A floating hotel and spa has opened in Swedish Lapland to offer visitors a unique Arctic wellness experience all year round.
LOCATED on the Lule River near the small village of Harads, Arctic Bath allows guests to immerse themselves in the elements while leaving a minimal environmental footprint.The idea of a floating sauna first came to Harads resident Per-Anders Eriksson during the opening of Treehotel in 2010. Treehotel offers a variety of individual contemporary rooms, built into the trees in Harads. At first, the vision was a glass cube on a raft. Architect Bertil Hagström, who designed Treehotel’s The Bird’s Nest, took over the idea and in 2013 he and Johan Kauppi designed Arctic Bath’s floating, circular building.
The architecture seamlessly integrates with the surrounding nature and is inspired by the timber floating era. For a long time, Lule River and its tributaries served as transportation routes for timber. The construction of the circular main building, imitates logs getting jammed in rapids, something that was fairly common for those transporting timber.
Constructed using local materials and with very little impact on the environment, Arctic Bath comprises of a flotilla of six floating cabins for couples near the water’s edge, offering private access from the shore via a foot bridge and outside wooden decks. There are also six larger, elevated cabins built on the tree-lined shore, three of which sleep up to five guests and three suites sleeping two people. The land cabins benefit from glass walls offering views of the landscape and northern sky.Situated under the northern lights in winter and the midnight sun during the summer months, Arctic Bath floats during the summer and freezes into ice during the winter.
Each room has been designed in keeping with the overall wellness focus. The surrounding nature has been incorporated into the cabins and suites with the use of natural, sustainable materials such as wood, stone and leather. Arctic Bath collaborated with Input Interior in Lulea and a number of Swedish design brands for both furniture and lighting.AnnKathrin Lundqvist, a Swedish designer educated at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco with expertise in fashion, accessories, furniture and interiors, has designed all of the six land cabins.The hotel offers three different saunas, a hot tub with the ultimate hydrotherapy experience, as well as a giant arctic bath in the centre of the building.Arctic Bath offers a variety of spa treatments using natural products from botanically-based Swedish skincare brand Kerstin Florian.All hotel guests are guaranteed a seat in the hotel’s restaurant, which caters for up to 24 guests and features bespoke pine walls, wood ceiling and Baltic grey limestone floors, together with selected furniture from designer brands.Activities on offer at the hote range from yoga, mindfulness, meditation and spa, to dogsledding, snow shoe hiking, cross country skiing, fat bike excursions, bear watching, horse riding and wildlife photography.Together with Treehotel and other local companies, such as Logger’s Lodge, Arctic Retreat and Aurora Safari Camp, Arctic Bath forms part of a micro-destination for luxury travellers in Lapland.