ARN: Stockholm SAS Stockholm Lounge
Both lounges are right at the hub of the long winding maze that is terminal 5, at the strange three way junction, and then up the spiral stairs, or indeed take the lift. At the desk you'll get a cursory greeting, and normally just waved to the right, however any savvy traveller with a gold card with turn left and you'll rarely be questioned on this.
There is a pleasant atmosphere to the SAS Stockholm Lounge: it has just been refurnished with the latest décor and SAS style furnishing. As you enter the newspaper rack is right by the door on the left, and a small 'touchdown' area with a sofa and poofs. Then on the right is the main bar and refreshment area, looking rather like a rather fancy Scandinavian kitchen, with a good bar selection.
The main part of the lounge has two large benches with round lights above them: this is the most sociable part of the lounge, and is well known for being a European networking hub, where the great and good of Scandinavian business get together for a hobknob over a wine or two in the evening. Just take a seat on one of the rather high wobbly stools and you can be sure someone will say 'Hej'.
There are plenty of other seating options across the lounge, with a mix of sofas, lounge chairs and bar stools. To the left of the entrance are some rather uncomfortable high backed wooden chairs, while at the far end of the triangle is a TV and lounge chairs.
Don't stop your exploration of the SAS Stockholm Lounge here though – there is much more to it. Instead, at the bar area, walk past the green bamboo screen, and pass the computers on your left, where there is an open air meeting room. And I really do mean open air. The carpet is fake grass, with eight chairs around a square table. Meetings are far from confidential here.
Past the glass screen is another area which is often roped off from the general hoy-paloy. Here there are few chairs with large round windows overlooking main shopping area of terminal five.
Finally, at the far end, is the most conventional part of the lounge, which look like airline lounges of old: that's because it is. It hasn't been updated since the late 1990s. this large room has banks of seats in rows, and subdues lighting. Few people make it in here, and it's a good place for a snooze.
At the corner of this lounge is an area normally taken over by family groups, with high backed leather armchairs around a table. Sitting here means families with young children at least won't disturb others. Oddly, on the wall here are orange budda statues. Exactly why has never been made clear.
Throughout the lounge there are the usual SAS coat racks. Why so many? Well, you only have to venture out of the airport for eleven months of the year to discover the reason: to venture anywhere in Scandinavia you need a thick coat, but in the SAS Stockholm lounge the heating is turned up so high, you won't need one.
The SAS Stockholm Lounge alas has no views of the aircraft or apron, barring the small seating area at the entrance, which has partial view of the tarmac and the runway in the distance.
When you come to leave the SAS Stockholm Lounge, beware that it is a long walk from the non-Schengen gates - almost a 12 minute walk to reach the lounge. Plus, there is a passport check on the way too.
FoodFood, as you might expect in the SAS Stockholm Lounge, has very much a Scandinavian twist, with a strong dominance of cold buffet items.
The breakfast spread is middle of the road with a selection of bread, including a good sour dough, plus cereal, ham cheese and croissants.
At 11am the lunch service starts, with yet more ham and cheese, cold cuts, potato salad, lettuce, and tomatoes. There are quite a few salad dressing options. The Pasta Salad is worthy of note, and if often the best in the lounge.
If you want a hot dish, there is soup, or soup with croutons. Or Breadsticks, if you really want.
Baskets of fruit – oranges and bananas – are on the table.
BarThe Bar in the SAS Stockholm Lounge is very well supplied with beer from the well known brewer Carlsberg. There is tons of Carlsberg in the fridge, including non-alcoholic Carlsberg, plus Tuborg Green, and Tuborg Gold.
Wine is mixed up with the spirit selection - you've got to hunt it down, but it is there, along with tasting notes. Unusually for Stockholm New World wine dominates, with three whites and three reds.
The spirit selection is the one notable step up from the Business lounge next door, with no less than fifteen bottles all racked up. From Baileys to Contreau, Smirnoff to Bacardi, Laphroaig, to Camari.
There is also Apple and Orange juice, a selection of tea, and soft drinks.
The lounge also boasts a couple of coffee machines, and one of them is dedicated to serving organic coffee.
Business FacilitiesThe SAS Stockholm Lounge is well equipped with computers. Sadly they are getting quite elderly, as no one uses them any more, instead using their own devices. The wifi connection is very good and fast.
There are four PCs on a shelf at the back of the lounge, and two printer, copy and fax machines.
The lounge has a working wi-fi connection for private use as well.
As you enter, there is a rack of world newspapers is available. The only UK paper is the Daily Telegraph, along with the European version of the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Time Magazine.
BathroomsIn lounge. A white and blue tiled affair that could come straight from Ikea.
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