The Hilton Stockholm Slussen is located less than five minutes’ walk south of Stockholm’s famous Gamla Stan (Old Town) area in Slussen next to Södermalm Torg (Södermalm town square), on the northern edge of the district of the same name.
The square boasts both a busy little bus station and an entrance to the Slussen ‘Tunnelbahnen’ station (this is what Stockholm calls its subway/Metro system and the stations are denoted with a ‘T’ sign). Suburban commuter trains also stop at Slussen station. Slussen station is only two Tunnelbahnen stops away from Stockholm’s Central Station, but be prepared to be surprised by the high price of a ticket for the short ride.
Featuring lots of bars, nightclubs and restaurants (including many fast-food-chain restaurants), Södermalm is a trendy district which is on an island of the same name, though Södermalm is so built up you wouldn’t know it is on an island at all. Södermalm is much referred-to in Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium’ trilogy and the Hilton Stockholm Slussen itself is also mentioned in one of the books in the trilogy.
‘Slussen’ means ‘lock’ (as in canal lock) in Swedish and the Slussen area is located just where a lock connects Riddarfjärden, which is the easternmost bay of the huge inland Lake Mälaren, to the long inlet of the Baltic Sea which contains Stockholm’s main harbor areas. Ferryboats to many of the larger islands in the 30,000-island archipelago for which Stockholm is famous share the busy, scenic inlet with sailboats, cruise ships, big international ferries, sightseeing boats and even coastguard and naval ships.
Its location gives the Hilton Stockholm Slussen’s Eken (Oak) Matsal restaurant and next-door Eken Bar great views over the Riddarfjärden, and many of its rooms enjoy similar views. Riddarfjärden is crossed by several railway and road bridges, including a busy arterial road into the city from the south.
The room in which the reviewer stayed was located on the hotel’s third floor right above this road, but the double-glazed sound-proofing of the Hilton Stockholm Slussen’s windows is impressive and practically no sound could be heard from the road. (The entire area is eventually due to be re-landscaped and re-developed in an ambitious project which will take years to complete, and all visible signs of the road and rail bridges may vanish – but no choice has yet been made from among the designs submitted for the project.)
Proud of its legacy as the first Hilton in Sweden (the 1989-built property was originally a Scandic hotel, but was re-branded in 2002), the Hilton Stockholm Slussen displays a five-star sign outside its main entrance to indicate its service ranking.
According to the hotel’s General Manager Peter Eriksson, who gave Airlines and Destinations a guided tour of the property, Stockholm’s policy that every building on the waterfront must look different, be painted a different color and conform to certain dimensions meant that the Hilton Stockholm Slussen had to be constructed as three separate buildings. Although the interior of the hotel smoothly transitions from one building to the next and is beautifully furnished and decorated, the hotel looks somewhat nondescript from its exterior – mainly because each of its three buildings is of a different style and color. But don’t let that put you off staying there.
The Hilton Stockholm Slussen bills itself as being just five minutes from Stockholm’s Central Station near the northern shore of Lake Mälaren. (The city’s central bus station, which is the terminal for the affordable and quick Arlanda Airport Express Bus, is just across the street from the back entrance of the railway station.) Stockholm Central is the terminus for the Arlanda Express and the station from which all of the city’s inter-city trains run, as well as many commuter trains. Five minutes by Tunnelbahnen would be pretty accurate but by taxi the estimate is perhaps a little optimistic (in rush hour, it could be more like 30 minutes); and if you’re walking, leave a good 25 minutes for the trip – in fact, leave more, because you walk right through the center of Gamla Stan on the way and you’ll want to stop and enjoy many of the beautiful sights and vistas en route.
During our stay, we found every aspect of the service we received to be exceptional. In all aspects of service we experienced, we found the Hilton Stockholm Slussen to deserve its ranking as a full-service, high-quality, five-star hotel. Even the suggestion we made in the Hilton Stockholm Slussen’s guest-survey form that the hotel should make sure the curtains in each room stretch right across the window frame and its surround to keep the room dark overnight (particularly in the long, long days of summer) was followed up by a personally written e-mail from the hotel’s customer-service manager. Not only did the e-mail apologize for any inconvenience we were caused, but it also said that our suggestion had been referred to the hotel’s engineering staff for action. We found that impressive.