A View of the Water Please
Underwater hotel in a Swedish lake near Stockholm. The Utter Inn is the brainchild of Mikael Genberg, a local artist and sculptor who has chosen to focus on “making art for the public”. The single room of the hotel lies 3m below the surface of Lake Mälaren in Västerås, Sweden and contains only twin beds and a table.
It opened in June 2000 on the coldest, rainiest day in the whole summer. Despite that it was a great success. Not only did all the untested solutions work, it also attracted a lot of people.
The Utter Inn stimulates the most typical of Swedish dreams; to have a small Swedish red house with white garbles on your own island. On top of that you can spend your night three meters underwater with panoramic windows in all directions.
This alternative dwelling also includes a sense of risk taking and adventure that tends to expand the sensory input. One should not forget the psychological term “transfer of exaltation”. Roughly explained it is about man’s tendency to transform the experience of fear to an experience of love. You don’t want to feel afraid so the brain changes the emotion to something far more pleasant. You feel more alive. In this sense arranged, controlled fear can be very important.
Guests of Utter Inn arrive at the port of Västerås and they are taken the 1 km out to the hotel on the lake Malaren and provided with an inflatable boat, instructions and are then left alone.
If they have selected the deluxe version they will get a visit later with their supper.
Guests have the opportunity to use an inflatable canoe to visit the closest uninhabited island. Some have enough courage to swim (the UHOTW team were too scared!), or to sunbathe upstairs, or watch the fish (both upstairs and downstairs).
There is a remarkable feeling to go to bed while the fish are surrounding and watching you carefully. You are in an aquarium – for fish to be beholders of man.
Often boats come quite close to get a glance of the daring inhabitants. Swedish boatpeople are however always very polite and never takes more than two trips around your room!!!
You’re guaranteed a memorable night!