Many hotels will treat you like a rock star, but it’s not very often you sleep in one owned by a rock star. That’s the case with Hotel Tylosand —actually Tylösand in Swedish—on the Halland region coast right on the beach.
One of the resort’s owners is Per Gessle, who has played guitar on stage in front of millions of people. Besides other bands, he was the founder and principle songwriter of Roxette, a Swedish synth-pop band that was big internationally in the late-1980s with two albums, but huuuuuge in Sweden. Their album Look Sharp! was a worldwide success, but in Sweden it’s supposedly the second best-selling album ever behind one from ABBA. Whether you think you’ve heard them or not, you would probably instantly recognize their hits “You’ve Got the Look,” “Joy Ride,” and “Listen to Your Heart.” They still get played on the radio (and in elevators) everywhere.
Apparently Gessle didn’t have room for the piles of gold and platinum framed albums from around the world in his house, so he put them up in the lounge of Hotel Tylosand. This not only gives the bar a kind of Hard Rock vibe, but it reminds you just how massive the owner’s band was for a while. It’s probably a guarantee of curiosity bookings at least: Gessle’s current band still sells out stadiums in his native Sweden.
The hotel also mounts regular concerts in the summer and another local legend (SommarSverige) was playing when we were there. These shows are open to non-guests and they lead to a fun party atmosphere. There are bars scattered around and a good restaurant with a view right by the sand dunes.
Tylosand functions as a giant art gallery as well. There are sculptures and paintings prominently displayed, but the hallways are lined with work from 14 different photographers around the world. There’s a large collection of Terry O’Neill portraits of famous people like Bowie, Jagger, Sinatra, Beyonce, and Audrey Hepburn. From Elliot Landy we get Hendrix, Warhol, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin. The works are interesting enough to send guests on a detour down the wrong hallway or to skip the elevator to see what’s in the stairwell.
Another draw here is the spa, which was expanding during my visit. There are private treatment rooms, but most of it is open to all guests. There’s a large indoor pool, sauna, steam room, and smaller pools with different temperatures. The new ones look out at the sea from an upper floor.
Then there’s the beach. I have to admit I never pictured the huge expanses of sand I found in Sweden while biking along the Halland section of the Kattegattleden bike path—which goes right by this hotel. Sure the water’s kind of frigid this far north, but that doesn’t stop the swimmers, surfers, and kite-surfers taking advantage of the long summer days. On this section you can walk for 7 kilometers (4.3 miles).
It’s hard to generalize about the guest rooms here since the hotel has been added on to and renovated multiple times over the course of a century. The best ones face the sea and look over the dunes at a glorious sunset at night. The upper ones have a balcony for taking it all in, while some of the lower ones have a larger private terrace. Rooms on the other side face the woods or parking lot, but all have a rock music theme, mostly monochrome with some color accents. There’s ample furniture but in typical Scandinavian style, the beds are two twins or…two twins pushed together. All have a minibar, safe, nice toiletries, and complimentary WiFi. When it’s cold there are bathrobes, but not in the summer. Apparently 50-degree nights here are considered balmy.
Hotel Tylosand manages to fill most of its 230 rooms in the warm months by running conferences. It has 29 various meeting rooms and a grand hall that seats 700. So this is not a place where you come for the personal service. The main restaurant serves a great buffet, but it’s cavernous by necessity. As in most of Sweden though, staff English proficiency is excellent.
With the U.S. dollar strong against the euro right now, rates start at a reasonable. $140 including breakfast. See the official Hotel Tylosand website in English for more info. Book direct there or through Hotels.com