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Reviewed October 16, 2010

Now look here. All these objet d'arts tastefully arranged - just 'so' - are all very well, but I'd prefer a decent sleep and a bit of room to unpack (when you have to put the phone on the floor in order to gain just a teeny bit more table space, and when you cannot open the shower cubicle door without it banging into the toilet pedestal, you know you're in trouble).

There's no such no thing as a true double bed in mid-range hotels in most of Europe. We always request one, and usually we get two mattresses zipped together in a cover over a double base, or sometimes two twin beds joined together. Here, at the first room we tried (an upgrade, believe it or not, courtesy of the urbane Mr Hellsten), we only had to sit down on the bed(s) to find ourselves heading for opposite corners of the room, as the twin (unjoined) beds roller-skated away from each other. A second room had a slightly better arrangement, but we were depressed by old and run-down furniture and slightly concerned by paper-thin curtains that would do nothing to keep the sun from waking us at an early hour. But we weren't going to get much rest anyway.

We moved to the Rex opposite (which has the same owner), and we found ourselves in a room that was quiet (away from the street) and had decent curtains, but here we had to put both - yes, both - suitcases on the bed before even one of us had floor space to get to the bathroom. It was late and we were tired, so (uncharacteristically) we made do. Space in a hotel room is all relative: a large or small room just crammed with furniture is equally awkward. Why do hotel owners not understand that sometimes less is more? (I wish they'd stay in their own hotels more often.)

Slightly cool arty artefacts in the bar are just fine for a few moments' contemplation as you plan your trip into town. But a bed is something that you usually need to kip on for a number of hours. It is here that the Hellsten/Rex people have skimped on quality investment. We won't be returning.

Good? The desk staff were very helpful in effecting our transfer across the road to the Rex, without charging us extra for changing the booking.

Bad? Stained coffee mugs - every one - at breakfast. Sorry.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank CharlesPMB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PHellsten, Owner at Hotel Hellsten, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2010

Dear ”Oman Pascal”,

Thank you very much for taking your time to give me and my staff your feedback regarding your stay. I would also like to thank you for complimenting my choice of artifacts in the hotel. They are a consequence of a lifetime collecting.

It is interesting to read your letter and I am learning new things all the time. I am very sorry to hear that you experienced both my hotels as cramped and with a wrong bed arrangement. I know for a fact how annoying it can be when a hotel room is not meeting the expectation. I am new in the hotel business but have instead mainly learnt this trade from my own travelling, when staying over 200 nights a year in hotels when I worked as PR manager for an international corporation.

I have tried to transform this experience with the ambition to make both rooms and beds as comfortable as possible. The reason why many European hotel owners have chosen to have twinbeds put together in a double room is that many times friends or colleagues share a room and they do not necessarily want to share one and the same bed. If you would have requested a true double bed our receptionist would have arranged that.

About the beds, we manufacture our own model in order to get full comfort. They are getting praise from most of our guests. I can only regret that you are not sharing the same impression.

Regarding our stained coffee mugs, we do wash them in an automatic dishwasher which should clean all of them properly. However, it is clear now that some of the mugs still are stained. I’m going to look in to this matter straight away. Please accept my apologies in the mean time.

I would gladly have given you still another room if you had asked me again when you were not fully satisfied with your upgrade. Me and my staff’s aspiration is to make all our guests satisfied and happy.

Yours Sincerely,
Per Hellsten
Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2010

The Hellsten is a good balance of price against facilities in an expensive city. However with the reasonable pricing comes some disadvantages. The single rooms on the ground floor only have a skylight and with no airconditioning can feel a little airless and a touch dark. Having read the reviews on this site I was prepared for that so was not disappointed but I heard another guest asking to be moved to a different room.

Not to sound too negative, really everything else was great. Cleanliness was perfect and I liked the stone flagged bathroom. Bed comfortable if perhaps not very large. The very young reception staff were exceptionally helpful and spoke perfect English. Included breakfast was typical Scandinavian continental style with the only hot food being porridge, coffee/tea and toast, but the other items were fresh and plentiful - the marinated herring was to die for and there was a wide selection of bread.

Location is fine - only a short block from the busy Sveavagen main street which has all the shops and restuarants you could ask for, yet the hotel street itself is quiet. Walkable to the city centre or else only the third stop on the fairly easy to use Stockholm metro.

Overall a refreshing change from bland corporate style hotels - just be prepared for some compromises in room layout and facilities.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled solo
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Thank jslonisch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2010

Sweden is horribly expensive, and the best thing about the Hellsten is its moderate price. In the plus column, it is two short blocks from the Metro green line (Radmansgaten). It is clean and mostly quiet; breakfast is included; and the bathroom is attractive.

The negatives: The rooms (winding through narrow circuitous hallways) are very small - not like most of the online photos. Ours had no closet, just a wardrobe that could accommodate five hangers. The small chest of drawers was good for a sweater or two. There was nowhere to set-up your suitcase as an alternate closet. It had to be either on the bed or standing against the wall. Jackets needed to be parked over the chair back.

Similarly, there was very little space in the bathroom to set up toiletries. We left ours on the floor. Because the rooms have no air-conditioning, it was necessary to keep the windows open. Fortunately, the rooms mostly face a central courtyard, but (come the weekend) guests and patrons of the downstairs bar use that area for late night smokes and conversation. Not great if you are trying to sleep.

The hotel strives to be hip and cool. It achieves hippy-dippy. The lounge might be from a campus frat house in Minnesota with saggy sofas and scarred tables. The lobby walls appear to be ebony stained plywood, not very inviting. The one elevator can be painfully slow when the hotel is full.

Because of the price and location, we accepted the discomforts. We probably would not go back.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank dvandjay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2010

We stayed in room 1101 (the purple room with the four poster bed) for my birthday weekend 17th- 19th September. The Hotel has loads of good features and is about 25 minutes walk to Gamla Stan. I would recommend walking. When walking you get to see loads of nice building and coffee shops along the way. Plus the journey would cost around 140-200 kroner (not really worth it, unless it rains) that’s about £12/£18 for a short journey.
Our room was clean and decorated to a high standard. Comparing our room to another guess at the hotel their room was cosy i.e. small. Breakfast was ok. My girlfriend enjoyed the continental style do it yourself approach. Be prepared to sit next to other guess which is nice.
We found the staff one of the friendliest encountered. The owner should be extremely proud.
When we visit Stockholm again, the place for us to stay is at the Hellsten.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KAi979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2010

We were attending a meeting in Stockholm and wanted a location that was convenient for our meeting and for enjoying the sights and going to some good eating houses. At Check-in, we were greeted warmly and proficiently and the owner even turned up to say hello, introduce himself and offer us a drink in the bar. The rooms and decor were tasteful and engaging. The rooms were all uniquely furnished and displayed comfort and charm. The breakfast was excellent and our team had a short walk to the metro to take us to our meeting. Restaurants nearby offer good variety and our three nights gave us three different ways to enjoy ourselves. If you want a one-size-fits all hotel then don't go to Hellsten Hotel. If you want something that give you good value and is unique in style and with staff who are skilled and welcoming, give Hotel Hellsten a call.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled on business
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Thank GregNew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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