Many moons ago I was an exchange student at the University of Copenhagen. Malmø in nearby Sweden was at the time – compared to Copenhagen – a town that was in many ways smaller but also a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the big city. My fellow exchange students and I would jump onto a train whenever we needed a change of pace and scenery and within 40 minutes would be transported to relative peace and tranquility. So imagine my shock when I visited Malmø last week to find it had become a full-fledged city in the space of just 8 years.
Location: Malmø now boasts a very impressive and modern skyline. The Clarion Hotel & Congress Live Malmø is part of this new development, towering 85 meters and 25 floors above the ground. It is located within walking distance of Malmø Central Station, central Malmø and the cool and happening area of Västra hamnen. International travellers should note that the hotel – and indeed Malmø – is a mere 30 minutes by train from Copenhagen Airport and can be another accommodation option when hotels in Copenhagen are difficult to come by in the very busy summer and fall months.
Rooms: 444 rooms that come in standard, moderate double, superior twin, deluxe double and two suites. I personally stayed in room 1922 on the 19th floor, with amazing views of the Øresund Bridge, Ribersborg beach and the city of Malmø. Pro tip: The views just get better the higher up you go.
Food & beverage: Speaking of views, there might be a restaurant in Malmø with better views than Kitchen and Table restaurant situated on the 25th floor of the hotel, but I highly doubt it. It is one of the two restaurants – the other one being the Eatery Social Taqueria – helmed by Swedish chef extraordinaire Marcus Samuelsson (yes, he of Red Rooster Harlem fame). Eatery Social Taqueria pays homage to the street food you’d find in Mexico, New York and LA while Kitchen and Table specializes in New-York inspired dishes served with Scandinavian-sourced ingredients in an informal yet lively setting. Pro tip: These restaurants are very popular and busy, book a table in good time.
Other facilities: As the name suggests, Clarion Hotel & Congress Malmö Live is mainly a conference/convention hotel. And when it comes to conference hotels, things can get, shall we say, a bit boring, impersonal and cookie-cutter-ish. Not here. Yes, there are conference rooms which on a regular week day will probably host conference attendants in their hundreds. Yet the hotel manages to cater both to the conference goers and regular guests in a seamless way. For one the conference rooms and banquet halls are situated on a different wing of the hotel that regular guests rarely have to walk by. Secondly the common areas are so expansive and open that it never feels crowded.
Standout feature: I would have to go with the cool and young vibe throughout the hotel here. On one of the mornings that I stayed there a DJ jazzed up every one’s morning up by hosting a set in the lounge while someone served ginger shots. The hotel’s gym is also not only bigger than most hotel fitness facilities but also features a climbing wall (see above picture). Modern and post-modern art lovers will also nod appreciatively at the large collection of international art displayed in the hotel’s public areas.
The lowdown: Clarion Hotel & Congress Malmö Live, Dag Hammarskjölds torg 2 21118 Malmö, Sweden. Rates at the Clarion Hotel & Congress Malmö Live start at 1250 SEK per night, including breakfast and free wifi throughout the hotel.
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