treehotel, sweden

Treehouse holidays are going up in the world, but the Treehotel in Sweden's Lapland, with its mirrored cubes and habitable birds' nests, aims to soar above the rest. Being at one with nature is taken to new heights as guests teeter up spiral staircases and floating ramps to their various rooms in the forest. The hotel sits near the small village of Harads, an hour's drive northwest of Luleå and very close to where the 2008 documentary The Tree Lover was filmed (no English trailer sorry). This place is only 60km south of the arctic circle, fresh air is abundant. The rooms are light and airy, lots of plywood made cosey with white cotton sheets and elegant simple rugs.

Underfloor heating keeps the rooms cosy through winter, and quality tea and coffee are provided, along with a designer kettle. A ladder is provided for those who are game for clambering up, through a tiny door to a roof terrace.  In the mirror cube room, the reflective cladding means no one can see in, so the windows have been left curtainless, giving almost 360-degree views of the surrounding trees. There's a window in the ceiling, offering a view through the feathery branches to the sky.

About 10 minutes walk away a guesthouse operates as a kind of base camp for the treehouse rooms, where guests leave their luggage before they take an overnight bag into the trees. It's also where meals are served and showers are taken. Dishes are created from wild, fresh and local ingredients. There's arctic char, a cold-water Norrland specialty closely related to both salmon and trout, and caviar of Kalix from Haparanda in the northern part of the archipelago to just south of Piteå.

Salmon is imported directly from northern Norway and there is reindeer meat, which the hotel says is the basis of the local Sami food culture. And there is moose, and bear. Kayaking, horse riding and trekking are all available in the surrounding forest and rivers, and it's a decent workout getting up and down those ladders. Soothe tired muscles in the hotel's sauna in the trees.