Swedish hotel aims to put you up in the trees

LONDON Thu Jul 8, 2010 10:19pm IST

1 of 7. An undated concept design shows a cross-section of The Mirrorcube, designed by Tham & Videgard Architects, to be constructed on the site of Treehotel in the Swedish village of Harads.

Credit: Reuters/Tham & Videgard Architects/Treehotel/Handout

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Inside Sweden's Treehotel

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LONDON (Reuters) - A lofty new hotel concept is set to open in a remote village in northern Sweden, which aims to elevate the simple treehouse into a world-class destination for design-conscious travelers.

Treehotel, located in Harads about 60 km south of the Arctic Circle, will consist of four rooms when it opens on July 17th: the Cabin, the Blue Cone, the Nest and the Mirrorcube.

Two additional structures are scheduled to open in October - the UFO and A Room With a View.

"Our goal in five years is to have 24 rooms from 24 different architects," says Treehotel co-founder Kent Lindvall, a former guidance counselor who came up with the concept along with his wife Britta.

The first six structures were designed by five different architects. The Mirrorcube which stands four meters high and four meters wide, has drawn widespread attention as it will be attached to a single tree.

"It's an interesting building. You cannot find anything like this in the world today. It's absolutely unique," says Lindvall, as he stands next to the room's mirrored outer wall.

"Everything will reflect in this - the trees, the birds, the clouds, the sun, everything. So it should be invisible nearly in the forest."

Lindvall says a special film will be applied to the glass which will be visible to birds.

This is just one of the steps being taken to minimize Treehotel's impact on local wildlife says Anette Selberg, who is in charge of crafting an excursion program for guests.

"This is untouched forest and we want to maintain it the same way. We decided for example to not offer snowmobile safari which is very common up here," says Selberg.

Instead, wilderness walks will be offered.

"We might see a moose, a reindeer and if we're lucky we might see a bear," she adds.

She said the Treehotel's vision is proving a powerful draw, with enquiries coming in from far and wide.

"Mainly from Europe but I know that New Zealand has been contacting us, Australia," she says, looking across to the tall pines.

"I think what's exciting here is that we're just 60 km below the Arctic Circle which means there's a good possibility to have the northern lights in the winter and during the summer of course you have the midnight sun."

The motto of Treehotel is "feel free in a tree" and the luxury of the experience will cost up to 4,200 Swedish crowns ($555.50) for two guests in the Mirrorcube, which is designed to hold up to four guests.

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