Where to stay in London for ABBA Travel


9:00 p.m. July 9, 2022

What a journey ! It took over five years to produce but, honestly, it’s worth it. ABBA Voyage – the 90-minute musical show which features virtual performances – the so-called Abbatars – of the Swedish pop supergroup in its heyday, lives up to the hype. It’s a visually stunning technological marvel and superb entertainment.

From start to finish, the more than 3,000 people in the purpose-built stadium are transported both to another world and to the one they know or know very well. ABBA has provided the soundtracks to so many life experiences both for the generation that was in their teens and twenties when ABBA burst onto the scene and for those who discovered the band later through the musical and the Mamma Mia movies.

It was then surprising that the opening songs were a few lesser-known tunes. But it wasn’t long before the hits started rolling in: ‘SOS’ mixed with ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ and there probably wasn’t anyone in the place who wasn’t singing along.

ABBA Voyage Performer Gimme Gimme Gimme
– Credit: Johan Persson

It takes less than a minute before you stop wondering if the four people you see on stage are real. They appear life-size from a distance then enlarged on the large high-definition screens flanking the stage. There’s also a 10-piece band and backing vocals that give an authentic performance edge to the tech magic that brings us the Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson of the 1970s and 80s in all their youthful glory. .

The ABBAtars wear the same flashy costumes from that era but brought up to date here by Dolce & Gabbana.

The ABBA Voyage story began in 2017 when Benny Andersson came up with the idea of ​​a virtual meeting. After persuading the ABBA ladies to return to the studio, the real work began. After much experimentation, it was George Lucas’ special effects company Industrial Light & Magic (the team that produced Star Wars) that finally brought Andersson’s vision to life.

No one says how much the creation cost to produce, but given that it can be replicated anywhere, it’s likely that ABBA Voyage will pop up in capitals around the world and possibly be as long as the group itself.

A spacious room at the Stratford Hotel

A spacious room at the Stratford Hotel
– Credit: Assessed

A bathroom at the Stratford Hotel

A bathroom at the Stratford Hotel
– Credit: Assessed

The Stratford Hotel Sky Garden at night

The Stratford Hotel Sky Garden at night
– Credit: Assessed

My sister Deborah and I spent the night at the Stratford Hotel, a 15 minute walk through Olympic Park past the Olympic Stadium and Zaha Hadid’s Wavy Whoosh of the Aquatics Center. Perhaps most convenient of all, it’s right next to Westfield Shopping Centre. Keeping with the Nordic theme, all interiors of Stratford are designed by Space Copenhagen.

Our room was spacious, decorated in pastel colors and natural woods. This is a great place to stay if you want a bit of comfort and luxury before and after the concert.

The hotel has also integrated the whole ABBA experience and offers ABBA packages. We dined in the E20 kitchen in the lobby. There’s an a la carte menu but the special ABBA menu, unsurprisingly, has a Scandinavian theme: gravlax and Swedish potatoes, plus cod and crayfish. It’s £15 for a starter, main and salad, and £22 if you add dessert and a glass of wine or coffee. The service staff are incredibly helpful and pleasant.

On weekends, there’s even a disco brunch, and ABBA party can go on late into the night on the hotel’s pretty mezzanine for those who haven’t danced enough yet. It really is a Dancing Queen’s delight!

ABBA Voyage is now booking through May 28, 2023 with further dates to be released soon. For all information, go to abbavoyage.com.

Book your stay

A one night midweek stay at The Stratford for two adults sharing starts at £215 per room on a room only basis. thestratford.com

Tickets for Abba Voyage start from £21 pp for a seat in the auditorium. abbavoyage.com

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