Looking up at the options in the pine forest, I was perplexed. Would I rather hover at treetop level in a UFO or blend with nature from inside a giant bird’s nest — just two of the possibilities at the Treehotel, Edeforsväg 2A, Harads, Sweden.
It’s not what I expected in the remote reaches of Sweden’s Lapland — an architectural delight with no two cabins alike except their location high in the trees overlooking the Lule River valley. Isolated, idiosyncratic but complete with WiFi and indoor plumbing, the tree houses perched some 15 or 20 feet in the air.
One, inexplicably called the Blue Cone, is a bright red cube. The Cabin has a large outdoor deck. The exterior of the Mirrorcube reflects its surroundings so it virtually disappears into the pines. Perhaps most unusual is the Bird’s Nest which, yes, looks exactly like an enormous feathered creature’s abode on the outside.
The newest, the 7th Room, was still under construction when I was there, but it’s the most spectacular of all. Close to 100 feet in the air, it includes a “patio” of safety net pierced by a tall pine.
The Treehotel was featured in the “Winter Escapes” issue of Travel & Leisure this month.
The location is remote. You’ll need a car to get there (it’s about an hour’s drive from Luleå Airport) although if you’re in a hurry, helicopter transfer can be arranged by the hotel.
Five of the treetop rooms start at $550 for two adults; the Dragonfly, which can accommodate four — or serve as a small conference location — is about $850. The 7th Room, which sleeps five, is about $1700 per night. All prices include a buffet breakfast.
Unfortunately, my tour did not include a night in one of these wonders. Instead, we were housed quite nicely in the main building, Britta’s Pensionat, where Treehotel check-in takes place, meals are served and extras — such as the zipline, kayaking and other expeditions — are booked.
Stepping into Britta’s Pensionat is like walking into your Swedish grandmother’s house. Everything is MidCentury countryside cozy albeit with WiFi. My room (one of nine priced about $100 per night) was on the second floor and had 1950’s style wallpaper and white-painted furniture.
The buffet breakfast included a bowl of a Lapland specialty: luminous orange cloudberries — picked nearby the previous afternoon.
(Photos by Treehotel and by Susan McKee, who was on a tour sponsored by Swedish Lapland and Visit Sweden)