As part of our euro-trip, my fiancé and I were meeting a cousin of mine in Stockholm before going to a wedding in Switzerland. The three of us had never been to Stockholm (or Scandinavia in general), and we thought it would be fun to check out Stockholm.
There is not a full-service Marriott in Stockholm so that left us to choose between the Hilton and the Sheraton as places where we could burn points for a “free” stay. The Hilton had no availability at the regular points rate, but the Sheraton did – so our decision was made. The Sheraton normally runs 10,000 SPG points per night, but we took advantage of Sheraton’s 5th Night Free deal so it was 40,000 points for 5 nights – still not very “cheap” as points come.
However, for those who have never been to Stockholm, let me tell you that it is the most expensive city I have ever visited. The only other city that comes close is Zurich, but i feel like Stockholm is even pricier, at least at current exchange rates. I’m not saying it’s the most expensive city in the world, but it is the most expensive that I personally have ever visited.
I’ll save my general thoughts on Stockholm for another post, but you do feel like your wallet is being vacuumed as soon as you touch down. Getting into the city, you can either take a taxi or the Arlanda Express train. [How far is the airport from Stockholm?] While we took a taxi on our return from Stockholm Central to the airport (after conversion, it ran $85.10 USD – Ouch!), we took the Arlanda Express into town. It goes directly to the central station. Lucky for us, the Sheraton is only a couple blocks away from the central station so we didn’t need to take a cab from there.
Speaking of location, it’s worth mentioning that the Sheraton Stockholm is in a fantastic location. It is minutes away from the central train station. Gamla Stan, the historic old town of Stockholm, is only a short ten minute walk across the bridge in the other direction. It’s also right next to city hall. Walk the other direction, and you’ll walk along the water toward the area of Stockholm with lots of museums. Immediately behind the hotel is a major shopping district. So if you’re looking at a map, you’ve got the train station one direction, city hall another, the museum area another, and Gamla Stan the fourth. The hotel could not be in a better location.
This was my first stay as an SPG Platinum member, and I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as upgrades. I know that SPG often gives pretty good upgrades, but I’ve read about places in Europe not giving the full upgrade benefits that they should. I also wasn’t sure what I wanted. Normally I would hope for a suite, but since there were three of us, two double beds would really be preferable. We were given an “upgraded” room on the 7th floor. It was a very nice room, but I don’t see what was upgraded about it. The view was very nice, though, so perhaps that’s what the upgrade was.
The check-in experience was good, but I booked this reservation when I was still an SPG Gold Member. I had been advised by some friends that I should call SPG before I got to the hotel because I would still be listed as a Gold member, rather than my updated Platinum status. I gave SPG a call, and I spoke to the woman on the phone, told her the issue, and asked that she contact the hotel for me to verify that I was listed as a Platinum member. She told me that “wasn’t how the system worked” and that I would be listed as a Platinum member. As is often the case with travel customer service, she was wrong. The front desk attendant was quite confused when I asked about my platinum arrival gift, which I was not offered. I had to get my phone out, turn off data roaming, and show him the SPG app, which reflected my status. He apologized for the inconvenience, gave me the arrival gift, and granted me lounge access. I know that this situation is relatively infrequent, but even so, it’s still a bug in the SPG system. Perhaps I would have gotten a better upgrade if I were in their system as a Platinum. For this trip, it didn’t matter – I just wanted to make sure we got two beds. However, I’m off to the St. Regis Punta Mita in December, and I’d really like to get a great upgrade there – i’m worried that SPG’s busted system will keep me from getting one. Okay – rant over.
The room was spacious, and it easily fit the three of us with all of our luggage. It included two double beds, a couple chairs, and a small table. There was ample closet/drawer space for all of us to put our things.
The bathroom was a bit small, however, and it was difficult to shower without getting water all over the place. In general, I don’t love European showers, and this one was no different.
The lobby of the hotel is quite stylish. They had a DJ down there most nights, giving the place a hip vibe. They also had a very nice bar and restaurant. We used the bar, but we never visited the restaurant.
The gym was also nice. It was in a large space on the first floor. It had three treadmills, a few other cardio machines, and a row of machine weights. It had its own bathrooms as well, and there were some free weights at the end.
More Lounge Breakfast…
MY Lounge Breakfast…
MY Lounge Dinner…
More Lounge Snacks…
The lounge was my favorite part about the Sheraton. It wasn’t huge. In fact. I’d say it’s a bit small. However, breakfast was served there daily, and the breakfast spread was quite good. There were always three hot dishes, typically eggs, bacon, and potatoes. There were also fresh cold cuts, cheeses, and breads. They also had a large selection of cut fruit, cereals, granolas, and yogurts.
It was definitely easy to get a belly full of food before heading out to see the sites of Stockholm! They had a large selection of beverages, the coolest Nespresso machine I’ve ever seen, and a soda fountain. NICE! Give how expensive Stockholm is, I especially appreciated the free breakfast. We saved a LOT of money with this. My only complaint with the lounge would be that it is only open until 9PM. Most (all?) Marriott lounges are open until midnight, even if they’re not providing the full selection of food and drinks until that late.
The Sheraton Stockholm runs a happy hour from 5:30 to 7:30PM, and the food here is quite good. Just like breakfast, there is a selection of hot items, and they changed them up daily. There would also be cheese, crackers, nuts, and a few other goodies. They also have a complimentary bar with unlimited beer, wine, and hard alcohol for those two hours. SWEET! Normally I’m not a fan of sticking to the lounge when on vacation – people should go out and eat in the city. However, I make exception for Stockholm – that place was so freaking expensive that we did not feel one bit of shame making the Sheraton lounge our primary restaurant for a couple evenings.
The concierge was always quite helpful in helping us plan our tours, and the staff members, in general, were quite helpful and polite. If you’re an SPG Platinum, you were probably going to stay here anyways when you came to Stockholm. You won’t be disappointed. This is a great place! If you’re not an SPG Platinum, I would consider paying more for a room with lounge access. If there are two of you in the room, I think even $50 – $70 USD more would be worth it. Stockholm is EXPENSIVE. It will start to piss you off when you’re there, and having lounge access will at least make you feel a little better about yourself… Thanks for the great stay, Sheraton Stockholm!
Drinking the “Stockholm by Night,” the Sheraton Bar’s Signature Drink