Four stars, 201 rooms, spa and wellness facility with rooftop pool, inviting lounge and international vibe. Kista will receive a welcome hotel addition in the middle of next year when Sweden's second AC by Marriott hotel opens in the Nordic Forum quarter. This will be an attractive new meeting place that brings energy and more jobs to Kista. The project on Torshamnsgatan, where former office premises will become the new hotel, is a natural part of the district's development.
A large international hotel is set to open in Kista. The location is perfect, close to both Kista Convention Center and many international companies. Former office space is being converted into a state-of-the-art 4-star Marriott hotel in the Nordic Forum quarter. The property is owned by Revelop, one of the real estate companies behind The Kloud.
Construction manager Lisa Ehlton from the contractor Wästbygg meets us at the site office on Torshamnsgatan 39. It is not easy to get a grasp of all the work that is done from only the sketches and drawings Lisa shows us, so she also takes us on a tour around the premises. We see the raw and unfurnished areas that will soon be transformed into a welcoming entrance and lobby, a lounge and the lovely spa and wellness area with rooftop pool and terrace.
Sweden's second AC by Marriott will have just over 200 rooms
The US hotel chain Marriott has approximately 6,500 hotels and 120,000 employees around the world. The group owns several well-known brands, such as Sheraton, Courtyard and Ritz-Carlton. One of the younger brands in the chain is AC by Marriott, which is based on a stylish Spanish design concept, created by Antonio Catalan.
AC by Marriott in Kista will have 201 rooms. The opening is planned for the middle of 2023, making the hotel Sweden's second AC by Marriott. Vi Invest, an established hotel and real estate operator based in Stockholm, is behind the investment. The company's vice president, Aram Mojarrad, says:
“Vi Invest today has a portfolio of hotels and properties in very strong geographical locations in Stockholm, such as Karlaplan, Gamla Stan and Drottninggatan. We saw that Marriott International, despite being such a large chain, only had a few hotels in Sweden and therefore should expand its presence. The offer for international travelers who have Marriott's loyalty card Bonvoy has been very limited in Sweden. We agreed with Marriott International that the concept AC by Marriott would be perfect for us and for Stockholm.”
The sister hotel got off to a good start despite the pandemic
Said and done. In March 2020 – after two years of construction and in the middle of the worst pandemic period – Vi Invest opened Sweden's very first AC by Marriott in Ulriksdal, Solna. A completely newly built hotel of approximately 10,000 square meters with 223 rooms, conference facilities, restaurant, lounge and a beloved spa and wellness area of approximately 1,500 square meters.
“Of course, it was tough to open during the pandemic, but it still went better than expected, much thanks to the spa department, which further strengthened our belief in the concept. Although travel declined sharply, we saw that the spa area was appreciated by many who, due to the restrictions, could not travel. And the AC Lounge was a perfect haunt for office workers who did not want to, or could not, work from home. The investment in spa and wellness meant that, even after the pandemic, we were able to attract wider target groups than solely business travelers. We hope to add the same energy and positive experiences to our hotel in Kista.”
Iberian style, empty fridges and Book of Mormons
The AC concept is attractive, stylish and functional. Despite the fact that it comes from Spain and that the style is called Iberian, the interior feels quite Scandinavian when Aram lets us into the showroom on Torshamnsgatan. There is everything you need in a fairly small area without it feeling crowded. We note that the typical hotel room fridge is empty.
“Hotel guests no longer demand the classic minibar. If you want to have a drink – with or without alcohol – it is much nicer to have it in the lounge than in the room. However, there is of course the need for guests to be able to keep their own drinks or food cool,” says Aram.
Suddenly she picks up a hefty book from a drawer in the closet.
“Look over here! It's the Book of Mormons, which should be in every Marriott hotel because the founder Bill Marriott was a Mormon. I do not know how long it will be a requirement from Marriott International that the book should be in the rooms. Not all guests appreciate it, but most people probably think it's a fun and odd tradition.”
Nice, considered and affordable
The showroom has an elegant cork floor and stylish vinyl wallpaper. The bathroom style is fresh and pared back with tiles. Everything feels considered, practical and well designed. The classic Marriott beds are lavish, and the materials look good. AC by Marriott in Kista will, just like in Ulriksdal, be a modern 4-star hotel where guests get value for money.
“The basic price will be from around SEK 1,000 per double room a night including breakfast. In addition to a really nice hotel room, you get access to our lovely AC Lounge, where you can eat, drink, work or just relax. If you want to treat yourself to something extra, you can buy access to the spa and gym and book treatments. We will also offer several so-called ‘connecting rooms’ – rooms next to each other with their own door in-between. They are perfect for families with children and other groups who want to be close to each other.
International meeting place brings more energy and jobs to Kista
Members of Marriott’s large and esteemed member club, Bonvoy, earn points from each hotel stay to be used on a later date – in a similar way to how airlines’ customer loyalty programs work. Among Americans and Asians, Marriott is very popular. This is another reason why Vi Invest wanted to open another Marriott, says Aram:
“Kista lacks a large international hotel today. Of course, we want to attract business travelers from companies in the area, but also other target groups. For example, families and leisure travelers who like the facilities or the possibility to book connecting rooms. Our guests will also appreciate the proximity to Arlanda and Stockholm city, together with Kista's good parking and transport facilities. Of course, we also welcome everyone who lives or works in Kista. They will be able to eat well, have conferences, go to after work, enjoy our spa and work out. I think we are exactly what Kista needs today. A new and fresh meeting place full of energy and great options!”
The opening of the hotel also means new job opportunities for people living in Kista and nearby. Skilled, driven and service-conscious employees are needed for all the functions that a modern hotel offers: restaurant, reception, spa, cleaning and more.
“The hotel industry is more of a lifestyle than just a job, and you need to love that lifestyle to thrive in the industry. The AC by Marriott hotels offer an international atmosphere and many wonderful opportunities, both for guests and staff. Therefore, it will be really fun and exciting to open this fantastic hotel here. I really want to wish everyone a warm welcome to AC by Marriott in Kista when we open next year,” concludes Aram.