Five minutes with Goran Widen, owner of Brandon Lodge
Overlooking a vast expanse of frozen sea, Brandon Lodge is a cosy and comfortable lodge in the heart of Swedish Lapland. It is one of our favourite places to stay in both the winter and summer. We sit down with the owner of Brandon Lodge, Goran Wilde for a quick five minute chat to sum up what you can expect with a stay in one of the cabins.
How long have you been running Brandon Lodge?
We have been here since December 1999, and we had our first guests in January 2000.
What was the inspiration for the property?
We had been living in and around the lodge and its surroundings since childhood and we saw that it was not used and offered to its full potential. The sea (in both summer and winter) is our biggest asset. The frozen sea with ice roads and endless horizons is our USP.
Why here, on the frozen shores of the Gulf of Bothnia?
Like all locals we are so proud of the scenery and nature here, and we want to share that with other people. All our guides are local and what we do at work, we also do on our days off work. It is our lifestyle.
Three words that sum up Brandon Lodge?
Hospitality, warmth, authenticity
What’s your favourite winter activity at Brandon Lodge, and why?
I am a man that loves the open-ness of the frozen sea. A Pack Ice adventure on snowmobile out towards the outermost islands of our archipelago is always a wow-experience. After all these years even for me!
What’s the most unexpected thing people find here when they come?
It’s a fantastic location for watching the northern lights. The coastal region is well known locally for its clear skies (essential for visible auroras), while the horizon to the north has no mountains, trees or light pollution.
What’s the most important thing people should bring with them in winter (apart from warm clothes)?
A good camera, an open mind and a smile.