Great city center location on the harbor, near restaurants and attractions
Many rooms are fresh and modern, with minibars and flat-screen TVs
Some rooms have spectacular harbor views
Sharp restaurant and bar gets solid marks from previous guests
Generous breakfast buffet with an array of continental items (fee)
On-site sauna plus discounts for local gyms
Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
City noise can be an issue in some rooms
Some rooms are small and outdated
Features are limited -- no gym, spa, or additional perks
The 171-room Radisson Blu Strand Hotel is an upper-middle-range option with an excellent location in Stockholm's city center overlooking the harbor. A number of attractions plus restaurants and shops are within walking distance, and the views of the water are spectacular, especially from higher floors. Many rooms have a fresh Scandinavian style plus flat-screen TVs, minibars, and tea/coffee kettles, though others are a bit dated. Superior Rooms and suites, which are more spacious and have gorgeous water views, are probably worth the splurge. The on-site restaurant serves all meals, and there's a bar in the lobby. Alternatively, travelers who don't need to be on the waterfront could check out the Sheraton Stockholm, which has an on-site fitness center and massage, plus free breakfast and parking.
Historic property with harbor views and mostly modern interiors
This hotel is housed in a 10-story Art Nouveau brick building with a tower that was constructed for the 1912 Olympics. Ivy covers the front of the building, and the waterfront setting does plenty to set the mood for a stay here. As of our 2016 visit, the hotel was almost finished with its upgrades, and all public areas at least have a fresh and modern appeal. The long narrow lobby has several groups of chairs, benches, and sofas where guests can hang out to talk or look out the large, arched windows to the harbor. Bookcases display books and decorative items, and photos hang on the walls in the adjacent restaurant. Clean lines and muted colors make it a fine place to catch up on emails or do a little work on a laptop -- as we spotted more than one business traveler doing during our visit. Given its location near the Old Town and major shopping and dining districts, this Radisson also draws plenty of tourist couples in addition to its mostly corporate clientele.
On Stockholm's harbor, within walking distance of the Old Town
This hotel is located in Norrmalm, Stockholm's city center, overlooking Nybroviken harbor. The hotel is a 15-minute walk from the Gamla Stan -- or Old Town -- where a number of attractions are located, including the Stockholm Cathedral, Royal Palace, the Nobel Museum, and the Riddarholmskyrkan church. The opulent Hallwylska Museet can be reached in five minutes on foot, and restaurants, shops, and theaters also are within walking distance. It's also a 10-minute walk to the famous Ostermalm food hall that's a popular stop on the tourist circuit. The Kungstradgarden T-Bahn station -- the city's metro system -- is a five-minute walk away for connections throughout the city, and harbor ferries are a five-minute walk just on the other side of the harbor. Stockholm-Arlanda Airport is about 35 minutes away by the Arlanda Express rail service, or 50 minutes by car.
Mix of modern and tired rooms, with flat-screen TVs and minibars -- some with harbor views
Style can be hit or miss at this hotel, and guests should check ahead to make sure that they are getting one of the hotel's modern rooms. As of mid 2016, some rooms still had yet to be renovated and are done in a gaudy and underwhelming mix of muted colors, old furniture, and hideously patterned marble bathrooms. Modern rooms, however, are fresh, and employ sleek Scandinavian design motifs like clean-lined light wood furniture, hardwood floors, and a neutral color scheme of mostly beige and black highlighted by green, blue, and rust. Bold artsy photographs and mix of retro-inspired seating and gold accents gives them a sharp, upmarket veneer. In the modern rooms, bathrooms feature white subway tile, towel warmers, square sinks, hairdryers, and premium toiletries. Keep in mind that some rooms are prone to picking up city noise.
All rooms come with flat-screen TVs, minibars, electric kettles, and safes. While Stockholm doesn't need it for much of the year, the lack of air-conditioning in the summer months can be a deterrent. The Superior Rooms and suites overlook the harbor, and the views are picturesque. The two-level Tower Suite is particularly swish, with crystal chandeliers hanging from high ceilings, a separate living and dining area, and an upstairs bedroom and bathroom. Views are spectacular from the large windows, including from the striking upstairs marble bathroom. A large cushioned sofa on the terrace is a great spot for taking in gorgeous panoramas of the surroundings.
Well-liked restaurant and bar, room service, sauna, events spaces, free Wi-Fi
Features are quite slim here, which is a bit disappointing given the brand name and three-and-a-half-pearl rating. The hotel's restaurant, Herr Julius Strand Hotel, serves regional and international fare for all meals, including an impressive brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Breakfast is a continental buffet with an impressive array of options, but it's not included in room rates. The light-filled Scandinavian-style space overlooks the harbor, and an adjacent lobby bar serves snacks and cocktails in a cozy space with comfy sink-in sofas. A changing photo exhibit hangs on the walls.
The hotel does not have a fitness center or spa, but hotel guests get discounts at a nearby health club and spa. There is a sauna on the top floor.
Eight events spaces at the hotel can accommodate up to 100 people for business or social events, and the restaurant can be reserved for private events for up to 200. All conference rooms have windows for natural light, and audiovisual equipment is supplied. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.
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