The Most Quirky Places to Book Your Stay in Sweden

The Tree Hotel is one of the most distinctive accommodation options in Scandinavia
The Tree Hotel is one of the most distinctive accommodation options in Scandinavia | © ARCTIC IMAGES / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Judi Lembke
27 September 2021

Find your own unique retreat with our pick of some of the most unusual places to stay in Sweden – bookable on Culture Trip.

The Swedes famously love clean lines and tasteful minimalism just as much as they love coffee breaks with cinnamon buns. But while there may be an embarrassment of Swedish riches when it comes to artfully styled luxe accommodation, this is also a country that consistently punches above its weight creatively – and has a sense of humour with it. So maybe that’s why this eccentric, outdoorsy nation is home to so many treehouse hotels, ice palaces and underwater bedrooms. Here’s our pick of the best.

Salt and Sill

Hotel Barge, Hotel
4.4/5 (138 Reviews)
Salt & Sill hotel, Salt & Sill, Western coast, Sweden, Europe
© REDA &CO srl / Alamy Stock Photo
Price Drop
Now from $161 per night

The first floating hotel in Sweden remains its best, with stylish white rooms that are pared-back and peaceful. This relatively well-known hotel has been open here, just off the island of Klädesholmen on a west-coast archipelago, since 2008. The surrounding conference venue and accommodation have expanded since then, but the key selling point – aside from the obvious floatiness – is the excellent on-site seafood restaurant, which predates the floating hotel by nearly a decade.

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Kolarbyn EcoLodge

Hotel, Lodge, Eco-Lodge
4/5 (2 Reviews)
Kolarbyn EcoLodge
Courtesy of Kolarbyn EcoLodge / Expedia
There’s no electricity and no shower here (though it’s possible to wash in the stream), so what exactly are you paying for at Kolarbyn EcoLodge? Something quite special, actually – the chance to sleep inside one of 12 thoroughly camouflaged forest huts, with woodland vegetation growing across the roof. It might tempt you away from mod cons more easily than you thought, especially once you realise there’s also a DIY sauna on site.
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Jumbo Stay

4.1/5 (981 Reviews)
Jumbo Stay
Courtesy of Jumbo Stay / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $111 per night

Jumbo by name and jumbo by nature: this budget hotel occupies a converted Boeing 747 jet. As you might expect within a converted plane, rooms themselves are on the small, white and spartan side. There are private spaces for one to three guests and even some dorm options, but also a vertiginous luxury suite in the converted cockpit, with views across Stockholm Arlanda Airport, where your bed for the night has been grounded since 2009.

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Ice Hotel, Hotel
4.4/5 (306 Reviews)
Courtesy of IceHotel / Expedia
Price Drop
Now from $134 per night
Three decades in, a hotel that’s sculpted from fresh ice each winter then left to melt in the spring continues to be a bonkers, and brilliant, accommodation concept. Changing artwork means that you never return to quite the same place from one year to the next, and it’s always true that the IceHotel – in Jukkasjärvi, 124mi (200km) above the Arctic Circle – has to be seen to be believed. Even the beds are made of ice.
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  • Tree Hotel

    4.6/5 (58 Reviews)
    Sweden, Lapland, Norrbotten County, Harads, Treehotel, UFO hut
    © Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
    Price Drop
    Now from $654 per night
    One of the most distinctive accommodation options in Scandinavia, this hotel set in a forest in Swedish Lapland comprises a set of contemporary, architecturally forward treehouses, as well as floating buildings on stilts, each one different to the next. Rooms with wow factor include one that takes the form of a mirrored cube, and another built to resemble a classic flying saucer UFO. The view of the Northern Lights from here is quite something, too.
    More info

    Långholmen Hotell

    Independent Hotel
    4.4/5 (777 Reviews)
    Långholmen Hotell
    Courtesy of Långholmen Hotel / Expedia
    Price Drop
    Now from $94 per night

    This isn’t the only hotel in the world set in a former prison, but – as you might expect in Stockholm – it is one of the better ones, with surprisingly comfy rooms that are still recognisable as converted cells. Situated on the island of the same name, Långholmen is in a handy location within Stockholm and also puts you within easy reach of the nightlife and cultural opportunities of Södermalm.

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    Utter Inn

    Hotel, Guesthouse
    Map View
    Hotel, utter in, at malaren Vasteras Sweden
    © IsKa / Alamy Stock Photo

    Two rooms, stacked vertically, are the core accommodation offering at this predominantly underwater hotel, on a floating platform in the middle of Lake Mälaren, Västerås. Expect to see fish swimming past your bedroom window, and remember to bring whatever you’re planning to eat and drink, because you’re half a mile from the mainland and can’t return until the boat comes to get you again. It’s not as claustrophobic as you might fear, given the small outdoor seating area that’s right on the water.

    Norrqvarn Hotel

    Map View
    Norrqvarn Hotel
    Courtesy of Norrqvarn Hotel /

    Four cartoon-like, bulbous huts styled as toadstools and tree stumps are among the accommodation options at this hotel in Västra Götaland, West Sweden – in a wooded area close to the Göta Canal. The buildings, created by chainsaw artist Sören Niklasson, feel straight out of a Nordic fairytale. It’s a novelty hotel choice that’s not for everyone, but if you love it, you’ll really love it. Kids will love the children’s mini canal nearby, with its toy boats.

    Stedsens in the Woods

    Resort, Farm
    Map View
    © Stedsens in the Woods

    You’re in Sweden, but very much in the hands of Danes at this romantic forest cabin retreat, founded by two Danish chefs. It’s at a lakeside spot in the wilds of Halland: woodland that’s home to bears, moose and eagles, around two hours’ drive away from Gothenburg. Each weekend there’s the chance to sit down to a five-course meal at the unique forest restaurant. A diverse range of workshops are on offer here, too – and did we mention there’s a spa?

    This is a rewrite of an article originally by Judi Lembke.

    These recommendations were updated on September 27, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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