Hotel on ice
The Abisko Ark Hotel is warm, cosy and comfortable. But it's there that its resemblance to a regular hotel stops. It is, say its owners, 'a different kind of hotel'. How exactly? Well, for starters, it's built on 1.5 meter-thick ice on Lake Torneträsk in northern Sweden. Add to that the fact that each of its six rooms is inside a little wooden hut, perched on the ice every spring, and you've got the makings of a very unique hostel.
The Ark Hotel – for rather obvious reasons – is only open for four months every year. (And it's going to close early May, so, if you want to go, you'd better get your skates on…) 'Arks', in this part of the world, are small huts used by ice fishermen, and that's the hotel's big draw. Each has a permanent ice-fishing hole in its floor, perfect for the fishing enthusiast – or someone just wanting to experience something utterly different. There's also a separate toilet hut and a teepee for cooking up your catch.
In case that sounds a little too adventurous, bear in mind there are many perks – a wood-heated sauna hut, three-course wilderness dinner with wild produce from Lapland, traditional reindeer sandwiches (cover your ears, Rudolph), and the unfeasibly beautiful spectacle of the Aurora Borealis lighting up the Arctic sky. Well worth enduring an outside loo for. RM
Images: Peter Rosén