Cold Weather Lovers Enjoy Swedish ICEHOTEL

      Credit:  esra yavuz
       Video Duration: 3m

Can you imagine staying in an ice hotel? Arctic adventure tourists, we found a chilly new activity to add to your bucklist. At first it doesn't sound logical, but here's a novel hotel experience that will appeal to those adventurous types or those wanting to maximize a winter nordic travel experience.  This frosty video of the world's first ice hotel in Scandinavia, the ICEHOTEL Sweden, caught our eyes and lured us into the magic of its icy chambers with its eye-popping photos of suites made of columns of ice and packed snow decorated with sculpted ice art and beds made of ice blocks covered with reindeer pelts.  Packed snow, ice chandeliers and ice boulders decorate the reception area.  It's actually so fascinating that despite our warm-blooded nature, we'd really consider a unique experience like this. 

How It Came To Be

The ICEHOTEL, located in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, opened in 1990 and is now open year round.  They have a sustainable method using solar panels of ensuring that it remains cold enough to stay open for guests all year in their Hotel 365.  The hotel is located just north of the Arctic Circle which means endless sunshine for 100 days of the year. They harvest tons of ice from the nearby Torne River to maintain the hotel.  Specially selected artists from around the world are invited to sculpt the blocks of ice into creative designs for the suites and gallery every year.  There is no heating in the hotel, which is maintained at a temperature of -5 Celcius, or 23 degrees Fahrenheit.  Quite chilly but apparently manageable with the right clothing.

Besides the 22 suites, bar, restaurant and gallery, there is an Ice Church where many a wedding takes place for those desiring an extraordinary setting for the occasion.  The hotel is open to the public during the day for guided tours of its rooms and art exhibition, which changes every year as they invite some 40 artists from around the globe to create new designs and themes for the hotel. 

Photo: Asaf Kliger/www.icehotel.com

Photo: Asaf Kliger/www.icehotel.com

Cold Rooms, Warm Rooms, and Art Suites

Can you picture yourself staying in a room made of ice and snow?  There is also the option of staying in a warm room as well, but why do that when this is what you're here for - an experience of a lifetime and a special memory of a most unusual hotel stay.  They do recommend a cold room for only one night and then a couple nights in a warm room.  The beds in the cold rooms are covered with reindeer hides and thermal sleeping bags.  There are no bathrooms in the rooms so one does have to go to the Dressing Room for toilets and showers, which is a warm building adjacent to the hotel.  The standard rooms provide the basics for an ice room experience and the Art Suites are an upgrade providing more privacy and ice sculpture decor.

Photo: Asaf Kliger/www.icehotel.com

Photo: Paulina Holmgren/www.icehotel.com

 

ICEBAR, Warm Restaurant

Their ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL has expanded to other cities around the world.  Here you can enjoy your favorite drink as it's kept cool in a glass made of ice while it rests on a bar also made of ice.  Every year the bar has a new look and theme, redesigned by ice artists from around the world and has a dance floor made of snow.  Their restaurant and cocktail bar is warm and cozy and is noted for its top-rated cuisine prepared by their Michelin-trained chef who uses locally sourced ingredients to create dishes like Arctic char with bramble berries or special delicacies like reindeer or moose.

Photo: Asaf Kliger/www.icehotel.com

Photo: Martin Smedsén/www.icehotel.com

Unforgettable Experiences

There are plenty of activities to entertain visitors, like ice-carving, dog-sledding, ice-fishing, cross-country skiing, Torne River rafting, and horseback moose safaris.  Since this is the land of the midnight sun, let them take you on an excursion past the Arctic Circle to see what the midnight sun is all about, certainly something not to be missed.  Or how about a northern lights safari on a snowmobile for some sensational photo ops followed by a wilderness camp dinner, or simply reserve one of their suites with a view of the Aurora Borealis.  These are just a few of the really one-of-a-kind experiences you can enjoy here.

Photo: Asaf Kliger/www.icehotel.com

Photo: Paulina Holmgren/www.icehotel.com

You can't beat this for a "cool" experience, so grab your thermal underwear, long johns and parka and reserve your suite at the ICEHOTEL for an adventure of a lifetime.  Here is your opportunity to get very close with someone to stay warm so make sure your partner is up for a snuggle in your igloo.  It is also a great opportunity to see if rubbing noses will help you stay warm.  At least your eyes will be on each other and not on your cell phones!

ICEHOTEL Travel Tip:  Batteries lose capacity fast in cold weather - keep your camera batteries and phone close to your body when you can.

For more amazing photos of their ice artists' masterpieces, check out our Swedish ICEHOTEL Slideshow.

Read what people had to say about the ICEHOTEL on Tripadvisor.

For more Arctic fun, check out our videos on Finland's Kaklauttanen Arctic Resort

Fodor's Travel has named these as the World's 10 Coolest Ice Hotels

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Read 1041 times Last modified on 28 June 2017