Places & Spaces: Utter Inn, Sweden

What lies beneath: under this little hut in is an aquarium where you sleep while being eyeballed by fish.

On the shores of a Swedish lake, it’s not unusual to see a small red hut. To see that shack in the middle of a lake, even in a country known for its unusual accommodation offerings, is a little less common.

It’s true, like something straight out of a Swedish detective novel: the hero is being pursued by his nemesis, so he takes refuge in the Utter Inn – tricky access and great visibility mean no one gets near without being spotted. Even better, the guestroom is out of firing range.

Why? Because the accommodation is hidden underneath the hut, reached only by ladder down a vertical shaft. You sleep underwater “with the fishes.”

The hut-aquarium is more cozy and simple than spacious and super-deluxe, but what it lacks in cutting-edge design (IKEA predominates, unsurprisingly), it more than makes up for in complete and utter (sorry) privacy. Not to mention the obvious wow factor.

Showing off your booty while lounging on the wooden deck chairs and skinny-dipping in the lake are both perfectly acceptable, too.

Plus, the eco-conscious: solar panels on the roof power the lighting (it’s only open from April to September), and the dry toilet keeps the lake clean.

Rates from $328 including tax, transfers, and use of inflatable boat for trips to the nearest (uninhabited) island.

Images: Atlas Obscura; Mikael Genberg; Västerås stad; Wayfaring

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.