Hotel Stelor is a rustic, countryside farmhouse turned small boutique hotel on Gotland, dating back to the 1700s, offering seven charming rooms, each of them with its own character.
How would you describe Småland Manor in a nutshell?
Småland Manor is one of the three Huseby estates, situated in a splendid park in the English style in southern Småland. Since 2008 it is the home of our guesthouse, where we combine our passions in gardening, decorating and cooking to let our guests feel at home and treat them with the best of care.
Please tell us about the history of Småland Manor.
The oldest parts of the estate dates from to the early 18th century when it was part of an iron foundry. The foundry was acquired by famous industrial Joseph Stephens who gave it to his enigmatic daughter Maggie Stephens in 1938.
The main building was rebuilt in the thirties. Three wings were added to the original manor and the house received furnishings in accordance with the fashion of that period which included, among others, dark ceilings with details in plaster, oak parquet flooring with different patters in each room, central heating, fireplaces with chimneys in marble and the park.
How did you end up running the manor as a guesthouse / Bed and Breakfast?
Spending our holidays in our summerhouse made us thinking about the possibility to move permanently to Sweden. The feeling of being so close to nature and the extensiveness around us was so overwhelming that we decided to stay here permanently.
So we started looking for a place in the surroundings where we could combine our passions of gardening, decorating and cooking. When we stood at the enchanting pond at the end of the garden looking to the house we felt that we could acquire a unique historical house with a special authentic atmosphere and flowering park. We promised ourselves to use all our imagination to (re)create a place that Maggie would be proud of.
Obviously the garden plays a large role?
Because gardening is one of our common passions we lay a big focus on the garden, both in the interior decoration and in the preparation of the served food.
Our three guest rooms are also named after beautiful flowers, with a distinct colour scheme for ‘Paeonia’ got rose colours, ‘Helleborus’ got a green and ‘Hemerocallis’ orange tinctures.
The delightful garden with the enchanting natural pond, that can be seen from each of the three rooms and creates a serene oasis of history, culture and hospitality and fully contributes the unique manor feeling.
What has been most rewarding for you running a small B&B?
More then 5 years after we left our former jobs and moved to this pearl, it still feels like the right decision. The fact that we were able to turn our hobbies into our daily work made it so much more worth it.
The enjoyment that guests stay at our place is a huge satisfaction for us. We like showing people a great time, let them enjoy our passions in and around the house. It has become a new way of life, close to nature and with respect for the house, that we want to share with our guests. And the feedback we get afterwords has been wonderful.
What do you particularly like about this part of Sweden?
The reason why we moved to this region is the ubiquitous, pure nature. Because we once fell in love with this region and started to discover it, we know better than almost anyone what this region has to offer to its guests. Småland is almost as big as Belgium or The Netherlands but with a population of only 727000 there is a lot of space. In Småland there is room for everyone. Here we have real seasons, like warm summers, colourful autumns, cold snowy winters and of course fresh spring where this stunning nature around us is waking up.
We are proud to have local mills where the waterwheels still turn and workshops where driving belts still hum. And we are equally proud of other Smålanders, like Linneus, Moberg, Lindgren or Kamprad. Many of them have museums dedicated to them. So dust down those prejudices – culture is cool here!