Quirky Hotels in Sweden

From a hotel built among the tops of pine trees to a suite built 510 feet below ground, these quirky hotels in Sweden are at once playful and unique
By: Beatrice Baisa and Skye Mayring
The Cabin room at the Harads Tree Hotel is set among pine trees.  // © 2011 Harads Tree Hotel
The Cabin room at the Harads Tree Hotel is set among pine trees.  // © 2011 Harads Tree Hotel

Sweden is home to a number of unusual themed hotels that will offer guests a unique experience — something they surely can write home about. The following Swedish hotels run the gamut from cutting-edge to just plain quirky.

A Chilling Stay
Located in Kiruna, Sweden, in the small village of Lapland, the IceHotel offers travelers an experience they won’t soon forget. The first and largest ice hotel in the world, IceHotel is made completely of snow and ice, covering more than an acre of land. It features 60 rooms constantly kept at a nippy 23 degrees and an innovative design that changes annually — in fact, each winter, a team of architects, designers and artists collaborate on a new version of the IceHotel, which lasts until spring, when the hotel gradually melts.

Guests will spend the night in a cozy sleeping bag and awake to a cup of hot lingonberry juice. In the morning, they can warm up in the hotel’s sauna and enjoy a buffet breakfast, which is included in the cost of the room. Prices vary based upon room preferences.

The hotel’s winter season, which is also the prime time for viewing the Northern Lights, lasts through April 18.

Float On
The Salt & Sill hotel, Sweden’s first floating hotel, is located just off the island of Kladesholmen, north of Gothenburg, on the picturesque Swedish west coast. The hotel features 23 guestrooms and one suite built upon floating pontoons. The concept behind its sauna is equally as unique — it is not only a floating sauna but it also doubles as a boat. This “sauna-boat” is powered by two diesel engines and reaches up to 15 knots.

Depending on the time of year, rooms start at $247 for a single, $309 for double rooms and $418 for the suite. All room rates include breakfast.

Going Underground
Not many travelers can say that they spent the night 510 feet below ground, but visitors to Sala Silver Mine in southwest Sweden can have the rare opportunity of staying in the “deepest underground hotel room in the world.” Guest booking the room receive a guided tour of the silver mine, along with a basket of refreshments and breakfast for $620. Also located on site is the restaurant, Werdshuset Konstmastargerden, serving homemade Swedish food, and an outdoor adventure track for ziplining and team-building activities. www.salasilvergruva.se/english/accommodation

A Room With a View
Harads Tree Hotel opened in the small village of Harads last year. A collaboration among several top Scandinavian architects, the property is comprised of six individually-designed rooms (The Birds Nest, The Tree Sauna, The Blue Cone, The Cabin, The Mirror Cube, The UFO, A Room With a View) situated in pine trees. Most of the guestrooms are built with wood and glass, and two of the rooms have electric, retractable stairs.

The Utter Inn is a one-room underwater hotel in Lake Malren. The one-of-a-kind hotel consists of a floating bridge and a room submerged 10 feet underwater; its glass windows provide excellent views of fish. From the port of Vasteras, clients are taken by boat to their room and are left to enjoy their stay privately with limited room service and a row boat for exploring. The room is equipped with a kitchenette and a small dining area surrounded by an outdoor terrace. Summer months are the best time to visit. Rates begin at $160 per night.
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