The Steam Hotel – Review
Looking for a unique place to stay in Sweden?
Then your search is over, come and see the awesome, gorgeous, and quirky hotel in Västerås on the Harbour.
Steam Hotel Västerås is a 4 Star hotel (4.5 on Booking.com and Google) boasts 227 rooms, a spa, a gym, a couple of restaurants, a few bars, and some seriously awesome board games. By some miraculous twist of fate, which begun in 2014 when a crazy Swedish bartender found my awful Swedish hilarious, we ended up staying in the marvellous Steam Hotel as our joint birthday present from said Crazy Swede and her partner Other Swede (tack so mycket!!)
It is 18 floors high and is built within a 100 year old steam power station. The refurbishment on this incredible historical building is worthy of a write up on its own, the designers of Falkenberg Strandbad, Ystad Saltsjöbad, Hotel Pigalle Hotel Bellora (a few of the finest establishments in Europe) deserve a lot of praise on this one!
The Steam Hotel
721 31 Västerås
Phone: +46 (0)21-475 99 00
Email: [email protected]
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I loved everything about our room. The bed was huge, the view from the 16th floor lovely, the bathroom stylish and warm. But what made me happy was *actually* having control over the temperature in the room – there is nothing worse than being stuck in a stuffy (or freezing) room all night.
The robes are SUPER fluffy and really comfortable – and available for purchase if you want to take it with you. The slippers are just as comfy, and and and you can take them home completely free of charge!! (well included 😛 )
Top Tip: the robes are hella nice, and if you want one all of your own to take home let them know, because it is cheaper than just taking it home because they will charge you ever so slightly more if you don’t let them know 😛
So comfy! I have a bad back and honestly in this amazing (queen size AT LEAST) I barely noticed a twinge. The sheets were clean, soft, and were lovely to sleep on. The pillows were plenty so you don’t need to worry if you’re one of those who doubles up. The quilt was warm but not too heavy, I hate that feeling of being trapped under a duvet.
While, obviously, technically not “The Bed” the blackout curtains are marvellous. With summer in Scandinavia bringing significantly more sunlight than us wussy southerners are used to a good set of black out curtains is a must for any decent hotel – and The Steam Hotel far exceeds expectations.
you have a choice between an overhead and a hand held – and let me tell you the overhead is like a waterfall shower. The taps turn differently than in the UK so have a fiddle before you jump in because a cold shock is not what you want! Separated from the rest of the bathroom with a glass screen detailed with black iron. The shower was fantastic – and everyone loves a heated towel rack!
Like the rest of The Steam Hotel the rooms are beautifully curated, each piece chosen carefully for comfort and quality as well as bringing something to the aesthetic. The soft furnishings of the bed and the gorgeous armchair contrasts well with the industrial atmosphere, including a concrete feature wall and a beam.
We enjoyed a three course meal as well as the included breakfast at The Chamberlain – the restaurant itself is beautiful and we were lucky enough to be served by a woman called Malin – who may actually be the friendliest server I have ever been served by. Big windows let so much light to match incredible chandeliers that hand from the double high ceilings plus plush velvet seating make for an absolutely lush experience.
Matjes Herring – Pickled Herring, 63 Degree Egg, Red Onion, Sour Cream, Brown Butter Sauce
Pickled herring is a big thing in the Scandinavian countries, and though you may have this idea that it will be weird – just try it. Like the first time you tried sushi – just go in with an open mind. Because this was delicious.
My partner said that he felt the butter sauce was too sweet, which in combination with the slightly sweet pickling maybe needed something more salty or acidic to cut through it. The bite I had of the herring didn’t have all that much butter on it so I didn’t notice so much.
Also keep in mind that a 63 degree egg is just that – a soft egg yolk. So if you are a hard boiled fan, order something more solid.
Charcureri and Cheese – Three Cured Swedish Meats, Three Swedish Cheeses.
This is my idea of a starter. It was huge, to begin with. Several slices of each meat and a decent size cut of each of the cheeses. There was one soft blue cheese that I particularly loved but has a very strong flavour. The cheddar was my partners favourite, it was strong but not nearly so strong as the blue.
Grilled Top Side – Topside grilled to order with rucola, grilled avocado, Wrångebäcks cheese, Valencia Almond, and vergie sauce
One of the nicest steaks I have ever eaten. I would have preferred it a little rarer – but I’m one of those that likes steak almost blue! But the texture was so tender that it really did feel like it would melt in your mouth. The accompaniment was delicious, I absolutely loved the Valencia almonds, the way they were cut through by the cheese was delicious.
Chamberlain Burger – beef prije rib burger, smoked cheddar, Dijonaise, pickled onion and grilled bacon – served with chips.
