Where is it?
The Radisson Blu SkyCity hotel is located at Arlanda airport outside Stockholm. The hotel is located in SkyCity, which can best be described as a combined shopping mall, food court and conference centre at the airport. It is located right between terminal 5 (the largest international terminal) and terminal 4 (the main domestic terminal) with a short walking distance from the baggage claims in the evening and to the check-in desks in the morning. Terminal 2 and 3 can also be reached by foot using a covered walkway, but these two terminals are much further away. There is also a transit bus between all terminals for those who prefer not to walk.
There are two Radisson hotels at the airport. Radisson Blu SkyCity offers direct access to the terminals while Radisson Blu Arlandia Hotel requires a short bus ride, about five minutes. The latter is usually slightly cheaper because of the location. It is worth reading the signs in the terminal carefully to avoid going to the wrong hotel.
The arrival experience
I arrived already in the early afternoon at 1 pm as I had business to attend to in the evening. Although it was well ahead of the standard check-in time there was no problem checking in. The check-in process was performed by a friendly young woman. I was offered an upgrade to a business class room at a reasonable price and decided to accept it.
The small hotel lobby, where the reception is located, is nicely decorated with sofas, armchairs, TVs and bookshelves with reading materials. Much like a living room. However it is not particularly large in size.
The lobby also has a large bar table with a desktop internet computer and it is possible to order hot and cold drinks to the lobby for meetings.
The hotel offers 260 rooms which have all been recently refurbished. My room was on the same floor as the lobby and reception, at the end of a long corridor.
The business class room featured a large and rather comfortable bed, a work desk, TV, an armchair and a couch. The room had a rather strange layout, designed much like a T. Although the room was spacious and had all amenities needed the layout did feel a bit odd. The benefit of it was the natural daylight with no less than four windows.
The entrance was in the middle of the room with a small hallway where there was space for luggage. This area also featured the bathroom, a closet and the minibar. The bed and the work desk were on the right hand side after the hallway.
At the other end of the room there was a small sofa and a second TV.
A benefit of booking a business class room is the Nespresso machine in the room with the possibility to make a cup of freshly-brewed coffee and not just the standard instant coffee available in most hotels.
Right below the Nespresso machine there was a minibar with a standard selection of beer, wine, miniature spirits, soft drinks, nuts and chocolate bars.
The bathroom had a walk-in shower, toilet, sink and mirror as well as the latest Radisson Blu toiletries. Spacious but somewhat sterile.
The room had a view of terminal 5, the major international terminal, and the drop-off area for departing passengers. Not much going on in the evening at 10 pm but in the morning the area was far busier. Although there was a significant amount of traffic passing in the morning the room was almost sound-proof and the noise was never bothersome. A much bigger problem was keeping the daylight out in the morning, getting the curtains in the right place with so many windows.
Food and drinks
The hotel has a brasserie-style bar and restaurant called ‘On My Way’ located just outside the hotel entrance, on a balcony overlooking the SkyCity plaza with separate bar and restaurant sections. It also offers a reasonable runway and apron view through the panorama windows in SkyCity.
Due to the location of the hotel the selection of restaurants is much wider than just the hotel restaurant. In and around the SkyCity plaza there are about a dozen restaurants and cafes including a McDonalds and a Starbucks. There are also several restaurants and cafes in the public areas of nearby terminal 4 and terminal 5.
I visited the bar in the late evening for a quick beer. The bar closes at midnight but guests are allowed to bring their glasses inside the hotel to finish their drinks in the lobby area.
There is a conference section in the hotel with 36 conference and meeting rooms. The hotel does not offer a fitness centre but they do have an agreement with the fitness chain SATS allowing guests to use their health club in SkyCity featuring a gym, jacuzzi and sauna.
Friendly staff at both check-in and in the restaurant. A big plus for letting me check in more than two hours before the standard check-in time.
The breakfast was served in the On My Way restaurant with a rather nice airport view. As many guests depart on early flights the breakfast starts already at 4.30 am. With the short walking distance to check-in it means even passengers departing on flights at 6 am have time for a quick breakfast.
The breakfast was the typical Radisson Blu ‘Super Breakfast Buffet’ with Scandinavian and international dishes. Although it included the normal selection of breakfast items with nothing significant missing the selection still felt a bit limited and uninspiring. The breakfast staff were friendly and helpful though, for example making sure a cup of coffee was delivered to my table when the coffee machine was temporarily out of order.
The main benefit of the hotel is the location, adjacent to the two largest terminals at the airport and less than a minute walk from the nearest check-in desks and a similar short walk from the baggage reclaim areas of these two terminals. The location in SkyCity is another advantage with everything from cafes and restaurants to shops, a pharmacy, a bakery and a bank just a few metres away.
The hotel itself is rather small though and somewhat uninspiring. Although the design of the lobby is fun it is not a place where you spend an excessive amount of time. The newly refurbished room had all the facilities needed, including a comfortable bed, but had a somewhat strange layout.
But Radisson Blu SkyCity Hotel is really all about one thing: Location, location, location…