Around the World with DAYSPA: Nordic Spa Traditions

The warm pool at Nordic Spa in Sweden submerges guests in local history.

How Swedish It Is

Spa wellness experts at the Grand Hotel Nordic Spa & Fitness in Stockholm, Sweden, are crystal-clear about what it means to be Nordic. “What immediately comes to mind is wholesomeness, closeness to nature and a healthy, sustainable lifestyle,” says Anneli Falk, managing director of the spa.

Spanning 1,200 square meters and serving approximately 100 guests per day, The Grand Hotel Nordic Spa & Fitness simulates its geographic surroundings with elements of the Stockholm archipelago that include a sauna, warm pool, the use of slate rock from Grythyttan (source of the oldest slate in Sweden) and the use of Rauk stones that originated during the Ice Age, now sourced in Gotland, Sweden.

The signature Nordic bathing ritual at The Grand is decidedly gentler than those performed in the first Swedish bathhouse back in 1269, says Falk, where “the women who worked there used birch twigs to whip clients.” Now, clients alternate between a warm, pine-infused sauna and a cold pool or bucket shower for as long as they see fit, then relax with a healthy drink in one of the spa’s plush relaxation areas. At the end of their visits, “They emerge every bit as enlivened as our Nordic ancestors did all those years ago,” Falk concludes.