I am VERY picky when it comes to burgers, The Chamberlain Burger was great. The patty was tasty but not over-seasoned, and it was cooked perfectly. The cheddar was my favourite part – I could have eaten a block of it on its own!! That combined with the amazing dijonaise for the proper chips made for a proper meal – no sliders masquerading as a main here!
Lemon and Elderflower – Elderflower Mouse, Lemon shortcake, vallmo meringue, elderflower pearls, brown butter curd.
If I could only eat one desert ever again – it would be this one. And of course, this was the one dish I got a terrible photograph of. The elderflower mouse was PERFECT. The lemon short cake perfect, just crumbly enough to add texture but not so much to be dry. The merengue shard on top – I would eat an entire tray if given the chance. The elderflower pearls were actually tasty, not just gelatine weirdness as “pearls” in food can often be. The brown butter curd was … indescribable. This wasn’t just my favourite dish at The Steam Hotel – it might just be my favourite desert ever.
Honestly – if I could only choose one thing from this meal to have again I would choose this every time.
Locavore 18th Floor Bar
You want a view? Go to Locavore. You want to feel on top of the world? Go to Locavore. Want to be treated to an incredible sunset and enjoy it with a cold drink? Go to Locavore.
We had amazing views all round. On one side the sun set and lit the sky on fire. On the other side the horizon turned pink over the harbour and the most serene vista just comes to life.
We were patient and managed to snipe some stools looking over the harbour as the previous occupants left, I just wanted to stay there because it was incredible. There are also booths with the same gorgeous style as the rest of the hotel if you prefer to lounge.
What’s the highest bar your ever been to? This was the 18th floor of @steamhotel. Check out our review of our stay! (Link in bio) • • • • • • #sweden #vasteras #vasterascity #steamhotel #steamhotelvasteras #swedishsummer #roofbar #sunsetharbour #sunsetbar #sunsetoverwater #swedentourism #traveltosweden #travelsweden #femmetravel #ladiesgoneglobal #womenwhotravel #femaletravel #femaletravelbloggers #traveltheworld #seesweden #gosweden #incredibleview #locavore #barwithaview
THE BREAKFAST <3
There are several words that could be used to describe this breakfast.
Easily the biggest included breakfast I have had in my time travelling.
You had: fresh bread, cold meats, cheese (fancy cheese too), veggie salad, make your own muesli, three types of yogurt, nine different muesli add ins, fruit salad, hot eggs, bacon, sausages, bacon pancakes, mushrooms, pastries AND other plates I couldn’t look at because if I had tried to eat any more I would have exploded.
Level 7 of The Steam Hotel Västerås is the Voltage Lounge Spa. You’ll need to take one of the two elevators that service the floor and book in with one of the lovely attendants at the desk.
We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to access the spa because the type of package we had wasn’t inclusive of the spa option on the weekends – so make sure you read your T’s and C’s closely if you get a package!!
Luckily we were able to secure a spot on the morning of check out. The way this works is: go to the spa desk the night before and secure a spot with your room number, then in the morning pop your swimsuit in a small bag, go have breakfast ( <3 ), take your luggage to reception to store until you want to leave, check out, then don your Steam Hotel robe and slippers to head up to the spa from 9am and relax until 2pm!
Cost: for those who have stayed a night previously the day spa option costs SEK295 (GBP 26, US 33)
The Changing Rooms
The change rooms have a nice moody feel, low light and warm. Use your room key to access the lockers where you can leave your clothes and belongings. There are showers available here so you can wash off any moisturizers or products you may have on – and just to get nice and clean before jumping in the communal areas!
Leaving the spa desk, take the big open doors through to a semi enclosed space which houses The Voltage Lounge. Here, from 11am, you can indulge in cocktails, wine, beer, bubbles and bar snacks. Additionally you can order from the delicious looking range of Asian cuisine – including sashimi. We didn’t order anything from here because we were still so full from the breakfast!
If you walk along the enclosed area you can find day beds and chaise longes. We ended our day on one up the end – we had a beautiful view out the front and to the side. I almost fell asleep, they are so comfortable!
The Best Rooftop Pool in Västerås
How many ways can I say “amazing”?? Because whatever that number, it isn’t enough. Heated pool, lounge beds, sofa seats, bar style seating – and a view over Västerås Harbour to die for.
Continue from the bar through big open doors to the pool space, to your right you have the option to sit on comfy couches and look out across the bay, or if you are on your own or want to work (if this was my office, I’d never complain again) you can perch at a tall seat at the bar – overlooking the amazing view.
To the right you will find the pool and sun beds. The beds are actual beds – with proper mattress feel, and leaning pillows. Yes, I nearly fell asleep here too. If you want to get the pool all to yourself, go early in the morning – we arrived at about 20 minutes past opening and we got the last proper bed, but it was quiet enough that I was able to get a photo in the pool on my own! Our local friends have been over a weekend and they found it to be really busy.
