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“Persistent top performer”
Review of Hotel Rival

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Hotel Rival
Ranked #2 of 154 Hotels in Stockholm
Certificate of Excellence
Gothenburg, Sweden
Level Contributor
93 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Persistent top performer”
Reviewed 18 May 2012

Going to Stockholm a couple of times per year this is a predictable favourite. Right from the reception, front desk people, cleaning personnel, waiters etc etc are all friendly, efficient and not mechanical at all in their hospitality. Rooms are wonderful, great beds and linen, breakfast a real treat with anything you like - especially the home baked bread is fantastic. I have never been disappointed, it always come out right.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Flemming N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (243)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
London
Level Contributor
69 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2012

Stayed a couple of nights each in both hotels in May 2012; a "suite" at Viking and a de luxe room at Rival (no suites available) - both with balcony. I wanted comfortable space and the ability to smoke.

Rival wins out - the room was adequate rather than large, only slightly smaller than the Viking, but only SK3950 c/w Viking's SK5000. The Viking "suite" was really only a junior suite with the bed boarded off as a separate cell so one could claim a separate sitting room; not what one thinks of as a suite.

Adequate coffee machine in the Viking room (the capsule variety, with milk sachets); at Rival an impressive help yourself coffee etc machine a floor below - very good quality drinks.

Both hotels had very comfortable beds and pillows - well above average.

Adequate modern bathrooms but the Viking bathroom was in poor condition; the bath fittings were all broken, although the Jacuzzi did actually work, and the shower floor channelled the water out into the bathroom. Not what one expects for SK5000 a night.

Staff at both hotels were very friendly and helpful; somehow the Rival staff seem friendlier though. Both hotels were great at fixing taxis (and warning to look out for overcharging, which is common in Stockholm). Both hotels had good easy internet and printing facilities.

Both buffet breakfasts were plentiful - again Rival won out because they cook hot food (bacon and eggs) individually; Viking offered only pre-cooked scrambled or boiled, both cold.

The hotels are in different locations - Viking beside the Central Station (no noise on 8th floor) and Rival in Sodermalm. Both very convenient for Stockholm centre but again Rival wins out - located in a charming leafy square with a large central fountain. The Viking feels more a "business" base but I think you'd find either works well whether you're on business or a tourist.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank incomfort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, British Columbia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2012

I stay here frequently when traveling for work to Stockholm. The hotel is centrally located across from a charming small park. It's close the shops in the Soedermalm neighborhood and easy walking distance to old town. Small rooms but in typical Swedish sensibility, very well laid out. The staff is pretty trendy and hip as well as being professional and helpful.

The buffet breakfasts are fantastic and a nice way to start the day. You can also order a la carte from the server.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelMore33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich
Level Contributor
20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2012

Spent a long weekend in the Rival. Location is central in the upcoming area Soedermalm, only 15 minutes walk to the old town. Clean rooms with many amenities such as DVD's, CD's, minibar, comfortable bed, not to forget free wifi and free cafe machine on the floor. Staff very competent and friendly. If you don't feel like going out at night, trendy bar and good restaurant in the hotel. Breakfast is highly recommendable.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SwissZurich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2012

We have been at the Rival Hotel already 5 times I think. We used to go to Hotel Birger Jarl, which we thought was fine quality/price. Until they decided to increase prices dramatically from one day to another (from 1390 SEK to 2200 SEK approx). We started to look around for other possibilities - if we were to pay more, we knew there would be other possibilities in our favourite city.

We checked Tripadvisor and we saw that Rival was at #1, we then checked the prices and realised that they had affordable prices for Summer, so we decided to try. More expensive, but not more than what BJ would have cost.

We were thrilled! We haven't stayed at any other hotel ever since. And like I said, I think we have been there already 5 times.

I don't know where to start, so I will just start listing:

The surroundings:

- the neighbourhood is simply very family and young people friendly (we are mid 30ies).

- very well communicated: subway Mariatorget (3 stops from Central Station: Gamla Stan, Slussen, Mariatorget). If you arrive by train perfect. If you arrive by plane and take Arlanda Express or a bus, perfect. Which means you are in the center also very fast.
Gamla Stan is about 15-20 minutes walking. Slussen is about 5-10 minutes walking, also a good place to take subway or busses. Bus line 2 takes you to Kungsträdgården, for example.

- there is a supermarket just like 2 minutes away for water and anything else you might need

- the Rival Café is great for a quick lunch or early dinner. I would say coffee too if you just want to sit outside (in Summer - even though we saw 2 weeks ago that they had already opened the terrace outside) or inside and enjoy a typical Swedish-café atmosphere. BUT read further.

- if you are not feeling like eating at their restaurant (has very nice food, wines and cocktails, but the menu can be a bit boring since there is not much to choose from and it doesn't change THAT often) you can also try the Italian or the two Indian about 5-10 minutes from the hotel. Ask Sean for directions.

The hotel:

- There is a coffee machine on the 4th floor, right next to the 2 PCs and printer. Coffee is for free, there is milk in the frigde and tee bags as well. I think there is also an ice machine.
We have often eaten something at the Rival Cafe and then taken a coffee/tee to the room.

- the beds are very comfortable! Rooms always very clean, also under the bed (we checked!)

