The thrill of Nordic adventure calls. We find ourselves drawn to that landscape of fjords, mountains and dancing lights; that topographical saga that begs to be devoured. If you’re looking to explore Scandinavia, Sweden is a fantastic place to start. Land of lingonberries, ABBA and Henning Mankel, Sweden offers a huge diversity of travel experiences that are bound to whet the appetite of any Viking voyager. Of the following hotels, may we simply say: Swede dreams are made of these.
ETT HEM, STOCKHOLM
Formerly a private residence built in 1910, Ett Hem provides a personal hotel experience unlike any other. The people who built it clearly had a propensity for beauty, leaving their unique stamp on this Arts and Crafts townhouse situated in a peaceful area of culture-rich Stockholm. Still abound with suggestions of the original design, the new interiors lay testament to the tenaciousness of interior designer Ilse Crawford, who helped transform the house into a hotel over an incredibly delicate process. The result is that Ett Hem is again a happy house filled with a fabulous collection of furniture, Scandinavian antiques and design. With 12 rooms, the hotel offers comfortable interiors and bedrooms full of summery tones and light. Outdoors, the courtyard garden is a secret city wilderness that is the perfect place for summer breakfasts or winding down in the evening over a chilled bottle of wine. A tranquil home away from home, where guests are treated as friends and looked after down to every last detail.
Ett Hem: etthem.se
Anyone who had a treehouse growing up will likely tell you that endless knee scrapes and splinters were a small price to pay in exchange for the unbridled pleasure of living like Tarzan, up there. Located in the middle of a proper, grown-up Lapland forest, Treehotel is a nature-lovers’ haven providing unique tree-top living experiences – totally splinter-free. The cabins, you see, are a far cry from the rudimentary treehouses of childhood; all are architect-designed with comfortable, sophisticated interiors and even heated floors! This is the high life, in every sense of the phrase. Behind the remarkable endeavour, Kent Lindvall and Britta Jonsson-Lindvall are lifelong village locals who have created Treehotel out of great love for their home and its unspoiled nature. From every room, you get a fantastic view of the Lule River valley, miles of forest and the powerful river rapids. Despite shared panoramas, no two tree cabins are alike; you can choose to stay in Mirror Cube, Cabin, Bird’s Nest, UFO, Blue Cone, Dragonfly or Seventh Room. Certainly one of the more unusual hotels we’ve come across, Treehotel is a quirky wonderland for the adventure-spirited – a childhood dream with a touch of luxury and flair.
Tree Hotel: treehotel.se
Talk about staying current... Every year 200km north of the Arctic Circle, in the small village of Jukkasjärvi when Torne River freezes to ice, a brand-new ICEHOTEL is created from the ground-up. Led by a creative team specialising in ephemeral art, the river ice is beautifully translated into glittering examples of design and architecture. Utterly spellbinding, the extraordinary hotel is a melody of exquisite fairy-tale rooms, formidable sculpture and unimaginably intricate detail – all of which become part of the river once again when it melts in the spring. ICEHOTEL is both an art project and the world’s first, and largest hotel built of snow and ice. Its unique location offers a flurry of exciting, unusual experiences that include ice sculpting, husky sledding and northern light tours. In 2016, a new part of the hotel was opened – designed by Swedish architect and sustainability designer Hans Eek. Also made with ice and snow, this new structure (called ICEHOTEL 365) is permanent and allows for guests to live it up like the Snow Queen year-round.
Ice Hotel: icehotel.com