Tucked away in the wilds of Swedish Lapland, just 50 kilometres north of Lulea and a stone’s throw south of the Arctic Circle, this intimate retreat offers the perfect combination of style, cosiness and adventure.
Dining at Arctic Retreat is a communal affair – although there is the option to dine in your cabin if you prefer – with breakfast and dinner served around a table in the small dining cabin. Breakfasts are simple yet hearty, with the likes of eggs, toast, cereals, local jams and fruits providing fuel for days in the wilderness. Lunch is often served outdoors, between activities, and makes the most of the rich variety of local produce. Expect everything from reindeer stew to salmon cooked over a campfire. Then, in the evenings, dinners are prepared by local husky-sledding hero Richard Karlsson, whose menus are inspired by locally cultures to create a feast that can last as long as three hours at a time. The good news is, all meals are included in the room rate, although you’ll have to pay extra for accompanying alcohol.
With just three guest cabins – the other three in a series of six are taken up with a sauna, the dining room and a kitchen – stays here are certainly intimate. And, while cabins are something of a showcase for the traditional log-cabin aesthetic, there are touches of Scandi cool here, too. Steel staircases lead up to bedrooms replete with modern furnishings, while dramatic metal-framed floor-to-ceiling windows afford from-the-bed views of the neighbouring lake and, on clear nights, the Northern Lights. For extra indulgence, each cabin comes with its own deck complete with fire pit and hot tub. Bathrooms are small but perfectly formed, and products, such as lingonberry shampoo, are sourced from a nearby village.
Days here can be as action-packed or laid-back as you like. There’s everything from husky sledding and snowmobiling to Northern Lights tours for the adventurous-spirited, while for those seeking something a little slower paced, culinary experiences, sauna rituals and even in-room massages should fit the bill. There’s also the chance to seek out local wildlife on a moose safari, or work up a sweat with cross-country skiing.