“ Address: Rock 1 / 414 51 Gothenburg / Sweden „
A few weeks ago I had to attend a weeklong meeting in Gothenburg, which was being held at the four star Novotel hotel in the city.
**Getting to the Hotel**
The hotel is located just outside the main city centre. Gothenburg is a busy shipping port and the hotel is located on the waterfront overlooking the port. On arrival at Gothenburg Landvetter airport we took a taxi direct to the hotel, which took around 40 minutes and cost 500 Kr, roughly £50. There is also an airport bus that runs from the airport to the city centre from where you can get a tram to a stop just by the hotel or alternatively take the more scenic route and arrive by boat as there is the Klippan boat-bus service that runs from close to the main bus station to a stop just outside the hotel. We did this on our way back and enjoyed the views of Gothenburg and the journey actually worked out to be quicker (around 15 minutes) and certainly more enjoyable than taking the tram.
The hotel itself appears to be a converted warehouse. On arrival I entered a large reception area, which had an area to one side with comfy seats and sofas and an eye-catching water feature on the other. The staff at reception were friendly and welcoming and we were quickly checked in and given keys to our room and login details for complementary wi-fi access. I arrived with a colleague and we were both surprised that they didn't take our credit card details on arrival.
I should also point out that there were a couple of Mac computers located in reception for guests to use to access the internet free of charge. Usually when I travel with work I take my laptop with me but this would be very useful if I were visiting on holiday.
We were then directed to our rooms. Mine was on the fourth floor so I decided to take the lift. Just by the lift there were some shelves with tourist information - leaflets for attractions and guides for what to do in Gothenburg. There was also a rather useful guide to using public transport. Gothenburg operates a cashless transport system, which for visitors can prove a little confusing. Payment for journeys must be made either by credit card on board the bus, tram or boat or by sending a text message to the transport company, though you need to have a Swedish mobile phone to be able to do this. On the reception desk there were several copies of a large street map of the city for visitors to take and staff were happy to give directions and further information about what to do and see in Gothenburg.
The directions to the rooms were clearly laid out and on arrival I placed by card key in the slot and tried to open the door. I must admit that I don't usually have a lot of luck with hotel swipe cards, often finding that they don't work, so am usually a little apprehensive the first time I get to the room. Here I found that once I put the card in I couldn't get the door to open despite the light turning green to say that the card had been recognised. After struggling for a couple of minutes I took a step back, looked at the door and then realised it opened outwards rather than inwards. How odd! I've never come across that in a hotel before and to be honest it was a little awkward with luggage as you have to move it out of the way before you can open the door.
On entering the room I was pleased to see that it was generously sized and nicely furnished. It was stylishly designed with a fairly neutral cream and brown colour scheme. At the centre of the room there was a king-sized bed with cabinets on either side. There were also a generously sized fitted wardrobe, desk, a small two-seater sofa and a small coffee table. On the cabinet directly in front of the bed there was a large flat screen tv with access to various channels both in English and Swedish. There was a good variety of entertainment including films, news and documentaries but given the busy schedule of meetings I didn't really get the chance to watch much, though I did catch a few minutes of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland movie. The bed was comfortable and I had no problems dropping off on this after a long days work.
My room was located at the front of the hotel and pulling back the curtains I could see a lovely view over the port. I was a little concerned that the room would be quite noisy considering it was so close to the water and to a final stop for StenaLine ferries carrying passengers and freight from Denmark and Norway. However the rooms must be sound-proofed really well as I didn't hear a thing when in them, unless of course I opened the window.
Having a nose around in the cupboard I was pleased to note that there was an ironing board and iron provided. The creased shirt and trousers look is never a good one when travelling with work and I always ensure I iron my clothes before I pack them and take a small travel iron with me to iron out any remaining creases. My travel iron is good but the clothes never look as great as when they have been freshly ironed so an iron and ironing board was certainly a welcomed addition to the room. There was also a safe in the cupboard though on this occasion I didn't really need to use it. The cupboard was also stocked with plenty of fresh linen, spare pillows and towels.
The room also had a fridge in it, which had a complimentary bottle of water in it. This was a pleasant surprise as usually when hotel rooms provide bottled water there is a charge for drinking from it. The only problem was that it required a bottle opener to open the bottle and despite my best efforts I couldn't find one in the room. After mentioning this to my colleague they suggested I looked in the bathroom. I was quite bemused by this as to me this seems like a really illogical place to put an opener but on closer inspection of the frame of the bathroom door I found a bottle opener built into it. How strange?! There was also a kettle with a good range of tea and instant coffee available.
The room also contained a detailed guide to Gothenburg with reviews of some places to visit. There was also a menu for room service - I usually have a read through this out of curiosity as I never order room service and was surprised to note that there was no vegetarian option on offer!
The bathroom was clean but seemed a little outdated. The shower worked well but was a little tricky to figure out. There was a knob at the bottom of the tap which had to be pulled to get it working and it took me an age to work this out! There was handwash and bath/shower gel provided on bottles mounted to the wall but no little samples. There was also a hairdryer in the room though strangely this was not in the bathroom.
**Breakfast and Meals**
The rate included breakfast, which was taken in the hotel restaurant. The restaurant was located at the front of the hotel and there were large windows through which we were able to get lovely views of the harbour. The breakfast was self-service and there was a huge variety on offer - croissants, toast, several varieties of rolls, pastries, egg, cold meats, cereals, fruit, yoghurt and cheeses. I usually opted for fruit with a slice of toast and some juice, which were all tasty.
As we were conferencing in the hotel we also had our lunch and dinner in the restaurant. The lunch consisted of a buffet with various meat and fish dishes on offer. I don't eat meat but do eat fish but was a little disappointed that the vegetarian options seemed to be lacking and had to stock up on the salad and pasta bar! Dinner was also taken at the restaurant and I had a vegetarian meal prepared for me. The meals were tasty and flavoursome. I had a very tasty cheese tart and also some really delicious griddled vegetables and couscous.
The hotel also has several meeting rooms, which are suitable to hold small to medium sized meetings in. The rooms overlooked the harbour and could accommodate about 50 people quite comfortably.
**Other facilities and comments**
I was surprised to find that there was no 'welcome guide' to the hotel in the room, which can usually be found in hotels, giving details of facilities that the complex has. It was only on my travels during the week that I learnt that the hotel had a gym onsite and sauna. Car parking was free onsite for hotel guests.
I found the staff at the hotel to be generally very polite and friendly. There were a couple of occasions when I needed to speak to staff on reception but this often seemed to be understaffed and I had to wait for several minutes to talk to someone.
I enjoyed my stay at the hotel. The rooms were comfortable and the facilities good. The food was tasty and the staff always polite and courteous. Rooms were priced at between 1020 and 1820 Kr per night for a single room depending on whether you were staying during the week (more expensive) or Friday/Saturday when it would be cheaper. This works out to be roughly £100-180 per night, which I think is quite expensive, but then I wasn't paying! If I found myself in Gothenburg again I would certainly check this hotel out again and if the price was right I would not hesitate to book myself in.
This review has also been posted on Ciao under my tecnomars username along with pictures.