Think of one big hotel brand in the Nordics that has international standards. It is very hard to find a Nordic hotel brand in the same category as InterContinental Hotel Group, Ritz Carlton Group, Marriott Group, Starwood Hotel Group, Hilton Group or Accor Hotel Group. Almost all hotel chains in the Nordics are either super boring, sad cheap hotel brands or old and dusty. There are some small boutique hotel chains that have put down an effort that stands out but you cannot compare these hotels with the big league of international hotel groups.
Well I was rather wrong, there is one brand that stands out and that tries to place themselves on the top league of international standards and have many possibilities to roll it out to an international market (currently only operating in the Nordics today). The brand I am writing about is: Nordic Choice Hotel Group. Under the brand there are several levels; Clarion, Quality, Comfort and some independent hotels such as At Six (previous review). However the sad thing is that it is part of a much larger hotel group calls Choice Hotels which is an US company. To my knowledge Nordic Choice Hotels makes their hotels much better in standard and service than the mohter company. This means that the owner Petter Stordalen has purchased the rights to only use the brand Choice to operate in the Nordics. I just had to check this out.
All in all Nordic Choice Hotel Group has the rumor to have the best brand in the Nordics when it comes to hotels so me and my family decided to take one week of this year holiday to review 3 Clarion hotels around Sweden.
The hotels that we stayed at were:
Clarion Malmö Live, Malmö Sweden
Clarion Grand Hotel, Helsingborg Sweden
Clarion Sign, Stockholm Sweden
These are the reviews:
Clarion Malmö Live
This hotel has everything that a business traveler or a family oriented holiday needs. The hotel is made with true international standards with large open spaces, great conference section and a superb congress hall. The gym is fantastic and I enjoyed the breakfast very much. The staff is very professional and friendly and they have a roof top skybar and restaurant on the 25th floor overlooking Denmark and the city of Malmö.
Our family got a great family suite with two rooms and a great view over Malmö. The height of the ceiling was fantastic although some detailed cleaning could be improved as in most hotels these days.
We highly recommend this hotel for food and beverage, drinks, the room quality are good and staff is great.
Final Grade: 4 out of 5
Clarion Grand Hotel
The city of Helsingborg is an expanding and a very fun small town in the south of Sweden. When we arrived to this hotel you could feel the pulse of many and that this hotel most likely is fully booked. The service and staff is friendly and very helpful which is the strong point of this hotel. The rooms are designed with a classical ambiance since its location and property. The restaurant Kitchen and Table that follows all Clarion Hotels are good in standard and we enjoyed it as we always do. However the cocktails in this hotel is not in good standards. If you were to compare the drinks with Malmö Live, Clarion Grand Hotel is far behind in quality and execution. The bartender even asked me if the cocktail was to satisfaction and I told them to take a course in Malmö Live because this was not the same standard and I did not get any response. If you are at a restaurant and the food tastes bad or the meat is not prepared properly the chef sends out a new one. I think it goes the same way when it comes to cocktails and drinks, or am I wrong?
The breakfast was of ok standard but I would say that Malmö Live still delivers better. I ordered omelets for me and my wife and we got it served burnet to sh*t. I kid you not it was toasted. I told the waiter and she just laughed and walked away.
Overall the hotel was good but the food and beverage is a bad number at this hotel.
Final Grade: 2,5 out of 5
Clarion Sign, Stockholm Sweden
As always Stockholm delivers and we loved this congress/hotel/spa experience. It is fantastic for kids to have a roof top pool to play in and a great spa for massage and relax. The restaurants is great and the service is superb. We loved the breakfast and brunch at this hotel since they have a lot of programs for kids and family.
The rooms are a bit boring and the interior in the rest of the hotel is a bit outdated however this is not an issue since the staff is great. But if you are to compare with Malmö Live which is our favorite the grade has to be lower.
Final Grade 3,5 out of 5
Written by Alexander Yü