Asleep in the Trees at Treehotel in Swedish Lapland

From its bone-chilling Polar Nights (which are marked by the total absence of the sun from the winter sky), which are accompanied by the majesty of the Northern Lights, to its near 24 hours of summer daylight, wandering reindeer, and free-growing lingonberry, northern Sweden’s landscape is a feast for the senses. Swedish Lapland’s multi-sensory beauty can only really be seen to be believed. Thus it’s easy to see why Treehotel came into existence—why, if you’ve traveled all the way to northern Sweden, would you ever want to go inside? 

What started as a traditional, cozy lodge in the forest of Harads, Sweden, grew into a modernist fever dream beginning in the early 2000s when the six-room lodge (once a home for the elderly and later used as a storage facility for the Swedish military) expanded by building eight highly stylized bungalows perched in the treetops. Today’s Treehotel allows visitors to be at once deep in the woods amidst northern Sweden’s rugged landscape, where snow and silence are the most welcome friends, while also sleeping in a contemporary room that is completely architecturally unique.

An architectural marvel, Treehotel’s design-forward bungalows have been conceptualized by different designers (mostly from Sweden) resulting in wildly varying spaces to spend the night. Guests can choose overnights in showstoppers like Bird’s Nest and UFO, which look like an eerily large version of what their names suggest (both by Swedish designer Bertil Harström), Mirrorcube whose reflective sides reflect the pine forest on every side, giving the illusion that the cube is just another facet of the forest (by Swedish designers Bolle Tham and Martin Videgård), and Biosphere, a spherical structured covered in bird houses and only accessible by a ladder (by the globally based, Denmark rooted Bjarke Ingels Group). Relatively subdued, but no less stunning thanks to their characteristic Scandinavian clean lines and simplicity are four other bungalows that more closely reflect traditional cabins, but are perched in the trees and boast unique features like access via a long wooden bridge and which boasts, a terrace overlooking the Luleå Forest, and a stunning red color that bursts forth amid a snow-covered backdrop. 

Inside Treehotel’s lodge, six traditional and simple guest rooms await the traveler who longs for nature’s solitude and beauty without the hike through the woods required to reach the unique bungalows. 

Top Takeaways

Locations: Harads, Sweden 

Star-Rating: Five-Star

Our Favorite Things About the Hotel: The juxtaposition of the natural beauty of the forest with the modernist architecture of the bungalows. It’s the best of both worlds, designed together in total harmony.

Food + Drink: Meals are available at Treehotel’s original guesthouse. As a total contrast to the eight bungalows, the lodge is cozy Swedish design at its finest, with candles and antiques filling the space. Traditional meals (like reindeer stew), Arctic fish, seasonal berries, and wines from around the world round out the menus.

Any Neighborhood Recs: Once you’ve reached Treehotel’s pine forest, you would be wise to stay put and take full advantage of the property, such as forest hikes and yoga. The hotel can arrange dozens of activities, from a visit with a Sami herder to learn about the Sami’s rich history and culture to a dog-sledding expedition, a guided foraging experience, ice fishing, snowshoeing, and much more. 

Amenities: While sleeping in Treehotel’s bungalows translates to sleeping in a piece of living, contemporary art, the remote nature of the accommodations means guests will have to forgo some amenities. Some accommodations only have room for small bags, and others lack conveniences like running water. 

What’s Nearby: The UNESCO World Heritage Site, the church town of Gammelstad, is under an hour away and should be a must-visit on your way to or from the airport in nearby Luleå.

Rooms: Treehotel has eight unique bungalows and six traditional guest rooms in the lodge.

Pricing: Starting night rates for the bungalows in the low $700s.

Closest Airport: Luleå Airport, which connects with daily flights to Stockholm, is just over an hour away. 

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