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The Rival Concierge

SeanAlthough you may have already researched Stockholm before arriving at the Rival Hotel, make sure you stop by the Concierge desk after checking in and talk to me, Sean Naughton - the Rival’s Stockholm expert, to get that helpful local knowledge.

Originally from Hawaii (Swedish mother, American father), I have called Stockholm my home for over 20 years now.

I am a member of the prestigious Les Clefs d’Or (international union of Concierge) and also write a popular blog called The Stockholm Tourist which is full of useful advice, handy tips and insider information.

To really plan your stay, contact me in advance of your arrival at concierge@rival.se I will be happy to book you sightseeing tours, reserve tables at restaurants, arrange your airport transfers or just give you advice on what not to miss. Get the most out of your visit to the Capital of Scandinavia!

Our neighborhood

So, you have booked your stay at the Rival Hotel? Congratulations! You wisely chose a hotel located in Södermalm, a neighborhood ranked as the third coolest in the world by Vogue Magazine and chosen by the Financial Times as one of their top destinations in the world for 2014. Södermalm is a great area just to “be”. You can spend your whole vacation here… whether visiting art galleries on Hornsgatspuckeln, shopping at the hip boutiques of SoFo, walking in the footsteps of author Stieg Larsson, taking a break at one of the multitude of cafés or even swimming or renting a kayak at the nearby Långholmen beach. But, if you feel the need to expand your Stockholm horizons, historic Gamla Stan is only a 10 minute walk from the hotel!

Our city

I could write pages and pages on what I recommend to do/see/visit/eat/drink when in Stockholm. In fact, I have done just that on my blog: The Stockholm Tourist! But if I were forced to choose just a few top recommendations, then these are things I would say that one shouldn’t miss (in no specific order):

Museums Activities Visit
1. Vasa Museum 1. Tour Under The Bridges 1. Östermalms saluhall
2. ABBA The Museum 2. Bike On Djurgården 2. Drottningholm Palace
3. Skansen 3. Paddle a kayak 3. The Archipelago
4. Fotografiska 4. Shop at NK 4. Woodland Cemetary
5. Moderna 5. Take a Food Tour 5. Gamla Stan


Top tips

  1. Best way to travel between the Arlanda airport and Rival Hotel is either by
    Taxi Stockholm (520 SEK) or by commuter train (125 SEK).
  2. Credit and Debit cards are accepted almost everywhere so don’t exchange (and carry) unnecessary amounts of cash.
  3. Stockholm is a very walkable city. Otherwise we have a wonderful public transportation system which includes buses, subways, trams, ferries and trains (all accessed with one transport card).
  4. See Stockholm from the water. The city sits on 14 islands and is best seen from the water, whether by boat tour, ferry or sitting at a waterside bar.
  5. Do not hail taxis on the street. This can get expensive as taxis aren’t regulated in Sweden. Have the hotel, restaurant or shop order you a taxi to get the best company/price.

Look for this taxi logotype:
Taxi Stockholm

These are just a select few of the many, many things Stockholm has to offer! Contact me directly at concierge@rival.se if you have any specific interests and need recommendations. Art? Nature? Shopping? Design? Swedish cuisine? Nightlife? Sightseeing? Just let me know. Stockholm has something for just about every interest.

Gay friendly

The Rival Hotel is a proud member of the Stockholm Gay & Lesbian Network (a collection of local attractions, hotels and businesses that work together to ensure that Stockholm remains at the top of the lists of gay friendly destinations) and I serve as their liaison at the hotel. Through this cooperation, all staff at the Rival Hotel have taken gay sensitivity training provided by Out Now. This is part of the Rival Hotel’s dedication in making all of our guests feel equally welcome, whatever their nationality, religion, gender, age or sexual orientation. Read more.

Our hotel

In fact, you could probably spend your whole vacation without leaving the hotel itself.

Rival Fasad

The Rival opened in 2003 as Stockholm’s first boutique hotel and, besides the hotel, you will also find a restaurant (Bistro Rival), a café (Café Rival), several bars as well as a theatre all under one roof.

Bistro 2

The Bistro, serving both Swedish favorites as well as international cuisine, is located on the first floor and open every evening, year-round. You will find the Café on the ground floor and this is a great place to get a light meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) or to try a traditional Swedish “fika” (socializing over coffee and pastries). The Rival Theatre has become a popular Stockholm entertainment venue with theatre, concerts and stand-up comedy shows. While most shows are in Swedish, keep in mind that the bars and Bistro can get extra busy on evenings when we have shows in the theatre.


+46 (0)8 545 789 35

Les Clefs Logo

I am the swedish chairman in prestigious Les Clefs d’Or, international union of Concierge.

Rival Rainbow Logo Large V2

Read more about Rival and the rainbow