Once again I find myself in Sweden – this time on the Swedish west coast in Halland, approximately 1 hour’s drive from Copenhagen. I’ve set out to review the spa retreat Hotel Tylösand, which offers a lot more than a beautiful sea view and extraordinary spa- and fitness facilities. Art and wine are also dominant factors at the hotel, and honestly I didn’t want to leave after just 24 hours. Read along and find out why.
Spectacular nature and a warm welcome
The road to Tylösand is beautiful and quite winding. One can smell the sea just around the corner from the road and the beautiful green surroundings fills me with excitement. Stunning nature and ditto surroundings has always been important elements for spa hotels since it’s just easier for the soul to find rest and harmony when everything’s pretty. And it is in Tylösand. The first thing that comes to mind when entering the property is the size. An enormous building shows up, and it appears to host both a great part of the rooms, the reception and the restaurant area. Here’s plenty of space, but still I get the feeling that most of the rooms are occupied. A very nice and smiling staff at the reception welcomes me and this is actually something that Swedes are well-known for; their hospitality. The service level is a tad higher than what I’d expect. It’s a genuine spa hotel without the common look of one, cause interior wise it’s much more similar to a fancy city hotel than a haven for spa and wellness. Modern photo art seems to adorn the walls everywhere you look as well as musical elements. The answer is to be found in the famous Swedish rock band Roxette, which since 1986 has sold more than 75 million records worldwide.
A touch of Rock’n’roll
Roxette’s male member is called Per Gessle and he’s born and raised in Halmstad, only 30 minutes from Tylösand. He’s the owner of the hotel and it’s very clear that his passion for art, music and wine is reflected in the interior of the hotel.
The manager of the hotel shows me around the property and only here do I really grasp the size of the hotel. We walk for several minutes, climbing stairs and entering cellars and the best part; we get to see the wonderful spa- and wellness area from all angles. Last, but not least she takes me to the busy kitchen area and the conference division. Yes – there’s room for such as well. I receive the key to my room and full of expectations I take the elevator to the 4th floor and the ‘The Summertime Suite’. I smile to myself when opening the door, cause both interior decoration, the size of the room and not least the view is perfect! The suite is divided into two sections and the style is Nordic minimalism, where the main elements are water, glass and wood. The large panoramic windows shows a direct view to the sea and it seems so close that I can almost touch it. The sea it literally just in front of me and I’m totally in love already.
The rooms at Tylösand are classified into 3 categories; Classic, Deluxe and suites. As mentioned before I was accommodated in a suite offering both a kitchen, a working space and a cosy sofa section. There’s even 2 TV’s, a minibar and music in the bathroom (!) The soft roar of the waves can be heard all the time – a great tranquilizer when going to bed! Yes, this must be a true SPA experience in the full sense of the word. Wellness for body and soul In the afternoon I receive an amazing spa treatment after a light lunch at the spa café. How often do you get to eat your lunch in a bathrobe and slippers by the pool? Not so often, so I do enjoy it to the fullest. Next stop is the outdoor pool on the 1st floor!
Hotel Tylösand was elected Sweden’s best spa resort in 2012 by World Travel Awards, and even though the size of the hotel may intimidate some, there’s definitely something about it. On the ground floor you’ll find a large saltwater pool, two jacuzzis, a Finnish sauna and an ice pool for the brave ones! Here’s also countless rooms for massages and treatments and a spa reception. If you move to the 1st floor you’ll immediately notice what the hotel has gained recognition for; an impressive fitness area. At most spa hotels it’s not unusual to be palmed off with an old exercise bike, a couple of weights and a rowing machine, but at Tylösand the fitness is really in the centre! It’s a haven for avid sports people, and even for a girl like myself, who prefers yoga and meditation, it’s quite hard to turn down the amazing offers of exercising with skilled instructors. If you prefer outdoor sports you can also use the nice cycle paths encircling the hotel. Next to the fitness area there’s an outdoor pool, a steam bath (hammam) and a nice relaxation area. In the last mentioned area it’s possible to unwind with a good book, a cup of tea and some fresh fruit – and the view from here is just as remarkable as from my room!
Apart from trying out all the ‘regular’ spa facilities I tried the hotel’s signature treatment as well; the vinoterapi (wine therapy!) As appealing as it may sound, there’s no actual wine to drink, but the benefits of the grapes are countless and that’s why the treatment has become so popular. The seeds of the grapes contain large amounts of antioxidants, which is really good for the skin as it smoothens out the complexion and reduces wrinkles. Full of anticipation I surrendered to the spa therapist, who began by serving a glass of refreshing grape juice. After that followed a full body wrap with grape seed oil, a moisturizing facial mask and a full body massage. Oh bliss! The whole thing finished off with a round of scalp massage (my favorite!) and then I could barely be any more ready for the evening’s program!
The wine of the house, please
Are you looking for a small and intimate place to eat, the restaurant of the hotel, Tylöhus, might not be the perfect place. It’s big and there’s room for countless eating guests, but in return you’ll get one of the best views in Halland and quite possibly some of the best food as well. I began with an aperitif followed by a 5 course wine menu, in which the hotel’s own red wine played an important role. The wine is from owner Per Gessle’s own production in Italy and it’s a successful production too! The 5 course menu consisted of small dishes based on fresh, local ingredients such as chanterelle croquettes with a cream of red cabbage, filet of lamb with root vegetable purée and potatoes. To finish off I had a dessert consisting of local cheese accompanied by cranberry jam and fennel crisp bread. All in all a sublime gastronomical experience, which I’d definitely return for!
The breakfast and the quality of the very same is an important element for many hotel guests. On Tylösand you’ll hardly get disappointed since the selection ranges from classical, Swedish breakfast delicacies such as herring, salmon and caviar to more international dishes such as scrambled eggs, bacon and sausages. Everything is freshly made and a chef is even at one’s disposal to create anything one might wish for (including pancakes and waffles!) I left the hotel with a full stomach and a happy mind – both due to the high level of service, the amazing nature and the comfort of the hotel. I’ll definitely return again soon and in the mean time I’d be happy recommending this place to anyone who might need a break from the busy everyday life!
Tip: Hotel Tylösand offer 2 different spa packages; a small and a big one. These contain either 2 or 3 nights including breakfast, dinner and different treatments. For more information go to www.tylosand.se
Info Hotel Tylösand:
Adress: Tylöhusvägen 28, 302 73 Halmstad, Sweden
Phone: Tel: +46 (0)35-305 00
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