Yes, I'm afraid to admit it, but I often choose hotels by the reviews that I read. And, just as you're reading mine, I poured over the reviews here on this site. Perhaps you've noticed that the Hotel Rival has dropped now and is not in the top spot on TripAdvisor. While I certainly don't harbor any ill will towards this property, perhaps my review will likely help keep it on that trajectory. There comes a time when a hotel property just starts to milk the reviews and forgets about investing in the daily courtesies and the upkeep and maintenance that keeps a property at the top of a list.
Of course, there are good things and bad about the Hotel Rival, just like any. First, I'll give you the good. The Breakfast (I'm capitalizing it because it is THE best darn breakfast of any northern European hotel I've been in for the last couple of years). A delicious selection of items, everyone very unique. For example, I had a shot this morning of Fennel, Elderberry and Lemon juice with my meal. Where are you going to find THAT one! And you can order delicious omelet's, great Cappuccino's and so forth. I loved the cheese selection. Basically, this is a class breakfast.
But a breakfast doesn't make up for a small room. And let me tell you, the rooms here at the Hotel Rival are indeed SMALL. We paid about $300 a night, and to say that this is a $300 a night hotel room would be like saying that a Denny's is a place to go on your wedding anniversary. It's just overpriced by a significant percentage -- that's all a part of getting that #1 rating on a site like this one. Just by getting that rating (which has now evaporated based on recent reviews), they are able to jack up the rates significantly. It's a comfortable enough room, but it's not a $300 a night hotel room. We didn't get fresh towels or new shampoos and toiletries until about the third day. The bed is a big box spring with a three inch piece of foam on the top - perhaps that's "Swedish style," but I recall regular beds at other Swedish hotels from earlier trips. There is a safe, which is nice, and a DVD player and some CD's and DVD's in the room for the guest to enjoy. The little candy dish in the room which was a classy touch on the first day was never refilled.
The location is fifteen minutes from anywhere. I say that with tongue-in-cheek, because no matter where you want to go, the front desk staff will tell you that it is a 15 minute walk. Want to go to the center of Old Town (Gamla Stan)? It's a 15 minute walk (in actuality, 20-25). Want to get to a restaurant nearby that's only a 15 minute walk? It's actually up a huge hill and a long, long distance away. The one time they called us a taxi the driver gouged us and started the meter up with about 80 kroner already on the meter.
We were in an upgraded hotel room, a "Superior" double and it looked out over an apartment complex instead of the lovely park they have in the front of the hotel. Very strange for a more expensive room. The pictures of the hotel make it look like there are little balconies on the Superior rooms, but that was not the case for us.
In the lobby and other parts of the hotel, the modern high-gloss black and orange furniture is starting to get nicked and marked up, and the carpets in the hallways are filthy, stained and discolored, having gone far past their prime without a cleaning. I was pleasantly surprised by the Wi-Fi working as good as it did, however. Because it was a business trip for me, that was important.
So -- my review is 2 star not because I think the Hotel Rival is a terrible choice, but because it's overpriced by two stars and really, really is not the top of the line property that some of these reviews make it out to be. There are better places out there, and I'll bet you can find one with a modicum of effort.
- 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