Ever wanted to sleep in a tree, spend a night on a bed of ice, or bunk down under the Northern Lights? Here's a selection of the most unforgettable hotel stays across Scandinavia, showing how you can spend a night in these amazing places. These hotels offer far more than just a comfy bed and mini bar and a pillow menu. They provide something that most luxury hotels can only dream of – a genuinely original and exciting experience that will add something very special to your Scandinavia holiday.
Set just outside the small Swedish village of Harads, 60km south of the Arctic Circle, the Treehotel is a high-design, back-to-nature retreat where guests can slow down, switch off and breathe more deeply. With the help of some visionary architects, owners Britta and Kent Lindvall have created a slice of magic that not only combines childhood fantasies of sleeping in the trees with the latest in comfort and sophistication, but manages to do so with the lightest of environmental footprints. Each room is completely unique and include the Bird’s Nest, the UFO and our favourite, The Mirrorcube, a camouflaged hideaway with its own roof terrace and breathtaking views of the forest and valley below. Treehotel is open year round, offering a wealth of summer and winter activities including dogsledding, snowmobiling, cultural tours, cycling, hiking and more.
Join professional Northern Lights photographer Fredrick Broman at Sweden’s Aurora Safari Camp, Lapland’s first African-style safari camp, set amidst the snow-laden forests of northern Sweden near the pretty village of Sorbyn. As well as a terrific potential for Northern Lights sightings, you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to photograph the aurora from an experienced professional, while staying under canvas in a traditional Sami tent, known as a lavvo, on a comfortable bed with an Arctic sleeping bag.
Following the lead of Sweden’s iconic ICEHOTEL, a number similar properties, from intimate Arctic boltholes like the 30-room Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, to entire snow villages like the one at Lainio in Finland, have sprung up across Scandinavia and beyond, with one even appearing across the Atlantic near the Canadian city of Québec, in the form of the quite stunning Hotel de Glace. These amazing hotels, which are built from scratch each and every year, boast intricate ice sculptures, ice rooms with ice beds, ice bars with ice glasses selling ice drinks and, in the case of the Lainio Snow Village, a fully functioning ice chapel.
Warm, welcoming and beautifully designed, the Engholm Husky Lodge, located on the banks of the Karasjohka River, six kilometres from the town of Karasjok is Arctic Norway at its very best. Experience a blend of traditional Sami culture, exciting husky and reindeer excursions and Northern Lights hunts, combined with Nordic design, wonderful food and the added luxury of a wood-heated sauna and outdoor hot tub.
Now this is different – the chance to spend the night in one of Apukka Resort's mobile “aurora wagon”. Thanks to their mobility, you’ll be able to spend the night in delightful seclusion in a setting chosen based on the aurora forecast. And, views of Finnish Lapland's frozen lakes, snowy hilltops and, hopefully, the aurora are invited in by oversized windows overhead. There’s also all the usual winter fun, from snowshoeing to reindeer sleigh rides, while saunas on skis and ice carving add more of the unique. Lastly, on our beak, you’ll combine a night in an aurora wagon with two in glass-domed igloo – perfect for more aurora spotting.
These are treehouses all grown up, swapping rusty nails for blonde-wood timber, cosy armchairs and the obligatory stove fire. Simply, it’s all the trappings of Scandi design at its very best, paired with an oversized floor-to-ceiling window with views over a Lapland forest setting. Although ideal for a romantic couple’s break, families will be pleased to learn about the two-bedroom options. Either way, you’ll have all of Finnish Lapland’s rural delights on your elevated doorstep, with everything from husky safaris to reindeer sled rides on offers. Then, after working up an appetite, you’ll return to a restaurant that’s as cutting edge as the accommodation. Just remember to keep an eye out for the Northern Lights.