Places & Spaces: Gotland’s Industrial Hotel & Curious Vegetables

Fabriken Furillen epitomizes industrial chic: it’s a converted factory on an old quarry in Gotland, Sweden.

We know that the Swedes are decades ahead of everyone in terms of green living. So you won’t be surprised to hear that one of the Nordic country’s hippest hotels is in a converted factory. Fabriken Furillen is a former limestone refinery located on the windswept shores of Gotland, Sweden’s largest island.

This industrial-chic retreat consists of a tall, grey square building in the bare, lunar landscape of the old limestone quarry, with rocks running down to a slate-coloured sea. The hotel’s interior is minimalist, with machinery still hanging down from the ceiling in a part-sinister, part-art-installation way. The owner is a fashion photographer, so the visual impact is clearly well thought-out. The hotel has plenty of natural light thanks to huge windows, looking out over the Baltic Sea.

Rooms in the main building have Wi-Fi, Bang & Olufsen TVs and CD players, while small white “hermit cabins” with decks have wood-burning stoves and locally-sourced sheepskin rugs for cool summer evenings, and outdoor toilets, for that glamping feel. Bicycles are provided for navigating the gravel paths around the grounds dotted with pine trees. It’s not luxurious, certainly not as indicated by its prices, but it’s a one-off and the setting is unbeatable, if at the monochrome end of the color spectrum. Fabriken Furillen is often used as a location for photo shoots.

The food served in the restaurant is all sourced within the area, with an accent on fresh fish, vegetables and herbs.

Rates from $281 including tax.

Gotland is famous for its superb cuisine, and being an island, fish features heavily, such as gutte (turbot); other produce – and dishes – are more unusual. Many farms sell produce direct to the public – look out for the “Gårdsbutik” sign.

Top food and drinks to try in Gotland:

Ransoms (wild garlic) and sand leeks (wild onions).

Burgundy truffles; lammskalle (lamb’s head); pickled pears; baby carrots;

dricke (juniper and hop beer); sugar-beet rum; grappa.

Image:,,,,  naturspaziergang.deWikimediaCommons,

Places & Spaces is a travel guide that will inspire you to carve out a vacation on your calendar. All of the gorgeous locations and accommodations in our guide share our concern for the environment. From tent glamping to lavish built environments, fair warning, you’ll feel compelled to pack your suitcase.

Fiona Flores Watson

Fiona Flores Watson covers Places & Spaces for EcoSalon and currently resides in Seville, Spain.