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As a die-hard Downton Abbey fan, you know I’m a sucker for any hotel that includes large pieces of land and a stately main house. So on a recent trip to Smaland, Sweden, you can imagine my excitement at getting to stay at Wallby Säteri, a country resort including a manor, a lake and some rooms that may or may not be haunted by its previous occupants! They are a member of Countryside Hotels Sweden, and will make you feel right at home, whether you prefer relaxing in the sitting room of the main house in your best dress (hello!), or enjoying activities such as crayfishing or foraging for mushrooms in the nearby forest.
Staying at Wallby Säteri
Naturally, I started getting excited the second I saw photos of the main house and the property at Wallby Säteri. The manor is just so beautiful, and the property reminded me of an old ranch. Which is appropriate, because “Säteri” is actually the Swedish word for ranch (however it can also be used to mean estate or manor, which is also incredibly appropriate).
We were told that Wallby became a rather rich estate through the years, as they were exempt from paying taxes since they provided the king and royal court with horses. Convenient, right?
Upon checking in, we were all given the keys to our respective rooms, some with more flair than others. The photo below is from Båtsmansstugan Cottage, a building with open fireplaces, a living room and a separate bedroom dating back to 1770! This is the house that is said to be haunted (by the Båtsmann himself), and I dare say I am happy it wasn’t me staying there (I would have been up all night listening for sounds, haha).
The other rooms, including mine, were modernly furnished (and seemingly refurbished), with comfortable beds, good shower pressure (always important), and all have private entrances (no hotel hallways, and you can simply open the door and find yourself in the middle of the estate).
Activities at Wallby Säteri
Staying at Wallby Säteri isn’t just a getaway for those wanting to sit back and do nothing. There are also plenty of things to do in the area, so you are truly covered regardless of what kind of holiday you are looking for.
The Table at Wallby is located just a short walk away (by the lake), and can be booked through the Visit Sweden website. This experience allows you to enjoy a meal out in the open, prepared by a local chef over an open flame. If you are up for it, you can also join a nature guide in the forests surrounding Wallby Säteri in foraging for mushrooms, other edibles and decorations for your table.
In addition to this, Wallby Country Resort offer bike rentals, fishing rods and fun board games for guests to enjoy. Or, you can get up at the crack of dawn and go crayfishing (or simply join in setting the cages the evening before). And let’s not forget the sauna conveniently located right on the lake. So how about a refreshing swim, followed by a stint in the sauna?
It’s all available for you at Wallby Säteri! Learn more and book your stay here!
The Manor/Main House
Of course, I couldn’t write this post without keeping an extra focus on the beautiful main house! In spite of the September cold (and Swedish winds), I had to put on my best dress (find a similar one here!) and roam around the house. Naturally, pretending to be Lady Mary.
The house was absolutely stunning and kept in all its glory. There are two bedrooms in the house, and it is actually possible to stay there! I died a little upon hearing this, I’ll admit.
In the main house you’ll find the dining room, where it is possible to enjoy your dinner if you book one of the packages (or if you are hosting meetings or conferences at Wallby). We were lucky enough to enjoy our dinner in the main dining room. This took me right into an early-1900s movie and was a truly beautiful experience.
Another fun thing you’ll find in the main house is the “Honesty Bar”. Here, you can pour your own drinks after dinner (Lord Grantham style), and simply write down your name, room number and what Whiskey you chose. One glass costs the same, regardless of what you pour into it, and I thought it was such a fun concept! Naturally, after dinner you’ll want to head into the drawing room for some drinks, right?
Dinner is usually served in the same building as breakfast and reception, so if you are hoping to dine in the main house, I advise that you enquire about this at the time of booking. Naturally, it requires extra staff, otherwise, they’d be running between the buildings all night.
There you have my experience (and review) of staying at Wallby Säteri in beautiful Småland, Sweden! If you are planning a trip to the area, I couldn’t recommend this place enough. The fresh country air and the seeming remoteness of the place make for an ideal getaway for anyone wanting to escape reality for a little while.