A Swedish hotel is helping its guests get closer to nature — by sleeping in trees.
The Treehotel, located near the Lule river in Sweden, offers a handful of custom suites built above ground in the middle of the woods. The hotel was inspired by Jonas Selberg Augustsen’s 2008 film The Tree Lover, about three city dwellers who build a tree house together. Founders Kent and Britta Lindhall switched careers from healthcare and education to develop the project.
The hotel is located an hour’s drive from the closest airport, but there are seasonal options to make the final leg of that journey by helicopter or snowmobile. The nearest town (Harads) has a population of about 600 and few amenities to get in the way of a getaway.
The rooms — suspended 4-6 meters above ground — are a combination of ecological values, nature, and comfort that result in a modern design by leading architects from Scandanavia. Everything is built from sustainable methods and materials that try to minimize the environmental impact of the construction (e.g., LED lights and chemical-free wood). Toilets either burn or freeze waste; showers are located in a separate building.
Of the two dozen rooms currently in the works, five have been completed and are ready for occupancy:
- The Cabin — A “foreign body in the trees,” this room houses two people and has a great view of the river.
- The Mirrorcube — The most expensive of the rooms, the Mirrorcube camouflages its location by reflecting the surrounding trees and sky. The mirrors are coated with infrared film, to make them visible to birds.
- The Bird’s Nest — The exterior looks like Roc’s nest, with a ball of sticks perched in the air. Entering the nest via a retractable staircase, however, you’ll find a spacious environment big enough to accommodate a family of four.
- The UFO — The ying to the yang of the Bird’s Nest, this family-sized room eschews harmony with nature for something that sticks out: a flying saucer.
- The Blue Cone — This room is simple and traditional, with four beds and a separate sleeping loft.
When you book your room, you get hosted meals at a 1930s style pensionat (hostel). Rooms are around 3050 SEK (about $450) per person — breakfasts included — with some special offers available for families ($800) and small groups. There is also a sauna that can accommodate up to eight people.
If sleeping in trees isn’t your thing, three hours north there is an Ice Hotel.