Arctic Bath, Swedish Lapland

On a quiet stretch of the Luleå River, a feat of remarkable design floats serenely amid pristine wilderness. Lit by the Northern Lights in winter and warmed by the Midnight Sun in summer, Arctic Bath immerses you in the elements in signature Scandi style. The heart of this unique property, its crowning glory, is a striking bird’s nest-like structure which conceals Arctic Bath’s secret to wellness. Here, you’re inducted into the rituals of sauna and arctic bathing before retreating to design-fuelled cabins warmed by traditional log burners in a stay that will leave you rested and revitalized in equal measure.

Location

Perched on the Luleå River, the location tells the story of a bygone time. Once the lifeblood of northern Sweden, the river played host to a burgeoning timber industry – the same timber that now takes center stage in the design of Arctic Bath. From the architecture of the spa to the walls of the cabins, Arctic Bath seeks to tell a story of the land as it was then. But it also invites you to discover it as it is now. Come summer, this takes the form of salmon fishing, beaver canoeing and bear watching whilst by winter, husky sledding, moose safaris and snow biking acquaint you with the wonderland-worthy terrain.

Your Room

With just 12 rooms, Arctic Bath certainly retains the wilderness feel. Split between land and water, the cabins and suites offer elemental connection with their natural materials, towering floor to ceiling windows and private decks. For us though, it has to be the Water Cabins. Bringing that overwater feel we first fell in love with in the tropics into the icy heart of Lapland, the cozy cabins perfect for two float serenely above the Luleå River as it freezes and flows with the seasons. Families will love the Land Cabins where a spiral staircase leads up to a second loft bedroom and an elevated walkway leads out through the local flora. Whether on land or water, the rooms are united by design. Aginst the brushed pine backdrops, warming tones of amber and jade serve to thaw icy exteriors, whilst blushes and soft dove greys bring a sense of calm. The deck is the perfect hangout on warm summer evenings whereas the woollen throws and log burner are all you’ll need in winter.

Why we like it

Wellness at Arctic Bath is so much more than one singular treatment – it is an entire ritual. Taking place at the heart of the spectacular floating spa, the ritual consists of a cycle of three saunas, a hydrotherapy hot tub and, crucially, a cold Arctic bath set beneath the open skies. Guests are provided with bespoke bathrobes, swimsuits or shorts and natural spa products to complement the experience as they rotate through these environments, achieving a state of total relaxation. If you can face the chill that is. Once warmed up, the all-encompassing approach to wellness then extends to dinner that evening. Plated up in the form of a five-course Arctic dining experience, local, pure and sustainable produce takes center stage whilst traditional techniques are given a modern twist to produce something uniquely Scandinavian.

Images courtesy of Arctic Bath and Anders Blomqvist