The Tree Hotel, in the village of Harads in northern Sweden, is in a sense not a new concept. There are plenty of other tree hotels around the world. But the modernism and high-class design of the new hotel promises to set it apart.
If you like the idea of living with the birds, but grazed knees and green-stained clothing aren’t your style, the Tree Hotel, which opens on Saturday, should appeal. The rooms may be situated in arborial splendour high above the ground, but they are accessed by steps or ramps, and have more in common with exclusive design hotels than Famous Five-style treehouses.
The Tree Hotel will have six rooms when it opens, but will eventually expand to 24. Each room is designed by a different architect and has a different character.
One of the most spectacular rooms is the Mirrorcube, a glass cube built around a tree trunk. It contains a double bed, a kitchenette and a bath, a living room and a roof terrace. It is accessed through a bridge connected to the neighbouring tree. The cube is to be covered in a transparent ultraviolent paint to prevent birds colliding with it.
Other rooms to be opened in the first stage include the UFO, which is shaped like a flying saucer, and the Nest, a cylinder covered in a mesh of branches.
The hotel is the brainchild of husband and wife team Britta Jonsson Lindvall and Kent Lindvall, who already run a guesthouse near to the site of the Tree Hotel. They came up with the idea after they started renting out a small treehouse, which had initially been built by three city-dwellers as part of a documentary.
If the original tree-house was basic, the new treehouses will be anything but. Guests will even be able to let off steam in a sauna. Their more basic needs will be catered for by state-of-the-art environmentally-friendly incinerating toilets in every treehouse.
The Lindvalls argue that people get a new perspective when they stay in the forest – valuing the trees as something more than material to be cut down for industrial use. But this comes at at price – a night at the Tree Hotel costs upwards of 3,500 kronor.