Nordic Choice Round-up/Review

Old Sep 10, 18, 12:40 pm
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Nordic Choice Round-up/Review

Hello all,

Recently finished a 10 day trip across Finland, Sweden, Norway and Copenhagen. My goal was to stay at the highest ranked Nordic Choice properties available in each city (according to Tripadvisor; usually Ascend properties). After finishing the trip, just wanted to post a quick write-up comparing each property, unless anyone else is taking a similar trip. We booked all of our rooms using Choice points, transferred from Amex.

F6, Helsinki -- The best hotel of the trip, by far. Great location on a side street a few minutes' walk from Market Square. Awesome inner courtyard and a very laid back, luxurious feel. Morning buffet was wonderful, and the restaurant/bar is decorated like someone's sophisticated living room. We would go back here in a heartbeat. Cost: 20,000 points.

At Six, Stockholm -- On the flipside, the worst hotel of the trip. Not bad per se -- located near Gamla Stan and close to the central train station. Very upscale, but also very sparse and a bit cold, particularly in the common areas. Service was also lacking. We paid in advance at check-in for the buffet breakfast, but because we were so jetlagged, we overslept and missed it. Asked for a refund, which they denied. Fine, as this was mostly our fault; however, they wouldn't even offer us a credit for room service breakfast. Not even so much as a cup of coffee, and they were pretty unapologetic about it. Again, we were certainly to blame here, but their attitude was essentially "Too bad!". On morning of check-in, multiple staff members entered our room without notice (before we even checked out), including on gentleman who did a manual count of the mini bar despite our saying that we didn't take anything (this is a first for us; usually they just ask you at check-out.) A maid also entered the room and tried to clean while we were still there. Overall, we would not stay here again, and certainly wouldn't have paid cash. Cost: 20,000 points.

Christiana Teater, Oslo -- Solid option. About a 15 minute walk from the central station, although the walk to the hotel was slightly dodgy at night. Very hip common areas. Rooms were slightly less impressive, and ours looked onto a nondescript inner courtyard. Staff were fine, but didn't really blow us away. Morning breakfast buffet was very good. Probably wouldn't stay here again. Cost: 20,000 points

The Thief, Oslo -- Very good. Located a bit removed from the city center in Tjuvholmen, which is a redeveloped shipping yard/port area along the water. Very upscale hotel, and our room was both cozy and elegant. Didn't get to experience breakfast, as we checked out very early. Turn down service included tea and cookies, and the service was solid overall Liked staying here very much, but probably wouldn't pay cash (I think it was in the $400-$500 range per night). Cost: 20,000 points.

Flamsbrygga, Flam -- Not a Choice property, but figured I'd give it a mention. Like a neat, rustic chalet in the middle of Flam. Cruise shops dock outside during the day and block fjord views from around 8am to 5pm most days. Otherwise a great hotel and would stay here again. Paid with Bank of America travel rewards (28,000 points).

Clarion Havnekontoret, Bergen -- Very good. Probably the best location in town, right in Bryggen, across from the Blu. Airport shuttle bus stops right outside the hotel. Seems to be voted the best hotel in the entire Clarion portfolio, worldwide, if their award mantle is anything to go by. Breakfast buffet was very good, and they also offer a modest complimentary dinner buffet and lunchtime waffles/coffee. It was between this place, and the No.13; we walked by the latter, and while it was also in a nice neighborhood with a lot of bars/restaurants, the Clarion was a better location; we only had 24h in the city, and it's best to be in Bryggen if that's the case. Would definitely stay here again; might even pay cash. Ask for the key to climb the tower and take in some great views of the city! Cost: 20,000 points.

Skt. Petri, Copenhagen -- Good. In an upscale neighborhood, though a bit of a trek to places like Christiania and the Little Mermaid statue. Service was good. We paid on top of our point redemption to upgrade to a superior room (36 DKK extra per night), though we regretted it. The room was certainly larger, but that space was totally empty. You could have easily put a couch next to the bed. Breakfast was the real winner here -- the best smorgasbord of the trip. Would stay here again, but probably wouldn't pay cash. Cost: 20,000 points (also, award availability seemed to be limited to 2-night stays).

In total, if I had to rank these Scandinavian Choice properties, I would probably say:

1. F6 (by a significant margin)
2. Clarion Havnekontoret
3. The Thief
4. Skt. Petri
5. Christian Teater
6. At Six
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