Högbo is exactly the type of gem which you find when you visit a place by coincidence. Normally we wouldn’t have ended up spending our Valentine’s weekend in a small, unknown Swedish village near Gävle. Luckily the reason to visit Högbo was love, in other words weddings.
I booked Högbo Brukshotel asap when the wedding invitation came. Price per night was approximately 150€ incl. breakfast. We flew with Norwegian. Return ticket was 69€ which is quite an ok price for a return flight ticket. I had reserved Volvo S40 for 2 days via Hertz since Högbo is few hours towards north from Stockholm and we just didn’t have time to travel with a train or bus. Our car was upgraded to V70 version, which seems to be the national car model of Sweden. 45€ for the rental per day felt almost like an investment.
The roomkeys were handed to us at the check in before I had even taken out my IDs or mentioned my name. We had reserved a twin room which in this case meant a room in one of the red cottages next to the main building. The room itself was very plain. There was absolutely nothing extra in the room. The bed was comfy and sheets good quality but I was kind of missing a minibar.
The bathroom floor tiles had been recently changed but the walls still had old tiles and looked like they were from the 80s. Some interior designer would have probably gotten a heart attack. Bathroom amenities included fresh looking shampoo, lotions etc. basics (big plus for cotton pads). But the towels. Oh boy, I wasn’t aware that such small bath towels actually exist. I could barely cover my critical parts with it.
The hotel is located in an old ironwork factory area. The new building and interior nicely respects the old history of the place although the design is quite trendy and boutique style. You could feel from the beginning that you are visiting a hotel in Scandinavia. The level of trust is something you don’t experience anywhere else. The keys were handed to us before any ID was shown. In the spa or during breakfast no one asked if we even stay in the hotel. I assume not too many people end up in the middle of Swedish countryside without a purpose to stay in the hotel (and all the locals probably know each other anyway).
There would have been a lot of activities around the hotel area. I wish we could have stayed longer than 2 nights. There were horse stables next to the hotel and the cross country skiing route started almost from the doorstep. During summer time you can find anything from canoeing to mountain biking and apparently there is also a pet farm on the premises or somewhere very close by.
Due to the fact that we stayed there only 2 nights, we only had time to enjoy the spa area. It was a small spa with sauna, steam room, one pool and jacuzzi. The spa area itself was relaxing and shady with comfy loungers but I burned my butt in women’s sauna. I have no idea which wood material they have used since that has never happened to me before. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to try any spa treatments but when I checked the prices, they seemed like normal day spa prices.
The best thing in this hotel however was the breakfast. It was almost perfect. The only thing I was missing was a cappuccino. The amount of food was generous and they had plenty of organic alternatives. They had all the basics, good selection of delicious bread, yogurts, smoothies, waffles and a machine that you could use to get really fresh orange juice. Quality of the breakfast items was incredibly good. The wedding we attended was held at the Nya Herrgården so we didn’t have time to try their other restaurant services. The menu looked very inviting though.
Since the drive from Stockholm to Högbo was quite convenient, I could see us visiting the place also during summer time. I heard that the place is amazing for summer activities. At the moment I’m already dreaming of a horseback riding tour and thorough exploration of the Björk and Berries shop that was on the premises. We highly recommend this hotel to active folk who want to experience something traditional Swedish in addition to Stockholm.
HOW WOULD WE RATE IT?
Destination LOMA rates this lovely hotel 3 1/2 stars. It could reach 4 stars if the hotel room had more amenities. The key factors in a nutshell:
+Unique location with an interesting history
+Plenty of activities next to the hotel area
-Room decor was very basic, more 2 stars than 4 stars and missing a few key amenities (minibar, proper towel etc.)
-No special coffees at the breakfast