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The big six: Seaside retreats in Scandinavia

Quality Spa & Resort Kragero, Norway

This sprawling spa resort harbours an 18-hole golf course, swimming pools with an eye-catching diving platform, tennis courts, football pitch and a beach club. Set among pine forests and overlooking the craggy Telemark coastline, the hotel is a picture of modernist chic, with white interiors, hanging wicker chairs, pebble-like sofas and picture windows offering sea views.

Quality Spa & Resort Kragero, Kragero, Telemark, Norway (00 47 35 97 11 00; kragerospa.no). Doubles start at NK2,100 (£220), including breakfast.

Salt & Sill, Sweden

Sweden's first floating hotel opened a couple of years ago to offer accommodation at one of the west coast's most popular fish restaurants (the name means "salt and herring"). Six floating pontoons of two-storey clapboard buildings house stylish rooms that are named and decorated according to different spices; each comes with a sitting area to drink in the views of the Bohuslan coast archipelago. A sauna catamaran is the latest innovation, with steps leading into the bracing water.

Salt & Sill, Klädesholmen, Tjörn, Vastra Gotaland, Sweden (00 46 304 67 34 80; saltosill.se). Doubles start at SK1,490 (£128), B&B.

Skovshoved Hotel, Denmark

This seaside property, on the coastal road that trails north from Copenhagen, dates back to 1660. It is surrounded by fishermen's houses of the same era. The hotel was brought up to date by its present owners in 2003, with classic Scandinavian style prevailing in the 22 bedrooms. The restaurant has gained attention for its seafood-focused menu and has a terrace for summer dining. A jetty offers the chance to cool off in the sea while the capital's two sandy beaches and a nature reserve are a little further afield.

Skovshoved Hotel, Strandvejen 267, Charlottenlund, Hovedstaden, Denmark (00 45 3964 0028; skovshovedhotel.dk). Doubles start at DK1,500 (£167), room only.

Hotel J, Sweden

At the mouth of Stockholm harbour, Hotel J is perfectly positioned to explore both the city and the constellation of islands that bursts east into the Baltic Sea. White painted wood and soft linens in stars and stripes purvey a New England beach house feel.

Hotel J, Ellensviksv 1, Nacka Strand, Stockholm, Sweden (00 46 8 601 30 00; eng.hotelj.com). Doubles start at SK2,230 (£192), including breakfast.

Storfjord Hotel, Norway

Near the Art Nouveau city of Alesund, this timber hotel overlooks Storfjord and the Sunnmore Alps. It has a private cruiser for fjord touring to Unesco-listed Geirangerfjord. In addition, hiking opportunities abound.

Storfjord Hotel, Skodje, Romsdal, Norway (00 47 70 27 49 22; storfjordhotel.com). Doubles start at NK1,490 (£156), including breakfast.

Helenekilde, Denmark

This traditional Danish "badehotel" (bathing hotel) dates back almost a century, but is a picture of modern design inside. Rooms are painted in hues that mimic the Kattegat Sea outside. It is on the north coast of Zealand, in an area famed for dune-backed beaches.

Helenekilde, Strandvejen 25, Tisvildeleje, Zealand, Denmark (00 45 4870 7001; helenekilde.com). Doubles from DK1,095 (£121), B&B.