The Indoor Pool
From reception, if you turn your back on the desk you will see a blacked out door to the indoor pool and sauna. This may actually have been my favourite. The roof has the view but this indoor heated pool, lit by flickering (electric) candles and lined by a marble bench softened with sheepskin to lay on, it felt like a private hideaway or grotto – it wouldn’t be out of place in a Bond villains lair!
Indoor heated pools can often be stuffy and overwhelmingly smell of chlorine – not this one. The air temperature was perfectly controlled for the temperature of the water – you felt cool, but not cold. This is where we spend the most time – in fact we only left because I still had a few things to try!
The Steam Sauna
At the far end of the indoor pool room there is the door through to the steam sauna. This was my first “real steam” sauna – I had a kind of weird piped steam experience in Egypt which I may write about one day, but otherwise I’ve only had the infra-red sauna at my gym in England. So when I walked in and it was … warm. Not hot, just warm I thought ‘well this is NOTHING like I thought it would be.”
The real indicator of quality in a place or service, in my humble opinion, is not that *nothing goes wrong* it’s that if something is wrong it is fixed quickly, easily, and with grace. So when I went back to the main reception and said “I’m not sure if there’s supposed to be water for the coals or…?” The attendant came through with me and saw that it wasn’t working properly, called maintenance, apologised profusely, and had it fixed within 20 minutes – that is an indicator of impeccable quality service.
The seats are beautifully made and smooth – they do get very warm though so I definitely suggest bringing a towel to sit on!
Immediately previous to this trip to Sweden I had spent 12 awful nights underprepared in a tent, on the ground with nothing but an insulator – in addition to working on an archeologically dig all day. So to say that my lower back pain was intense is to call the Grand Canyon a pothole.
So you will have to forgive me that rather than get up early and actually use this gym, I chose to spend an extra hour in one of the most comfortable beds I have ever experienced, as discussed above.
I did check out the gym though and I sincerely wish I had been able to use it (aka: not been quite so lazy and indulgent 😛 ). Everything was in good condition, new, and clean. There was a nice range of free weights, benches, good selection of plates, kettlebells and D-Balls, a pin loaded cable machine, and a decent looking squat rack. Additionally there were a few machines for cross training – a pull down cable rower which I really wish I had been able to try out! On the cardio side there were two treadmills and a rowing machine, as well as boxes for plyometrics and at least one bosu ball.
It is on the *smaller* side, but that is only to say that it isn’t a full size gym. For the size of the room there is an awesome amount of equipment and it is very well set out. Honestly, if I am ever a homeowner (a home owner with enough moolah for a home gym) this is what I envisage myself having.
The Relaxation Room
So at this point I just kind of want to live in The Steam Hotel – or recreate it in my future house because this relax room is exactly how I want my bedroom (one bed only though…probably). Double beds line each wall of the room which is divided by stacked firewood and an open 360 degree fireplace. This is the perfect place to wind down after a treatment or a steam, chill out with the fire place which is tended by the staff so you don’t even have to worry about it!
Steam Hotel Over All – Did We Like It?
Checking in at The Steam Hotel – you walk in and immediately you get a feel for the hotel. The beautifully lit, airy, and industrial aesthetic space guides you towards the check in desk which looks like an old fashioned bar.
Checking out was easy as can be. Mimi was the person who seemed to become free every time I had a question, and she was just fantastic – so patient and friendly. Additionally Madeline, who helped us on our check out day, was absolutely helpful.
Top Tip: the hotel does not take cash (as many places do not in Sweden these days) so you have to have a debit or credit card!
One of the foremost reasons I would return to The Steam Hotel is simply the experience. From the moment you walk in you feel like you are on holiday – and I was already on holiday when I had my stay!
We spent our evening after dinner, and after drinks in Locavore, playing games downstairs. They have shuffle board, pool, big chess, as well as ping pong and an impressive range of board games. Throughout the stay you have access to free tea and coffee in the lounge downstairs, so you can have a coffee and ping pong away. Or, take your drink to the fireplace and play a game. We played everything we could find/knew how to play.
It feels like everything has been thought of, if you want to use the spa on your check out day – well there is luggage storage. You can feel safe leaving your luggage there, not just because Sweden is really safe, but also because only the staff can buzz the door open. The tea and coffee is available, the range of toiletries in the rooms is extensive, the robes are super comfy and the slippers you can keep. At the most awesome place to stay in Sweden – everything has been taken care of.
Would I go back?
In a heartbeat! And I would encourage anyone looking for an incredible experience to book in to The Steam Hotel and relax completely! This was definitely the coolest experience in Vasteras.