Thursday 19 October 2017

The Ultimate Ice Hotel: Inside a real-life Snow Queen's palace

Sweden's Arctic Circle

Art Suite designed by Wolfgang A. Luchow, Sebastian Scheller, Anja Killan. Photo: Paulina Holmgren / Icehotel.com
Art Suite designed by Wolfgang A. Luchow, Sebastian Scheller, Anja Killan. Photo: Paulina Holmgren / Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL: Entrance to the Ice art hall for year-round ice experiences. Photo: Asaf Kliger / Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL Wedding: Design by Elin Julin, Marjolein Vonk & Marinus Vroom. Photo: Paulina Holmgren / Icehotel.com
A deluxe suite at ICEHOTEL. Design by Tommy Alatalo. Photo: Asaf Kliger/Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL 365. Photo Credit: PinPin Studio &Icehotel.com.
ICEHOTEL, Sweden. Photo: Asaf Kliger & icehotel.com. The Power of Love design by Sebastian Scheller (Germany) & Kristina Möckel(Germany).
ICEHOTEL, The Great Escape// Deluxe suite design by Marjolein Vonk (NE), Maurizio Perron (IT). Photo: Asaf Kliger & Icehotel.com.
An Art Suite at ICEHOTEL. Photo Credit: Christopher Hauser & icehotel.com. 'MIND THE GAP' suite design by Marcus Dillistone & Magdalena Åkerström.
Ice bar at the ICEHOTEL Sweden. Photo: Peter Kindersley
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Every year, when Sweden's Torne River turns to ice, a brand new ice hotel is created in the village of Jukkasjärvi.

It's been this way now for 26 years.

200km inside the Arctic Circle in the north of Sweden, Jukkasjärvi is a remote village where the midnight sun shines for 100 nights during summer.

In winter, pitch darkness descends for weeks at a time.

ICEHOTEL 365. Photo Credit: PinPin Studio &Icehotel.com.
ICEHOTEL 365. Photo Credit: PinPin Studio &Icehotel.com.
A deluxe suite at ICEHOTEL. Design by Tommy Alatalo. Photo: Asaf Kliger/Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL: Entrance to the Ice art hall for year-round ice experiences. Photo: Asaf Kliger / Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL Wedding: Design by Elin Julin, Marjolein Vonk & Marinus Vroom. Photo: Paulina Holmgren / Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL, Sweden. Photo: Asaf Kliger & icehotel.com. The Power of Love design by Sebastian Scheller (Germany) & Kristina Möckel(Germany).
ICEHOTEL, The Great Escape// Deluxe suite design by Marjolein Vonk (NE), Maurizio Perron (IT). Photo: Asaf Kliger & Icehotel.com.
An Art Suite at ICEHOTEL. Photo Credit: Christopher Hauser & icehotel.com. 'MIND THE GAP' suite design by Marcus Dillistone & Magdalena Åkerström.
Ice bar at the ICEHOTEL Sweden. Photo: Peter Kindersley

There is a light in that darkness, however. Every year, dozens of artists and engineers combine to build a brand new hotel from ice blocks.

Guests can sleep in traditional "warm" cabins or "cold" ice and snow rooms in which temperatures can drop to -5 degrees Celsius.

Most try at least one night in each, according to the hotel.

Before sleeping in the "cold" rooms, guests get a crash course in how to dress for the chill, and are provided with Arctic sleeping bags.

