I've been in this hotel for 5 days and 4 nights, traveling from Goteborg to Stockholm for an essential appointment with an Embassy on 31-dec-2020; I decided to stay few days so that to have a chance to visit Stockholm after having booked this hotel to booking.com which proposed a good rate and ice reviews up front (compared to other hotels closer to the Center).
. Overall I must tell you that I have a mitigated experience of my extended stay. I'm a very frequent traveler, usually traveling for business in many countries and so far I have had the chance to travel to all continents.
I would like to write a detailed review, not to provide critics but to propose changes which I would have liked to apply if I could during my stay. Please do not take any offense, as this review is aimed to be constructive with positives and negatives which are completely subjective to me but which can also be related to other guests' experiences...
> First the POSITIVES
(+) 1/ ROOM
- Good Room Surface: Enough space but only for one person
- Room Window/Door can be opened for having fresh air (which is definitely a plus compared to few hotels locking all windows for opening)
- Various amenity products in the bathroom (soap, body and hair, lotion, …, vanity set)
- Nice Bathroom with a good shower (good pressure and hot water), heated floor, and way to control the temperature in the bathroom from a LED switch at the ground level on the wall
(+) 2/ STAFF
- Very polite and responsive staff + got a price rebate of 30% on my arrival after booking.com confirmation was not found in their computer (even if was still confirmed and active on booking.com)
(+) 3/ SAUNA
- Very Good Sauna, made private for 1-hour sessions (need booking at the reception to get a slot and a special key to enter the relax room)
(+) 4/ PRIVATE PARKING GARAGE
- Nice Parking Garage (Entrance, Access to the hotel, …)
(+) 5/ FOOD AMENITIES
- An ICA Supermarket next door in the same building (ground floor close to the lobby, accessible from outside the hotel)
(+) 6/ BREAKFAST
- Nice breakfast room (nice space, lounge atmosphere)
>> Then the NEGATIVES (or things which need to be enhanced)
(--) 1/ ROOM AMENITIES
- Bed, pillows are way too soft; I have spent 2 months in a scandic without any issue with the bedding but in this case, after the first night, it was like all my bones were hurting and I injured myself in the back when taking the shower; for solving this I had not found any other solution than shifting the two beds against the wall, and arrange bedding right into the floor (not on the carpet) by taking care to not be too close to the shelf to avoid hitting it at night
- Sofa not practical, was dirty (some white stains) and was very heavy to move even (two pieces); the room is too small to place it in front of the TV and if kept along with the Window/Door, you cannot really open the Door/Window completely and it takes a lot of room; moreover, if you are too in the room, it’s a single sofa for one person and the other person seats in the chair or on the bed? not practical I confirm!
- Room has a classic and aged layout (aged wooden floor, wall materials, furniture, the room is too much red-colored, it can become aggressive if you need a calm and quiet atmosphere…)
- The Carpet in the room is very aged, very dirty, very much used (like everyone in Central station walked on it), very thin (not up to Swedish standards for a 4* hotel), and losing original colors (red going pink and some areas white), Carpet being next to the desk, seating and sleeping area: not ideal during COVID-19 restrictions and the carpet does not look Swedish at all, more Indian style, which looks surprising for Stockholm
- Some pictures on the walls represent Indian culture, not Swedish culture or Stockholm (most of the people coming to this hotel are tourists visiting Stockholm, not India)
- Poor layout for illustrations in the room (only 1 classic/standard painting in the room which does not represent anything in particular) - It would be preferred to have illustrations of monuments of Stockholm or things specific to the area (black and white pictures, map of Stockholm, Map of Sweden)… Scandic does that so why Best Western is doing differently?
- Occulting curtains are not occulting enough, even during Wintertime, you can see light during the day so you can imagine during daylight periods and long summertime
- Desk light is very dark and does not give a good illumination, had to redirect the spots in the ceiling to the desk (climbing on the chair, "tuning" the light in the room…)
- Space for a suitcase is not practical, had to consider multiple combinations before fitting my 2 suitcases, backpack, and cold bag
- Desk chair was not comfortable (old and used, aged simile leather, very soft like the cushioning has vanished, seating area not practical at all)
- Some lights were not working as expected (2 on 3 spots were working in the ceiling)
- Window/Door has access but no balcony, not even you can place a can to get cold in the wintertime to simulate a fridge unless you wish to leave the window/door half-opened
- TV blocks on Hotel menu, no way to see programs, you have to unplug the TV from the outlet to make it work again and it seems all related to the Hotel custom menu
- There is no Minibar in the room (but an ICA Supermarket, which makes no sense in case you need to have cold products maintained during your stay, how do you maintain them cold? in the car trunk in the garage? not so practical, especially since the hotel does not provide restaurant service for lunch and dinners
- There is no classic Swedish standard for the windows (in Sweden you have large shelves to play objects, lights, here you have very thin and not so insulated windows, which is strange for Sweden as per regular standards for hotel rooms)
- no room insulation (you can hear other guests, and the city sounds, each car passing, …)
- Heating in the room is not reactive to control switch: you have to wait and see and most of the time you don’t see any change…
(--) 2/ HOTEL / PARKING / SAUNA
- Hotel is a bit far from the city (you gotta be ready to consider long walks: count 5 to 20km depending on which area you wish to cover in Stockholm)
- my booking.com confirmation was on the site but not received by the hotel, not a good surprise, and need to create a local reservation after 470km drive, quite strange
- No Restaurant (only Breakfast served pretty late starting at 7:30 and changing times for New Year’s day: why complexifying life of guests by just shifting breakfast time by +30min on each end; Guests like simple rules and stability in the rules; if you need to go in the elevator (like advised by the staff) to understand Breakfast Hours, it’s surely not a 4* service)
- no room corridor insulation ( you can feel vibrations when people are walking)
- Complicated parking rules (you may need to exit and re-enter your car to match those rules during your stay so if you wish to park your car for the entire stay, then you need to completely revise your thoughts to adapt to this complex system
- Sauna was perfect but during my last (3rd) stay-in, I have noticed that it was quite dirty with gravel inside. I’m pretty sure this is not the staff responsibility as guests have to understand that they need to clean their own mess after they had their relaxation time in the Sauna; it seems that some guests have not integrated the Swedish culture; in principle, when you enter the Sauna, you do not enter with your shoes on if you see what I mean; it’s completely the opposite of real pleasure to have to walk feet naked on some gravels you can find outside next to winter tires and pavement roads.
I will stop my review here and will give an overall 4/5 as I'm pretty sure the negatives can be transformed into positives with few arrangements to be considered by the hotel direction and staff. less