Fancy sleeping in a UFO? Or what about a hotel room suspended high in a Swedish forest canopy? If you are in Swedish Lapland with kids, it is absolutely essential to do a stop at the amazing Treehotel. The name lives up to everything you could imagine and more – if you have a love of design and architecture or you simply want a night or two in the wilderness without having to actually camp with kids or give up creature comforts, this is it.
Sleeping in a treehouse might not sound very grown-up, but Treehotel is actually a very sophisticated and cool experience that still manages to also be fun family-friendly accommodation. And because it is focused totally around contemporary design integrated with an appreciation and celebration of the environment, it is a great way to introduce two concepts that are very typical of Sweden to kids.
Treehotel is a unique idea of 6 rooms all specifically designed by local Swedish architects as stand-out and stand alone tree rooms. Each is built high up in the canopy of the Harands pine trees at between four to six metres above ground. The construction is immaculate so while you might see some suspension wires, it does seem as if the rooms as hanging in the air. And all come with spectacular views over the Lule River.
[For more travel tips on unique family-friendly accommodation in Sweden, see the suitcases&strollers story Jumbo Stay about a hostel inside an abandoned Boeing 747.]
Each room is one-of-a-kind and completely different, so some cater to couples only, such as The Mirrorcube.
Others can fit a family of four, but are not suitable for young children. For instance, the very cool UFO room can only be entered via a retracting steep staircase (which is really more like a ladder), so doesn’t work well for pre-schoolers.
Some of the rooms, such as The Blue Cone, have easy ramp access so are good for those with strollers or younger pre-school aged kids. Dragonfly is by far the most family-friendly hotel room at Treehotel as it is spacious and has stroller access.
Facilities inside the rooms differ too. For instance, The Cabin has a rooftop deck to allow visitors to enjoy the panoramic views (this room only houses couples) while Dragonfly has a screen if you need to entertain the kids with your own DVDs or Internet streaming.
Regardless of which room you end up in, a visit to the Treehotel is a magical imaginative experience for kids and adults. Since Sweden is famed as a place of creative and cutting edge design, this is a fun way for both adults and kids in Sweden to get a taste of local culture and wilderness combined, all from the luxury of a contemporary hotel bed.
[Interested in more travel tips on places to sleep in a tree canopy? Then check out the suitcases&strollers story Quirky Family-Friendly Accommodation: Germany]
Treehotel prides itself on maintaining a minimal impact on the environment which means none of the rooms have running water. Plenty of drinking water and water for the bathroom is supplied and all the toilets are combustible (except for the Mirrorcube which has a freezing toilet!). Instead, guests are encouraged to use the shared shower and sauna facilities (also architecturally designed).
While the rooms do not have televisions, there is free wifi available.
Meals (if you opt for them) are served at the main house and a very friendly and down-to-earth affair for such a cool hotel concept. Homemade local food is served up buffet style and – provided you don’t tell the kids they are eating reindeer and moose – are quite delicious.
The approach to the Treehotel proper is about a 10-minute walk through the forest. It is possible to wheel a very robust stroller but impossible to bring suitcases so your luggage will be driven to your tree room by the hotel staff.
For those who are curious about Treehotel but aren’t able to actually stay in one of the rooms, the owners also operate a hostel inside the main house (also with shared bathroom facilities). From there you can inquire about tours of the tree rooms which are absolutely worthwhile as they are such a unique experience.
For more unique family-friendly accommodation travel tips, see the suitcases&strollers story Underwater Hotels.