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READ MORE FROM THIS TRIP
Introduction: From Cold To Hot and Checking The #1 Country Off of My Bucketlist
• Review: Plaza Premium Lounge (Toronto Airport)
• Review: Air France / KLM Lounge (Toronto Airport)
• Review: Air France A350 (Business Class); Toronto – Paris
• Review: Air France A320 (Business Class); Paris – Stockholm
• Review: The Generator Hostel (Stockholm)
• Review: Norrsken Lounge (Stockholm Arlanda)
My flight from Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) to Doha departed at 9:45PM and I arrived about 6 hours early so I could explore the lounges at the airport. I know 6 hours sounds extreme but sitting at the airport does not bother me, particularly, when I have many lounges to explore. Additionally, I’m solar powered and the sun set at 4PM so I was done exploring the city for this trip.
Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of time in lounges over the last couple of years and I attempt to give unbiased reviews. However, accomplishing this is not an easy feat as I’ve learned that an unfriendly welcome or lack of food can easily sink a review.
Case in point…the Norrsken Lounge. There were a few lounges that I wanted to review before I departed Stockholm and the first was the Norrsken Lounge so let’s start from the beginning…
The lounge is located in the Terminal 5 of Arlanda Airport. The terminal has a few wings and the lounge is located near Gate 1. I will reference this map (below) for all the lounge reviews at Stockholm Airport.
First, the lounge can be challenging to find. The directions on the signs at the airport are not clear, however, you are looking for these unique stairs near Gate 1.
There is also an elevator if you continue down the “Gate 11-24” corridor.
Once you ascend the stairs (or elevator) and arrive on the floor above the concourse, you will see the Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) Lounge to your left…
…and the Norrsken Lounge to your right.
I was a bit confused as I approached the lounge because it appeared dark and abandoned. Fortunately, it was not abandoned but it was still dark.
Another aspect that I found confusing was the door said Norrsken but the airport maps had it labeled as “Menzies Business Lounge.” Perhaps, they were rebranding? I’m not sure.
As I approached the lounge, the automatic door opened. I saw a handful of people seated in the lounge but no one was at the front desk. I waited a few minutes before an older woman emerged from the kitchen and asked “do you need something?”
“Ughhh…is this lounge…open?” I asked.
“Ok, how do I check-in?”
“Hold on” she replied. And then she disappeared into the kitchen again reemerging after another 2-3 minutes.
It took less than a minute for the attendant to check me in, however, before I could ask any questions, she, literally, ran back to the kitchen.
This was a bit disappointing. I was excited about my upcoming flight and hoping that I would have three or four great lounge reviews. But it wasn’t starting on a great note.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Anyway, the hours of operation are as follows:
Open Daily: 05:30 – 19:30
WHO HAS ACCESS TO THE LOUNGE?
Norrsken Lounge serves business and first class passengers for multiple airlines. The lounge also has an agreement with Priority Pass so I was able to get free access to the lounge using my Priority Pass membership.
If you don’t have a Priority Pass membership, the best way of getting access is through a credit card. A few options include:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- American Express: Hilton Honors Aspire Card
- American Express: The Platinum Card
- American Express: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
- American Express: Hilton Honors Ascend Card (10 free visits annually)
Norrsken Lounge is a peaceful place to unwind before your flight. During my visit, only a handful of people were present and the lounge was cozy. However, the lighting within the lounge confusing.
In my experience, lounges are either bright and airy with, say, a lot of windows and natural light, or dark and tranquil. This lounge had both in the same section. For example…
The lounge had stylish wooden decoration, and tables in cubby holes for guests. It felt very modern and Scandinavian design was definitely visible in this lounge.
Along the wall at the entrance, I found various newspapers and magazines.
Still standing at the check-in desk, I turned to my right to photograph this section with high-tables and I suspect there were motion detectors because the lights immediately came on.
I headed for the dining section to check out the available options.
Catering is, by far, the weakest link in this lounge. At the time of my visit, the lounge didn’t have any warm food. They only had cheese, turkey, cold pasta, and three types of bread that appeared to have been stored in the refrigerator also because they were nearly frozen.
Given the bowls in the photo, I thought soup would’ve been available but I did not see any.
The drink selection was not any better. The only options were soft drinks, and water. There were no wines available, and tap beers were not working.
The coffee machine (located next to the tap beer) was also not working. Perhaps, this is what the attendant was running to the kitchen to fix?
COMMUNICATION & ENTERTAINMENT
The lounge had basic entertainment services. There was a TV, a digital flight information screen, and comfortable chairs to relax. The lounge also had WiFi that worked fairly well. The lounge is next to the tarmac so it is a good place for watching planes. Unfortunately, I visited at 6PM and the sun had set at 4PM.
Stockholm Airport is expensive so having the ability to buy an inexpensive day pass to the lounge (or having free access with Priority Pass) is definitely worth the money. However, I encourage you to temper your expectations. The lounge offers a peaceful atmosphere with free wifi and food.
I did not spend a lot of time in this lounge because the staff interaction was poor, the food was uninspiring (but present), the bathroom was extremely dirty (I didn’t even take a photo because it was THAT dirty), and there were no showers.
I appreciated the Scandinavian design elements displayed within the lounge but the lounge needs a bit of updating.
It isn’t the worse lounge that I’ve ever visited but the overall impression just left a lot to be desired.
Additionally, I knew there were better lounge options in the airport so I decided to cut my losses and move on.
Have you visited the Norrsken Lounge (aka Menzies Business Lounge)? If so, what was your experience?