I spent some time today booking accommodation for my forthcoming trip. My main priorities were for the first two nights in Stockholm, the following two nights in Norrköping (which I’m travelling to for a concert), the two nights planned in Copenhagen, and my final two nights in Stockholm.
The Crystal Plaza in Östermalm looks like a pretty good place to end my trip. It’s in a nice area, it looks clean, and I got it for a good price. I’ve had a look at photographs of the room on the net. They look classically Swedish in design, like something out of an IKEA showroom. The room looks pretty small, I have to say, with a 90 centimetre bed. I’m assuming that means I might need to lose a few kilograms between now and then, and the chances of a bit of unexpected hokey-pokey are significantly reduced :) But it looks good, and it’s great to know I’ll have somewhere nice to stay on my final two nights, and that it’s sorted :)
My first two nights also look good, as I’ve booked into The Clarion on Södermalm. Despite also being quite small, the room is actually considerably larger than at the Crystal Plaza at 14-18 square metres. The photographs on their website don’t reveal much. Close-up shots of a bed always seem to suggest there’s not much more to the room aside from the bed, but that’s okay, as I’m planning a holiday to see a country, not see a bedroom.
I’m also putting this all in the context of having shared 12 bed dormitories in a range of youth hostels and being quite happy with the experience. Unfortunately I’ve got a few hours between when I arrive and when I can book in, so I’m hoping that if I’ve done all my sums correctly in terms of time zones, I’ll be fine when I arrive in Stockholm and won’t collapse in a heap on the back streets of Gamla Stan.
Accommodation in Norrköping was a little tougher. Although it’s a city of about 100,000, much of the accommodation for the nights I’m there was already booked out. But I found somewhere which looks good and at a good price. I was also concerned about accommodation in Copenhagen, having been told it’s incredibly expensive, and noting accommodation was already heavily booked. Perhaps because of the conference I’m attending But I found somewhere at a good price that also looks clean. As I read some of the online reviews, I note the only concerns expressed were that their breakfast “was too Scandinavian” (bring it on) and that it was on the edge of the red light district (fine by me!). So I’m happy.
When discussing it tonight with Graeme and John at the pub, they were both appalled that many of the places I’m staying have a shared bathroom. They both agreed they were at a point in their lives where they couldn’t do that any more. I have no such qualms. As I travelled eighteen months ago, I learned that my tastes in bathrooms and bedrooms were reasonably “western”, but that said I’m happy to share with others, especially if it halves the price of staying somewhere.
Speaking of which, I got some good deals by booking ahead. With apologies to Swedish readers of this blog, here’s hoping the AUD remains strong and the SEK remains weak :)