People have been sleeping in trees for centuries, be they hunter-gatherers looking for sustenance or outdoorsy Germans looking for an adventure mid-slumber. Recently, however, the art of elevated arboreal lodging (a term that I just invented) was transformed from a decidedly “granola” pastime to a more luxurious experience, and you have the Swedes and their trademark ingenuity to thank.
Treehotel is a one-of-a-kind hotel located in northern Sweden, allowing visitors to stay in tree houses overlooking some of the best nature the near-Arctic Circle has to offer. But these aren’t your father’s poorly made plywood tree houses — these “treerooms” are unique units crafted by some of Sweden’s foremost contemporary architects, elevated between four and six meters off the ground in the pristine forests of the Lule River valley.
Since opening in 2010, Treehotel has planned to open 24 rooms designed by 24 different architects. As of now, five treerooms (and a relaxing sauna) are available for booking: the Mirrorcube, the Cabin, the Blue Cone (which is actually red), the Bird’s Nest, and our personal favorite, the UFO. How does one shimmy their way into their selected treeroom, exactly? You can stop picturing a rickety ladder or some sort of elaborate lever and pulley system, as all rooms are accessible by strategically placed ramps, bridges, and stairs.
Upon arriving at Treehotel, guests check in nearby at Britta’s pensionat, a hostel owned by the founders of Treehotel. This is also where meals are served, TV is watched, and activities are planned. And while the treerooms and their environs inspire quiet meditation and personal reflection, there are plenty of activities to partake in for guests who don’t want to spend their whole vacation pondering the meaning of life. Depending on the season, visitors can go kayaking, explore the forest on horseback, or even race through the snow at the helm of a dog sled team.
Treehotel offers packages for families and lovebirds alike, or you can book your own stay. Considering how unique this experience is the prices are pretty reasonable, so pick your favorite treeroom and start trekking to the Swedish uplands ASAP.
PS: For those of you who want to completely skip quiet time between activities and sauna sessions, there is also a bar located in Britta’s pensionat. Just don’t get too hammered on glogg and end up falling out of your treeroom.