Tag Archives: Malmo

Ibis Malmo – Our First Intro to This Accor Brand is Disappointing

Ibis Malmo
Source: Hotel Website

By Lakshmi:

Siddhi and I recently had to spend a night in Malmo, Sweden and the recommendation provided to us was the Ibis, Malmo.  Given our positive experiences with other Accor brands, we expected our first foray into the Ibis brand to be satisfactory.

However, the stay ended up being a disappointing experience, driven primarily by the service.

First, I want to clarify that this property located about 15 minutes away from Malmo Central is neat with breakfast served on premise, clean functional rooms with free wi-fi and a large grocery store across the street.

However, if you need any form of support, the staff simply did not care.  Given our extensive travels, we are fairly self-sufficient individuals requiring minimal support from our hotels. But in this case, even minimal support was non-existent.

– Given my platinum status with Accor, I asked if breakfast was included.  They said they were busy and would let me know.  The next morning, when I asked, I was told abruptly that I would have to pay for breakfast.  After saying yes to the receptionist, we went to the breakfast area to be told we can’t have breakfast without the right vouchers.  So, we returned back to be given vouchers hastily.

– Given it was our first night in Sweden, we had little cash and asked if they would exchange money.  They simply said no.

– We needed a taxi and asked them to request a taxi which would accept credit cards.  Turned out after using the taxi, the driver informs us that no credit cards would be accepted.  When I asked the receptionist for help, she simply stated that I could drive across the street to the grocery store and get cash…with no offer for any form of assistance.

– The next morning, I asked the attendant about train schedules for Gothenburg and she simply stated that she was very busy and I should call the number myself and get the information.

Granted, the Ibis is a limited service property and while they genuinely may not have been able to address some of our needs, surely they could have at least pretended to be somewhat helpful.

Needless to say, we will be thinking twice before staying at another Ibis property.

In case you want to look into this property, they are located on the web at:

http://www.ibishotel.com/gb/hotel-3332-ibis-malmo/index.shtml

Malmo Central Station – Creative Video Art on Display

By Lakshmi: (Updated September 15, 2014)

Who?  Anyone who is visiting Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city or is transiting through Malmo’s Central Station.

What? The video landscapes on display on the platform walls.

How? Malmo’s Central Station is centrally located to start or end all journeys into town.

Why?  I arrived early to catch a train from Malmo to Gothenburg and with lunch and a drink in tow decided to wait on the platform for the train.  And that’s when it caught my attention.  There was no train at the platform, but instead I saw a series of moving landscapes on the wall.  At first, it seemed a bit strange.  It was almost like I was sitting in a train watching the landscape pass by through the windows…except I was not on a train and yet had this visual illusion.  After overcoming my slightly confused state, I started recognizing some of the world landmarks on display.  Turns out that what I was witnessing was artiste Tania Ruiz Gutiérrez’s video installation intended to show waiting passengers visuals that they would see on train journeys around the world.   It is actually a very creative work of art which draws in the viewer, engages them and puts them in a frame of mind to enjoy their train journey.

I was surprised that soon after my return home from Sweden, the NY times featured my accidental discovery as a “to do” in Malmo.  Another fact I learnt from the same article is that you can take the train every day for five years and not repeat a scene displayed!  You can read more about this art installation at

http://www.elsewhere.name/index.php

Traveling for the Paupers – Learning to Enjoy the Unexpected

Laholm, Sweden
(www.viewphotos.org)

 

By Lakshmi:

Today, marks day two of our trip to Sweden and this afternoon, I made reservations with Skanetrafiken and embarked on a train journey that was to take me from Malmo to Gothenburg in about three hours for 311 Krona.  As I went to confirm the platform/time, I was told that since the tracks were being repaired, the train journey would no longer be direct but instead involve three trains and a bus and I would still get to Gothenburg on time!

I made my way down to Track 4a somewhat agitated.  I had paid for a fast train and was instead going to be saddled with all these changes with two suitcases and a backpack in tow.  And Siddhi had work commitments and was going to travel separately and meet up with me in Gothenburg.

But, that model of Swedish efficiency did not let me down.  Here’s how the journey went.

Part 1: I sat in the area set up for people with bikes, luggage and strollers.  Families with children dominated the scene.  A young couple cuddling with each other and cooing with their baby, a father feeding his twin boys cheese sandwiches/juice/cookies, a young girl whose train ticket was not valid and had to pay a fine and a guy with a bike who was worried that this multi-stop journey to Gothenburg would not happen with his bike in tow.

Part 2:  At Helsingborg station, we crossed the platform and boarded a train for Angelholm.  This time, I sat in a compartment with 4 seats and a table and decided to write a blog post while listening to two young women, one of Indian and another of Chinese descent, speaking in Swedish.  “One world” took on a whole new meaning.  This time, I was treated to a visual landscape of beaches sans people.

Part 3:  We got off the train at Angelholm and were shown buses to board that would take us to Laholm.  It appeared that the entire train poured into three buses.  The visuals outside my window were stunning.  Acres upon acres of yellow flowers in bloom reminding me of Keukenhof in full bloom in Amsterdam.  I saw many wind turbines and later learnt that the area of Laholm has a multi-billion dollar wind farm for power generation.

Part 4:  The train ride from Laholm to Gothenburg was the most serene part of the journey, since I fell asleep till an announcement came through that we were arriving in Gothenburg.

So, even though I wanted that direct train badly and was upset about the detours, the unexpected twists provided for a lovely mix of scenery and life which is ultimately what a journey is all about.