The Scandic Malmen is a great hotel as long as it lines up with what's important for your travel needs. I booked two junior suites via Scandic's website for a short two-night stay for me and my wife and her sister and fiance who were visiting from the US. The Scandic has a policy of the earlier you book, the cheaper the price of the room. I booked the rooms 2.5 months out and we got a terrific rate for the suites -- my wife and I live in Oslo so we are quite knowledgeable about what qualifies as a good price for hotels in Scandinavia, which tend to be absurdly expensive.
As most reviewers have said, the location of the hotel is terrific. Most of the major tourist sites are within walking distance, and if you'd rather not walk you can take the subway which is located right around the corner from the entrance of the hotel. The hotel is 3 quick stops on the subway from the main train station. It is a 10 minute walk to Gamla Stan and Slussen where you can catch the ferry to Djurgården which has a number of interesting attractions, including the Vasa Museum and the Tivoli amusement park. Being located in the heart of Södermalm, there are a ton of places to eat, drink, and shop, including a huge outdoor seating area (summer only) run by several different bars at Medborgarplassen. There is also a Systembolaget (liquor store) and an ICA grocery store around the corner. Go to the ICA and make a salad from their salad bar and then swing by the Systembolaget for a bottle of wine and head out to one of the islands!
The rooms (junior suites) were spacious, especially by Euro standards, with decent size bathrooms and full tubs. The beds and pillows were really comfortable and the room had plenty of towels. We had a room on the 3rd floor facing the park, which was quite loud when the window was open, but when closed the noise wasn't noticeable at all. It was also very quiet when we were sleeping. We always come prepared with earplugs but didn't need to use them. A few other reviewers have mentioned that the hotel seems a bit run down, and while I don't agree with some of the harsher comments that were made, the rooms could do with some sprucing up. There were a fair amount of scuff marks on the door frames and the walls, and the room, especially the bathroom, could've been a bit cleaner. We didn't find this particularly problematic as location and price rendered these issues moot for us.
The one issue that was of concern was service. Our room didn't have an iron and my wife needed to iron an outfit for dinner so she called down to the front desk to ask for one and was told one would be sent up. When she called 45 minutes later to inquire about the iron again, the front desk person told her she couldn't get a hold of housekeeping and there was nothing else she could do. In the end, she just ended up borrowing the iron from her sister's room. When we returned from dinner the iron had been delivered to our room. I tried using it the next day to iron an outfit of mine and it didn't work. Annoying but not a huge deal.
In our room, my wife and I got robes and slippers, but these were missing from my sister-in-law's room. When she called to ask about the robes and slippers, she was told she must be staying in a lower class of room than we were, which is just an obnoxious and not particularly helpful response. After she said she was staying in the same class of room as us, she was told the slippers and robes would be sent up right away. Right away is apparently a relative metric of time. Annoying but not a huge deal.
We also happened to be in Stockholm during a rare heatwave, which meant that the hotel in general was a bit warm and humid (as was everything else in Stockholm). The rooms had a cooling system, but it clearly was not equipped to deal with such heat and humidity. The cooling system in both rooms dripped from excessive condensation, and while it wasn't much of an issue in our room, the dripping was especially bad in my sister-in-law's room. After contacting the front desk to let them know about the problem, staff was sent to clean up the water. When my sister-in-law inquired about moving rooms, she was told they couldn't guarantee the same problem wouldn't happen in a different room. They offered to send up more towels to help keep the floor dry, but it was several hours and a couple of phone calls before the towels (and slippers and robes finally) arrived. Shortly before we checked-out, my sister-in-law slipped on one of the wet towels and took a pretty hard fall. Annoying and a huge deal.
The issue here is that by the time my sister-in-law fell, she was so fed up with the poor service that she didn't bother saying anything about her fall when she checked-out because she didn't want to be angered further by what surely would've been an indifferent response. I've noticed that the hotel reads and responds to reviews here, so I want to say to them that they need to work on prioritizing service. The staff were obviously aware of the issue with the cooling systems and could've easily advised us at check-in that they were experiencing issues due to the extreme heat in Stockholm. People tend to be far more understanding of issues like this if they're told up front, especially when it's something the hotel can't necessarily do anything about, like weather. The other service issues were small and, if taken by themselves, fairly insignificant. But when taken as a whole, they present a pattern of poor service and this is something the hotel can and should do something about.
This is a good hotel in a great location. If you are able to plan in advance, it's possible to get great rates for good sized rooms. Just prepare yourself for below average service (with the exception of the breakfast staff, who were all friendly and efficient). If you can deal with that, you will probably find the Scandic Malmen a great hotel, in a terrific neighborhood, in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Scandic Malmen - town life, musical experiences and a feeling of home in the heart of Södermalm.Here you can dine, drink, meet and sleep. And loads of other fun things, such as enjoying free concerts for example. When you stay with us in one of our 332 rooms, you will live in a 50th century building in the middle of the metropolitan pulse. You will also have great access to other parts of the city by metro, train, boat or bus. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Scandic Malmen Stockholm
- Scandic Malmen Hotel Stockholm