STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Sweden's capital will get its newest boutique
hotel property when the Rival Hotel opens Aug. 6 in the former
three-star Aston Hotel in the trendy Sodermalm district.
The property will be a small, modern inn boasting 97 rooms and
two suites outfitted with the latest Sony technology, including
32-inch plasma-screen TVs, wireless Internet access and DVD
players, said managing director Caroline Eriksson.
The Rival will provide guests with a DVD library -- but no adult
movies -- in lieu of pay-TV service.
The entertainment focus is particularly fitting, she added, as
the Rival -- part-owned by former ABBA band member Benny Andersson
-- is part of a complex that also houses a movie theater dating to
The renovated, 700-seat Rival Theater will host events and
meetings during the week and screen films on weekends.
In addition, the Rival Hotel will include an art-deco cocktail
bar, restaurant, bar/bistro, cafe and bakery; access to a rooftop
honesty bar will be restricted to hotel guests. The cafe and
bakery, on the ground floor, opens this month.
Eriksson said she hopes the entertainment and dining attractions
make the Rival complex a destination for visitors and residents
"Sodermalm is the most interesting part of this city," she said,
adding that guest rooms and public spaces will be decorated in a
style evocative of Stockholm itself. "We're trying to connect the
atmosphere to the city in terms of design, style and color."
The Rival Hotel aims to further distinguish itself from
competing properties -- including the nearby Hilton Slussen and
Clarion, and "lifestyle" hotels such as the Diplomat and Lydmar --
by making sure guests get what they pay for, historically a problem
in Scandinavian hostelry.
"One of my main goals is that if clients pay for a deluxe room,
the deluxe services they're looking for are provided," said
Eriksson. "Sweden has not been that good on that point."
Sample rate information was not available at press time.
As U.S. travelers -- "an interesting group to work with" -- are
notoriously demanding guests, the Rival should prove worthy of
them, she noted.
"Americans are very important for us, and I'm sure when things
cool off in the world, their travels will resume."
Travel agents also loom large in Eriksson's game plan. The hotel
will pay retailers 10% base commission but will supplement that
during intermittent agency promotions.
The Rival Hotel will be bookable via the Supranational Hotels
Supranational Hotels can be reached at (800) 843-3311 or at www.supranational.com. To contact the Rival Hotel
directly, call (011) 46-85 457-8902 or visit www.rival.se.