an SLR in that safe, by the way, because while it is big enough to take a 13” laptop, it is only about 5cm deep. Weird.

Oh, and I had issues getting the room to cool down - the dial was set all the way to cold on the thermostat; despite this I found it almost uncomfortably warm. You can’t open the windows, so you’re basically stuck with the temperature. Turning the dial a little way towards warm seemed to help (oddly enough) - possibly a bad electrical contact in the dial.

The hotel prides itself on its breakfast - and rightly so. I’m a big breakfast fan and found everything I could hope for. The coffee is good (but not great); mildly annoying is the fact that you have to take silverware from the central buffet to your table, as the tables are laid with everything but.

The decor is very scandinavian, which means no drab colors (except as accents), lots of wood (or wood look-alike) and open spaces. The muzak in the bar can be a bit annoyingly loud, especially if you’re trying to converse with customers, but it didn’t take long for the very attentive personell to realize this and turn it down. In all, I really have to commend the personell in general: extremely friendly and helpful - bravo!

Oh - and there is free Wifi (which seems to be more of a norm in Sweden than in Germany) which was - at least in the lobby and the room - very fast. We spent the second day in a conference room in the conference center next door. Oddly enough, I was still able to receive the hotel Wifi (my colleague was not), but it was relatively slow there.

The hotel itself is right across from one of the (many!) exits of Stockholm Central Train Station; chances are you’ll end up spending more time outside trying to find the hotel than you need to be. I didn’t find any signs in the train station, which is surprising since the hotel has a large conference center right next to it (The Waterfront). Maybe I didn’t look for them enough. If you’re coming off the Arlanda Express, you need to exit that section of tracks by walking in a straight line through some sliding doors and then keep left. You’ll end up going down stairs (escalators) and you’ll need to come back up on the right immediately after entering the “great hall” - then go straight along some shops until you get to an exit - this should put you right across from the hotel.