Welcome to Sweden’s first spa
TEXT: MALIN NORMAN | PHOTOS © SELMA SPA
Selma Spa in Sunne, Sweden, opened in 1991. The fitness trend was on the rise and they decided to combine this with the old European spa tradition. Today, the spa is still a great place for exercise, mindfulness and culinary experiences.
Selma Spa is a place where relaxation and refuelling on energy go hand in hand. It offers plenty of exercise options in both the gym and the beautiful surroundings, treatments and relaxation in the spa and delicious food and wine in the restaurant. All with the base values centred around care and responsibility for our planet.
The spa concept was created with a holistic view of the whole human in mind – good food and movement in combination. “What we did back then is part of our DNA today. We offered several classes per day, both mindful and cardio, as we wanted to leave room to recharge too. The difference now is that we focus even more on activities and the possibility to have an active spa experience in a modern and conscious way,” says Anders Pertun, CEO at Selma Spa.
Workouts and mindfulness
When it opened, Selma Spa was the first spa in Scandinavia and is still one of the biggest in Sweden. The hotel has 184 rooms and a capacity for 400 beds, and the spa has nearly 40 different treatments. Every day, there are up to ten exercise classes ranging from yoga to spinning and choreography, plus theme weekends with, for instance, training for the skiing or cycling season. New this year, is a bigger gym and a new spinning room with up to 26 bikes, plus a refurbished treatment area. “Both business and private guests like the opportunity for an active stay. They want to continue with their exercise routines whilst travelling, and our combination of activities and recovery has been successful.”
The spa’s old payoff, ‘Mjölksyra och Champagne’ (which translates as ‘lactic acid and Champagne’), is a tongue-in-cheek nod to the fact that you find all aspects of wellbeing here. “We are in many respects an active spa. But that does not mean that we want people to get lactic acid or indeed that everyone must drink Champagne either – but it is about workouts and rewards,” Pertun says, and adds: “We don’t want to work out now to get rewarded at Christmas. We can take a hard cardio class but want to get some form of reward pretty quickly. We give the opportunity to work out, go for a calm walk in the forest, enjoy a glass of Champagne or something completely different, like dinner or a good smoothie. So now we say: Selma Spa is a place where exercise and recovery go hand in hand.”
Sustainability and a rooftop terrace
Guests at the spa should be able to enjoy their stay with a good conscience. The restaurant focuses on organic and local produce according to what is in season. In fact, Selma Spa has been named Sustainability Hotel of The Year at the annual Nordic Hotels & Resorts Awards. “We are working continuously to use local produce, to reduce our environmental impact, and to take responsibility for our local community,” says Pertun.
When he started as CEO at Selma Spa in 2009, he spotted great potential in the roof above the spa. His vision became a reality and the 546-square-metre-large Selma Spa rooftop terrace opened two years ago. It includes an outdoor kitchen, a bar and a green house, and has been very well received by visitors and locals alike. The idea is to make use of it all through the seasons. “I see myself standing up there giving the New Year’s speech or that we go outside to enjoy some mulled wine now and then in winter. Perhaps we’ll make holiday season door wreaths in the green house? It should very much be a venue all year round.”