High up in the Swedish mountains, an innovative hotel project raises you up into the trees. With unique rooms and stunning panoramas, the TreeHotel promises you a lofty experience.
Text By :Chryselle D’Silva Dias
Photographs Courtesy : TreeHotel
The TreeHotel is an unusual and innovative set of rooms set among the trees of the Boreal forest. The concept was inspired by the movie Trädälskaren (The Tree Lover) by Jonas Selberg Augustsén. The film is about three men from the city who rediscover their roots by building a treehouse together. The importance of trees to people is highlighted in the film and the quality accommodation offered by the hotel in the unspoiled beauty of the forest only reinforces this.
Conceptualised by Kent and Britta Lindvall, the hotel is close to where ‘The Tree Lover’ was filmed. Britta, a former nurse, owns and runs the ‘Britta Guesthouse’, a 1930’s-50’s pensionat that acts as boot camp for the treehotel.
Guests to the TreeHotel check in at Britta’s hostel where they are encouraged to leave most of their luggage behind and carry just an overnight bag to their tree-room. This reinforces the feeling of walking into a new experience, leaving behind the old and familiar.
The tree rooms are built with minimal damage to the surrounding forest. No trees are cut down; only live trees are used for building. The rooms are hung with adjustable clamps around the tree to protect it. As the tree grows, the clamps are adjusted so that the tree is never damaged. Local construction companies and mainly Swedish architects keep the carbon footprint down.
A short walk through the forest takes you to your room – there are five incredible ones to choose from at this time (a total of 24 rooms are planned); The Mirrorcube, The Cabin, The Bird’s Nest, The Blue Cone and the UFO. There is also a Tree Sauna… yes, perched up in the trees.
The Mirrorcube is exactly what it says it is – a mirrored cube suspended among trees. It is a hiding place among the treetops. The walls of reflective glass camouflage the room and the only giveaway is a little bridge that leads up to an almost invisible door to the 4x4x4 meter room.
The Cabin room is akin to a capsule in the trees. It accommodates a queen-sized bed perfect for two people. Offering perhaps the best view over the Lule river valley. A horizontal bridge hidden among the branches provides access to the Cabin. At the end of the bridge is a wooden deck that acts as a viewing point as well.
The Bird’s Nest is, again, exactly what it sounds like. The exterior unerringly resembles a giant bird’s nest complete with wooden sticks neatly tucked in place. The windows almost disappear among the branches, making the occupants somewhat invisible to any inquisitive feathered visitors. The interior is larger than some of the other treerooms and can accommodate a family of four.
The Blue Cone (actually bright red) also accommodates four beds. The room is based on traditional Swedish structures with three foundations in the ground. A bridge provides access and you can take a wheelchair as well.
If fantasy is your thing, then pretend to be an alien (or abducted by one) in the UFO. Comfortably accommodating four people, this incredible room has all the elements you think alien objects should have, including custom upholstery reminiscent of the stars and sky.
The latest addition to the rooms is the Tree Sauna. Built for 12 people, the sauna has a relaxation studio as well and has been popular with guests since it opened recently.
Britta encourages guests to take part in the activities that the hotel arranges – tours of the village with meals at a villager’s home, guided walks and treks through the forest and specific activities for summer or winter, including watching the Northern Lights.
Being sustainable and eco-friendly is a high priority for the Treetop hotel. Electricity is supplied from local hydroelectric power and the lighting systems consist of LED lights, which consume less energy than traditional lighting. No sewage system means reducing the impact that the guests have on their surroundings as well. For the squeamish, each room has a modern combustion toilet where waste is incinerated at 600 °C or, in the case of the Mirrorcube, it is frozen. Wastewater from bathroom sinks is collected in a container and emptied daily.
The TreeHotel is gaining popularity for its unique rooms and while Britta and Kent plan to take a break from building to raise funds for their remaining rooms, they continue to welcome guests at the property. “Live among nature, on nature’s terms,” is their policy. Indeed, where trees have clamps and rooms vanish into the forest, nature is in safe hands.