If the best views of Manhattan are from Jersey … are the best views of Stockholm from Slussen?
Let’s find out at the Hilton Stockholm, located just across the city center on the Norrström river by the little island of Gamla Stan.
Hilton Stockholm Slussen – At a Glance
Star rating: ★★★★
Rate Paid: $168 all-in for the lowest standard room
Loyalty Status: Hilton Diamond, status matched from IHG Platinum
Location: Guldgränd 8, Stockholm – a quick 5-10 minute walk from the Slussen Metro station
The Good: Upgraded to a Deluxe Twin room with view from lowest standard room, as the executive floor was allegedly full. Rates seem to be a bit lower on average than hotels in the city center. Recently refreshed facilities, clean and modern furnishings (esp. in the “Deluxe” rooms). Good views if you’re staying in a room next to the river.
The Bad: Apparently late check-out is only available until 2pm, even for Diamond guests. Service skews towards a somewhat apathetic, DIY-mentality, though this might just be a part of Swedish culture. Executive lounge can get crowded at peak hours, with limited hot food options. Noise from nearby railway and freeway may be bothersome for guests staying on lower floors.
Hilton Stockholm Slussen – Full Review
I was in Stockholm to run the marathon, so I had budgeted a bit extra for my stay the night after. Given the uncertainty of my physical, emotional, and existential state after finishing 26.2 miles (or not), I figured it’d be best to spend a little extra for the comfort.
Hotels near the old part of Stockholm aren’t cheap (especially on the weekend of a big event), but rates at the Hilton Stockholm Slussen were relatively affordable at around 1400 SEK (~170USD) all-in.
Since the marathon kicked-off at noon, I swung by at around 10am from the Quality Hotel Globe to drop off my things. The front desk itself wasn’t that busy, but the lobby was bustling with runners and other guests.
The hotel had been booked full the night before, so I knew there was little chance of checking-in to my room early.
Sure enough, the front desk agent flatly informed me that check-in time wasn’t until 3pm. She did, however, let me access the executive lounge, where I nibbled on some toast before heading off for the stadium.
I managed to finish the marathon, but that’s a story for another day. So let’s fast-forward to the part where I returned to my hotel at around five in the afternoon – dehydrated, delirious, and undoubtedly in denial of how badly my feet were aching.
I collected my bags from a friendly porter and handed my passport to a different agent to check-in again. Like at the Hilton Paddington London, the front desk agent didn’t explicitly mention my Diamond status, but he did subtely acknowledge all the benefits associated with it.
He went over the hours of the executive lounge, apologized that an executive room wasn’t available but that I’d been upgraded to a “deluxe” room with a view of the river, and that I’d have the option to have breakfast either in the restaurant downstairs or the lounge.
When he asked if there was anything else I needed, I somewhat desperately asked for a bottle of water as my body was slowly decomposing into a sad dilapidated mush pool. He curtly informed me that there were bottles of sparkling water in the room, and I could drink from the faucet since “tap water is drinkable in Sweden.” Well, okay then.
This no-nonsense, do it yourself approach to customer service was a common theme throughout my stay. It would soon present itself again when I requested a replacement for the non-functioning adapter I received at check-in, but more on that later.
The Hilton Stockholm Slussen is separated into two towers. The first, nearest to the front desk, has four floors with the executive lounge at the top. The second, which is a bit farther out into the lobby, was where my room was located.
The lobby and restaurant were tastefully decorated as one might expect in this part of the world, though views of the river on the ground floor are a bit obstructed by the nearby transit lines and freeway.
And the room takes its design cues from the lobby – lots of marble, laminate wood, and muted palettes.
The views were decent, though they largely consisted of the nearby freeway. I’d imagine things might get a bit noisy on lower floor, and I’m not sure if I would’ve paid extra for the view.
The bathroom was decked out in marble, which looked a little odd against the light-grain wood in the room, but whatever. I will say that the bathtub seemed elevated mighty high compared to the rest of the bathroom, which made getting into the shower a fun challenge with every muscle screaming in agony. The shower itself is separated by a ~2 foot glass panel, so you also have to be careful not to get water everywhere.
Toiletries were the standard Thomas Roth-branded Hilton affair, though the shower also had a shared “shower gel” dispenser that seems to be common in hotels in Sweden.
There was also this fun little bottle opener in the bathroom, good for popping a cold beer during your bubbly bath. I chose to be not so fun and helped myself to the complimentary sparkling water instead.
