Tag Archives: boutique hotel

Free Spirit Spheres

Nestled in the forest about 30km north of Parksville on Vancouver Island you will find Free Spirit Spheres. The mission is simple, to create a sustainable and harmonious way for us to use and reconnect with nature. The execution, livable spheres using the tree tops as their foundation, has been thoughtfully crafted and expertly mastered over the past 22 years.

The rope, which suspends the Spheres high above the forest floor, mimics a spider web and their spherical shape is model after a nutshell. Both these attributes give the Spheres amazing strength, with the proven ability to withstand the worst of any coastal storm. But more importantly they allow their guests to live among the treetops in rooms with no walls, corners or edges. It’s bio-mimicry at its finest.

Free Spirit Spheres takes glamping to new heights, literally. Not only does it give us the comforts we yearn for but also an ecological goal to preserve old growth forests with little-to-no human footprint. As if I needed another reason to get back up to BC but an eco-tree house seems like a pretty darn good one. The only problem is, there is only three for overnight occupancy. So get out that calendar and plan ahead!

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ICEHOTEL Jukkasjärvi

2015 marks ICEHOTEL Jukkasjäarvi‘s 25th anniversary. Being the first and original ice hotel they have a lot to celebrate; 25 years of offering one of the most unique lodging experiences money can buy, a hotel completely built of ice and snow. Each and every year plans are drawn up to create a new hotel, as last winter’s masterpiece melts away come spring. For this reason the owners are adamant that no hotel shall be the same and they’ve kept that promise for a quarter of a century. The 25th anniversary model is no exception to this rule, requiring over 1000 tons of natural ice, this year’s hotel erected into sixty rooms, an ice bar, an ice church and main hall, making it the largest ICEHOTEL yet.

One of my favorite things about ICEHOTEL is the creation of the Art Suites. Each November hundreds of artists from all over the world, and design disciplines, apply to design an Art Suite. No specific design background is required, nor is a background in working with snow and ice. The chosen designers are usually a mix between a few ICEHOTEL veterans and some completely new to the job. This mix of experience allows for new and fresh ideas to flourish without guardrails and is attributed to the success of the ICEHOTELS unique offering.  It is truly incredible what can be done with snow and ice and the outcome is unlike anything else in this world.

But sleeping in an Art Suite is only one part of the ICEHOTEL experience. Situated some 200km north of the Article Circle in Jukkasjäarvi, Sweden, with only 1000 permanent residents, ICEHOTEL’S activities ring true what you’d expect from a small Northern Swedish village. Guests are invited to experience the tranquil winter setting by snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, reindeer sleigh and even horseback. Learn about the Sami people, indigenous to the area, see the Northern Lights, or book an overnight excursion to a wilderness camp by dog sled team or snowmobile should you prefer. For those of you in awe of the mechanics that go into designing the place you can even partake in your own ice sculpting class.

ICEHOTEL can be booked by single or double night and they even have a hotel with “warm rooms”, aka a regular hotel room, including all the modern amenities should you need to escape the ice or combine your stay longer on either side of your ICEHOTEL experience.

This is surely on my bucket list and I will continue to dream of being a true ice princess, waking up in my very own Art Suite until the day comes that I can experience it in the flesh.

Enjoy some pictures below of my favorite Art Suites from this year’s hotel along with some images of ways to enjoy the great Scandinavian outdoors while you’re there. Pretty idyllic if I do say so myself. One one question remains, when can we book?!

small_Frozty_Flower_by_Shingo_Saito___Natsuki_Saito_-_Photo_Christopher_Hauser ICEHOTEL, Jukkasjärvi, konstkatalog 2012/2013. Continue reading ICEHOTEL Jukkasjärvi

Treehotel

If there is ever a place that epitomizes going back to the simple imagination of childhood, it’s Sweden’s Treehotel. Located in Harads, about an hour by car from Kallax airport, the one-of-a kind eco-retreat provides views of the Lule River and the beautiful lush forest 360 degrees around. Inspired by the film “The Tree Lover” by Jonas Selberg Augustsen, Treehotel is a celebration of the significance of trees to human beings, allowing our harmony with nature to be rebalanced and restored.

Each tree room has it’s own theme, designed by leading Scandinavian architects ranging from The Mirrorcube to The UFO to The Bird’s Nest. Built with every modern environmental consideration in mind, guests are able to rest, relax and reflect in the serenity of nature high among the tree tops, some up to 20 feet above ground. But sleeping in your very own modern tree house is only one part of the Treehotel experience. There are also plenty of activities during each of the four seasons that guests can partake in, if you feel so inclined. And I certainly would, when the experience is a guided tour by snowmobile in the middle of winter to see the Northern Lights. Follow that with sleeping in The Mirrorcube and a trip to The Tree Sauna and I’m more than sold. Sign. Me. Up.

The Treehotel is undeniably unique; a thoughtfully designed experience with minimal environmental impact and maximum imagination.

Check out the each unique tree room below. I dare you to not dream of this place and count the days till you can experience it yourself. I know I am! Jump over to their site for more info and more breathtaking images of the rooms with modern interiors to go with.

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Grace Santorini

I have been dreaming of visiting this idyllic place for a very long time. The juxtaposition of the white buildings with contrasting blue roofs against the rough geographical backdrop is something I just need to see in person. Santorini embodies the visual stereotype of what Greece is, at least in my mind’s, to a tee. So in one of my rainy day research sessions you can imagine my delight when I came across this absolutely beautiful boutique hotel, Grace Santorini.

Located in the northwest of the island, set high on the Imerovigli hillside, Grace Santorini looks over the caldera in perfect position for viewing the dream making sunsets that the island is famous for. And just imagine how delightful viewing that sunset from a modernist infinity pool, with a glass of bubbly in hand would be. Grace has really hit the nail on the head, blending the traditional Mediterranean style and color pallet with a modern twist. Crisp white bedding and walls allow for in-room soaking pools and the scenic caldera views to take the center of your attention (as if anything else could pull it away from that view!) If romance is on your mind, and how couldn’t it be after looking at the pics, Grace is the place. Really hoping to cross this one off the list someday. Romance or not!

Originally a volcano and round, Santorini now has it’s very own crater known as the caldera that is mostly submerged by the Aegean Sea and has created an archipelago of three islands. Santorini being the largest.

Images via Grace Hotels.

Grace Hotel Santorin Grace Hotel Santorini Grace Hotel Santorini Continue reading Grace Santorini