The Tree Hotel – Arctic Circle – Sweden
An eco-based design hotel concept, on the edge of the Arctic Circle.
This tiny Hotel has some of the best views available. Perched on the edge of the Arctic Circle each “room” is wonderfully individual with stunning design and even better views. They are all self-contained, with living space, simple bathroom, underfloor heating.
The Mirrorcube,the most striking of the treehouses, is a glass box perched high in the forest. Like an architectural magic trick, it almost disappears into the foliage, so sharply are the surrounding trees reflected in it. The only giveaway that things are not quite what they seem is a wood and rope bridge leading up to a near-invisible door.
Inside, the Mirrorcube’s chic plywood interior smells of warm wood. The dimensions are neat (four metres wide, four metres long and four metres high) and it is light and airy inside. Underfloor heating will keep it cosy through winter, posh tea and coffee are provided, along with a designer kettle, and a huge bed is dressed in thick white cotton and stylish woollen rugs.
The Cabin, a sleek, organically shaped space pod touched down in the trees about 50m from the Mirrorcube. Also sleeping two, this one has a huge viewing deck and a floor-to-ceiling window looking out, beyond the forest, on to the Lule river, the northern lights in winter and the midnight sun in summer. The bridge is a long and interesting structure among the trees. The Cabin hangs slightly off-set, under the deck, partly to visually reduce the size and partly to give the tree room its own custom look.
The Cabin is like a capsule, a foreign body in the trees. The room is 24m² and accommodates two people, with a double bed, bathroom and terrace.
The Nest: the four-person Bird’s Nest, inspired by a giant sea eagle’s nest spotted on one of Kent’s fishing trips to Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula. Looking just as you might imagine, its twiggy heights are accessed via an electronic stepladder that descends and retracts via a keypad strapped on to one of the neighbouring trees. Inside, the sense of snugness is exaggerated by small porthole windows. The interior, on the other hand, is familiar and exclusive. It’s a spacious environment where a family with two children can comfortably spread out. The walls are clad with wood panels and the windows almost disappear in the exterior’s network of branches. The room is 17m² and has separate bedrooms, bathroom, and living area. You enter the Bird’s Nest with the help of a retractable staircase.
Blue Cone: the four-person Blue Cone, is a Lego-like structure, which is covered with bright orange tiles. You access the room via a bridge from the nearby mountain. The bridge is well suited for people with disabilities. The exterior consists of laminated birch wood, the interior of timber. The treeroom is 22m² and has four beds, separate sleeping loft, bathroom and living room.
The UFO: The latest “room” is an UFO.
The room is cast in durable compost material – all to create the lightest, yet strong and sustainable design possible. The interior gives the room a modern and comfortable feel over two floors. The UFO is built for four people, two adults and two children, with separate bedrooms, bathroom and living area. 30m² is all you need for a comfortable escape to childhood dreams.
Activities: CreActive Adventure runsoutdoors activities for hotel guests; winter, is busier than summer, with husky safaris, skiing, skijoring (a bit like waterskiing on snow but being pulled by a horse), ice fishing, Sami cultural trips and sleigh rides on offer. Summertime offers kayak on the river
Like the hotel’s other treehouses, the facilities here are fairly basic, not stretching much beyond an environmentally-friendly toilet (some treehouses have ones that freeze the waste and others have ones that burn it into ash) and a sink – meals and showers are taken at the guesthouse, 10 minutes’ walk away.
Although the nearby Britta’s Guesthouse, run by the owners of Treehotel, will serve up breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers a spa, TV, internet, and a bunch of other home comforts you probably should go without.
The most deluxe of the six houses on offer, the Mirrorcube, will set you back SEK4200 (around £420) a night, for two, which is somehow worth it.
With the plan to build 24 new treehouses over 5 years, 6 are already in place, and miles from civilisation offering the perfect, isolated getaway, just a touch south of the Arctic Circle.
Article found in The Guardian Travel http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2010/aug/28/treehouse-sweden-hotel