Sweden’s Newly Opened Floating Hotel Is the Destination of a Lifetime

AnnKathrin Lundqvist
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Arctic Bath plunges visitors into the remote wilderness of Sweden’s Lapland region.

Those who pounced on Arctic Bath reservations back in July are now packing their bags with snow boots and swimwear. In Sweden’s frigid Lule River floats Arctic Bath, a luxe wellness destination offering a menu of spa treatments, a traditional cold plunge, daytime excursions, a restaurant serving locally-sourced, regional fare, and on-site accommodations.

Six rentable cabins float at the end of wooden docks, while six more perch above the snow on stilts—and all feature sleek, Scandinavian design by architect AnnKathrin Lundqvist. Guests can wake up to heated floors, peer out of floor-to-ceiling windows (in the land cabins), and sip hot beverages from floating suites while gazing upon the Lule River. The interiors are outfitted with sustainable materials including wood, stone, and luxury textiles.

Visitors can head into the wilderness with a moose whisperer, hike under the midnight sun to look for bears, enjoy wildlife photo sessions, or take cultural classes to learn more about the indigenous Sámi people. When there’s snow on the ground, husky sled rides and snowmobile tours set up a well-deserved visit to the spa.

The bath itself, designed by architects Bertil Harström and John Kauppi, is an homage to the region’s logging industry. A jam of logs splay upwards around the facade of the floating structure, which holds massage rooms, saunas, outdoor and indoor showers, and a central patio where guests can sunbathe, enjoy an ice bath, or take in the northern lights.

Accommodations at Arctic Bath hover around $1,000 per night and grant not only spa access, but also a prix fixe five-course menu focused on regional fare. Chefs Kristoffer Åström and Maarten De Wilde source ingredients from within 25 miles to offer dishes like smoked capercaillie, traditional Sámi specialties, reindeer, and a handcrafted wine and beer list to complement a diversity of palettes.

Although Arctic Bath looks pretty out there on the map, it’s one in a series of luxe destinations in Northern Sweden’s Lapland region. Treehotel (designed by the Arctic Bath folks), Logger’s Lodge, Arctic Retreat, and Aurora Safari Camp all attract adventurers interested in exploring the remote region.

An overhead shot of Arctic Bath shows the lay of the land—and how cold it can get.
 

An overhead shot of Arctic Bath shows the lay of the land—and how cold it can get.

 

Logs splayed around the structure’s facade emulate a log jam—a reference to Harads’ logging industry from days of yore. During the summer, the bath floats freely in the Lule River and it’s anchored to shore by a wooden dock. In the winter, the frozen river does the trick.

 

At the center of the rotunda is an ice bath where guests can take a frosty plunge—a traditional activity in Sweden. Temperatures are regulated at 39 degrees Fahrenheit year round.

 

Inside the suites, sleek wood and tile make for svelte interiors.

 

Some cabins can hold five guests, while others are designed for two. Scandinavian furnishings complete each unit.