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“Amazing nature, forests, squirrels, sauna and swimming”

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STF Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge
Reviewed October 23, 2013

I visited this place in summer so it was hot every day (there was a storm one night, but the cabin was dry and cosy). There are not too many biting bugs in the area which was nice. The lodge is near a large lake that allows for pleasant walks in the area. There are blueberries growing everywhere and peaceful surroundings. We didn't see a moose but saw some moose tracks and droppings. We also saw a grass snake while walking and many fish while swimming and cute little red squirrels and birds that visit the lodge itself.

This is a great experience, living with nature, washing in the lake, cleaning pans and dishes in the stream, drinking water from a well and cooking on an open fire. Rowing on the lake at sunset is very romantic and you can make use of the floating sauna day or night. At night we lit out cabin and the sauna by candle light. It’s best if you ditch electric torches and mobile phones so as to escape entirely from the modern world but if you need to get back to modernity, the local town is only a 5 minute drive away.

This is the best thing I did in Sweden and I highly recommend it for all nature lovers. I am sure I would have seen more animals if I had been able to afford a tour but I was travelling on a budget.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Death_Trip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 16, 2013

Thank you so much to Marcus, Andreas, Jann and Tobias for our amazing 3 night stay. We have just come back and thought the whole experience was perfect. The eco-lodges are cosy & romantic and the whole camp was lots of fun. We loved every part of our stay - moose safari (with wild sweden), bikes, dinner by the lake , mushroom foraging, boating, fishing, late night camps and more! We cannot criticise it at all - and we will definately be coming back to harness our bush craft skills. We absolutely loved this place!Especially big thanks for allowing us to stay despite the lodges being closed. I am so pleased you said we could continue with our trip, I would have been gutted to have missed out.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Hannah O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2013

Kolarbyn’s Family Expedition is a great adventure for the whole family. I was there with a group of 11, the youngest being 4 and the oldest 72. We learned how to make a fire, how to send SOS signals with smoke, use GPS to find a treasure and how to make drinking water with an old beer can, moss and coal. In between the activities, guide Andreas told us a lot about nature; the animals, trees, berries and what you can eat during the season.

Room Tip: You can book all activities seperately at Kolarbyn or you combine it with a stay in one of the cabin...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Marnix B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank JackFromDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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 reviewResponded 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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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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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2  Thank Kevin L
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

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 2 Specialty Lodging in Skinnskatteber...
Price Range: $72 - $185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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