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The Engeltofta Sea Lodge Hotel is a great place to break your journey if you're heading into the wild north of Sweden from Stockholm. At around 200km north of the capital, the hotel is conveniently situated around 10 minutes drive from Gävle, and a short distance from the E4 – the main road heading north.

The hotel consists of spacious self-catering apartments that are modern, stylish and smart. Featuring excellent quality furnishings and decoration, the apartments offer a well-equipped, spotless kitchen, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. There is also a private terrace for each unit, with sea views and direct access to a large garden with mini-golf and swimming pool. This set up allows parents to relax on the terrace with a glass of wine, whilst keeping an eye on the kids. Plenty of free parking nearby, a flatscreen TV and free wifi are further conveniences.

Engeltofta Sea Lodge Hotel, Sweden

A stone's throw from the apartments is a series of small, sandy beaches. Despite the slightly marred view – the beaches look out across the bay to an industrial area of Gävle – this is a pleasant place to while away a sunny hour or two.

The restaurant is located in a separate building – a large historic house, built in 1882 and originally a merchant's villa. This beautiful building is surrounded by pretty gardens that lead down to the sea, and is also a venue for conferences and weddings (there was one going on during our stay). There are lovely garden and sea views from the restaurant.

In the grounds, you'll also find a children's play area. Further afield, a car-free path leads in either direction along the coast. Separated from the road by a strip of woodland, and offering glimpses to the sea and to large, private houses hidden in the trees, this offers a good route for a stroll or cycle.

There is plenty to see and do in the nearby town of Gävle – just 10 minutes away by bus or car. Gävle was historically an important port for the export of locally produced iron ore and timber. The town was largely destroyed by fire in the 1860s, and was rebuilt as a grid of wide, tree-lined streets, dissected by a long strip of parks and green spaces. South of the Gavleån river lies Gamla Gefle – the old town. This section of town escaped the fire and is a good place for a wander, with cobbled streets, pastel-painted wooden houses, craft shops and cafés.