In the heart of Hälsingland
TEXT: MALIN NORMAN | PHOTOS © ORBADEN SPA & RESORT
Orbaden is one of the most beautiful lakeside resorts in Sweden, located by the Ljusnan river and in the heart of Hälsingland. It is also home to Orbaden Spa & Resort, a tranquil spot to rest and recover with nature just around the corner.
Orbaden is often called the Riviera of Hälsingland and has long been popular for its fresh air and clear water. Back in the 1920s, the land hosted a restaurant, a campsite and a dance pavilion. Over the years, it has changed owners and the bed & breakfast later became a hotel.
The spa opened in 2007 and its facilities have been continuously updated. It offers treatments with products from Kerstin Florian and packages such as yoga weekends. Both the sauna and the outdoor pool boast spectacular views of the Ljusnan river and the valley all the way up to Järvsö. In the restaurant, guests can enjoy healthy international cuisine with a local twist, and a tasty vegetarian menu.
This year, Orbaden Spa & Resort won bronze in Best Guest Experience as awarded by Svenska Spahotell. It was also nominated in the category Best Independent Hotel at the Grand Travel Award. “Orbaden is a very special place,” admits general manager Helene Åkerström Hartman. “This is a creative spot with plenty of cultural heritage and activities, but it also breathes tranquillity. Hälsingland is not far from Arlanda Airport, yet very close to nature. This is a fantastic place to relax, it doesn’t take long to unwind.”
Staying at Orbaden is a genuine Hälsingland experience, with local artist Mårten Andersson’s art on display throughout the resort and a number of celebrities having decorated the rooms. For instance, famous actor Peter Stormare is from the area and often returns home. He has designed a suite with Japan, LA and Hälsingland as inspiration. Other celebrities who have designed rooms for Orbaden are model and TV host Victoria Silvstedt, athlete Carolina Klüft, and former model Carita Järvinen.
Åkerström Hartman recommends that visitors explore the beautiful surroundings and attractions such as Hälsingegårdarna, the typical old farmhouses now protected by UNESCO. Other activities include cross-country skiing and ice-skating in winter, and hiking, cycling and canoeing in summer. For the brave, Sweden’s fastest zip line is close by, and beer lovers can check out local microbrewery Organic Smash.