The 7th Roomat treehotel in Lapland
At eye level are the treetops, their branches groaning under the weight of early morning snow. The landscape is a blanket of pure white, and from here, I can see for miles, including into the neighbouring woods where three reindeer are ambling around.
It’s almost impossible to appreciate the magnificence of Sweden’s TreeHotel in the dark. I arrive in the pitch black of the early evening, and after sliding my way across snow and ice in a pair of trainers to the hotel’s reception (where I was, mercifully, presented with snow boots), I wind my way through a quiet forest path to the hotel’s newest tree house: The 7th Room.
Being here – somewhere so beautifully remote, quiet enough to hear native reindeer foraging for food in the forest – brings a sense of calm. Treehotel is nestled in the heart of Swedish Lapland, almost 600 miles north of Stockholm. Its focus on sustainability and oneness with nature encourages a switching off of sorts: this is a place to turn down the noise of modern life, and go inward.
I’ve walked 15 minutes through the forest before I encounter the tree houses. The Cabin, one of the first rooms to be built here in 2010, looms above me, softly lit from the inside. Suspended in the trees, it gives these quiet woods an otherworldly feel. Further along, I pass by some of the others: The Dragonfly, The UFO, The Bird’s Nest, and the awe-inspiring Mirrorcube, camouflaged in the woods by its mirrored walls.
After climbing the stairs to The 7th Room, which hovers 10 metres above the ground, I snuggle up on a fluffy reindeer pelt by the fire with some tea. I can’t see outside, but inside is magic.
The next morning, I pull back the curtains with giddy glee. Now, I am awestruck. At eye level are the treetops, their branches groaning under the weight of early morning snow. The landscape is a blanket of pure white, and from here, I can see for miles, including into the neighbouring woods where three reindeer are ambling around.
The 7th Room, named because it’s the seventh room on the property, was designed by Snøhetta, the architecture studio also behind the renowned Oslo Opera house in Norway. Owners, husband and wife duo Kent Lindvall and Britta Jonsson-Lindvall, see The 7th Room as a luxury addition to a property, five of the seven rooms are tiny, use a shared shower, and don’t contain amenities like hairdryers or bath products. The 7th Room though, comes equipped with an enormous rainwater shower and organic products, a mini bar, plush interiors and 75 square metres of living space. You can even sleep outside in summer, courtesy of an enormous wire and rope net, suspended between the room’s two bedrooms.
“It’s like a childhood dream with a touch of luxury and flair,” says Kent, over breakfast. “We wanted it to be extraordinary in every sense of the word. Higher up, larger and more luxurious than any of the other rooms.”
When I finally do tear myself from cosiness of The 7th Room, I meet one of Treehotel’s guides, Eli. It was a bright, sunny day, so he suggested we do as the locals do: go ice fishing. We drive snow mobiles through beautiful forest to a frozen lake, where Eli bores several large holes through the 20 inch thick ice. We catch one fish, which Eli will use for bait trout fishing tomorrow, then build a fire, eat Britta’s gooey chocolate cake, drink traditional lingonberry tea and talk about our travels. This is part of Treehotel’s offering, guests can pick and choose what they’d like to do – from husky rides to dining on the ice – and it will be arranged, just for them.
That night, I eat dinner in the Pensionat. With quaint, 1950s décor and a series of snug, private dining rooms, it’s an ideal spot to retire to at the end of an adventurous day. The food here is truly five star, using locally hunted or caught meat and fish, including moose, reindeer and arctic char, paired with seasonal vegetables. After three courses, I’m ready for my room upstairs. I fall into my fluffy bed, and it’s so quiet here, I don’t stir once.