Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Accommodation for traveling kids: Hotell Kung Carl, Stockholm, Sweden

On our recent trip to Sweden, I spent two nights in central Stockholm at Best Western's Hotell Kung Carl, right near Stureplan.

This hotel is about as centrally located as you can get in Stockholm. It's an easy walk to the shopping district on Drottninggatan, to the park at Kungsträdgården, and to Old Town. Right next door and across street there are some great restaurants, and Spy Bar, one of Stockholm's prime late-night party spots.

The only problem with the location is that there will be some noise: we heard cars and the occasional siren both nights, but it was not enough to really disturb our sleep.
The skylight-"tower" with chandelier.
The room
Kung Carl is a beautiful hotel in one of Stockholm's older buildings. Our spacious family room had everything we needed: a fridge for snacks and drinks (none were provided but we bought some from the stores inside the nearby subway station, a couple of bunk beds for the kids, plus two very comfortable regular beds. We had free internet access, TV with a couple of kids' channels (none in English though), a nice bathroom (though it had only a shower and no bathtub), and lots of space for bags and clothes.

Adding to the experience was that the room was just beautiful. We were on the top floor with a high ceiling and a tower-like skylight. A small round window looked out right over Stureplan outside, with all the hustle and bustle going on there.


View across the street from our window.
Amenities
The one thing we missed was a pool, mainly because the kids really like playing in the water, but we were plenty busy sightseeing and might not have had time to use one anyway.

A buffet breakfast was served in the restaurant inside the hotel and there was plenty of great food: Swedish specialties like "filmjölk" and crisp bread, as well as bacon, eggs, and pancakes, and a whole lot more, including fresh fruits, cheeses, and baked goods.

The restaurant was closed except for breakfast when we were there, but at other times of the year they also serve lunch and dinner.

Service
The staff at the front desk was friendly and helpful, and our room was kept spotlessly clean every day. However, my parents who were staying at the hotel with us, did have some issues with their room. It was not cleaned every day, but seemed to be "forgotten" a couple of times. Not a good thing, especially at a relatively fancy and expensive place like this.

Verdict
I liked our room a lot, and thought the location was great. However, the hotel didn't necessarily feel all that kid-friendly. A bath tub in our room, a pool, maybe some more kids' channels or the ability to rent kids' movies at the front desk would have been much appreciated. I'd probably recommend this place more for travelers without children, but we did have a very good stay.

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