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Wines on the Wing

Clarion Hotel & Congress Malmö Live

by Elyse Glickman

Dec 20, 2017

© Clarion Hotel Malmö Live


Scandinavia is world renowned for its nations’ top-ranked standard of living, an imagination-capturing history and a colorful aesthetic kids are particularly drawn to. On the other hand, the top of Europe has never been known for its wallet friendliness.


In 2015, the Clarion Malmö Live endeavored to change that without sacrificing anything the world loves about the region through an affordable room rate (averaging $150/night) and a 30-minute train ride to Copenhagen, Denmark’s airport (CPH) and its enchanting downtown area — the main station exit is opposite the legendary Tivoli Gardens.

Kidz Clarion pancakes

Photo: Clarion Hotel Malmö Live

Though the Clarion Malmö Live was conceived as a business hotel, its high ceilings, public art, concert hall and restaurants have made it a bonafide gathering place for local families and young professionals. Furthermore, this Clarion feels like anything but a chain, blending an approachably modern ambiance. The breakfast, staged in the hotel’s cheery Mexican restaurant Eatery Social Taqueria and included in the room rate, is built along the lines of the traditional Swedish smorgasbord — there’s a separate feast devised especially for kids with loads of pancakes as well as décor that may have parents rethinking their kids’ play space at home. Picnic tables and a lobby library further exemplify the appeal of Swedish family life.

Malmo Room View

Photo: Elyse Glickman

Many single rooms convert to a family room that gives adults and kids their own space, and comes loaded with great city views and a kids’ goodie bag. Children 12 years old and younger stay free when occupying the parent or guardian’s room, using existing bedding. The hotel is also pet friendly, accommodating most dogs for an extra fee (255 SK per night). According to Kristian Ahlmark, senior partner, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, the goal was to design this Clarion as a “house of the city” incorporating Malmö’s architectural elements with inviting public spaces, making it a perfect showcase for Sweden’s urban lifestyle.


“The context inspired our choice of materials and colors as well as the various sizes of the building’s areas, yet the building design itself points to the future,” he said. This extends to the private rooms, which, although minimalist, manage to be cozy thanks to pops of color and comfortable beds and linens.


While Malmö is Sweden’s third-largest city, it is extremely manageable in size as well as one of Europe’s most environmentally progressive cities. Malmö Museer, actually a cluster of the city’s coolest museums, are within walking distance. Cultural highlights that genuinely appeal to kids, teens and adults include Malmöhus Castle, The Konstmuseum, The Science and Maritime House (which includes a U3 Submarine) and a newly opened aquarium. Malmö Saluhall, a three-minute walk from the hotel, is packed with stalls — some by the area’s most buzzed-about chefs — with meals and snacks to please every palate for about half the price of comparable spots in Copenhagen.

Malmo Square

© Clarion Hotel Malmö Live

Once kids are tucked away for the night, adults may want to treat themselves to an evening at Kitchen & Table, which embodies the former industrial city’s transformation as well as dishes created by noted chef Marcus Samuelsson. The kitchen uses the building blocks of homespun Swedish comfort food to create an imaginative and ever-changing selection of appetizers, main courses and desserts.


It is also interesting to note parent company Nordic Choice Hotels has been involved in an important partnership with UNICEF since 2008. A percentage of the room rates goes toward important financial support to fund a variety of services and necessarily supplies for children and families around the world.


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