An inspiring insight into ‘Its Beautiful Here’, offers a glimpse into the world travels of Melbourne born Georgia Hopkins. A series of city guides as seen through the eyes of a vagabond Hopkins, this collection of experiences is motivated and inspired by the heartwarming, the unusual, the beautiful people and places, and of course the delicious food this intrepid traveller has encountered along her way as she trips around the world.
Here we take a look into Georgia’s latest travels to the Treehotel Sweden as told in her very own words…
It’s hard to put into words exactly just what you are likely to experience when staying at the Treehotel in Harads, northern Sweden – just 60km south of the arctic circle. Whether its the sweetest of Swedish hospitality, the unique and beautiful design of each individual cabin, or the breathtaking landscape shown in full 24 hours of sunshine – the Treehotel is like no other hotel experience we have ever enjoyed.
Harads is a tiny village of just 600 people – around 40 minutes from Boden. On arrival into Harads, you approach Britta’s Pensionat (or guesthouse) which sits on the main road into town. Britta has run this 30’s style Swedish guesthouse for over 20 years in association with the Treehotel, and is where all of the meals for both the guesthouse and Treehotel are served. From here it is a 500m walk through a stunning meadow to get to the Treehotel.
On approach, as these amazing hanging structures become visible through the trees, you are immediately transported to some sort of fantasy land imagined in your childhood dreams. The cabin is the first treehouse to come into view, and is also our favourite. With spectacular views of the Lule river valley, and miles of forests beyond, these uniquely designed, sustainable treehouses provide a striking contrast to their surrounding environment. With six treehouses in total, after the cabin, you come across the dragon fly, the bird’s nest, the blue cone, the mirror cube, and then finally the ufo. Each wonderful, canopied room, has been designed by a different Swedish architect by point of difference. The story of how these treehouses came about is at once amazing and inspiring with the ever entrepreneurial and creative spirit of Kent Lindvall shining through.
Kent, who has an incredible knowledge and passion for the local region, has spent his whole life here in Harads. Kent and Britta both grew up here, on different sides of the river. Both are passionate for the environment, their village and their family – and together they make a truly dynamic and impressive team.
At the treehotel, guests can do as little or as much as they like. The spectacular natural environment (together with the sauna house) is one that obviously encourages rest and relaxation. Grab a book, hang in the trees, or feel free to relax in the sauna.
It is definitely worth getting out to explore the local area as well. in summer, Kent can arrange fly-fishing tours, kayaking tours, the onsite zipline, sightseeing tours and more. In winter, the most popular activity for guests is dog-sledding Northern lights tours are popular, as are ice-fishing…when the river freezes over and you dig holes in the ice, lie on moose skin and drop your fishing line down the hole.
As well as this, the oldest fishery in Sweden is only 20mins away. Kent took me for a visit to see the original village established in 1300 that still remains today. From here Jokkmokk is not far away, and less than one hour away, lies Storforsen – a rapid in the Pite river, one of Europe’s fastest flowing rivers. The energy here is amazing.
While at the Treehotel, you will be spoiled with traditional Swedish home-style cooking, using local produce to showcase dishes typical of the Swedish Lapland region. Britta, together with a small team (including Kent and britta’s daughter Sophia) run the kitchen. An abundant breakfast offering, a huge lunch, and then a 3-course dinner as well – you certainly won’t go hungry. Over our two night stay we tried everything from smoked reindeer (tried not to think of Rudolph!), Moose balls, and Palt (balls of potato filled with pork). We were treated to some of Kent’s homebrew with the secret ingredients consisting of his very own birch-flavoured schnapps – a vodka infused with local birch from the surrounding forest.
A visit to the Treehotel is the perfect answer for anyone wanting to escape to a remote fantasy location. An incredibly special hotel, where both design and sustainability are key. There are very few other places we know that have been so thoughtfully built on nature’s terms. If you get a chance, at least once in your lifetime, please consider a visit here. Kent, Britta and their beautiful treehouses will remain close to our hearts forever.