- Breakfast (whatch out: not always included! make sure when you book the room. I think in Summer or other holidays it's always included, and on weekends, but usually not during "normal" dates/ weekday) is simply delicious. The longest time we were there we stayed 5 nights and we never got tired of the breakfast. There is enough to choose from, a lot of bread sorts (take the one with raisins!! - can also be bought at the Rival bakery)

- Staff is very friendly and helpful. Not only they know me by name already, but know which room we prefer. We got "our" room already 3 times and always got the higher floors as requested - not bad, or? The concierge Sean is also very friendly and has always good tips for restaurants. He also helped us with booking a table at Gondolen twice, and we got great tables both times. He also runs a blog where he writes some helpful tips about what to do in the city. The restaurant staff is also very helpful and accomodating and have prepared some vegetarian dishes for us even if not on the menu.

- The De Lux rooms (sorry, we didn't try any other) are big, face the square, have a DVD player, some CDs and DVDs in a shelf, and you can borrow some more DVDs from the reception. Free of charge. One would think: why to watch a film when on holidays? I wondered myself too, but actually then I realised that the hotel is trying to make you feel like home, and what is better than just get cosy in your bed and watch a film after a long tourist-day?

What could be improved / a bit on the negative side:

- The breakfast staff isn't that attentive as the others. They often stand on a corner or next to the kitchen and simply chat, ignoring new guests entering the restaurant (which is where breakfast is served too). It's kind of annoying if you want to order one of their specials for breakfast (some special coffee or dish), they sometimes seem to be annoyed to have to take an additional order. They are sometimes loud, so anybody who understands Swedish knows what they are talking about.

- I have no clue when the hotel was built or last renovated. Some furniture and rooms show the signs of age. It's nothing bad and that disturbs your stay, but I guess some guests could find it as a negative point.

- The De Lux rooms face the square, as mentioned before. They are also above the restaurant - cocktail bar, so I guess it might be a bit loud if you are not on the top floors. We never had an issue with sleep / noise though. Have been on floors 5 and 6.

These are for us just small things. All the other stuff simply makes up for it and outnumbers the "negative" points.

Our next stay(s) will surely be at Rival (unless they suddenly increase prices as BJ did...)

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SthlmAgain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
156 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2012

I had originally planned to stay a few days at the Rival and then to move to the Grand Hotel to try that out. After a few days at the Rival, I cancelled my upcoming reservation at the Grand, and stayed on at the Rival. This place is modern, clean and the staff are incredibly friendly. It's also located in a great neighbourhood in Stockholm with wonderful cafes and bars within brief walking distance. I can't wait to go back and stay here again.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nancy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2012

Stayed here for one night meeting up with my wife who was in Stockholm on business. Let's put the record straight, she is an ABBA fan and thought it would be funny to stay here. I'm not and was a little anxious. I needn't have been. The place is very chic and the ABBA theme is very low key (in fact just restricted to some ABBA CDs in the room and a solerized black & white ABBA print on the bedroom wall.

Staff at reception couldn't be more friendly or helpful. The place was tastefully decorated (although the rather bright, swirly carpets in the hallways won't be to everyone's taste). Rooms pretty bijoux but I don't stay in a hotel generally to hang out in the room, and ours had a cute little balcony that overlooked the back of a church and a square. (One thing about the balcony was you could see into the next door room when standing out there, which might prove a little awkward...but it was February so we weren't hanging out on the balcony too much.)

Great bathroom (with a strange full length window looking into the room in case you want to keep an eye on BBC News 24 or something...don't worry, there's a blind for privacy). And in case you can't spend a moment away from listening to your ABBA CDs (or other music you may be into), music is piped into the bathroom from the stereo! Comy bed and very very quiet.

Breakfast was great. The traditional Scandinavian buffet, which I have to say is my favourite breakfast buffet ever!

The hotel bar is clearly a bit of a cocktail destination and was fairly buzzing when we got in from dinner and drinks on a Friday night. Quite jazzy stylish lounge bar décor.

One gripe was with a barman who thought he was a bit too cool for school. Ordered some drinks for us and two of my wife's work colleagues and put it on our room tab. He then came over to where we were sitting and rather blatantly and rudely queried the validity of my signature as the room wasn't in my name (and despite me showing him my room key when I ordered the drinks and us - my wife and I - sharing the same surname!). He made my wife get up, go over to the bar cash register and re-sign for the drinks despite her telling him it was fine. If it was all 'policy', then fair enough, he could have been a bit more discreet, smiled a little and apologised for the inconvenience...but it was all done with a rather superior and snooty atmosphere. Very unimpressed by that.

And that sort of let the hotel down a little in my eyes. So 3* not 4* or 5* from me. Service to me is the most important thing!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Spratticus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Rival

Property: Hotel Rival
Address: Mariatorget 3, Box 17525, Stockholm 118 91, Sweden
Phone Number:
Region: Sweden > Stockholm County > Stockholm > Mariatorget , Södermalm
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Stockholm
#2 Luxury Hotel in Stockholm
#2 Romantic Hotel in Stockholm
#3 Business Hotel in Stockholm
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Rival 4*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Rival is Stockholm's first boutique hotel, located on Sodermalms heights in classic premises in Stockholm. The Rival is a small, modern, individual hotel with unique top-level service. The 99 rooms have high technical standards with an unique interior decorations as well as Internet access. The seventh floor, with its magnificent view, is reserved for suites. The classic cinema Rival has been meticulously renovated and equipped with the latest in multi-media technology. The movie theatre will accommodate 700 conference guests, and the premises are well suited for events and meetings. There are 5 more conference rooms and a generous foyer outside the theatre for exhibits and mingling. The cocktail bar (original art deco), the bar, the bistro and the cafe will serve both hotel guests and local inhabitants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rival Hotel Stockholm

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