Rest Your Head

Set on a large estate that includes one of Sweden’s biggest organic dairy farms, Kristina and Baltzar Wachtmeister are the ninth generation of the family to be running Wanås (pronounced “Vanoos”), which thanks to its unique mix of a lush country setting, historic architecture, cutting-edge art and more recently a rather good restaurant and inn, has become a destination for art lovers from around the world.
With a history going back to at least 1440, Wanås estate is home to numerous buildings erected in a variety of architectural styles, anchored by a 1560s step-gabled, Renaissance-style castle, to which two wings were added in the 18th-century. Beyond the fairytale-like main building, several 19th-century farm buildings serve as art spaces, a shop and deli, and – as of last spring – a modest yet stylish 11-room inn and restaurant, the latter serving locally-focused dishes using ingredients from Wanås’ own organic farm.
Located just outside the village of Knislinge, Wanås makes for a perfect day trip from either Malmö or Copenhagen, both of which are roughly a 90-minute drive away. If you are going to make the 3.5 hour train journey from Stockholm followed by the 30-minute taxi ride from the station, you might as well stay overnight in one of the eight individually decorated double rooms and three junior suites at Wanås’ boutique inn-like hotel, which combine Nordic design and sustainability with locally sourced materials in contemporary elegant fashion, mixing vintage furniture, contemporary art, natural materials and rustic walls. Vintage pink-tiled bathrooms, limestone and oak floors, soft beds and custom-made furniture complete the carefully curated rustic-chic aesthetic.
More than 80,000 people visited Wanås last year and obviously not all of them stayed at the inn! Most made the trip to visit the world-class art park, Wanås Konst, where more than seventy works are scattered across the property’s 100 acres. You will need a good few hours to see them all. Not to be missed is Ann Hamilton’s “Lignum”, which occupies all five floors of a former farm building. Two multi-sensory installations in the forest are also worth foraging for: Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg’s “In Dreams”, and Robert Wilson’s “A House for Edwin Denby”.
Other pastimes include walking in the majestic beech forest, relaxing in front of a roaring fire in the lounge, stargazing on a starry night or enjoying a long Scandinavian summer evening. The inn’s mudroom is equipped with boots and rain jackets to cater for every outdoor eventuality, and guests venturing out for a short walk have been known to return late into the night, after uncovering many of the estate’s hidden gems.