With comfortable beds and a quiet location near the city center, Clarion Hotel Amaranten is a good choice for Stockholm Tourists. Where it really excels though is in its sassy attitude and great restaurant/bar complex on the ground floor.
Clarion is not known as a high-end brand in North America, as part of the Choice Hotels group with the likes of Econolodge and Comfort Inn. It’s a different story in Sweden, however, where their hotels are not just more upscale, but actually flashy. The front desk clerks look like they just rolled out of modeling school. Bearded mixologists are ready to whip up a classic cocktail or pour a good craft beer. The Clarion Hotel Sign one ten minutes walk away even has a heated pool on the rooftop with a skyline view.
At Amaranten, the whole ground floor presents an open flow of ample sitting areas, the main restaurant, and a second restaurant anchored by a bar. Wi-Fi is fast and free throughout the hotel, and there is another area with tables where guests can duck in with laptops for a quick meeting. Bold patterns and dramatic lighting predominate. Breakfast is included in the rates and is nothing like what you’d get at any Choice hotel in the USA. It’s a real smorgasbord of smoked meats, cheeses, yogurt, vegetables, eggs, and an array of fresh bread.
Spending much time at the well-stocked bar is going to cost you—this is Scandinavia after all. Prices are not sky-high by Swedish standards though. There’s an admirable emphasis on quality spirits from small producers rather than the international behemoths.
Rooms are city sized, but ample when it comes to the doubles. They’re equipped with minibars, good reading lights, ironing boards, and nice toiletries in the bath. The sofa bed can make it work for a family. As in much of Europe the king bed is really two twins shoved together.
It’s nice that there’s a single option for solo travelers, but if you have one of these twin-bedded singles you probably won’t spend much time in your room. The suites are a different story of course, with twice as much room as the doubles. All feature good blackout curtains and subdued color schemes with pops of color in the accent items. There are also notes of encouragement and affirmation scattered around. The bathroom mirror says, “You look great!” I wasn’t buying it though on the morning I woke up hung over.
There’s a small indoor pool and a basic gym, but neither are worth getting too excited about. The best way to get exercise in this gorgeous historic city is to stroll to the oldest part of the city or along the waterfront sidewalk that goes for miles. Come back here for happy hour afterwards. Although this neighborhood is not as busy as the central area across a bridge, there’s an array of restaurants, take-out places, and a small supermarket within a couple blocks.
Review and photos by editor Tim Leffel, who stayed at Clarion Amaranten Hotel while speaking at Travel Bloggers Exhange (TBEX) Europe, hosted by Visit Stockholm.