Episode #216 — Arctic Bath
There are so many great things about bands from the late 90s and early 2000s. There was a spirit of f*#k it — the world’s going to end at the Millennium anyway, so we might as well rock. Or, later, there was that feeling that we made it through Y2K, so let’s dance around. Not every band was a winner, but one thing we can all agree on is that they had great names. My Chemical Romance, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Death Cab for Cutie, the Strokes, the White Stripes, the Black Keys, Franz Ferdinand, Panic! At the Disco — we appreciate the effort put into random punctuation, color choices, historical references, and attitude. There were also band names that gave us the creepy crawlies, like The Hives, The Killers, Alien Ant Farm, Lizard Sex Häus, and Nickelback.
But probably our favorite band of that era is Arctic Bath. They didn’t have the rock street cred of Sleater-Kinney — Arctic Bath had a much smoother sound, as we recall. Listening to them transported you to another place and time, almost as if you were in the heart of nature listening to a meandering river or the crackle of a bonfire. Occasionally, one of their songs would start off with a 30-second jolt of energy, but the rest of the song was spent soothing you.
Wait, was Arctic Bath actually a band from 20 years ago, or was this created in our collective subconscious, based on our interview for this week’s episode? Yes, that’s exactly it. We spoke with Peter from Arctic Bath, a hotel and spa in Swedish Lapland, and our tour and conversation left a serious impression.
While we usually reject the idea that a picture is always worth a thousand words (not an applicable philosophy for a podcast), before you listen to this week’s episode, we highly recommend checking out either the Arctic Bath website, our very own website, or both to get a visual tour of the hotel and spa’s location, architecture, and overall vibe. But if you listen to the show while driving, have no fear — Peter’s walkthrough, background, information, and delivery also conveys what you can expect from Arctic Bath. It’s open year-round and while the summer would be a great time to plan a visit, winter seems like the sweet spot. No matter the season, however, sustainability is a major focus in every aspect.
Arctic Bath is in the gorgeous wilderness of Swedish Lapland, both on the shore of, and ON, the Lule River. There are cabins on land, steps away from the water, but there are also floating cabins on the river. What else is on the river? An open-air cold pond for dipping in before you take advantage of the dry saunas, a steam sauna, or the jacuzzies. Peter told us about the benefits of dipping in a frozen Swedish river in the height of winter, and we’re convinced and ready to give it a try. Really! Plus, take a look online at the architecture of the outdoor spa area. It looks like a logjam, both naturalistic and modern. The cabins follow the same style and seem to fit with the landscape perfectly.
Okay, we’re not travel agents, but we really can’t rhapsodize enough about how lovely this place is. There’s a reason most of their business comes from positive press, without much need to advertise. People come from all over the world to experience the serenity and calm of Arctic Bath. And when you throw in fine dining, a massage, and other spa services, who are we to say no?
Peter explained that there are all sorts of local activities to do, highlighting the culture of the area, if you want to do more than just relax. We would sign up for every single activity, winter or summer, but the true selling point is that it’s an ideal spot to view the Northern Lights all winter long. Now, Peter can’t guarantee they will be visible every winter night. Sweden gets cloudy, too. But we’re willing to take that chance!
To get the full Arctic Spa visual experience, check out their website or follow them on Twitter and Instagram. You can also see the tour Peter gave us on our website. We’re off to dream of cozy sweaters, reindeer, snowshoe tours, some fika in the woods, and dancing Northern Lights. We might even try and convince Peter to form Arctic Bath Band with us. Wonder if they can build a rock arena on the Lule, too …