“Unquestionably Stockholm’s most stylish and comfortable rooms in this superbly designed hotel transformed from a 1930’s cinema”
It’s so rare to find everything you need in a hotel room - ‘function and beauty and a few surprises’, just as the room notes promise.
All 99 rooms are uplifting and modern, showcasing the superb design for which Scandinavia is famed. Cool people will find them very cool. Everyone else will just find them enormously welcoming. Long corridors are made exciting with Caroushka Streiffert’s striking carpets.
Inside, the first thing that hits you is the bold use of colour - particularly cheering in winter. Sheer beech panelling contrasts with a solid wall of red; or rich green curtains sit against silvery grey walls. A giant film still from Swedish cinema evokes Rival’s history. And the lighting is just right: directionable bedside reading lights, and even bathroom lights have dimmer switches. Beds are sumptuous, with good duvets and Egyptian cotton sheets; and there’s a pillow menu to ensure you sleep deeply.
The bathrooms make the most of a small space: natural light floods in from the bedroom, but there are blinds you can shut from the shower for privacy. Deluxe rooms have baths, all others have both telephone- and rainhead-showers, a hairdryer, underfloor heating, and plentiful Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries, in big enough bottles to be worth taking away. Music plays in the bathroom, with controls for wet hands, and there are large soft white towels, with pleasing little mauve glass knobs to hang hand towels from. There are bathrobes in every room - though you need to ask for them in standard rooms, as the wardrobes aren’t quite big enough to leave room for coats in winter.
These are rooms designed by people who travel: there’s an iron, ironing board and even full water spray in every wardrobe! Also: a safe big enough for your laptop (which can charge while you’re out) and a well-stocked mini bar. The entertainment centre is impressive: a selection of CDs is provided (yes, including ABBA’s greatest hits), there’s either a 32" or 40" Samsung Smart TV with a blu-ray player and really excellent DVDs to borrow, a docking station for your i-pod, and a playstation with games for kids to borrow. The only problem is that you’ll be tempted to stay in.
Rival’s history as a cinema lives on in some superb public spaces. Climb the wide sweeping staircase to find a round art deco bar with plush red seating, and, higher still, the bright spacious bistro, with its wall of windows giving views onto leafy Mariatorget square. One wall is of honeyed wood with a subtle art work combining hundreds of film star collectors cards. The furniture is modern classic - dark wooden tables lit with candles - and traditional rugs on stripped wooden floors give a homely feel.
Breakfast is a really superb help-yourself smörgåsbord, but staff are on hand to bring you cooked breakfast orders: pancakes, omelettes and porridge. The buffet is lavish and top quality. Hot dishes are constantly replenished with beautifully made scrambled eggs and bacon, cold meats, excellent smoked salmon. There’s freshly squeezed fresh orange juice, and other concentrated juices in cute cans: grapefruit, pineapple and tomato. Three kinds of leaf tea - with those sprung, one-cup filter things, and big white mugs. Proper coffee can be made to order.
Then there’s a choice of cereals, including excellent home made crunchy muesli, with lots of extras to add: walnuts, sunflower and flax seeds, raisins, prunes, apricots. Fresh pink grapefruit halves and kiwis, as well as a good fruit salad, then 5 choices of freshly baked bread from Rival’s own bakery, croissants, and rolls of all kinds; home made jams, two kinds of yoghurt (both excellent), and a selection of cold meats and several fine cheeses too. This has to be the best breakfast in Stockholm.
You’ll be too full for a big lunch, but Rival’s Sunday brunch is famous: book ahead. Café Rival next door is buzzing all day, and serves a good salmon salad at bargain prices for Stockholm.
There are many restaurants nearby in Södermalm: reception staff are infinitely knowledgeable and will tell you exactly where to find what you need. We’d recommend fish at Sardin, the cool Pet Sounds bar; excellent Thai at Koh Phangan, among many others. Gamla Stan is a short walk away, and the one not to miss is romantic Eriks Gondolen for drinks with spectacular views.
Children would love Rival’s bold design, and we think the hotel is best for older kids who would be in PlayStation heaven. A teddy bear greets all guests in-room on arrival. And a CD of ABBA's greatest hits is all supplied in each room. The hotel is very centrally located for easy access to Gamla Stan and sights.
Teens (over 12)
An extra bed can be placed in Superior, Deluxe and Deluxe Balcony rooms, all rooms can take a baby cot. You can also connect a superior and standard room together
Baby cots available on request free of charge
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There's a daily changing children's menu in the Bistro