There is something completely unique about this place. Something magical. Our magnificent buildings and the enchanting landscape outside take us into our own little world. The sparkling coastline that can be seen from many rooms is good for the soul. In 1992 the hotel became Varberg Kurort and today we are Varbergs Kusthotell. A place to enjoy pleasant company in a relaxed atmosphere that inspires joie de vivre and balance.
A doctor named Johan Severin Almer realised that there was something special about the piece of land that our hotel stands on as early as the early 1900s. This is when he opened the sanatorium Kustsanatoriet Apelviken, which is what our health resort was originally called. The reason he chose this particular place was because of his firm belief that sun, fresh air, saltwater baths and nutritious food have a major impact on health. A holistic perspective on life that we still carry with us today.
We are incredibly proud of passing on such a great heritage, and of course we think that we are part of the story too. Everyone relaxes in different ways, which is why we offer a wide range of options for our visitors. Some people take nourishment from the sound of the waves, others choose a long lunch, while yet others love to enjoy warm baths and a pleasant massage. Here you can do all or any of those things. The main thing is that everyone who visits us leaves with a greater sense of wellbeing in their body.
The fact that we use the sea for invigorating, health-promoting and relaxing experiences is nothing new. We are developing and refining the spa traditions that have existed locally in Varberg for more than 200 years. We are proud to be part of Varberg's unique and vibrant spa and sea bathing environment.
Svartekällan Spring of Health
Varberg’s reputation as a health destination dates back to when the city's natural spring, the Svartekällan spring in Apelviken began to be used for medical purposes in the early 1800s. The spring developed a reputation for being able to cure diseases and protect against evil. It became fashionable to drink spring water, and this ritual often turned into al fresco suppers enjoyed on the grass. The Svartekällan spring was in use between 1811 and 1888 and attracted many health visitors to the city.
The birth of bath houses and open air baths
In the mid-19th century, both the arrival of the railways and a steamship service led to a strong increase in the popularity of Varberg as a travel destination. The city therefore decided to build both a new, modern bath house and an open air bath house, both of which were completed in 1886. Guests were offered mud and seaweed baths, massage room, saunas, several showers and hot and cold sea baths. The bath houses were inspired by the renowned Islamic bathing culture.
The number of swimmers increased by several hundred, and both celebrities and royalty visited the city. This helped to cement Varberg's standing as a prominent health resort.
Coastal sanatorium founded
In the early 1900s, tuberculosis was spreading in Sweden. In 1902, doctor Johan Severin Almer in Varberg founded the coastal sanatorium Kustsanatoriet in Apelviken for poor children who, due to poor diet and poor hygiene, were more exposed to tuberculosis. A good diet, sun, sea bathing and gymnastics were the recommended treatment until effective drugs were developed in the mid-1900s.
Varbergs Kusthotell is now based in the buildings built by Johan Almer. We have him to thank for our close proximity to the sea and for our beautiful buildings flooded with natural light.
Sea bathing grows in popularity
Over time, the opportunity to travel by train, car and bicycle brought people from inland Sweden to the coast and beaches. Bathing evolved into an increasingly popular pastime, and from the late 1930s it became synonymous with summer as everyone started to be entitled to a statutory holiday. In the 1950s, visitors started to arrive by caravan in order to stay at the city's campsites. Kiosks, restaurants, hotels and summer houses became part of the bathing environment. Varberg's beaches were filled with visitors from all over the country.
From health resort to spa town
The health resorts of the 19th century, featuring treatments and bathing, have evolved into 21st century spa facilities focusing on enjoyment and relaxation. Varberg is now a modern spa town with several spa facilities, all of which are carrying on the city's bathing traditions in their own way.
Modern-day thalassotherapy spa
Since the early 2000s, Varbergs Kusthotell's own modern thalassotherapy spa has offered visitors wellbeing by the seaside. Our classic treatments, such as seaweed baths, open air baths, saunas and massage are rooted in a long spa tradition.
Although the bath nurses of the past have been replaced with certified spa therapists, the foundation of our spa, thalassotherapy, or health from the sea, remains the same, and runs like a common thread throughout the centuries.