Sweden has its fair share of out-there hotels from rustic ‘eco-lodges’ (that come with neither running water nor electricity) and the country’s famous Ice Hotel to the Woodpecker Hotel suspended 13m above ground in an oak tree. Now, the country that turned an old aeroplane cockpit into somewhere to sleep, has come up with another barmy but brilliant idea.

In autumn of this year, the team behind Sweden’s Treehotel and travel experts Off the Map Travel will open the doors to the Arctic Hotel and Spa. The hotel will be located in the Lule River – yes, in the actual river! – and has been designed so that it will freeze into the ice during winter months and float on top of the water in the summer. Like we said, crazy but brilliant!

The hotel was inspired by Sweden’s timber floating era and is reminiscent of how felled trees were transported along the water for processing. The circular-shaped hotel will house six bedrooms, allowing guests to overnight in a room that will either be floating gently in the river waters or frozen in the ice, depending on the season. We should point out that the rooms are anchored in place so you won’t go drifting downstream while you sleep!

The six bedrooms open inwards, onto a central deck area with a plunge pool – allowing guests to experience that chilly Arctic tradition of a cold-water plunge (if they are brave enough). The water in the pool is maintained at 39F and, through some clever piece of technology, does not freeze during wintertime. This central area of the hotel is also where you can – hopefully – witness the dancing colours of the Northern Lights above you.

If you want to be one of the first to experience this one-of-a-kind sometimes floating, sometimes frozen hotel, get in touch with Off the Map Tavel to register your interest and be informed the moment bookings are being taken.

Katja Gaskell is a travel writer recently returned to London, U.K. after 12 years of living abroad in Australia, India and Mexico. She’s the co-founder of globetotting.com and is a firm believer that you can – and should! – take your kids everywhere. Katja has written across a range of titles for Lonely Planet guidebooks, tested luxury hotels for Mr & Mrs Smith and has contributed to publications including BBC Food, Hotelier International and The Australian.

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