Every once in a while some travel information crosses my desk (well, appears in my email) that I feel an immediate need to pass along. Such is the case with the floating Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa, which is due to open in the fall of 2018.
The six-room hotel and spa is said to sit in the ice during winter and float on the river during summer.
The location is in far northern Sweden in the area that’s renowned for having the best Northern Lights viewing in the world. The river is the Lule, which freezes in winter and thaws in summer, allowing for the above-mentioned sitting and floating.
Off the Map Travel — a UK-based agency that specializes in Northern Lights viewing trips — handles bookings for the Arctic Bath Hotel, which was developed by the Swedish team of designers that were behind Sweden’s famous Treehotel located in the Lule River Valley. If you aren’t familiar with the Treehotel, its lodgings (one shaped like a space ship) are perched up in the trees of a pine forest, allowing for safe viewing of wildlife or, perhaps, UFOs.
According to Off the Map Travel, “the design of the Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa is not only striking in its look but also created with the highest environmental standards in mind, using local materials and leaving a minimal to zero-impact on the environment.” The Arctic bath is said to have been inspired by the timber floating era, reminiscent of how felled trees were transported down the river for processing.
Now comes the really intriguing part:
“The open center of the Arctic Bath is designed for sunbathing, ice bathing and for those who wish to experience the Northern Lights or star-filled skies,” reads an Off the Map Travel hot-off-the-press release. “A dip in the bath itself is consistent with the Arctic tradition of a cold-water plunge with the water maintained at 39 degrees Fahrenheit and combines well with the warmth of a sauna and spa. A special technique has been developed to keep the center of the bath open during wintertime, adding to the drama of the building and the guest experience.”
As one who has taken a dip in the Baltic and rolled in the snow following saunas in Finland, I can vouch for the never-to-be-forgotten aspects of this Arctic tradition. I can guarantee that my pores have never been so open.
(The fact that I now live in the warm-and-toasty desert is totally unrelated to my experiences there.)
“The circular shape of the spa and Arctic bath creates a protected environment sheltering guests and creating a haven to relax and soak up the local Arctic environment,” says Jonny Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel. “You can experience the spa bath and stay overnight in a room that will float or be frozen into the ice, depending on the season. This will be a one-of-a kind Arctic experience. Although all seven buildings will be securely anchored in place they are freely floating in water or frozen into ice.”
So there you have it. If you’re like me — willing to take the Arctic plunge — you’ll want to go. Now you just have to decide: winter ice or summer float?
Guests will be able to book a stay in advance of the opening of the Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa. To secure the first opportunity and inquire about dates and pricing, contact Off the Map Travel via email email@example.com or telephone +44 (0) 800 566 8901.
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