WATCH: What it feels like to sleep in an ice hotel
Europe / 18 December 2019, 4:00pm / Clinton Moodley
For the past 30 years, Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden has been building a new hotel every year from ice and snow.
Yes, you have read that correctly. The owners recreate the famous Icehotel, which attracts people from all corners of the globe.
An empty space on Torne River, one of Sweden’s national rivers and last untouched waters, turns into a one of a kind hotel that exudes opulence and something that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The hotel takes just weeks to create, during November and early December.
The hotel offers 20 standard ice rooms and 15 art suites uniquely designed and hand-carved for the very first time.The art suites are the hotel’s individually designed and sculpted thematic suites, while the ice rooms fitted with ice inspired decor and a bed made of ice makes sleep effortless.
Johan Larsson, the artist of our standard ice rooms, said of the rooms: “I wanted to create a feeling of being embraced and protected by the ice – a good night’s sleep for all guests.”
According to the hotel, the temperature inside the hotel is set at -5 to -7 C. However, the hotel supplies expedition-style sleeping bags, which handles extreme temperatures.
Travellers sleeping in the ice rooms and suites will store their luggage at the Riverside Lobby, which is open 24 hours. It is also the place travellers will shower and make use of the bathroom and sauna facilities.
According to CNN Travel, the hotel has incorporated theatre production, an ice-carved observation deck and a frozen feline lair as some of this year’s designs to mark their 30th anniversary.
The hotel is open until April before it melts away when warm weather sets in. Fear not though, Icehotel 365 opens for travellers throughout the year and the first in the world to offer ice experiences year-round.
As temperatures are high, and it is a winter holiday, guests need to ensure that they pack warm. Functional clothing is key. Pack thermal underwear (preferably wool), breathable layer clothing, fleece jacket, plenty of socks (again, preferably wool, rather than cotton or synthetic), and a warm hat.
Located 200km above the Arctic Circle, it is easy to travel to the Icehotel. The flight from Stockholm Arlanda to Kiruna takes only 90 minutes, or you can take a 12-hour train ride. Kiruna Airport and Kiruna Train station are 20 minutes away from Icehotel.
Travellers also have the option to drive through Swedish Lapland. While on the road, the travellers can take in the grand views, and even make a few pitstops along the way.
If you are feeling adventurous, travellers may request a dogsled transfer from December to April. The tour takes 90 minutes.