Okay, remember that international adapter I received at check-in? Well long story short, it didn’t work. So I called down for a replacement, which was a little tricky since the in-room phone didn’t have a dedicated button for ” guest services” or “front desk” – weird, right? But I remembered being informed to dial “9” if anything went wrong during my stay, so I figured that would be my best shot.
When I let whoever picked up know about my charging issue, he let me know that the hotel was out of complimentary chargers – but they did have a few available for sale.
The idea of selling adapters to guests seemed a bit incongruous at a 4/5 star hotel, and I was beyond tired and getting a little cranky. So I tersely suggested that the hotel provide one of the “for sale” adapters for free since the one they provided didn’t work. Mr. Adapter-Salesman put me on hold for what seemed like eternity, but eventually let me know that they could provide a replacement if I came down to the front desk – and then promptly hung up on me.
Now ordinarily this wouldn’t have bothered me so much, but it literally hurt to walk at this point. It took me a full 3 minutes to just get my shoes on, and what felt like 3 hours to hobble down the hallway to the elevators. It seemed like it would’ve been a better call to have someone bring a new charger up to my room, but I didn’t get a chance to ask.
By the time I got to the front desk, I was pretty grumpy and handed the defective adapter to the front desk with an unintelligible grunt. Now in retrospect, I don’t know why this next thing pissed me off so much, but I was silently fuming as I watched the receptionist go to the back, test the adapter on no fewer than five electronic devices that were sitting on the desk, shuffle around a bit, only to return after 5 minutes to hand me a new adapter that was sitting 3 feet away this whole time.
I’m not sure what his thought process was (would he have sent me back to my room with the defective charger if it happened to work on one of his devices?), but I would have much appreciated being handed the new adapter right away so he could run his extensive R&D tests on his own time.
I ultimately caught myself before I got visibly upset. I figured I just needed something to eat, and the situation would blow over like the trivial thing it actually was. So I grabbed my new charger and headed for the executive lounge to see what was on offer.
The lounge was crowded when I arrived just past 7 in the evening. So much so that it was standing room only, and I resigned myself to plopping down on a few steps until a seat opened up. I also waited until guests started filing out (which coincidentally happened right when the open bar closed) to take pictures.
During evening happy hour, the lounge set out a few sandwiches and snacks. The only hot food options were chicken drumsticks and re-heated pizza. The chicken was actually pretty good, though the pizza tasted just about how you’d imagine re-heated hotel pan pizza to taste.
I felt a lot better after eating 8 chicken legs and an untold number of dry foccacia sandwiches.
And in case you’re wondering, the breakfast spread in the lounge the following morning was a pared-down version of what’s served in the main restaurant downstairs. You can order eggs cooked the way you like though, which I appreciated.
With my stay winding down the next morning, I thought I’d call down to the front desk again to request late check-out. I was a bit disappointed when I was informed that the latest they could offer was 2pm, even for Diamond guests. I’d also have to get a new keycard after noon, and housekeeping tried to enter my room shortly thereafter. It seemed fitting, as service was a bit underwhelming throughout my stay.
Hilton Stockholm Slussen – Final Verdict
I chose to stay at the Hilton since the rates were about $50-100 cheaper than comparable options in the city center (like the Sheraton Stockholm). While the facilities were nicely laid-out, service was a bit off and impersonal, though that might have to do more with the self-sufficient ethos of Swedish culture.
Between this stay and my night at the Hilton London Paddington, I’ve been slightly disappointed by my experiences as a Hilton Diamond guest. I can’t complain since I got status-matched for free, but I can see how guests who’ve actually earned Diamond status might be peeved at the generally lukewarm service at the Hiltons I’ve visited.
At the end of the day, I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to stay at the Hilton Stockholm again – especially if there’re comparable rates elsewhere. But if you happen to find a cheap rate, feel free to take the plunge. Just don’t forget to bring your own charging adapter. 😉
More posts from this trip report series:
Introduction: Race to finish in Stockholm
Review: Wingtips Lounge New York JFK
Review: Hilton London Paddington
10 things to know before flying RyanAir
Review: Escape Lounge London Stansted
Review: Malmö Aviation + Menzies Business Lounges Gothenburg
Review: Hotel Quality Globe Stockholm
Review: Hilton Stockholm Slussen
Review: Menzies Business Lounge Stockholm, Terminal 5