Imagine what the world would look like if you set architects loose in the wild to create without restraint. What colors would there be? What shapes? How would they use space?
A pine forest in the tiny village of Harads gives you the answer. Once you’re among the tall trees that grace the gorgeous Lule River Valley, childlike wonder will sneak its way into your heart, as you witness something you’ve never seen outside of a computer screen, stunned that places like this actually exist.
Welcome to Treehotel.
Inspired by Jonas Selberg Augustsen’s film The Tree Lover, husband and wife Kent and Britta Lindvall sought to create a place where stress was always uninvited and impossible to keep. They took their love of contemporary design and their appreciation for Sweden’s nearly untouched landscape and cultivated a wondrous place to dream.
Suspended several meters off the ground are the mysterious orbs and cubes, each one crafted by a different notable Scandinavian architect. Guests go beyond mundane room numbers and instead take on new life in suites sporting names that resonate character: the Dragon Fly, the Mirror Cube, the Bird’s Nest, the UFO. No more predictable hotel lobbies with gaudy furniture ether. Instead (and in a town with a population of just 600, it’s no surprise), guests discover a warm welcome at Britta’s guesthouse, which also doubles as the reception, restaurant, and bar.
Even in the high canopy floating above the trees, guests enjoy luxurious comforts that never overdo it. All rooms feature a bathroom, as well as a fridge, a washing basin, and a water supply. The quarters are kept warm, in any season, with electric floor heating. Plus, there’s a kettle to make tea or coffee, just in case a guest needs that extra boost for a day of local hiking, biking, or kayaking.
TVR: What is the concept behind Treehotel?
KL (owner): The idea is to offer a new accommodation experience in different unique high standard architect-designed tree houses. Close to nature and in a sustainable manner.
TVR: Why was this location chosen?
KL: The main reason is that we live in Harads and had Britta’s pensionat. Our idea was to develop something new at the place we live. We have always worked with local development in the village.
TVR: What do you think makes Treehotel ideal for gatherings, reunions, group getaways, retreats?
KL: Ideal for small groups up to 15-20 person. Treehotel is a small hotel. Groups can have the whole place privatized just for them. It will keep the group together, meeting in a unique and creative environment. A quiet, relaxed, and calm place close to the nature. We offer a lot of nature-based activities for gathering groups.
TVR: Any fun stories to share on the process would be great!
KL: We have a lot of reindeer around Treehotel in the winter. One morning, a guest called from the Blue Cone Room to the reception. He was worried and asked what he should do because there were a lot of sheep on the ramp outside of the door to his tree room. We told him they were just reindeer, and he had no need to be afraid. We advised him to simply open the door and they will run away, which they did.
He later came down to breakfast thrilled that he was able to see wild reindeer.
You may still be wondering, how would you start a hotel or venue, let alone such a unique one! Well... get ready to be inspired party people. This husband and wife duo has worked hard to get here.
Britta started her career as a nurse and project manager within healthcare. After 20 years in the healthcare industry Britta’s love for Harads drove her into working with provincial development. One thing led to another and since 2004 Britta has run, that’s right – Britta’s guesthouse. Lately most of Brittas days are spent managing Treehotel.
Britta's Motto?!: It’s going to work out, do it!
Kent is the pathfinder who switched from the educational system to adventure tourism. What started with guiding students turned into guiding fishing-enthusiasts on fly-fishing trips all around the world. Kent too has worked with provincial development for many years, which he combined with being a part time fireman. Even today, Kent puts out fires – both literally and figuratively speaking. Kent handles marketing and is the vice president of Treehotel.
Kent's Motto?!: It’s never too late to give up!
We could not be more impressed with trailblazers Kent and Britta. They created a special, tranquil, hideaway for doers and dreamers. There isn't a more inspiring locale for workshops, retreats, intimate gatherings and getaways. Not only will you be transported back to your childhood days of building tree forts, but you will be inspired by the unique design of each one. You will soak up the nature around you, and you will do this in this setting created by two people who believed in a dream and didn't give up.
Photos: Peter Lundstrom : provided by Treehotel