Arctic Bath, the floating spa hotel in Swedish Lapland opens

For almost 10,000 years the Sami people have existed in the Arctic nature of northern Scandinavia. Now, a new hotel and wellness centre is inviting the world to experience the beauty and mystery of that environment, as well as something of the Sami way.

The much anticipated floating spa hotel Arctic Bath has opened near Harads, a small village on the Lule River in Swedish Lapland.

Central to this beautiful property is a doughnut-shaped structure on the water that floats during the summer and freezes into ice during the winter, offering visitors a unique year-round Arctic wellness experience, with a giant ice bath in the middle, ringed with three saunas, a spa treatment room and hot baths. It's designed by architects Bertil Harstrom and Johan Kauppi, who were also involved in the design of the nearby Treehotel. Elements of the surrounding nature have been incorporated into the cabins and suites with furnishings by Swedish design brands.

This structure, and Arctic Bath's 12 separate cabins either on the water's edge or among the nearby trees, are inspired by timber floating, where felled trees are transported downriver by currents for processing.

Cabins can sleep up to five guests and some have glass walls offering views of the stunning landscape and northern sky. These are designed by AnnKathrin Lundqvist, who also created the eco-friendly bathrobe and bathing suit or shorts included for guests to use onsite and take home.

The experience here is centred around proper nutrition, regular exercise, peace of mind and care of the face and body.

Guests can partake in a traditional Swedish experience and use the different saunas, relax in a hot tub and plunge into the cold arctic bath. Spa treatments are a little less bracing, with massages, facials and other pampering rituals using natural products from botanically-based Swedish skincare brand Kerstin Florian.

The kitchen is headed up by Kristoffer Astrom, known as "the Sami chef" (samiska kocken in Swedish), who has introduced Sami flavours, produce and cooking techniques to a number of fine dining restaurants across Sweden. The restaurant's team of chefs prepare a different five- or six-course set dinner menu each day, based on local ingredients and inspired by Arctic Bath's wellness focus, with traditional Sami dishes included and wild produce used where it can be.

Activities on offer include yoga, meditation, dogsledding, snow shoe hiking, cross country skiing, fat bike excursions, bear watching, horseback riding and wildlife photography. Guests can also try their hand at moose calling with a local guide and visit a Sami reindeer herding family's tent house to hear stories, songs and local lore. and of course, there's the Northern Lights between August and March.


From 9600 SEK a night twin share ($1471.60). Full board includes breakfast, lunch, five-course set dinner, spa access, Arctic Bath spa robe and spa bathing suit or shorts, slippers and a spa ritual kit. Half board excludes lunch.


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