Laura Marslen

TREEHOTEL - HARADS

Laura Marslen
TREEHOTEL - HARADS

I stumbled across a similar picture of the Mirrorcube a number of years back on tumblr (yes tumblr was cool back in the day kids) and didn’t even think this place was real…Turns out it is! Who wouldn’t want to live among the trees for a few days in remote Northern Sweden? Whether you’re looking for adventure or you’re simply after a place to unwind…this is the perfect location.

The Treehotel and guest house is located in Harads, Sweden approximately 100km from Luleå airport. Harads is a very small and quaint town and only has a population of approximately 600 people. Harads showcases spectacular views of the Lule River and the surrounding forest land and in winter this place becomes the ultimate winter wonderland.

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We travelled from Levi in Northern Finland so we had a bit of a trek to get ourselves to Harads. Unfortunately, we were unable to continue our car hire across the border in to Sweden so that meant returning the car to Kemi Airport near the border of Finland and Sweden. We then took a cab from the airport to Haparanda Tornio bus station, 15 minutes across the border in to Sweden. From there we caught a bus to Luleå where we collected our hire car for the next two days. The drive was nice and stress free, just one road out of Luleå and it took us just over an hour to get to Harads.

We arrived at the Treehotel and we checked in at the guesthouse where there are rooms to stay, a lounge area and the restaurant and dining area. The staff were extremely friendly and provided us with all of the details regarding the hotel and the surrounding area. We walked 5 minutes through the frosty forest and made our way to the Mirrorcube. The Mirrorcube is one of the Treehotels most exciting and well known accommodation options. Up among the pine trees and camouflaged by mirrored walls and the surrounding reflections, this place is the perfect get away.

To enter the magical Mirrorcube, we had to climb a 12 metre wobbly bridge and it instantly reminded me of running a muck at playgrounds as a child. Inside the cube, you will find modern, simple Scandi aesthetics. The entire interior is made from birch plywood, and there are six large tinted windows that deliver a magnificent panoramic view. Inside the cube you will find a double bed, toilet, lounge and a rooftop terrace area. The showers and saunas are located in two separate buildings, which are only a short walk away from the cube. All rooms have free Wi-Fi too…just in case you want to keep in contact with the outside world. The room is surprisingly spacious for the small space that it is. The bed is only a double bed so if you’re a larger human you may want to reconsider this when selecting what tree house to stay in. I am just over 6ft tall and I nearly touched head to toe so had to curl up a little to sleep (tall girl problems). The roof top, outdoor area provides stunning panoramic views of Harads and the Lule River. If the weather permits it would be the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine, however it was a bit too chilly for us at –15C...

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The treehouses are all designed by some of Scandinavia’s leading architects and designers. Sustainability and ecological values are key considerations when planning the design and construction of the tree houses. Specific materials and construction techniques are chosen in order to ensure each tree houses are built with minimal damage to their surroundings, and all of the construction is completed by local businesses. The electricity is supplied locally from green hydroelectric power and there is no sewage system in the tree houses either; they use an environmentally friendly combustion toilet where everything is incinerated at 600C. In addition, the bathrooms have water-efficient sinks with running water for washing hands and face and brushing teeth. All of the tree houses have great insulation and underfloor heating, so you don’t freeze your butt off up in the trees. For a forest in the depths of Sweden, the attention to detail and sustainability is next to none, leaving no doubt they are leading the way for creative accommodation in Sweden.

These remarkable designs have attracted a lot of positive attention. International press and design enthusiasts began visiting the Treehotel from all across the world to witness the magnificent tree houses. It is also a popular celeb hideaway with the likes of Justin Bieber and Kate Moss having stayed here too.

The Treehotel isn’t your typical tree house, it is so much more. Stylish, creative and innovative with a touch of flair!

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So how did the owners of the Treehotel, Britta and Kent come up with this ground-breaking idea? The idea stemmed from the then unknown filmmaker Jonas Sleberg Augustsén who visited the guesthouse a number of years ago now. He was in town directing a film called The Tree Lover which ended up being his breakthrough production. The film was based on a treehouse situated near the Lule River and once the film was completed owners, Britta and Kent realised it was not going to be put to any further use, so thought; why not rent it out? They offered accommodation in the treehouse and it was an instant success, however there were quite a few hurdles that were faced. Firstly, it was too far away from the guest house, and more importantly it required extensive maintenance. Kent was at the time travelling to Russia with some friends who all happened to be architects. He told them about the treehouse and the idea for creating their own and the rest is history.

A world away from home, this remote scenic experience is one I will cherish forever. Whether it’s to enjoy the quiet down time or to get out and about and enjoy the array of activities on offer there is something for everyone. A good book, a magical view and stylish accommodation…what more could you want?!

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