A pleasant budget pearl with personality
Hotel Hornsgatan punches above its weight in the budget category. It might be a two-star-hotel, but it sure felt like more than that. While the staff’s friendliness sure contributes, it was the overall attention and care put into the hotel impressed me. This hotel serves as proof that it is possible to stay comfortably in Stockholm’s Södermalm area without paying through the nose.
All opinions are my own. I paid for this stay in full and had checked out before revealing that I wanted to review it. If you book your stay through a link in this review, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Hotel Hornsgatan at a glance
Are you the type of person who needs a fancy red-carpet entrance? Nah, this isn’t your place. I must have passed by Hotel Hornsgatan hundreds of times and never noticed it. From the outside, it looks like any other building along the street – residential, with ground floor shops.
To enter the hotel, you’re let in by the reception through the main door, and then through a second, residential-looking door on the first floor.
The receptionist made sure to let me know about any comforts the hotel offered – a buffet of snacks and drinks available for free at any time, the computer with printer, luggage storage – and then showed me my room and the bathrooms. I also got codes for entering the building after the reception had closed.
The hotel gives off a personal, attentive feeling from the start. It might be the warm greeting, or the colorful posters from concerts and exhibitions that decorate the hallways, or the stack of umbrellas for a rainy day.
The hotel has 17 rooms, 4 of them with private bathrooms.
The Location – on Södermalm’s lively Hornsgatan
Mariatorget happens to be one of my favorite areas. Plenty of great places for coffee (Drop, Johan & Nyström), cinnamon buns (Petrus), yoga (YogaShakti, Inbalance Yoga) and lots of shops. In the summer, you can hardly see the grass in the park for all the picnickers and sunbathers. If you’re looking to experience Södermalm, this is a solid starting point for your explorations.
On top of that, buses and the subway are conveniently close. Not that you necessarily need public transport; you’ll quickly walk to most central places like Old Town and many of the museums.
The Reception – making the grumpy guest feel at home: check
If you don’t make an effort, don’t expect it from others, right? Arriving at Hotel Hornsgatan, I was tired and starving, which didn’t bode well. But the welcome was so friendly and welcoming that I couldn’t help relaxing and feeling better. Somehow, simply hearing “feel free to get a complimentary snack at any time” improved low blood sugar levels at once.
Just such a thing as being showed to my room – how often does that happen nowadays? Then I was given a card with a phone number to call at any time if I needed urgent assistance. So, while the reception isn’t open 24/7, there’s always help to get.
All throughout my stay, I felt that the staff made an effort; they actually cared. For example, as I was sitting in the breakfast area in the morning, a staff member came up to me to make sure I knew that the real breakfast would start at 8 (“so there will be more things to eat then”) and to check that I hadn’t been disturbed by a loud family. Little touches.
Check in was from 14:00 and check out before noon – again, this is generous.
The Room – color scheme AND a desk? Yes, please
I booked a standard single bedroom for 711 SEK, bathroom and toilet in the corridor, staying 2nd-3rd of July 2018.
If the staff didn’t crush the expectations of a two-star hotel entirely to pieces, the room obliterated the rest.
A lush pile of cushions arranged on the bed. A tasteful blue and teal color scheme. Even wall art!
Yeah, I felt at home.
The room gets major bonus points for having a good-sized desk, perfect for getting some work done (although there was a TV if you wanted a more relaxing experience).
Despite getting a sugar high from the buffet’s snacks while working, I still slept like a queen in that bed. The room got dark enough just from using the blinds, so I didn’t need to draw the heavy curtains. While I did occasionally hear someone in the corridor if they were stomping, it was overall a quiet experience.
Although the stay was during one of the warmest Julys I can remember, I never needed the electric fan.
The Facilities – convenient and simple
A few of the rooms have private bathrooms. The toilets and bathrooms in the corridor turned out to be clean and modern. Tip: the largest bathroom is the one close to the reception.
The communal area consists of the breakfast room (with the complimentary snacks buffet), where there are plenty of tables and chairs to hang out or sit and work. In the hallway, there’s a computer with printer available free of charge.
The Breakfast – generous complimentary snacks around the clock
The room price includes breakfast, which officially starts at 08:00. Under other circumstances, that would feel a bit late. However, at Hotel Hornsgatan you can get something to eat before that, as large parts of the breakfast buffet are available to guests 24/7. The selection of cereal, yogurts, cookies, and fruits, as well as coffee, tea, and juices is not only generous. It is also dangerous, as post-dinner snacking became a bit richer than intended as I was working late at my desk.
During breakfast hours, the buffet gets additions of cold cuts, cheese, and marmalade, sliced fruits, and bread. The breakfast doesn’t have any warm food, so you’ll need to go somewhere else if that is important to you. However, it had plenty of options, even for vegetarians and those with food intolerances.
Who should stay at Hotel Hornsgatan?
This hotel felt generous and personal, like the owners and staff genuinely cared about the guests. From the buffet of snacks and drinks available for free at any time to a large stack of umbrellas, it went beyond what was called for at that price point. The standard is higher than I would have expected from a two-star hotel. After I’ve stayed at several budget hostels and hotels in Stockholm, this hotel remains one of the favorites.
This hotel is spot-on if you want a quiet, affordable place to retreat to after enjoying this vibrant Södermalm neighborhood. Around the corner and on the same street, you are sure to find cafés, restaurants, bars, and shops to your liking.