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“brilliant experience”

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STF Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“brilliant experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2013

Our stay in Kolarbyn was a fantastic experience. No, it's not a plush hotel room but the coziness of the huts and the peace of the location more than makes up for any hard bed! The staff were great and we had everything we needed, including cooking equipment. There were fresh eggs available for campfire-cooked breakfast as well as bread, cereal and jams etc.There was also flour so we were also able to make pancakes with wild blueberries we picked around the forest! We booked a 3 night package with two wildlife tours which included fantastic evening meals. The lake behind the hut-village is beautiful and we took their rowboat out to enjoy the peace. The lakeside sauna is also a must!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JackFromDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    38
    12
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
114 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2013

If you come here you know what to expect. It's not really comfortable (compared to what a traditional hotel can offer), but that's the whole point. It's peaceful, you prepare your own lunch (including the fire), you warm up the sauna, etc. I especially liked the sauna at the lake. A great experience for people living in the city.
The wooden beds were a bit uncomfortable but I got used to it. My wife didn't like it at all, though :)
It was a bit strange that there were no locks on the hut doors, even though there weren't any suspicious people nearby and hotel guests would not steal from each other. (Yes I know, there are no locks on a tent either, and this is similar...)

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Balazs M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarcusEldh, Guest Relations Manager at STF Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge, responded to this review, August 18, 2013
Thank you for your review!

Yes, we are aware that the beds are hard, but it is part of the back-to-nature experience to sleep on a sheep skin rug. We have never had anything stolen from the huts and it is not really possible to put a lock on these rustic doors.

I am glad you enjoyed the experience, welcome back!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
193 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

The weather really made a difference ..... it rained the whole day we were there so that made us a bit grumpy. Though the staff did tell us that it was the first rainy day in 2 months and the wildlife really needed it .... which we believe.

What we really liked:

Campfires, cooking inside (when it's wet); plenty of candles to read by.

What we didn't like:

Lack of coordination between the lodge and the tours (beaver and moose safaris) that are run from the lodge. Staff didn't know whether the tours were running and tours didn't answer their mobile (was it because they were hosting a crowd of Belorussian ecotourism professionals and normal guests didn't count ?) You see, it was the weather that got to me ... So: If you're interested in one of their tours make sure you sort it out well before you get there.

So back to the basics:

Others really loved the sauna (and the dip in the lake to cool down) when we were there - we were wimps and didn't try.
Toilets are good, beds are hard. Apparently I snored a lot.
The silence is wonderful (I couldn't hear myself snoring).
The big tent is great for cooking, eating, reading.
Chopping your own wood is great fun (my other half tells me).
The silence is great.

Overall:

It would have been really wonderful if it hadn't rained the whole time. But that's life ..... it has to rain sometimes.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Amstraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarcusEldh, Wildlife tour manager at STF Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge, responded to this review, August 18, 2013
Thank you for your review!
I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay despite the rainy weather. Kolarbyn Ecolodge is an outdoor concept where good clothing is important. We would have been happy to take you on a wildlife tour but unfortunately that week all of our wildlife guides were fully booked since it peak season. It is advisable to book any guided tours at least a few weeks in beforehand, but it can also be possible to book a tour the same day.

Hope to see you again!

Best regards, Marcus Eldh
Wildlife tour manager for Kolarbyn Ecolodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Malden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2013

This is an extremely well organised way of doing an outdoor holiday in the Swedish forest. The ecolodge (which had no more than 10-20 guests while we were there) has its own sauna, its own lake (more or less) which is great for swimming and boating, pit latrines that feel like a luxury experience (yes its true), everything set up to cook your own breakfast over your camp fire, and very cute little huts - I found the wood bed with sheepskin rugs very comfortable myself. We also did moose and beaver safaris.

The hardest question to ask is value for money; obviously you could 'wild camp' a whole lot cheaper - but with a lot more hassle - and on the other hand if we compare how much we enjoyed this compared to our other hotel stays on our trip to Sweden. it compares very favourably, and the work/expense in keeping the whole site in such great condition is obviously considerable.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kevin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buxton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2013 via mobile

If you want to get away from it all and live for a while In the peace and rhythms of the forest this is for you. You chop your wood, fetch your water from the spring, sleep in renovated charcoal burners huts - and you slow right down. This is a peaceful place, rich in wildlife and very beautiful.

Yes the beds are on the firm side but we slept well. I discovered I love chopping wood - I didn't know that. Meeting people around the fires is lovely.

This is different but if you are even considering staying here, I would encourage you to go for it. One night is not enough.

But do remember your insect repellent!

  • Stayed June 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank ZanX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aix-en-Provence, France
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2013

I was a volunteer for 3 weeks in Kolarbyn and I 've really enjoyed it !
It 's a place to share a nature experience and learn how to survive without running water and electricity. We met lots of interesting people all over the world.
A big thanks to Andreas who try hard to make this place friendly and pleasant.
I recommend without delay !

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lucie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington Dc, District Of Columbia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2013

This eco-lodge is lauded in several books about "unusual hotels of the world" and with good reason. The setting is simply exceptional -- a forest adjacent to a lake with a carpet of blueberry plants (so they tell me -- no berries have shown up as of this weekend). In adddition, a lake-side sauna, "safari" hikes (to see beavers or moose), a row boat, and fire pits around which one can cook dinner and breakfast. Actually, one MUST cook dinner and breakfast because it's basically BYOB and food too, but what a setting in which to do so! In our case our son-in-law doubles as a chef so my daughter, wife and I had it easy!

The accommodations are snug in the positive sense of the word. One is closer to a cabin and offers a double bed and bit more room to spread out. All others are what I refer to as "hobbit homes" with two single beds. All have fireplaces and candles.

Our one night stay was enchanting, but the weather was helpful. It rained -- but mostly during the night when we were already tucked in. Rain during mealtimes would quickly put an end to the outdoor idyllic cooking experience alluded to above, but there is a "common" lodge which has a central fireplace for cooking and a number of tables for dining -- first come first served.

We had a wonderful time and heartily recommend it for all those inclined to be a bit on the rustic side!

Room Tip: Note the one "cabin" that offers a double bed and a bit more space.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank James G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about STF Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge

Property: STF Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge
Address: Skarsjon, Skinnskatteberg, Sweden
Location: Sweden > Vastmanland County > Skinnskatteberg
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Skinnskatteber...
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kolarbyn Eco-lodge is called Sweden’s most primitive hotel and guests from all over the World come here to stay for a few nights for outdoor activities such as wildlife watching, hiking or fishing. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
STF Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge Sweden/Skinnskatteberg

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