Royal Viking hotel Stockholm, next door to central station

Stockholm hotel review – Royal Viking Hotel

Royal Viking hotel Stockholm, next door to central station

Royal Viking hotel Stockholm, right next door to the central station

In my travels to and from Stockholm over the years I’ve stayed in many hotels and other accomodation of different grades with and without family. This is a review of the Radisson Blu Royal Viking hotel in central Stockholm.

Overall I’m a huge fan of the Radisson group of hotels and I’ve stayed in many around Europe over the years. I tend to find them generally to be stylish, clean and reasonable value for money, with excellent service and wifi. The Royal Viking is no exception.

Location

It’s position is excellent and it’s right next door to central station and so you couldn’t really get that much more central. This means your right next to all the best public transport links and within walking distance of all of central Stockholm’s’ best sights. If you’re coming on the airport train, you’re only about 2 minutes walk away so even if you’ve got loads of luggage, it’s not a problem. The only time you might find it tough to get there is if you come by car. I had this problem personally in 2005 the first time I went there. The royal viking hotel does supply secure car parking, but it’s not within the hotel itself, it’s within a garage just nearby. When I was first there they even did valet car parking by default, which was fairly important as there’s practically no stopping outside due to its location and only 2 temporary pick up / drop down places. The bigger problem is navigating the one way systems around there if you’re not familiar with the city. It’s quite complex and you’ll need a GPS otherwise you might struggle.

Rooms

The rooms I’ve tried were excellent, if on the smaller side by default (the standard I think is 22 sqm). They’ve got lovely decorated doors in viking rune stone style and the decor is fairly standard nordic style hotel simplicity. The bed was good and firm and the bathroom clean with smooth lines, again in a very Nordic style. Overall very simple and pleasant.

Facilities

The hotel has an excellent restaurant which is called “Stockholm Fisk” (fisk translates as fish) and this is what it specialises in. I have eaten there, although personally I’m not huge on eating in hotel restaurants as there’s so much else to go and enjoy in town. It also has a nice downstairs bar which is frequented by guests and locals alike, next to the restaurant in the foyer. Breakfast is served in a huge airy atrium on the mezzanine floor, which is a joyous and light experience every morning. There’s a huge buffet of international quality to indulge in. The best facility at the Royal Viking hotel though has to be the sky bar! Take the lift up to the 10th floor and there’s an outstandingly good bar with huge windows which give you a panoramic view over huge areas of central Stockholm. You don’t even need to be a resident to go there and it’s thoroughly recommended.

Price

Pretty much standard Nordic rates for 4 star hotels really. As I write in 1695SEK for a week day standard room, including breakfast and wifi. I consider this to be well worth it considering the location, especially if you’re not driving.

 

rainbow over a nice family house in Stockholm

Family accommodation in Stockholm

rainbow over a family house in Stockholm

rainbow over a traditional Swedish house in Stockholm

Since I’ve not been living in Sweden full time for the past 18 months, whenever I travel there now, I’m always on the look out for great family accommodation in Stockholm. This great rainbow picture is taken from my house in Sollentuna a few years back, but when you’re travelling on holiday you can’t always get this type of accommodation. Many people will resort to hotels but I think this is a big mistake, especially when travelling with the family. I far prefer to be self catering when I have the children with me and I also like the space and flexibility that holiday rentals normal provide.

In recent years, especially now that tripadvisor have got into the market for holiday rentals, there are more and more opportunities for finding good value and excellent accommodation in the Stockholm area. When I was there 3 months ago I did some searches on trip advisor and I found some OK-ish stuff, but a lot of it was over priced and often targetted at the couples weekend break market. I was looking at their lists again last night, and this was still the focus of their market, but you might find a few interesting family ones as well. In the end I recently rented with Cocoon Stockholm and I can’t recommend them enough. They have a good selection of properties, but more over their booking and customer service was excellent.

The key I think though in finding value is some local knowledge about the areas. I rented a great apartment in Birkastan / Vasastan and it was about 50% cheaper and about 50% bigger than all the equivalent ones on the trendier Södermalm. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Söder, but it’s fairly overpriced, whether you’re rented for a holiday or even if you’re buying property as well (in my opinion at least!).

Cocoon and others also have some amazing family houses in and around Gustavsberg and Värmdö. Now if you’ve got a car these represent amazing value, and you’re only 20-30 minutes drive from the centre of town. Even if you don’t like to drive into town (and I’m of that nature) there are still good quality public transport links from these areas, and if you’re kids are older and not in pushchairs then you can easily hop on the express bus (hey, even if your kids are in pushchairs you’ll be fine as Swedish bus services are very accommodating to young families and I spent innumerable happy trips on these buses with my daughters who just love to travel on buses). The other benefit of these eastern suburbs is that you’re really in the archipelago edges and there will be a lot more space and scenery and opportunities for outdoor activities.

Now I know that some people will have the need to be right in the middle of town, and I don’t dispute that, but personally if I can have a 150 sqm house with space and garden 20 minutes away compared to a 40 sqm 1 bedroom apartment, I know which was I’d go, especially when I’m with the family. So if you’re browsing for family accommodation in Stockholm on the web, don’t just limit yourself to the Stockholm keyword, as when you do so, most often you’re unwittingly filtering out many of the outlying suburbs. For example on tripadvisor, trying using the search word Värmdö and you’ll find a whole other host of opportunities you didn’t realise were there. Once you’ve seen this you can check out other suburbs on the map and search around these as well.

If you’ve any questions about the suitability of specific areas or any such matters, leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.