Watch the Northern Lights From A Floating Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa in Sweden

Johan Kaupp
Johan Kaupp

Northern lights-seeking travelers will soon get to watch the aurora borealis from the comfort of a luxurious floating hotel in northern Sweden. Located in Kiruna, the country’s northernmost town, the Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa is slated to open in fall 2018, according to designboom.

Designed by the same team behind the famous Treehotel in Harads, Sweden, the circular hotel freezes into Sweden’s Lule River in the winter and floats during the summer months. The exterior walls are covered in crisscrossed logs, an ode to the nation’s timber logging heritage. Guests can enjoy four saunas, a year-round outside cold bath (the water is maintained at 39° F), a hot bath, and other amenities. They can also get massaged, buffed, and polished in a designated treatment room.

The northern lights are famously elusive, but guests who have visited Sweden specifically to see the aurora can wait in comfort and style for the natural wonder to come to them: At night, they can scan the sky for lights while soaking in the cold bath, or through in-room ceiling skylights in one of the hotel’s six guest rooms. (These rooms float separately from the hotel's main hub and also freeze into the ice during the winter, according to Metro).

The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa doesn’t appear to be accepting reservations yet, but you can keep tabs on its website to be among its very first guests, and check out the photos below.

The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa
Johan Kauppi

The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa
Johan Kauppi

The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa
Johan Kauppi

The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa
Johan Kauppi

The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa
Johan Kauppi

[h/t designboom]

A Finnish Tourism Company Is Hiring Professional Christmas Elves

iStock.com/kali9
iStock.com/kali9

Finland isn't quite the North Pole, but it will be home to a team of gainfully employed Christmas elves this holiday season. As Travel + Leisure reports, the Scandinavian country's Lapland Safaris is looking for elves to get guests into the holiday spirit.

Lapland Safaris is a tourism company that organizes activities like snowmobiling, Northern Lights-gazing, skiing, and ice-fishing. The elf employees will be responsible for leading guests to their buses and conveying important information, all while spreading holiday cheer. The job listing reads, "An Elf is at the same time an entertainer, a guide, and a mythical creature of Christmas."

Each Lapland Safari elf will receive training through Arctic Hospitality Academy prior to starting the job. There, they will learn "the required elfing and communication skills." Training will be conducted in English, but candidates' knowledge of French, Spanish, or German is a plus.

To apply, aspiring elves can fill out and submit this form through Lapland Safaris's website. The gig lasts from November 2018 to the beginning of next year, with employees having the option to work at any of the company's Finnish destinations (Santa's workshop is unfortunately not included on the list).

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

The Truth Behind Italy's Abandoned 'Ghost Mansion'

YouTube/Atlas Obscura
YouTube/Atlas Obscura

The forests east of Lake Como, Italy, are home to a foreboding ruin. Some call it the Casa Delle Streghe (House of Witches), or the Red House, after the patches of rust-colored paint that still coat parts of the exterior. Its most common nickname, however, is the Ghost Mansion.

Since its construction in the 1850s, the mansion—officially known as the Villa De Vecchi—has reportedly been the site of a string of tragedies, including the murder of the family of the Italian count who built it, as well as the count's suicide. It's also said that everyone's favorite occultist, Aleister Crowley, visited in the 1920s, leading to a succession of satanic rituals and orgies. By the 1960s, the mansion was abandoned, and since then both nature and vandals have helped the house fall into dangerous decay. The only permanent residents are said to be a small army of ghosts, who especially love to play the mansion's piano at night—even though it's long since been smashed to bits.

The intrepid explorers of Atlas Obscura recently visited the mansion and interviewed Giuseppe Negri, whose grandfather and great-grandfather were gardeners there. See what he thinks of the legends, and the reality behind the mansion, in the video below.

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