Sustainable Stays: Arctic Bath, Sweden- Life & Soul Magazine

A new floating hotel and spa in the Arctic that floats in warm weather and freezes into the ice when temperatures cool is set to open in the heart of Swedish Lapland in January 2020.

Built on the water, Arctic Bath is located on the Lule River near the small village of Harads in Swedish Lapland, around 31miles south of the Arctic Circle. Situated under the northern lights in winter, and the midnight sun during the summer months, Arctic Bath is a unique hotel and spa experience that welcomes guests to immerse themselves in the elements while leaving a minimal environmental footprint behind.

Constructed using sustainable materials – wood, stone, leather and luxurious textiles – and with very little impact on the environment, Arctic Bath hotel and spa is the latest environmentally-friendly venture from the team behind the nearby Treehotel.

AnnKathrin Lundqvist, partner at the Arctic Bath, said: “We have a strong environmental focus. We’ve chosen so many materials that are locally produced.”

The hotel itself is comprised of six detached floating “cabins” and six additional cabins on land which are connected via floating walkways. The flotilla of floating cabins offer Scandi-chic interiors with double bed, shower room, underfloor heating and an exterior wooden deck, ideal for spotting the Northern Lights during the winter months or reaping the sunshine of the midnight sun over the summer months.

There are also six more elevated cabins built on the tree-lined shore, which are positioned on stilts above the ground so the cabins don’t disturb the natural growth below.

Central to the Arctic Bath complex is the Arctic Bath itself, a spa area which is inspired by “the timber floating era which recalls how felled trees were transported downriver for processing”.

The circular-shaped timber framed Arctic Bath, which is centred around an open-air plunge pool, also houses one spa treatment room, four saunas, a hot bath, outdoor and indoor showers, and two dressing rooms. The open centre of the bath invites guests to sunbathe, ice bathe or sit back to view the Northern Lights or star-filled skies.

A dip in the bath itself is consistent with the Arctic tradition of a cold-water plunge with the water maintained at 39 degrees Fahrenheit and combines well with the warmth of a sauna and spa. A special technique has been developed to keep the centre of the bath open during wintertime, adding to the atmospheric setting.

The circular building, which is accessed by a walkway, is also home to the wellness centre offering treatments including hot stone massage and unique therapies such as bespoke crystal healing. Designed by architects Bertil Harström and Johan Kaupp, native birch trees were used to surround the lodge and a tool used to dislodge log jams as inspiration for the shape of the cabins.

An on-site restaurant will be run by a Belgian and an indigenous Sámi chef with a menu described as Sámi fusion, including foraged ingredients and reindeer.

The Arctic Bath will also host several activities for visitors including hikes and paddleboarding during the summer months, and in the winter, northern lights expeditions, and cross-country skiing.

Arctic Bath

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Arctic Blue Resort: Finland eco-hotel to charge guests based on the carbon footprint of their stay — Life & Soul Magazine

A new eco-hotel in Finland is set to charge its guests based on the carbon footprint of their stay.

Arctic Blue Resort, which opens in the small city of Kontiolahti in 2022, will be the world’s first resort where the price is emission-based – meaning the smaller the guest’s environmental impact, the less they pay.

Visitors of the resort can influence the cost for example by consuming less energy, attending ecological activities and making sustainable dietary choices.

From the same people behind the Arctic Brands Group, who make high-quality artisan spirits from ingredients found in Finnish nature, the Group believe that companies are obligated to find new solutions to fight climate change.

Mikko Spoof, the Vice President and founder of Arctic Brands Group, said: “We want to offer people a world-class eco-vacation and encourage them to make sustainable choices by having emission-based pricing for their stay. We want the resort to be a place of true tranquility and thus encourage our guests to be more present in the moment and embrace digital detox.

“With Arctic Blue resort we want to lead an example by putting emphasis on environmental responsibility and by creating solutions to minimise the negative impact of tourism.”

Arctic Blue Resort is designed to be as sustainable as possible – built with natural materials, powered by renewable energy
sources, and with its own water treatment system, the eco-hotel will be self-sustaining. Keeping in line with the natural surroundings, guests will also be able to choose from rooms where they can sleep under a starry night sky or enjoy a 360-degree view of the forest.

In addition to a restaurant serving locally sourced food, Arctic Blue Resort will also offer guests nature-inspired activities and excursions – including ice-swimming and snowshoeing in winter, and berry-picking and rowing in the summer.

Arctic Blue Resort

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Slow Cabins: Off-grid cabins pop-up in secret Belgium countryside locations to help guests connect with nature

Sustainable cabins in secret locations, otherwise known as Slow Cabins, are popping up outside the city of Belgium in a bid to help people connect with nature.

Each cabin, built using eco-friendly materials with wooden interiors, is off-grid and self-sufficient through the use of solar panels, a filtered rainwater system and ecological dry-toilet. There are cabins of two kinds to suit individuals, couples and families.

The nature-based locations of the Slow Cabins are only revealed to guests after they’ve booked a cabin. Slow Cabins are mobile and frequently rotate locations, making for new sights and experiences for those looking to book a second trip.

The interiors of the Slow Cabins are natural and minimalist with its raw-look wooden floors and walls, and wooden furniture. Insulated glass windows frame views of surrounding fields and woodland, and there’s a wood-burning stove to cosy up in front of – and a small deck. The double beds consist of eco-textiles layered on a natural latex mattress, with large windows for gazing out into the surroundings.

The insulated cabins are kept toasty in the winter with wood-burning stoves, while the kitchen contains a pair of cooking plates alongside a sink, small fridge and a food preparation area. In the bathroom you’ll find a shower, wash basin and eco-friendly dry toilet. A fireplace and ceramic BBQ offer warmth and cooking options outside.

A stay also comes with a basket of locally-sourced produce and spring water.

The Slow Cabins experience is as much about making guests aware of their environmental impact. Slow Cabins say: “Each of our cabins comes equipped with a smart display that shares your energy and water use with you. By actively seeing your energy usage throughout your stay you become aware of your impact on the environment and what a positive and ecological footprint might look like.”

The Time For Two couple’s retreat costs from €175 per night, while the Time For Family cabin, which sleeps 3-5 people, costs from €185 per night.

Slow Cabins is expanding its off-the-grid concept across Europe and looking for partners.

Slow Cabins

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com