Wanderlust meets relaxation at the Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa.
There’s “getting back to nature”, and then there’s “getting back to nature in a luxury Arctic spa hotel” – and I think I know which I prefer. Now open in the chilly northern reaches of Sweden, the Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa offers luxurious relaxation beneath the Northern Lights, and it’s fair to say this breathtaking place has rocketed straight to the top of our bucket list.
Sitting in the heart of Swedish Lapland, Arctic Bath actually floats on the waters of the Lule River, some 900km north of Stockholm. At least, it floats in the summer months – during the winter, the river freezes and locks the hotel in ice, which looks even more spectacular.
The centrepiece of Arctic Bath is a circular timber spa building out on the river, a bird’s nest of logs which hides a cold water bath at the centre. The bath is kept a bracing 4 degrees celsius, so if you’re looking to rapidly wake up in the morning, I know where you should head…
If you’d prefer to ward off the chill, however, you can head inside to one of the hotel’s four saunas, dip in the hot bath, or head to the treatment room for massages and pampering. Supposedly, alternating between the cold bath and the sauna is excellent for soothing aching muscles and aiding one’s central nervous system, so I’d encourage you to do as much “research” as you require.
Surrounding it are six cabins stretching out into the river, although you can take up residence in one of the hotel’s land cabins if you’d prefer to stay on terra firma. Each room boasts WiFi, heating (mercifully), sleek Scandinavian design, and views of the forest, river, and stars. You’re encouraged to spend your time in a state of total relaxation, moseying from spa treatment to hygge-heavy evenings in, whilst also taking in the hotel restaurant, which uses local, sustainable produce in the pursuit of refined Sámi cuisine.
In fact, the whole hotel is designed to be as sustainable as possible, with the aim of minimal environmental impact achieved by building with local materials and burning responsibly-sourced timber for warmth. To further ensconce yourself in the local landscape, you’re invited to try activities such as husky sled rides, ice fishing, snow mobile safaris, cross-country skiing, and bear-spotting.
The best part of a stay here, however, takes place at night. Since it’s just south of the Arctic Circle, Arctic Bath is an excellent spot in which to catch sight of the Northern Lights, whether you’re chilling in your cabin or relaxing in the cold bath. An unforgettable sight needs an unforgettable location, after all! If you want to see them, go in the winter, because the sun doesn’t actually set up here during the summer months – although with the amount of pure relaxation on offer here, that just leaves more daylight for sauna time…