It’s a widely held truth that Sweden is one of the most opulent and exclusive places in the world; there’s no better way to home in on this aura of pure luxury than at a spa hotel. Here you can unwind in large spa areas with Scandinavian saunas boasting different scents, or settle in for a massage. Most hotels come equipped with indoor pools and typical Nordic steam baths, a fitness room, and super-modern and tastefully furnished rooms. Whether in the beautiful capital Stockholm, on the West Coast, or in untouched Northern Sweden, prepare for a holiday that’ll leave you feeling fresher than ever before.
Where to stay at a spa hotel in Sweden? Top destinations at a glance
Stockholm: Design and class in the capital
Stockholm is a dynamic, stunning, and forward-thinking city situated on the Baltic Sea. Everywhere you look you’re promised state-of-the-art design, from the café around the corner to the Moderna Museet modern art museum, filled to the brim with all best of Picasso, Dalí, as well as beautiful moments in Scandinavian and Russian modern art. The spa hotels that populate this lovely city are filled with beautiful, mid-century furniture and a royal atmosphere emanates. While away a day in the spa center in the special Nordic saunas and the evening at the trendy hotel bar with a glass of Sweden’s national spirit, Aquavit, or a classic glass of wine. Stockholm’s spa hotels are built for the comfort of guests and to offer an experience that’s uniquely Swedish. Outside your spa hotels’ stunning old doors, you’ll find Stockholm’s magical cityscape which, while spread out over 14 islands, is surprisingly walkable. Traverse pretty streets to meet bridges and ferries over clear rivers fronted by multicolored old buildings. If you’re looking for more wellness outside of your spa hotel, try out the range of old bathhouses and innovative spa treatments around and outside of the city.
Gothenburg & West Coast: Wild shorelines & quaint cityscapes
Sweden’s second city Gothenburg sits pretty among its own archipelago of 20 islands and is the perfect place to hole up in a spa hotel for a few days. These fine establishments come equipped with a fine-dining menu that’s something to write home about — from the classic meatballs and lingonberry jam to pancakes with lingonberry jam to sprawling smorgasbords with pickled herring and pick cured salmon. Top this off with a glass of brännvin (burn wine) or a nice white from one of Sweden’s emerging wineries. While in Gothenburg, check out the beautiful botanical gardens, take a hike through old fishing villages and nature reserves, or opt for a scenic boat ride over 17th-century canals. The rest of Sweden’s western coast along the Bohuslän shoreline tows the line perfectly between wild nature and glamorous living. A spa hotel here promises nonstop wellness and beautiful sights away from the hustle & bustle of everyday life. Make sure to try out some of the beauty and wellness treatments unique to Sweden like the Swedish Massage and a session of energizing yoga, and don’t forget about the simple benefits of sea air in coastal towns like Martstrand.
Northern Sweden: Natural beauty in the quiet north
To get a feel for authentic, untouched Sweden, head north. There’s nowhere like the northernmost Lapland and the High Coast for experiencing the winter in the way you’ve always dreamed about it. Take a reindeer-drawn sleigh under the wild colors of the Northern Lights, soak up the all-day sun in the summer when darkness barely falls, and experience the culture of the indigenous population, the Sami people. The Norrland makes up about 60% of all of Sweden but is scarcely populated, making it a prime location for a wellness-oriented vacation at a spa hotel. Swedes and Northern Europeans generally have always thrived toward a connection between mind, body, and nature — this is best experienced amid the crisp air of Skuleberget Mountain and Skuleskogen National Park, with a dip in a hot tub or pure spring water, or with a stint in sauna at a cabin-style spa hotel. Treat yourself to the traditional wellness treatments available in Sweden, like with a trip to the famous Arctic Bath, a dreamy location under the Aurora on the Lule River. The High Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its granite cliffs and craggy islands, is primed for long hikes, coastline biking trips, and natural sightseeing, a perfect accompaniment to a trip about revitalization.
Good to know
When to go: The best time to visit Sweden is during the summer months when the days are long and the temperatures are relatively mild. Note that nights are almost always cold so definitely bring something warm. The winter in Sweden is especially beautiful and snow-blanketed — the Christmas markets are also a huge draw — but be warned that temperatures in Stockholm can drop to -15 C and in the north to -30 C.