Fresh off a trip to Sweden, I’ve returned to the States a little colder, a little wiser and very awe-struck! While I did visit Sweden during the winter and many people call me crazy for it, I have to say it was worth my near-frostbite experience. I explored a few of the countries off the beaten path locations and it proved to be rewarding! Here are 6 of Sweden’s most unique accommodation options which, I have no doubt, would each be just beautiful during any season.
Located about 90 minutes from Lulea Airport, the easiest way to access this part of Sweden, there is nothing ordinary about this treetop escape. Although, upon arrival, you might think it doesn’t look like much I promise Treehotel is something special.
On property you’ll find the grounds are divided into three different categories. The first building you’ll see when you check in is The Guesthouse. Treehotel guests have the option of staying here in one of the uniquely preserved Swedish heritage rooms. The Guesthouse is also where the only restaurant on property is serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
From The Guesthouse, you’ll walk about 10 minutes or so into the treehouse area of the property. Bringing you to the second category of buildings on property, the treehouses! There are 7 completely different treehouses all surrounded by the tall pine forest with views of the Lule River.
Within the treehouse area is the Forest Spa, complete with a sauna and jacuzzi. In this area you’ll also find the shared showers. Because the Treehotel is built on the genuine experience of nature, sustainability and ecological values are at the core of its operation. Therefore, the individual treehouses, except The Seventh Room (the property’s most luxe treehouse), do not have individual showers, however they do have toilets and water-efficient sinks. This helps keep daily environmental impact at a minimum.
Don’t let the no in-room shower situation deter you from booking a stay with the Treehotel. This unique escape offers countless activities year-round giving you a true taste of what Northern Sweden is all about.
Salt & Sill, Klädesholmen
Hotel or ‘boatel,’ you decide! Salt & Sill is Sweden’s first floating hotel. On the shores of Klädesholmen, it is made up of 6 houses built on pontoons. The individual rooms are bright and airy, and decorated in true Scandinavian design. Right next door is the hotels floating sauna. There is even a rooftop sundeck to catch those rays if you’re visiting in the summer!
Photos: Courtesy of Lisa Nestorson
Not only known for its unique accommodation, Salt & Sill is also renowned for its restaurant. Serving their take of Swedish cuisine with all ingredients sourced from local farmers and fisherman.
Fabriken Furillen, Gotland
Situated in the middle of an old limestone quarry on the island of Gotland, Fabriken Furillen is something out of a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie. The buildings are made of concrete and hardwood reflecting the industrial setting surrounding it. But, believe it or not, the interior is as cozy as ever. The perfect mix of modern design and comfort. It’s no wonder Fabriken Furillen is a member of Design Hotels! Guests can choose to stay in a hotel room or individual ‘hermit cabin’ which is more remote than the main building. Perfect for those seeking complete relaxation.
Jumbo Stay, Stockholm
Every wanderlusters dream come true. Thanks to Jumbo Stay you can now sleep on a Boeing 747 sans jetlag, dehydration and leg cramps! This retired jet is located at Arlanda, Stockholms’ international airport. While considered a budget hotel, Jumbo Stay is everything but ordinary. There are 33 rooms with the option of a private room or quad. One of the private rooms is in the cockpit of the plane. This suite is complete with a full bed, private bathroom, flatscreen TV, and all of the original pilot controls intact. Rates range between $58USD all the way up to $240USD. So, who’s ready for take-off?
Kolarbyn Ecolodge, Skinnskatteberg
Courtesy of Michiel Correwijn
This takes the title of ‘Sweden’s Most Primitive Hotel.’ Staying at Kolarbyn will definitely be an adventure off the beaten track. Situated in the middle of a forest in Skinnskatteberg, a 2 hour drive from Stockholm, this hotel has no electricity, no showers, and nothing fancy. So why stay at a no frills accommodation like this on your Swedish vaca? For those exact reasons. Enjoy the peacefulness of nature, breathe in the fresh air and observe the wildlife.
Located in the Swedish Lapland village of Jukkasjärvi, about an hour’s drive from Kiruna Airport, this hotels design has been replicated around the world, but none come close to the original ICEHOTEL. With a number of cold and warm rooms to choose from, you’ll be able to find just the right type of accommodation you’re seeking.
If I can think of a single word to describe the ICEHOTEL it would have to be: fascinating! Probably not the ‘f’ word you were thinking of. Yes, it was freezing- especially in the dead of a Lappish winter- but I think that added to the beauty and guest appreciation of this unique hotel.
Artists are commissioned from around the world to design the cold rooms. The attention to detail the artists have for the designs is really what brings the rooms to life. Not a single cold room is the same and each has its own identifying theme.
The cold rooms are kept at -5 to -8 degrees Celsius and not to worry you do sleep on an actual mattress with subzero sleeping bags! Some rooms even have heated bathrooms, saunas and showers. It’s recommended to stay in a cold room for one night of your stay with the rest spent in a warm room. So, this begs the question: would you be brave enough to sleep in a cold room?As you can see, Sweden is all about pushing the envelope when it comes to accommodation options. From hotels built in the trees to ones carved out of ice, the possibilities are endless. Next time you’re planning a trip, seek an accommodation a little out of the ordinary. Chances are, you won’t regret it.
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