Left: The “Lamino” chair. Designed by Yngve Ekström for Swedese in 1956, voted Swedish furniture piece of the century in 1999. In #106 it was placed in an odd little room along with a minibar and a TV.
Right: The iconic Ericofon, in Sweden more commonly known as ‘The Cobra’. I used this phone to call the reception: – Is there really a 120 SEK/day charge for WiFi? Reception: – Fo’shizzle.
It hurts to write this review…
In the elevator on my way to check out I was debating with myself whether to give it one or two stars. It felt odd, as expectations had been high on arrival. Sigtuna Stadshotell are also advertising themselves as the smallest five-star hotel in Sweden. If that is the level and the clientele you are aiming for, then an old Kenyan saying comes in handy: “The higher a monkey climbs the more he shows his ass.” In my case, staying at the Sigtuna Stadshotell meant seeing more monkey behind than I am comfortable with seeing…
Their ambitions are high.
Entering the lobby means inhaling the kind of solid quality that most hoteliers would sell their aunts for. The renovation in 2001 worked wonders with the old building. This is also reflected on the pricetag. Room #106, which is a corner room with a lake view, offers a Bang & Olufsen TV on the wall and two Lamino chairs with a matching table in the odd little ‘extra’ room. In fact almost everything oozes quality. Too bad that stacking a lot of quality items in a room will not automatically make it cozy. The strangely designed wall mount of the TV, the TV itself, and a silvery box that is probably some Mitsubishi climate control thingie, effectively eliminates the feeling of staying in a building that is 100 years old. This is, after all, a hotel where they play the built-in-1909 card as often as they possibly can.
The mysteries of room #106.
Strangely enough, room #106 offers two toilets with showers and they are both tiny. Plus; there are dents in the quality paintwork. In one of the showers a knob comes off and I’m holding a designed piece of chrome metal in my hand, wondering what to do with it. In the other shower, adjacent to the bedroom, the slope that would help the water run down the drain is not. So I’m getting my feet wet while brushing my teeth (yes, dear hotel management, this was written in the review I handed to you at check out).
The next thing that puzzled me was having to pay 120 SEK to get a working internet connection. A call to the reception confirmed that the rate wasn’t a typo or that my computer wasn’t picking up the wrong wireless network. Very 2001, if you ask me!
…and a few very odd policies.
If you stay here, order your meals to your room, or else… Weekdays breakfast closes at 9.30 and during weekends at 10.30. With the morning meal successfully missed, the charming Sofia who manned the front desk, told me that there wouldn’t be any lunch served as the entire place was closing at 12.00! The feeling of getting ushered out of a hotel will not help it to earn bonus points in my book. I thought hotels where 24/7 operations. The parking lot outside was as empty as my stomach. Dear Sigtuna Stadshotell, these policies must go before you can position yourself as a ‘great place for romance’. What on earth do you tell a newly married couple who want a delayed checkout?
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It’s safe to say that I expected way more from this hotel. The interior in the lobby and the restaurant is charming and so is the staff, (at least Sofia). The town of Sigtuna is well worth a visit, but before I return to Sigtuna Stadshotell I’d like to hear that these odd policies are a thing of the past.
Stora Nygatan 3
S193 30 Sigtuna
+46-8-592 501 00