Checking in: Rival Hotel, Stockholm

Considering going to Stockholm? You should! The Swedish capital is full of hidden gems to be explored – including the stylish Hotel Rival, which is still a favorite amongst celebrities. 

rival hotel
Welcome to Rival Hotel!

Overview and location

You notice it immediately when entering the colorful lobby: Hotel Rival is a dedication to art and joie de vivre. Owned by Benny Andersen from the world-famous pop band ’Abba’ and adorned with warm, colorful art and paintings from the lobby to the top floor, it comes as no surprise that this venue celebrates creativity and musicality in its purest form.

Tucked away from the buzzing city center in the area of Södermalm, the hotel is situated on Mariatorget, a quiet square with trees and Boules players. The city center can be reached in just 15 minutes by foot and even less by taxi, so it definitely appeals to anyone who prefers to stay central without the hazzle of traffic and tourists.

Just around the corner from Rival Hotel: the charming area of Södermalm.

The room

Rival offers several room types and they’re all so cosy you probably could stay in for days! By all means do – breakfast here is served around the clock! Guests can choose between Standard, Superior, De Luxe and Suites – some of them have a view of the charming square (Mariatorget) in front of the hotel.
I stayed in a De Luxe room, which had both a balcony and a lovely view. But my favorite thing? The king-size bed covered in Egyptian cotton linens and pillows. Oh bliss! During my stay, I were attending – and co-organizing – a Travel Massive event also taking place at the hotel, but if I had more time on my hands, I would’ve definitely enjoyed the hotel facilities even more. So what facilities am I referring to? The in-room Samsung Smart TV and hand-picked DVD films at free disposal, for instance. Rival offers the ideal settings for an in-room movie night!
The colorful and arty interior may not be for everyone, but warm colors such as lilac, red and orange definitely create a unique atmosphere, where you’ll instantly feel at home. You can even watch TV straight from the bathtub. If you’re planning a stay with your loved one, make sure to book room 704, which is not only the penthouse suite, it’s also by far the most romantic room!

A De Luxe room with a balcony


Expect lots of red velvet, warm lighting and quirky details in the bistro, which offers genuine food made from seasonal ingredients. The bistro at Rival Hotel is somewhat famous – and many celebrities have dined here during the past decade – yet it remains intimate. Even though I didn’t have the chance to enjoy lunch or dinner here during my stay, I had a taste of the popular brunch, which is served every Sunday from 1PM-6PM. A true feast of both Swedish and international delicacies – and the best smoked salmon I’ve had for ages!

The Sunday Brunch at Rival Hotel is worth trying out!

Other facilities

Rival Hotel also accommodates a theater with seating for no less than 700 people. It’s a popular concert and show venue, so make sure to check out the event calendar before you arrive. Every Friday and Saturday, Rival hosts some of the best DJ’s in Stockholm, but regardless if you’re here during weekends or weekdays, I recommend a cocktail or two in the Art Deco-inspired bar (part of which dates back to 1937!)


Although Rival Hotel is not an actual boutique hotel, it has that intimate and cosy vibe to it, which I really love. It’s an ideal hotel for anyone appreciating art, music and great food – cause that’s exactly what you’ll get here. I could call it ‘a home away from home’, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll grant it the honor it deserves, being a true gem in Stockholm’s hotel scene.

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Checking in: Rival Hotel, Stockholm

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