After a hard few months, I finally got to enjoy a relaxing spa weekend at the Dalecarlia Hotel in Dalarna, Sweden.
Little did I know, when I was floating in a hot tub overlooking Lake Siljan last weekend, that the landscape below me was formed by a 50km wide meteor. Apparently, Europe’s most cataclysmic meteor strike left the ‘Siljan Ring’ – a circular scar in the Swedish landscape that is clearly visible in aerial photographs. Yet, despite it’s violent formation, Siljan is now a peaceful region popular with day-trippers, hikers, and people who want to relax. And what better way to relax than a spa?
I love spas – what woman doesn’t? – but Swedish spas are costly, so it’s a treat to get away to one. Sweden has many popular spas, such as Yasuragi or the Västerås Steam Hotel, which makes choosing one tough. Eventually, we settled on the Dalecarlia Hotel in Dalarna. We booked a Sunday Spa package that included accommodation, a two-course meal, and 4 hours in the spa.
Since 1910, there has been a hotel on this site offering guests stunning views of Lake Siljan. With winter rapidly approaching, it was dusk when we arrived – despite being early afternoon. My friend and I checked in and went down to the lake, just managing to catch the sun’s dying breaths. We found a campsite, which is probably popular in the summer, but was pin-drop silent on a misty November Sunday.
Back at the hotel, we chose two dishes a la carte for dinner. Naturally, I selected a main and dessert. Slow roast pork with apple to begin, followed by pannacotta, meringue, Swedish berries and ice cream. Locally sourced fresh ingredients from Sweden’s lakes and forests are signature staples of Swedish cuisine, and – despite the hotel’s large size – the restaurant creates a fine dining experience.
Early the next day, still full of the fantastic buffet breakfast, we wandered down to the spa. With the morning mist just lifting, we couldn’t see the lake, but we did spot a deer in the gardens. I started my session with a massage, so I changed into my bathrobe and slippers and went straight to the treatment area. As expected, my massage was excellent and just what I needed after so many months hunching over my laptop trying to find work here in Sweden. Feeling relaxed, I went out into the spa area.
The spa has excellent resources: a decent-sized swimming pool, two indoor hot tubs, a relaxing area, two saunas, a steam room, two outdoor hot tubs, an outdoor terrace, and a bar that serves snacks, fresh juices, and alcohol. The booking system ensures that the spa is never too busy. Even though it was höstlöv – Sweden’s Autumn holiday – and there were children in the spa area, it was peaceful and relaxing.
My friend and I sat in the warm pool, looking down at the great lake while steam curled in the air around us. We talked of the things that had brought us to Sweden and of our hopes here. Sweden is an easy place to be, mostly. One of the things that Sweden does best is give you time and space. And nature. Nature is vast here. After the madness of the last few years, it’s a good alternative.
When our time in the spa was over, we packed up to leave. They gave us our fluffy bathrobes and slippers to keep, which was an unexpected and welcome memento.
Around the Dalecarlia Hotel
Not far from the hotel – on the way to the lake, there are several workshops in traditional Swedish wooden houses or stugas. Sadly, they are closed on a Monday, which was disappointing as it’s a fascinating area. There is a ceramic workshop, a silversmith, a bakery, and – of course – a fika stuga.
Only one workshop was open, so we went in to see what was inside. We were delighted to meet Hanna Blixt, a local author who writes for children and adults – and whose newest novel, Glorian, is currently riding high in the Swedish literature chart. Hanna spoke to us about the inspiration for her books and her writing process, and I bought a book that will become the first book I read entirely in Swedish.
My stay at the Dalecarlia was restful and relaxing, which was exactly what I hoped it would be. I will definitely visit the Dalecarlia Hotel again and try some of the walks around Europe’s largest meteorite crater.
Visit the hotel’s website for more information about their packages.
Do you enjoy visiting spas? Which one is your favourite? Leave a comment below! If you enjoyed this post, please share on your social media channels.