The small idyllic vacation spot Båstad is situated on the Swedish west coast and for many people it’s closely connected to world famous tennis tournaments and as a summer residence for the Swedish jet set. In the midst of it all the legendary Hotel Skansen appears with its historic buildings and distinguished spa area. Today people come from far and near to get closer to nature and away from the busy everyday life. We stayed for one night – here’s our review.
Tennis and jetset
It was still warm outside when our car rolled down the winding, paved streets of Båstad. There’s no doubt that this small town lives and breathes for the summer season and all that comes with it, but rumor has it that an increasing number of people are beginning to enjoy the cold yet very beautiful winter months here as well. And the ocean is a stone’s throw away, for which reason it’s not hard to understand.
The old hotel originally began its career in the last century as a warehouse for grain, but during the 1920’s it was rebuild as a hotel for the Swedish upper class and other prominent guests who would come here to unwind, play tennis and swim in the nearby sea. Today the hotel functions as a modern conference hotel with a broad variety of facilities, but one still feels the presence of history and the countless memories hiding in the brick walls.
We were accommodated in one of the many pavilions that surrounds the center court. It’s right here that the famous tournament ‘Swedish Open’ takes place and one instantly senses the modern spirit of the hotel. It’s closely connected to sport, which the large tennis courts and appurtenant grandstands with room for hundreds of people, bears witness of. The view from our tennis pavilion is not the best, and unfortunately we have to admit, that our sea view is non-existing unless we climb onto the roof, which we eventually decide not to do.
There are also other possibilities of accommodation, for example the apartments (there are 8 in total and each is 70 m2) as well as the 7 detached villas. Both are obvious choices for families with children or friends who doesn’t mind staying close to each other. The facilities include a well equipped kitchen with private bar and comfortable king size beds. For an extra amount of money one can stay in the main building, which is probably the most pleasurable with its sea view and high level of comfort. The old part of the main building is from 1877 and offers 19 double rooms whereas the newer part provides 40 double rooms.
Time for reflection
The wellness area is probably the best part of staying at Hotel Skansen. The view from the legendary ‘Kallbadhus’ is not comparable with anything else and because of that we were obviously eager to get into our swimwear. A wooden bridge of almost 60 meter takes you across sand and sea water to a world where everything seems to stop – in a good way, that is. There’s room for reflection and deep thoughts, and last-mentioned is almost unavoidable when sitting in the heated jacuzzi with a view to the open sea. Inside the actual Kallbadhus there’s a sauna, a changing room and a lounge area in which coffee, snacks and fruits can be purchased. And if you’re brave enough you’ll jump straight into the ocean.
This is undoubtedly a quite unique nordic spa experience where mind, body and nature fuses together for a short while.
Back at the hotel we’re trying out the classic spa facilities such as pool, a steam bath and a relaxation area that has a splendid view to the sea. The menu card for wellness treatments is big and includes honey massage and a body peeling with spices. The French skincare brand Carita is the signature brand of the hotel and most of the treatments are conducted with these 100% organic products.
Furthermore, the hotel offers fitness facilities and wellness treatments for men.
Dinner was consumed at the Restaurant Sand, which specializes in serving local specialities and ingredients. And that is something which this particular area is well-known for. The respect for the local produced ingredients is very obvious and the menu is characterized by local caught shellfish, tender steaks from local cattle and ‘smörgås’ with toppings like shrimps and fillet of beaf with horseradish and mustard cream. Our two courses are delicate and the rack of lamb is literally to die for!
If you need a cup of coffee and an aperitif either during the afternoon or after dinner, it’s definitely recommendable to visit ‘Sands Bakficka’. The small eatery belongs to the restaurant, but it’s situated on the other side of the street, close to the harbor. It’s super cosy, but during high season it’s cramped with people for which reason you’ll might need to reserve a table.
Hotel Skansen frames a relaxing spa get-away and it’s perfect if you’re looking for a blend of nature, space and child-friendly facilities. The hotel is a modern blend of new and old and it can be reached within an hour and 45 minutes from Copenhagen.
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Info about Hotel Skansen:
Adress: Kyrkogatan 2, SE – 269 33, Båstad
Tel: +46 431 55 81 00