Dry land is so last year. A daring new hotel is planned for construction in the middle of a Swedish River, free-floating in summer and frozen into the ice during winter.
Designed to give visitors a front-row seat to the Northern Lights phenomenon, Arctic Bath will bob on the surface of the Lule River, a small channel near the village of Harads in Swedish Lapland, almost 1000 kilometres north of Stockholm.
Connected to the mainland by a simple boardwalk, the reception area houses four saunas, a spa treatment room and a central, open-air plunge bath that’s a chilly 3.8 degrees Celsius – although summer promises a much more welcoming dip for guests who aren’t that thick-skinned. It’s here, in this ceiling-free circle, that visitors can wait patiently for the light show that is aurora borealis.
If the occasionally elusive lights don’t appear during your stay, don’t worry – the hotel (set to open to guests in European autumn, 2018) itself is also marvel to behold. The seemingly haphazard adornment of logs around its outer edges evokes a natural dam and nods to the country’s thriving forest industry.
The rooms are equally as intriguing. Designed by Bertil Harström and Johan Kauppi, the same visionaries behind the Bird’s Nest at nearby Treehotel in the Swedish forest of Harads, Arctic Bath will accommodate a cosy maximum of 12 guests in log cabins securely anchored to the entrance, equipped with wood-burning fireplaces, minimalist Swedish interiors and wide skyward-facing windows.
Keen to be one of the lucky dozen? Bookings are expected to open six months in advance of the hotel’s opening date – check their website for forthcoming details regarding dates and prices.