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“Fading Beauty, Faltering Uniqueness”
Review of Hotel Rival

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Hotel Rival
Ranked #2 of 154 Hotels in Stockholm
Certificate of Excellence
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
100 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Fading Beauty, Faltering Uniqueness”
Reviewed 24 August 2014

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.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Lindaj99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (244)
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  • English first
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English first
Boca Raton,Florida
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2014 via mobile

Just finished staying in the hotel post-cruise for two nights. Great location. Staff excellent. Concierge very helpful. Easy walk to old city. Train station one block away. Would highly recommend this hotel for anybody staying in Stockholm. And a very quiet neighborhood on a par. Away from the commotion of the main city. Yet very easy to get into the city. The rooms were not spectacular, but very comfortable.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Davef1027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Townsville, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2014

Sodermalm, so they say, is where the cool cats hang out. When the cats get a little long in the tooth and want doe comfort, they come to Hotel Rival. The staff here couldn't have done more to make us feel welcome. Breakfasts were a feast. Directions and suggestions were accurate and helpful, always friendly.

The location of this gem on a beautiful square complete with gorgeous fountain, lent great charm to this arty, fabulous pub.

Room Tip: all seemed good
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Johnomob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
141 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2014 via mobile

Great hotel in very good location - opposite nice park and easy walk to main areas. Standard room not large but fine for weekend break. View of flats behind ok - a bit Rear Windowish! Really good breakfast , friendly helpful staff everywhere ( bar man is a Liverpool fan!!) , coffee stand on 4th floor great for caffeine addicts like me. Will go back.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Southealing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wichita, Kansas
Level Contributor
277 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2014

Spent just one night here and found the hotel to be very nice and centrally located. Easy to get to other restaurants and the GamlaStan island. very comfortable walking town and seemed very clean and felt totally safe.
Hotel was very clean with a very nice breakfast and the staff was very accommodating.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
167 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2014

Located about a 10 minute walk from the old town and port, also helped by being situated opposite a park, we found this to be a perfect location to visit Stockholm. Relaxed neighborhood with plenty of shops, cafés and bars but not too noisy.
The staff were all so friendly and helpful and all spoke perfect English, which made life easier. They recommended restaurants, gave directions, chatted about time spent in Australia ( as many of them had been) and were generally happy, positive young people. This was a pleasant change from some of our other European experiences with hotel staff!
Modern decor throughout this hotel, owned by Benny from ABBA fame. Lots of famous musicians and actors on a wall collage, and if you look really closely you can find Benny in there too.
Rooms are cute, but small. Bathroom is tiny but functional. If you are in Stockholm for a long time, I think you would need more space to spread out. For a 2 night stay, like we did before our cruise, it was perfect!

Room Tip: Ask for a park view room.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Porters051
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2014

i stayed here for business as a solo traveler, but would highly recommend to all types travelers. Stylish rooms, comfortable beds. Delicious buffet breakfast. Super friendly staff. Location awesome as it's in the "trendy" part of town, opposite a park, bicycle hire across the street and supermarkets in close proximity. Subway 5 mins walk. Amazing shopping nearby too. My room was on third floor, very quiet. Light and bright but to block the sun out, double curtains provided.

Room Tip: from the comments of other colleagues, everyone was happy with their rooms. My room did face other a...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pinkyvalenti
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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