Jul132016

Stockholm Clarion Hotel Sign great deal on points, convenient airport train access

Clarion Hotel Sign Stockholm for 10,000 Choice Privileges points per night is one of the best deals for U.S. travelers in one of the world’s priciest cities.

Clarion Hotel Sign Stockholm   Clarion Hotel Sign

One of the hotel’s best features for a tourist arriving from Stockholm Arlanda Airport ARN, the primary airport for Sweden international arrivals from the USA, is its convenient location a few minutes walk from the Arlanda Express train, the primary mode of transportation from Arlanda Airport to Stockholm city center in 20 minutes.

Arlanda Express

Yesterday I arrived at Stockholm Arlanda Airport ARN at 8:45pm/20:45 from London on British Airways. After a quick passage through passport control and about 15 minutes wait for checked luggage, I was walking out of customs and down the elevator to the cave-like underground tunnel for the Arlanda Express. Normally I would recommend taking the Arlanda express bus to Stockholm for 99 SEK one way per person ($11.66 USD) versus the 300 SEK one-way ticket price for the Arlanda Express train with a guarantee 20 minute arrival time, however, this summer there are special discount rates for two traveling together on fixed dates of 300 SEK ($35.44 USD) round trip per person. The price is further reduced to 400 SEK for three persons and 500 SEK for four. The caveat is you must know your travel dates from and to the airport since there are no ticket changes allowed after purchase.

Arlanda Express

Arlanda Express train displaying speed of 202 km/hour (125.5 mph) on 20 minute train ride from Stockholm Arlanda ARN airport to city center. The train’s highest speed hit 205 km/h.

Kelley was worried about having to navigate the streets of Stockholm in the dark with my initial estimated hotel arrival time of 10pm. This was July 12 in Stockholm, Sweden, where the northern latitude is 59°20′N, a city only slightly farther south than Anchorage, Alaska or Lerwick, Shetland Islands, more than 100 miles north of the coast of mainland Scotland. Sunset was 9:53 pm on July 12 for Stockholm and true darkness did not occur until after 11pm.

Clarion Hotel Sign is about 300 meters along the street, directly left after stepping out of the Arlanda Express train station, a separate station from the main Central Train Station about 200 meters in the opposite direction. We walked to Clarion Hotel Sign and were in our 10th floor top floor room by 10:15pm.

Clarion Sign evening light

10:30pm Stockholm still dusk light outside in mid-July Stockholm. Kelley tracking down Tour de France news coverage on BBC.

Clarion Hotel Sign is one of three Nordic Choice Hotels in the Stockholm area priced at 10,000 points for Choice Privileges reward nights. In April 2016 I purchased 104,000 Choice Privileges points for $442 during the annual U.S. Travel Association Daily Getaways five weeks of sales making this a $43 hotel night.

Loyalty Traveler – Only 104,000 Choice Privileges points from Daily Getaways this year (April 5, 2016).

The deal with Choice Privileges points for US residents is reward nights for hotels outside North America can only be booked within 60 days of arrival. My platinum status gave me a 75 day booking window, but I only booked about 60 days in advance anyway. Another feature of Choice Privileges is the frequent option to book a higher category room with points. I had the option for a standard room with a courtyard view or a superior room with park view when I reserved Hotel Sign.

Clarion Hotel Sign Stockholm Room and Price options at time of reservation May 15, 2016:

  • Standard Room Courtyard View = $167 USD/ 1,380 SEK (8.25 SEK = $1 USD on May 15; July 13 exchange rate $1.00 USD = 8.49 SEK).
  • Superior Room Park View = $201.65 USD / 1,680 SEK.

Basically I got a 79% room rate discount on the Superior Park View room by redeeming Choice Privileges points I purchased in April. There is only one other 10,000 points hotel in Stockholm with Clarion Hotel Stockholm, but that hotel is 2 miles from Central Station and not as convenient for travelers arriving from Arlanda Airport. There is a Quality Inn near Arlanda Airport for 10,000 points where Kelley and I stayed last April the night before our flight to San Francisco.

Loyalty Traveler – Review Quality Airport Hotel Stockholm Arlanda 10,000 points Choice Privileges reward night (April 21, 2016).

The room was basic, kind of minimalist in the way many hotel rooms are in Scandinavia. This room did not have a closet/wardrobe.

Clarion Hotel Sign Room 1006

Clarion Sign room-1   Clarion Sign room-2

Clarion Sign room-3   Clarion Sign room-4

Clarion Sign room-5   Clarion Sign room-6

My only complaint about the room is a single swinging glass door that functioned dually as either the bathroom door or the toilet stall door. The door made quite a noise when shutting as the bathroom door and it woke Kelley up several times as I was up all through the night due to the excitement of my first night in Europe combined with barely three hours of true night darkness.

Stockholm 215am

Stockholm 2:15am July 13. Official sunrise 3:54am.

