5 Scandinavian Hotels To Stay And See The Northern Lights From
Summer days like these are just perfect for lounging by the pool, soaking up the sun at the beach and sipping refreshing cocktails at a rooftop bar.
But let’s face it—we sometimes struggle with all-year-round tropical weather. With soaring temperatures hitting us every single day, travellers’ minds are drifting to thoughts of cool destinations for beautiful snowy landscapes, winter sports and nights spent under the spectacular aurora borealis.
Rather than a luxurious quick getaway to Bali or Tokyo, start planning an epic trip a little further afield to Scandinavia and stay at one of our top picks for the finest hotels to visit in Sweden, Finland and more.
1/5 Arctic Bath, Sweden
Best for: A secluded wellness hideaway
For those who have been dreaming of a one-of-a-kind winter vacation, you’ll be amazed by the world’s first floating spa—Arctic Bath. The much-anticipated hotel is now accepting reservations for its grand opening in February 2020.
This spectacular hotel floats on top of the water during summer time, and is frozen in place on the Lule River in winter, offering guests an ever-changing destination amidst the Arctic’s natural beauty.
In addition to the six floating cabins which are built with private decks for you to gaze at the starry skies, northern lights or midnight sun depending on the season, the hotel also has six land-based cabins. Each comes complete with sleek Scandinavian design elements and an impressive range of amenities, such as high-end bedding, Wi-Fi and minibars stocked with healthy snacks.
This circular-shaped wellness retreat also features hot and cold plunge pools, various saunas and a spa treatment room to deliver ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation for your body and mind.
(Related: The Design Lover's Guide To Stockholm)
2/5 Treehotel, Sweden
Best for: A rare wilderness experience
Adventurous guests hoping to disconnect from the hustle and bustle and get in touch with unspoilt nature, head straight to Treehotel—a stunning property where modern luxury meets Sweden’s natural charm.
Surrounded by striking landscapes in Harads and views overlooking the Lule River valley, Treehotel features seven differently themed suites nestled in the forest. It includes the Mirrorcube, the Bird’s Nest, the Blue Cone, the Cabin, the futuristic UFO, Dragonfly, and the 7th room—the largest and the highest room that boasts panoramic windows for guests to admire the northern lights.
Doing good while looking good, these unique treehouses are designed by Scandinavia’s renowned architects and are built with sustainable materials and construction techniques.
Treehotel also offers an array of winter activities, from dog sledding and a husky tour to guided canoeing and a snowmobile safari.
3/5 Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
Best for: Young couples and groups of close friends
A truly memorable Scandinavian winter adventure is never complete without staying in a magical glass igloo. Situated along the road to the Arctic Sea, which is only a stone’s throw from one of the largest national parks in Finland—Urho Kekkonen National Park—this famed hotel takes pride in offering a deluxe glass igloos in Lapland.
You can snuggle up with your loved one in a private two-person glass igloo, or enjoy an intimate getaway with family and friends for some quality time at the kelo-glass igloo. Built with a private sauna, fireplace, kitchenette, luxury bedding, it can accommodate up to six people.
The roofs are thoughtfully designed with thermal glass for optimal temperatures. You will also be given a sleeping bag, a hat, and a pair of quality woollen socks for extra warmth and comfort during your stay.
(Related: A Food Lover's Guide To Helsinki)
4/5 IceHotel, Sweden
Best for: An once-in-a-lifetime arctic getaway
Located in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi, IceHotel is the world’s first resort made of snow and ice blocks taken from the mighty Torne River nearby. Ever since its opening in 1990, selected artists and builders have been invited to sculpt and create lavish icy rooms and decor every winter.
The hotel features a range of luxurious cold accommodations which are distinctly themed and hand-carved by different artists, along with some Scandic-chic cosy warm rooms. If you’re in the mood to splurge, opt for the deluxe suites, which are well-equipped with a bathroom, posh armchairs and a private sauna.
Don’t worry about staying warm—IceHotel provides thermal sleeping bags on top of luxurious bedding for you to retreat into warm comfort after a day’s adventure.
You’re encouraged to combine one night cold with a couple of night warm, staying the first or last night cold.
5/5 Ion Adventure Hotel, Iceland
Best for: Amazing location to explore Iceland's rich heritage
Located on the edge of Reykjavik in Iceland—the land of fire and ice—Ion Adventure Hotel is a beacon of cultural heritage and luxury juxtaposed against breathtaking lava fields.
Set along the famous Golden Circle route with close proximity to the Thingvellir National Park—a Unesco World Heritage Site—this hotel is designed to allow guests to explore Iceland’s unique landscape to the fullest.
It offers three different accommodations: standard room, deluxe room and single sub-parterre room. Each is furnished with modern luxury decor, private bathroom with shower and premium Icelandic soaps and lotion, to make sure your hands are protected from the cold, dry weather.
Besides enjoying a tranquil soak beneath the northern lights in your room, or taking a dip in the impressive 10-metre outdoor pool, it’s worth checking out the hotel’s award-winning Silfra Restaurant and Northern Lights Bar. You will find a wide selection of beers, liqueurs, as well as seasonal dishes made from local recipes and sustainable farm-fresh ingredients.
(Related: Visiting Iceland? Say Hello To The Lava Lagoon)
Plan your trip in advance, as the aurora borealis season only runs from late August until the end of April in Northern Scandinavia.
This article first appeared on hk.asiatatler.com.