Places & Spaces: Treehotel, Sweden

The Treehotel in Sweden features unique, futuristic camp sites.

Imagine the scene: you’re walking through a forest in northern Sweden, when suddenly you come upon a collection of bizarre objects suspended from trees: a mirrored cube, a UFO, a giant bird’s nest. Have you been abducted into a Dadaistic art installation?

Relax, it’s n0t a flashback to a youthful overindulgence of banned substances, a sojourn through William S. Burroughs’ Interzone or even a Trekkie bootcamp. It’s a 21st century designer eco-hotel-camp called Treehotel.

Treehotel’s green credentials are exactly as you’d expect for a Swedish hotel set in a forest: renewable energy provided by hydroelectric power from the nearby river, LED lighting and water-efficient sinks, and combustion toilets. In most units, waste is heat-blasted at 600C; in the Mirrorcube, your poop gets frozen, while the heat from the freezer’s element is used to heat the room in winter. Dead smart, those Swedes.

The five “treerooms,” designed by leading Scandinavian architects, are all different inside as well as out, with simple furnishings. The UFO, accessed by a ladder underneath has spacey print fabrics, while the ultra-realistic Bird’s Nest is circular with tiny round windows in its pale wood walls. The Cabin is much more conventional, but also larger – a rectangular box with huge windows and an outdoor deck, while the Blue Cone overlooks the river.

The Mirrorcube is like a live work of art. Its outer surfaces show constantly changing images of trees and sky, which you can appreciate from a roof terrace, a more zen alternative to watching TV. Another building houses a sauna and hot tub (this is Sweden, after all). The bad news: this is also where the showers are located, since none of the treehouses has its own tub or shower. This is the Swedish idea of glamping: fab interiors offset outdoor plumbing.

Meals are served, and guests greeted, in a guesthouse run by one of the owners named Britta.

Rates from $573, including tax, breakfast and unbeatable dinner table stories.

Photos: Peter Lundstrom, WDO; Frank Updates via Harper’s Bazaar


Fiona Flores Watson

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