ICEHOTEL, The Great Escape// Deluxe suite design by Marjolein Vonk (NE), Maurizio Perron (IT). Photo: Asaf Kliger & Icehotel.com.
ICEHOTEL, The Great Escape// Deluxe suite design by Marjolein Vonk (NE), Maurizio Perron (IT). Photo: Asaf Kliger & Icehotel.com.
ICEHOTEL 365. Photo Credit: PinPin Studio &Icehotel.com.
ICEHOTEL: Entrance to the Ice art hall for year-round ice experiences. Photo: Asaf Kliger / Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL Wedding: Design by Elin Julin, Marjolein Vonk & Marinus Vroom. Photo: Paulina Holmgren / Icehotel.com
A deluxe suite at ICEHOTEL. Design by Tommy Alatalo. Photo: Asaf Kliger/Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL, Sweden. Photo: Asaf Kliger & icehotel.com. The Power of Love design by Sebastian Scheller (Germany) & Kristina Möckel(Germany).
An Art Suite at ICEHOTEL. Photo Credit: Christopher Hauser & icehotel.com. 'MIND THE GAP' suite design by Marcus Dillistone & Magdalena Åkerström.
Ice bar at the ICEHOTEL Sweden. Photo: Peter Kindersley

In the morning, they are brought a glass of hot lingonberry juice.

On check out, they are given a diploma stating the date and temperature inside and outside the hotel on the night they stayed.

ICEHOTEL: Entrance to the Ice art hall for year-round ice experiences. Photo: Asaf Kliger / Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL: Entrance to the Ice art hall for year-round ice experiences. Photo: Asaf Kliger / Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL, The Great Escape// Deluxe suite design by Marjolein Vonk (NE), Maurizio Perron (IT). Photo: Asaf Kliger & Icehotel.com.
ICEHOTEL 365. Photo Credit: PinPin Studio &Icehotel.com.
ICEHOTEL Wedding: Design by Elin Julin, Marjolein Vonk & Marinus Vroom. Photo: Paulina Holmgren / Icehotel.com
A deluxe suite at ICEHOTEL. Design by Tommy Alatalo. Photo: Asaf Kliger/Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL, Sweden. Photo: Asaf Kliger & icehotel.com. The Power of Love design by Sebastian Scheller (Germany) & Kristina Möckel(Germany).
An Art Suite at ICEHOTEL. Photo Credit: Christopher Hauser & icehotel.com. 'MIND THE GAP' suite design by Marcus Dillistone & Magdalena Åkerström.
Ice bar at the ICEHOTEL Sweden. Photo: Peter Kindersley

It's not just about fantastical, fairytale rooms either.

ICEHOTEL boasts an Ice Bar, a chandelier made from 1,000 handcut ice crystals, and an ice chapel that hosts some 100 weddings a year.

ICEHOTEL Wedding: Design by Elin Julin, Marjolein Vonk & Marinus Vroom. Photo: Paulina Holmgren / Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL Wedding: Design by Elin Julin, Marjolein Vonk & Marinus Vroom. Photo: Paulina Holmgren / Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL: Entrance to the Ice art hall for year-round ice experiences. Photo: Asaf Kliger / Icehotel.com
A deluxe suite at ICEHOTEL. Design by Tommy Alatalo. Photo: Asaf Kliger/Icehotel.com
ICEHOTEL 365. Photo Credit: PinPin Studio &Icehotel.com.
ICEHOTEL, Sweden. Photo: Asaf Kliger & icehotel.com. The Power of Love design by Sebastian Scheller (Germany) & Kristina Möckel(Germany).
ICEHOTEL, The Great Escape// Deluxe suite design by Marjolein Vonk (NE), Maurizio Perron (IT). Photo: Asaf Kliger & Icehotel.com.
An Art Suite at ICEHOTEL. Photo Credit: Christopher Hauser & icehotel.com. 'MIND THE GAP' suite design by Marcus Dillistone & Magdalena Åkerström.
Ice bar at the ICEHOTEL Sweden. Photo: Peter Kindersley

Needless to say, the photo opps (below) are unique.

Get me there

As we publish, "cold rooms" were available midweek in February from 5660SEK (€577) for two, with warm rooms from 5050SEK (€514) per night.

Visitors can also take a guided tour, without staying (10am-6pm).

The closest airport to Jukkasjärvi is Kiruna, which is served daily from Stockholm by SAS (flysas.com) and Norwegian (norwegian.com).

Airport transfers cost around 165SEK/€17 each way.

Read more:

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