Niehku Mountain Villa, Riksgränsen open!
Stylt designs world class Swedish heli-skiing hotel
27 March marked the opening of the newly built Niehku Mountain Villa on Riksgränsen, a unique hotel venture in Swedish Lapland. Combining heli-skiing and nature experiences all year round with world class accommodation, the venue is aiming to secure a leading position in global adventure tourism.
“Finally we have a hotel in northern Sweden where the accommodation, food and beverage match the magical experiences provided by the natural landscape,” says Erik Nissen Johansen at Stylt, the design agency which created the hotel’s concept and interior design.
Based at Niehku Mountain Villa, visitors can access around 60 skiable peaks by helicopter dotted between Riksgränsen, Abisko and the Kebnekaise massif. The ski season here stretches all the way to Midsummer, when you can even ski under the midnight sun. And when the season ends you can enjoy hiking, cycling, climbing, hunting, fishing and other great adventures in this stunning mountainous landscape, with Lofoten and the northern Atlantic coast in close proximity.
Behind the venture is Polarexpressen, a Gothenburg-based firm of entrepreneurs who share a passion for extreme skiing and nature experiences. The business is run by Johan ”Jossi” Lindblom and Patrik ”Strumpan” Strömsten, two of Sweden’s most prominent figures in the fields of adventure tourism, guiding, hospitality and gastronomy.
Niehku Mountain Villa is home to 14 cosy double rooms as well as a restaurant, bar, lounge and spa – an uncompromising building with a personal, relaxed, family-orientated ambience. Delivering the concept, interior design and graphical profile of the venue, Stylt boasts considerable expertise in the experience industry, having worked on a number of alpine hotel projects in Gstaad, Val Thorens, Chamonix and the Canadian Rockies, among others. The building was designed by architetcs Krook & Tjäder.
The hotel – whose name, Niehku, means “dream” in Northern Sami – lies just 50 metres from the Norwegian border and was constructed on the site of the old Malmbanan (the Iron Ore Line) roundhouse. Listed as a site of historical heritage, the ruins cut right through the new building to provide a spectacular reminder of the region’s rich history. In addition, one of the over 100-year-old grease pits located beside the wall has been converted into a wine cellar. History breathes new life into the venue, forming part of the hotel’s own story.