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Treehotel: Sweden's Dreamlike Treehouse Fantasies

Sweden's imaginative hotel takes childhood dreams of the ultimate treehouse to new heights.

It’s tempting to call the Treehotel the expression of that great youth fantasy: the tricked-out grown-up treehouse. But that sells it short. When you were young, could you honestly have built (or even imagined) a mirrored aluminum cube, reflecting the surrounding trees but coated with infrared film to make it visible to birds? That’s one of the designs at the striking new airborne retreat in Harads, in remote northern Sweden, which features six distinct rooms perched 10 to 20 feet up in the trees and accessible by suspension bridges, ramps, or retractable electric ladders. In the words of Sofia Lindvall, daughter of founders Kent and Britta Lindvall, it’s “a modern childhood dream mixed with high design and architecture.”
The inspiration for the hotel, which opened in July, came from a documentary called The Tree Lover, a return-to-nature film that starred a lofty treehouse. After renting out the shelter used in the film, the Lindvalls—Kent also runs fishing expeditions—had the idea to commission several more for a year-round mini boreal resort. “One evening on Kamchatka by the fire, [Kent] presents the idea of the Treehotel to his guests on the fishing trip, and that happens to be some of Sweden’s best architects,” Sofia Lindvall recalls. “They are invited to draw one room each.”

The designs those architects produced included the above “Mirrorcube,” a branch-thatched round room called “The Nest,” and a bi-level space orb named “UFO” (all have incineration toilets). Even the hotel’s sauna is raised off the forest floor. And in keeping with the back-to-the-forest theme, the trees themselves will be well looked after. “All the rooms are hung up with adjustable clamps around the tree,” Lindvall says. “As the tree grows we can adjust the clamps so we never choke or damage it.”

Photos courtesy of Treehotel

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