Clarion Hotel Sign was constructed in 2008 on a plot of land adjacent to the rail tracks. Our room was on the opposite side of the hotel from the train tracks and I did not hear any train sounds from the hotel. The park view is Norra Bantorget, a historic park and market square in Stockholm laid out in the 1870s when this marshy strip of land near Stockholm was reclaimed to create a rail line to the city. Stockholm is a city built on islands. The current park was laid out in 1900 and is historically associated with the Swedish labor movement. Since 1902 the annual May Day workers’ parade ends at Norra Bantorget.

Of personal note to me was realizing I had walked in Norra Bantorget on my only previous trip to Stockholm in January 1993. I was in Stockholm as an official U.S. observer from the National Education Association to a labor union convention for the formation of Education International, the global teachers’ union. To my surprise, our hotel room at Clarion Hotel Sign looked out to Folkets Hus, the conference center where Education International was founded on January 26, 1993 during my trip.

Norra Bantorget

Workers Monument in Norra Bantorget with Clarion Hotel Sign in background.

Clarion Hotel Sign seemed like it caters to large tour bus groups. The morning breakfast rooms had well over 100 people eating at 8am and it was crowded around the food. Still there was plenty of space with available seating. Every hotel of 20 or so hotels in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden) where I have stayed provided free breakfast.

Clarion Hotel Sign breakfast buffet   Clarion Hotel Sign Breakfast

This part of the dining room was crowded and little natural light. I picked up my breakfast and went to the adjacent room by the park view windows. It became clear to me why there was a 4th of July BBQ poster in the elevator. The evening dining room is the American Table Brasserie and Bar.

Clarion Hotel Sign American Table

American Table-2   American Table

Clarion Hotel Sign bar

I can’t even tell you the exact price of beer since I have been to Sweden enough times to know I won’t pay local beer prices at bars. Sweden are Norway tend to be dry vacations for me. I can tell you I noticed a Happy Hour daily special for hamburger + beer at 250 SEK ($29.48 USD).

The lobby tended to be crowded, but on the second floor was another large space with far fewer guests lounging around. The room also had two computer stations and a coffee set-up in the morning at a Guest Services counter.

Clarion Hotel Sign computers   Clarion Hotel Sign floor 2 lobby

The 2nd floor hotel gym is relatively small for the number of guests this property can accommodate, but only one other person was in the gym during the 45 minutes I was there.

Clarion Hotel Sign Gym   Clarion Hotel Sign Gym-2

Clarion Hotel Sign Gym-3   Clarion Hotel Sign gym-4

The wall poster describes ÖTILLÖ The Swimrun World Championship, a fascinating endurance race listed as one of the toughest competitions globally. Teams of two swim between 26 islands around Stockholm and run across them in a one-day 75 km race (Sep 5, 2016) with 10km swimming and 65 km running.

A lifestyle change for me this year is my transition from years of only photographing hotel gyms to actually using them. My doctor told me in January I needed to get my ass away from the computer every day and in motion if I want to keep my body going for a few more decades. In the past six months I dropped 35 pounds and I am actually within a few pounds of normal BMI for the first time in 20 years.

The only issue I had at the hotel was the high occupancy meant the four elevators were often full and our room on the top 10th floor was more stairs than I cared to walk. Crowds are probably not much of an issue outside peak summer tourist season.

Clarion Hotel Sign elevators

I would stay at Clarion Hotel Sign Stockholm again without hesitation. The courtyard view is to be avoided if you can. There is not much of a view with the small triangular shape of the interior courtyard for the building beside the train tracks of central Stockholm.

Clarion Hotel Sign couryard view   Clarion Hotel Sign trains

Clarion Hotel Sign is currently 10,000 Choice Privileges points per night. Keep in mind that cash rates at Nordic Choice Hotels do not earn Choice Privileges points. You need to join Nordic Choice Club to earn points for paid stays at the 180 Nordic Choice Hotels in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. I have membership in both programs. I was given a 35 SEK food and beverage voucher for my hotel stay. That would have probably dropped the price of one beer at American Table to about $7 or 8 USD.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. Your room in the photo did have a mini-closet wardrobe, but it is only high enough to hang up some shirts or folded pants on the hanger bar there. For longer clothing items like full length coats, the items can be hung behind the full-length mirror in the room or on the 3-7 hooks in the “foyer” like area of the room.

    It seems that we may have been in the hotel at the same time.

  2. One of the hotel elevators has been out of service for at least much of this month. Between that elevator removal from guest use and the crowds, I have been walking the stairs a lot in this hotel during the 7am to 9pm hours.

  3. We stayed there two summers ago, for 6 nights total. The breakfast is amazing. To get another great view of the city, go up to the rooftop bar. You can hang out up there, you don’t need to buy a drink.

  4. It’s a great hotel, aside from the elevator situation, which as GuWonder said, is made worse by one of them being out of service. I like how each one has a different music theme, which I didn’t realize until I stepped into one that was playing Metallica.

    The wifi hasn’t been great either. Other than that, I’ve enjoyed it.

Comments are closed.