Chain hotel with bold design right in Stockholm’s shopping district
Scandic No 53 might style itself with a sleek design but is still part of a large hotel chain which makes it a bit impersonal. With a central location, fancy room, and never-ending breakfast buffet, this hotel is a great value-for-money option.
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.
Scandic No 53 at a glance
“Modern design in a central location for a very reasonable price.” That seems to be the concept of the Scandic chain’s hotel on Kungsgatan 53. So, one of the first things you’ll notice is that the hotel has put effort into the look. The design is cool with huge photo walls, a lit-up wine shelf as a room divider, and colorful seating options of all kinds. There were also several luxurious-looking flower arrangements.
But, the hotel looks the same as many others in the chain. Design alone can’t hide that fact, and it makes it feel a bit impersonal. That said, the hotel is convenient and a great safe bet.
At this price point, the 274-room hotel is bound to attract travelers of all sorts. During my stay, there seemed to be a 50/50 split between business travelers and leisure guests.
The Location – as central as it gets
Are you looking for a central location? Well, this might be as good as it gets. Located on Kungsgatan, you are a few minutes away from Stockholm’s Central Station. Kungsgatan and the cross-street Drottninggatan offer shopping that would suit most budgets. Big spenders walk Kungsgatan down to Stureplan and follow Biblioteksgatan and Birger Jarlsgatan. Are you here for the entertainment – casino, cinema, clubs? It’s all around a corner, or two.
The Reception – bold neon doesn’t mean personality
Now, don’t let the neon sign in the reception fool you. This is still your standard hotel check-in, with efficient and courteous yet distant staff. Unmemorable but quick. The reception includes a shop where you can buy snacks, coffee, and hygiene products.
You can check in after 15:00 and check out before noon, which is generous.
The Room – the look punches above the budget level
I booked a standard double room for one person, 867 SEK, private bathroom, breakfast included, staying 4-5th of July 2018.
Well, you know you’re in a chain hotel when the art consists of framed ads for the hotel’s restaurant. That said, the room is well-designed and all fancy with a floating bed. That bed occupies most of the room, with just enough space for one small nightstand and a safe on one side. There’s space to hang clothes on a few hangers or hooks on the structure framing the head of the bed.
The room is alright when it comes to cleaning, but the carpet would need a more thorough clean to become fresh. Also, one of the first things I notice in the room is a large red sticker on the wall, covering the climate regulator. ”Out of order.” Oh well. Despite that, the temperature is fine.
The room featured two large windows facing the courtyard, with a lush chestnut tree hiding the patio below. Although it was a quiet evening, I couldn’t hear any noise from the people eating and drinking, despite being on the first floor.
The compact bathroom doesn’t allow much extra elbow room. For example, the shower door doesn’t open completely before it hits the toilet seat. That said, it wasn’t too annoying.
On the structure surrounding the sink, there’s a small sign recommending breast examinations and showing how to perform one. Caring and a bit fun, or a little weird? I still haven’t made up my mind. Even the standard towel sign has an unusual quirk. ”Keep your towels, save the environment and backaches.” When you leave the towels in the sink instead of on the floor, you improve the cleaner’s ergonomy.
The Facilities – plenty of hang-out options
Scandic No 53 has a restaurant with bar and a generous seating area that spills over into a lounge. The lounge offered plenty of tables which made it easy to fire up the computer and getting some work done. Wifi speed felt a bit slow, but that was probably due to several serious gamers that occupied the area. My stay coincided with the World Cup in soccer, which you could follow on a big screen from the lounge.
During warmer weather, the outdoor patio would be perfect for enjoying a drink, grabbing a bite or savoring the breakfast buffet.
At this hotel size and ambition level, I am starting to miss a gym, but not enough that it causes minus points.
The Breakfast – does the buffet tables never end?
Breakfast is served between 07:00 and 11:00. A sign in the elevator suggests when the breakfast generally is very busy, medium busy and not busy. Guests can sit in the bar and lounge area or the restaurant section. Remember to check out both, as the buffet spills over on both sides of the bar.
What can I say? The buffet has lots of organic options. The food is well-labeled, and allergy-friendly food is separate from the rest. Waffles, croissant, scrambled eggs? Cinnamon buns, smoothie, fresh pineapple? In my pre-coffee state, I felt overwhelmed by the wealth of options and returned to default programming: oat porridge. With lingonberries, no less.
Who should stay at Scandic No 53?
The thing that surprised me the most about this hotel was the number of signs. Signs by the water cooler telling me to drink more. Signs about breast self-examinations and leaving towels in the sink. Signs in the reception, in the elevator, on the bedroom wall. I appreciate the dedication to providing a comfortable experience, but it felt a bit much.
But before you go “buh-huh, did you have a too comfortable stay?” – Scandic does a great job. The design is bold and fresh, and the price and location make the option hard to beat for a private room.
So, if you want a hotel to feel personal, then you might want to check out a few of the other hotels I’ve reviewed. Is that a minor concern? Then Scandic No 53 is pretty perfect.
The location makes it especially suitable for those who want to be close to the city center. Central Station, clubs, shopping, it is all there. If you’ve got time, check out café favorite Vete-Katten, only a few meters away on the same street.