Harads, Sweden

Photo: Treehotel

A bird’s nest that blends into the trees. A hanging cabin topped with a roof deck. A mirrorcube covered in reflective glass. A UFO with a collapsible ladder. These are some of your accommodation options at Sweden’s Treehotel.

The Treehotel is one of the most unique hotels in the world. It’s where nature—pine forests, the Lule River Valley, and the northern lights—collides with your wild imagination. It feels like you’re sleeping in the trees. The rooms, though it’s hard to call them that, are minimal and eco-friendly. They were designed to have a low impact on their surroundings. That doesn’t mean they sacrificed comfort. Heated floors and incinerating toilets are standard. WiFi is, too.

You will have a short walk to the showers. Some amenities are just too hard to suspend in the air. They’re in the charming, 100-year-old Brittas Pensionat. It’s also home to the restaurant and the bar. The wooden steam bath and the freestanding tree sauna are near it, as well. A relaxing sauna package includes beer, cider, and local snacks.

Photo: Treehotel

It takes planning to visit the Treehotel. The hotel is in Norrbotten. Sweden’s northernmost county is where Norway, Sweden, and Finland all meet. It’s a 70-minute flight from Stockholm to Luleå, a university town on the Gulf of Bothnia, and then an hour-and-ten-minute drive northwest to reach Harads. The little town is home to a Nordic Classicism church and about 500 people. Farmland and forests line the Lule River. The hotel is what really put this area on the map.

Autumn is the perfect time to visit. The forest is ablaze with crimson, gold, and rust leaves. Hiking trails lead you around peaceful lakes, steep cliffs, and lichen-covered trees. You can pick your own lingonberries and, if you’re lucky, spot a moose. Both are served, along with Arctic char and elk, in the restaurant for dinner. Plus the days are getting shorter, which increases your chances of seeing the magical northern lights. You can sip a glass of homemade birch vodka while you wait for nature’s spectacular show to begin. You have a private, front-row seat right from your bed in the trees.

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